Luke 19:41-42 Now as Jesus drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
How does the Lord feel when countless numbers of human souls depart this earth without the covering of His sacrifice and find themselves in the torments of hell? How does the Lord feel after He has done everything that He could do to prevent the loss of a single eternal spirit, and they are lost because they were unwilling to be saved?
What does the Atheist and ungodly offer the world?
1. Freedom from the laws of God to do what pleases each individual.
2. Freedom from Religion, a life without the guilt of Theological oppression.
3. Freedom to live life any way you want, without thought of a God who will punish.
Anyone who has resided a few decades on the earth knows that a person who does whatever he wants to do in his life is a truly miserable person—in the deep recesses of his soul. If you want to be a truly unhappy individual, just live for yourself and your own pleasure. We see these people everyday, walking around before us—men and women with empty souls. Those who have done whatever their heart desires, only to end up an desolate shell of a human being.
The gift of guilt
The enduring difficulty that plagues those who live apart from God is the guilt which arises from our instinctive knowledge that immoral behavior leaves us with self condemnation. God has hardwired each human being with an internal knowledge of right and wrong. Only by a very long process of denying guilt and a suppression of those feelings can a person finally sear their conscience until they no longer feel guilt over their actions.
When Paul wrote to Timothy—describing the conditions of the heart within those who live during the last days of earth, he described a conscience which has been “seared with a hot iron.”
1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…
When the conscience is continually suppressed, and a lifestyle of sin continues without repentance, over the process of time our conscience is no longer operational. As a hand which is repeatedly burned—looses the sensation of touch, so also does the human conscience. In the last days there will exist a large population who have developed a suppressed conscience. For these individuals, it is impossible to repent, turn from sin, and surrender to Jesus as their Savior.
Ephesians 4:19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
This is the common estate of those who have continually denied God and have chosen a lifestyle devoid of regulation by the conscience. Eventually this person may become quite adversarial towards the Christian gospel and the Bible. Once the conscience is made void and no longer operates, this person is unable hear the voice of the Holy Spirit who is the instrument of salvation. At this point it becomes impossible for redemption to occur.
This is particularly applicable to those who have attended church and have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ—even making a profession of faith in Jesus as their Savior. If these individuals fall away from Jesus—it is impossible to renew them to repentance and be saved.
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Notice that salvation becomes impossible for the person, not for God. Anyone who comes to Jesus in sincere repentance for their sins and a desire to be saved—will be received and accepted by God and they shall obtain eternal life. The impossibility resides in the heart of those who fall away—they are unable to find repentance again and return to Jesus—from where their Salvation originates.
The deception of a life without God
The life of those who deny God, reject Jesus Christ, and continue to live in denial of their conscience—garners a result that is unaware to these individuals. Having denied God and having rejected the love of the truth that Jesus had died and offers salvation, God turns these individuals over to their own deception and allows them to live free from God. In the same way that we might give up on a person who has continually rejected us and our love, God will honor the wishes of those who do not want Him in their life.
At this point, without the covering of God’s protection, these individuals accept the “lie,” described by Paul in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, first put forth by satan—to Eve in Genesis 3:4
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness…
Genesis 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…
The lie is the false assertion put forth by satan that a person does not really need God, we can be our own God. It was the desire of Lucifer to elevate his throne—equally with God’s throne and be worshipped by all creation as God. As a result, Lucifer was destroyed, cast out of heaven to the earth and became satan—the adversary of God.
Isaiah 14:13-15 For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
For these reasons, a discussion with many atheists who have maintained a life without God for a number of years—is frustrating for the Christian, as well as an irritation to the Atheist. Evidence plays no part in convincing those who have reached a place of impossibility with God. Seeking to present evidence—irrespective of how compelling it is—simply will have no effect upon the persistent atheist. The difficulty is in knowing with certainty whether or not a person has reached the place described by 2 Thessalonians 2:11, Hebrews 6:4, and 1 Timothy 4:1-2.
For this reason, it is always a good idea to make an effort to witness to those who are non-believers, with the hope that the Holy Spirit may still be able to reach their conscience. We cannot know the true condition of a person’s heart—even when they oppose us adamantly with our efforts to convince them of their need for Jesus. It would be a mistake to assume that a person cannot be saved—just because they will not accept our witness of Jesus Christ. We must try to present to Gospel to every person and pray that the Holy Spirit might be able to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Whether or not an individual has reached that place where they cannot be saved, is not our concern. We are to present Jesus and His desire to save—to everyone. Salvation is of the Lord, not from us.
Luke 18:27 But Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
An internal witness
Somehow, someway, all of us know that God exists, and that we were made for a purpose. We feel this conviction deep within our heart. We know that there is more to life than just living and dying. No one has to explain this to us; we understand it inherently from the deepest recesses of our soul.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 …God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart… (NLT)
Without God and the surety that we are made for a purpose, we are left with a sense of hopelessness, bitter grief, and emptiness. None of us wants to believe that life has no meaning and our existence here on earth is a mere cosmic accident. This is the reason that we are busy within our lives searching with such fervor for satisfaction. We are looking for the meaning of life, although it eludes us. We seem to understand that life can be satisfying—though the manner in which this lofty goal is achieved, eludes us. We will place a career, money, a relationship, even pleasure and travel into our life in the hope that we will find satisfaction. Those who have sought their personal fulfillment in these things—describe the emptiness and lack of satisfaction after these pursuits were achieved.
