Recently I read a letter to the editor from a very combative atheist. When I finished I remember thinking of what I would say to the writer if given the chance. It is very simply this.
Let us first suppose that when this life is over, he is correct. When we both die, there is nothing else. We both face the same fate. As the old adage goes, we like Rover are dead all over. With no resurrection, there is nothing else. Our existence ends at the grave.
So with this being our consideration, what difference does it make? It is not as though he can then say I told you so!
We both have lived our lives and at death there is nothing else. Consider both cases, his and mine, as to what we have gained or lost. In this presupposition of no life hereafter, we both have lost nothing. However, I still will have gained because I lived my life with the hope of something else awaiting. The Hebrew writer calls this hope the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19). Paul noted that even as our outward man perishes the inward man is renewed day by day because of this hope (1 Corinthians 4:16).
A wise man once said even if there is no resurrection, the Christian life is still worth living if only for the benefits here on earth. This great hope influences how I see life and it answers the great questions of life. This hope gives me comfort in the troublesome times of life. The rewards in the life of a believer are endless not only in eternity but also in the here and now.
Romans 8:6 reads, For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Note the word appearing before life and peace. It is the verb “is”. It is not the verb “will be”. It is clear the reward for a spiritual life is here and now as well as the future.
Yes, I believe there is great gain in the here and now for the believer. I have yet to see there is any gain in this life by holding the atheistic point of view.
Now let us consider the other scenario. This is the case for which I am firmly committed. This is to consider the question, ‘what if I am right’? What if when this life is over there is a resurrection? What if the grave is not the end?
Now consider both men in this light. Very simply put, the believer has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Conversely, the atheist has everything to lose and nothing to gain. To discover one is wrong on this matter will mean losing one’s soul to an eternity in hell.
We have two choices here. One has everything to gain and nothing to lose. The other has everything to lose and nothing to gain. I’ve never been much of a gambler but this seems like a pretty easy decision to me.