All of Us Live with some Hope of an "After-Life"

Duane Gilchrist By Duane Gilchrist, 18th Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

Even the atheist or agnostic has a "hope" about the after-life. The three main categories among humans, (1) the atheist or agnostic, (2) the liberal Christian and other religionists, and (3) the born again Christian, all hold some hope for the after-life.This article furnishes the "hope" definition to all three categories.

1. Atheists and Agnostics


The "thinking", "moral" atheist (or agnostic) has a "short term" hope that by living a "good" life he will contribute to society, making this life a better time for all.

The atheist, having no belief in God or an after life, has no hope for the long term where he expects to simply rot in the grave, dying like any other animal. But, of course, he hopes he is correct, that there is no God and therefore no judgment.

The agnostic, claims to believe there is a God, but that he has no way of "knowing" Him. He probably hopes that, by living a "good" life there will be some sort of reward for him in the unknown here-after.

Both the atheist and the agnostic can have serious failures and disappointment in this life. And may, as a result, live desperate lives expressing their hatred toward the Christians and the God they don't "believe" in.

Some, often use considerable foul languages and curses, discussing their belief, or ridiculing others, giving evidence of the disappointment, and frustration caused by their belief.

Many atheists are quite evangelistic" and spend considerable effort, hoping to win religious persons (primarily targeting Christians), over to their belief .

While this, obviously gives them considerable pleasure, at least some of them, feel they must justify this activity, by saying they hope to improve life for all, by converting people of "faith" away from dangerous religions that they claim "smother" mankind.

The atheist accuses the true Christian of being delusional, believing in "fairy tales". However he, lives in his own delusion;

He claims that Jesus never lived in history. Some go to great lengths to "paint" Jesus out of existance!

He comes very close to denyingthat the Old Testament is a document of ancient history. He discredits Josepheus' testimony. He ignores volumes of archaeological proofs. Dead Sea Scrolls proof etc.

He claims that the New Testament was totally contrived by some lying author that constructed it to record the many fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament!

He is un-aware that there is a huge number of prophecies in the Bible. Many have been fulfilled accurately. Or, if he has some knowledge of these prophecies, he has no idea that such cannot be fulfilled by chance, or be contrived by mere human authors. Click here for, "You can bet your life on Biblical prophecy!"

He refuses to acknowledge the difficulty to accomplish such a deception while at the same time weave in the content that is rated to be some of the best literature in existance.

He overlooks the miracle of the preservation of the Bible, as it has been the intent of numerous powerful persons to utterly destroy it for the past 2000 years. It angers him that it remains the most widely bought and read book each year!

So, in his deluded thinking, he has essentially "desposed" of the Bible, he then in much the same way, ignores and distorts the benefits Christianity has accomplished in following its teachings;

He ignores that thousands, perhaps millions, have gone from defeated lives of desperation, addiction, anger, abusive behaviour, etc. to lives of decency and useful victorious living by following the Christian faith and the truths of the Bible.

What inane, empty blustering is exhibited, as he insists that, if God exists, He would instantly answer any prayer for any request, instantly, so he could believe! Stating this, he is telling the God, in whom he doesn't believe, what He should do!

He ignores, that thousands of brilliant, (many lettered Creationist scientists), some of them former atheists converted to creationists.

He ignores the thousands over the centuries who have died horrible deaths rather than deny their Christian faith.

He ignores that we have thousands of agreeing manuscripts (copies) of the original text of the New Testament that have been preserved, as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls authenticating the Old Testament.

And, as he ignores the above, he blames the Bible and its teaching for all the failures of the men who have mis-used and abused the powers they have assumed as they identified as "Christians" within "Christianity".

He eagerly seizes upon "big bang" and "evolution" theories and billions of required years of earth's existance, to avoid the obvious, easy evidence of a Designer who brought about (created) the millions and millions of wonders we see on this tiny globe, let alone out there in the, seemingly, infinite universe.

But as one person observed, "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist!" They have to believe "real hard"!