The purpose of our life
The truth is that we were made by God, for Him. Until we realize this and live for the purpose for which we were created, we will remain unsatisfied and never find true and lasting happiness. God has created us with a fervent desire for Him. He created us for Himself, to love and glorify Him—forever. There is a great cavernous and unbridgeable expanse in our life that can only be bridged by a true relationship with our creator.
This relationship is only possible if God initiates the connection. Because all persons exist as fallen beings (imperfect), First God must remove our imperfection in order to have fellowship with us. Jesus came to be the instrument by which our sins could be removed and convey to us perfect righteousness. In order for God to forgive sin, the penalty for those sins must be exacted. Jesus offered to stand in our place and take the full penalty that all human beings have accrued, since the beginning of the world. The fact that He rose from the dead after having taken those sins and died for them—is our assurance that God accepted His sacrifice and has made salvation and a relationship with God possible.
All that any person must do, after hearing what Jesus has accomplished for us, is receive the pardon that God offers us for our sins, and take Jesus as our Savior. The moment that we ask God for His forgiveness and receive Jesus as our Savior—God removes all our sin, as if they never existed, and conveys to us—perfect righteousness.
Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Where the journey begins
I have discovered, after searching myself, that there is complete satisfaction in Jesus. Not in religion or church, but in Jesus alone. Until a person finds their fulfillment in the God who made them, religion and going to church is a colossal waste of time.
The reason Jesus left heaven and came to earth was to allow us the opportunity to know the true and living God personally, as one person knows another.
Up to the time that Jesus arrived on earth, God was some distant ideal which could never be understood. He was in heaven; we were here on earth. The distance between us seemed infinite and unbridgeable. When God came to us in the form of a man, someone like us, a person whom we were able to see and understand, for the first time mankind knew what God was truly like. By Jesus arrival on earth, we know, hear, see and understand what the One true, Living God, is like.
Jesus came to remove the barrier and infinite gap between a perfect and Holy God and us—who are imperfect, and unable to reach God ourselves.
Isaiah describes Jesus as a man of sorrows.
If you have ever watched a person suffer, then perhaps you can understand the meaning of Isaiah’s words. To observe someone in misery, is emotionally overwhelming and exhausting. Imagine God, looking down from heaven, seeing each one of us suffering through life and missing the incredible blessings that He created us to enjoy—knowing that we would never be able to achieve true satisfaction and the genuine purpose for which we were intended, unless He intervened and came to save us.
As Jesus watched us, His heart was moved with compassion. He saw us in the true state of our desperation, and He was compelled to act. He would come to earth and die for our sins, so that they would be no more, and our estrangement from God could come to an end. As Jesus walked amongst us, He watched our suffering because of sin. He longed to remove it and looked earnestly towards the day when He would hang on the cross and bear all of our shame. When that day arrived, it was both wonderful and wicked. Our sins would be removed, but at a cost to the Son of God—at the hands of evil men, that cannot be fully understood by any of us. Jesus was made sin for us. Can we calculate and fathom what this means? I think not. The perfect Son of God was covered with the filth of human sin, bathed in the stench of our wickedness; and He took it all.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (RCR)
Jesus did not die only for those who would receive Him. He also died for those who would never receive His sacrifice for their sins. At the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus contemplated the immensity of the cup of sin that He was about to drink from. He asked the Father if there was any other way that human lives could be spared from judgment. The response: His death was the only way; He must go to the Cross and die, or all would be lost.
The sorrow that Jesus felt at the moment His life was made an offering for all of us—is unimaginable. I believe that the suffering Jesus felt and endured in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross were beyond our ability to comprehend as mere human beings. It may be that even in eternity, we will not be able to comprehend the depth of Jesus’ suffering and the grief that He felt in making His life an offering for us.
The manner in which men today assault the words of the Bible and the critics who claim that “Jesus did not say this or do that” really is all irrelevant. The fact is that both the secular and religious historical records demonstrate that Jesus came to earth as and has made His life a sacrifice for the sins of all men, is incontrovertible. If there was nothing else in the Bible except the words which describe Jesus death and resurrection, the Bible should be found complete enough for all of us.
How shameful that many who say they once believed in and followed Jesus at one time now write books that bring dishonor and disgrace to His glorious name. I cannot imagine how anyone could read the sorrow and grief that filled Jesus over what He was required to do for us, and feel anything but great wonder. How a darkened human heart can write in ridicule of the wondrous things that Jesus has done is beyond shameful.
Jesus became a man of sorrows and was aquatinted with bitterest grief because of my sins and your sins. We can be thankful and very glad that He was willing to bear the unimaginable sadness which was thrust upon Him, all to show us how great the Love of God is for a world which did not recognize Him when He came, and to this very day continues to ignore and reject Him.
Categories: Agnostics and Skeptics, Atheists, Complicating a Relationship with God, Hell is not God's will for you, How Salvation Occurs, Salvation through Jesus, The Existence of God, The First Arrival of the Messiah, The world rejects Jesus, What is required for Heaven?