Yes, though many atheists are brilliant and have produced outstanding accomplishments, they, in their spiritual delusion are described in the 14th Psalm which says, in part, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'"

Being deluded, the atheist hopes for death to end it all! He marvels at the wonders of the universe, as we do, expecting it to continue for more "billions" of years. Yet, he believes and hopes the soul of humans, who he acknowledges is the highest, most intelligent personage, in his "known" universe, will "vanish" at death! Huge delusion! No real hope! Only false hope!

Yet, there is real hope, even for the atheist!

One of the best explanations of the Christian faith is the 35 minute streaming video, "The Ultimate Question"!

My "Wager" to challenge the Atheist/Agnostic

If the atheist's, beliefs are correct and the true Christian's (mine) are wrong, both of us would live out this life with the same conclusion - ending at the grave. The Christian being "wrong", is as well off as the atheist.

However, if the atheist's beliefs are wrong and the true Christian's (mine) are correct, the atheist, at death, faces the judgement, (eternal hell) of the Saviour, God, that he has hated and rejected! Facing Him as his Judge.

And the Christian is welcomed into heaven's bliss!

I like my odds and pity the atheist's! In addition, I have had Christ's support, in this life, for at least 75 years to date!

(Yes, I am familiar with "Pascal's Wager" which the atheist often encounters and does his best to "defang". It is similar to my wager, above, except, I have limited the believer's (my) position, to just one position, that being true Christianity.

I am not wagering atheism against one of the many competing religions, that are out there claiming identity with God or believing in various gods. The wager under discussion is dealing with unbelief and Christianity.

The True believer "wins" Big!

Romans 8:35-39" Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
         "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
         WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

2. Liberal "Christians", Garden Variety "Unbelievers", "Other Religions", or "Real Christians" with little Bible knowledge

The liberal "Christian", who has "settled" into his convictions, considers himself adequately informed, probably has some belief in the Bible, and may accept portions, outside of the "judgment" passages, as being "inspired".

He usually is not really believing in the miracles of Jesus or His endorsement of the wonders of events like the universal flood, judgment of Sodom and Gomorah, Jonah and the big fish etc.or the literal return of Jesus as stated in the Bible.

In his delusion, he hopes that his good works will out-weigh his faults. (He probably doesn't see any real sin in his life). Essentially, while giving "lip service" to Jesus, even knowing that the Bible declares that He died and rose from the dead, and is the only way he can have forgiveness for himself, he is, in reality, hoping that his good works" and religious rituals will get him a place in heaven.

Actually, his fate is described when Jesus said "He never knew" "him" and he is on the "wide road" to destruction!

He probably doesn't really believe that there is a hell, so, like "Universalists", he believes that somehow God will allow all into His Heaven. He just ignores the fact that God has to have some disposition for the "really bad" people, like Hitler etc.

Of course, he may believe and hope, that God, being a God of love, will forgive all, regardless of their extent of evil.

Believing some level of this, his faith doesn't impell him toward evangelism, so he "gets along" pretty well with both the atheist and other religions. He is a tolerant" person.

There is the possibility that he/she, mildly "liberal", will be in the category of the "Real Christian with little Biblical knowledge" described a couple steps below.

"Garden Variety" Unbelievers

The world is full of unbelievers who have no real Biblical faith, and have no personal relationship with God. They may believe in God, but have no real knowledge about Him. They will usually tell you something like this, "my god would certainly not send someone to hell". They think they are better than average and certainly, if there is a heaven, they will go there at death.

They "believe" much as the "Liberal Christian" described above.

Other religions:

All religions, other than true Christianity are based upon "good works" hoping their reward in an after-life, is some version of heaven.

Some, cults like Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and Scientology are evangelistic in practice. To the extent they work at this, they hope God will reward them with salvation. They deny the existance of hell. So, they hope for entry into heaven for their "works" of evangelization.

Real, Christians with little Bible knowledge:

Now, there are many Christians that are not "settled" in the above described levels of unbelief. They have accepted what truths of the Bible they have heard. And they gain enough to make a decision for Jesus as their Saviour. They have their hope in evangelistic Biblical presentation they received and accepted.

They may not have access to good Bible teaching and may not engage in the debates and issues raised by un-believers and hardened "Liberal Christians".

If they remain at this level of knowledge and "faith" they are susceptible to being mis-lead into the un-belief of the "Liberal Christians".

So, when they encounter the deceptions of the "Liberal Christian" and aggressive un-belief, they are at a critical juncture.

If they are truly saved and have God's hope in their lives, they will, sooner or later come to hold the beliefs that describe the "born again, true Christian" seen in Part 3.

Otherwise, if they slide into un-belief it is because, their initial "faith" was insufficient to rate as true belief. They have been living with a false hope.

One of the best explanations of the Christian faith is the 35 minute streaming video, "The Ultimate Question"!

3. Conservative, Bible believing Christians have Their Hope in these Beliefs.


The born again", true Christian, acknowleges that he is sinful, deserving the judgment of his holy, righteous God. He has come to this conclusion by the Holy Spirit's conviction, high lighting the sin in his life, as spelled out in the Bible.

His hope is based entirely on Jesus and His written word.

He has God's word on it that there is just one way into God's heaven. He knows that he will not be saved "good works".

He believes God is All-powerful, so it is easy to see that He created the entire universe by simply "speaking" it into existance as the Bible declares. Accepting this of his God, makes it easy for him to believe in the miracles of the Bible. The skeptic, unbeliever regularly scoffs at three Old Testament accounts as being impossible. The well grounded Christian points out that Jesus, his Creator God endorsed all three during His earthly ministry. These are the universal flood, judgment of Sodom and Gomorah, Jonah and the big fish etc.

Because he believes and trusts the Bible as God's written word, he has accepted the free gift of God's salvation. This resulted from the Son of God, Jesus Christ, dying in his place, forgiving him, erasing all his sins, (past, present and future), obtaining this salvation for him.

Jesus proved that the believer's sins were forgiven, paid for and actually erased, by rising from the dead. As a result he is born again, has everlasting life, being instantly delivered from the penalty for sin. He has the Holy Spirit of God living within, giving him the relationship with God as a His child, with the power to resist sin. He has the sure hope of spending eternity with Jesus in Heaven completely away from the presence of sin.

As the Bible uses the word "hope" it often refers to the return of Jesus, when He will gather all living believers, with the resurrected believers who have died, giving both glorified bodies in the wonderful act, called "the rapture", taking us bodily into His Heaven. This use of "hope" is unlike our common usage where we say, "I hope it doesn't rain on our picnic" etc. This Biblical "hope" is seen as a secure "hope" simply awaiting God's timing.

He has a secure relationship with his God and tries to be obedient to the commands of Jesus, hoping to live closer to His desires for him. He knows that when he falls short and does sin, he confesses these sins to maintain a good fellowship with his Saviour.

He knows he is secure, being spared future judgment for his sins. He knows too, that if he is living when the Great Tribulation. that Jesus spoke about, arrives, he will be spared the worst of it!

He believes Jesus meant it when He said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me". John 14:6.

So, he does not want anyone to go into eternity with out Jesus, literally chosing to go to hell. Therefore he is quite evangelistic, urging others to join him in trusting Jesus for salvation.

One of the best explanations of the Christian faith is the 35 minute streaming video, "The Ultimate Question"!

My Written Contract with God!

1stJohn 5:10-13,"The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. (2 kinds of people!) 11, And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life."

Speed the Day!
2 Peter 3:11-12, Phil. 1:21-23
Duane Gilchrist.

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Meet the author

author avatar Duane Gilchrist
Has a long background in Computer Sytems,analysis, management, early into pesonal computer useage etc. Presently retired, devote quality time to Christian activity. Great family. Married 64 years to 1 wife. Four adult children have produced 12 grand ...(more)

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Comments

author avatar Jack Vorster
30th Jun 2011 (#)

I used to work with an atheist who delighted in telling Jesus jokes whenever in my company at company functions. He also tried his best to derail me at work. I am convinced that the intelligence displayed by many atheists is demon inspired.

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