10 Important Differences Between The Believer And The Atheist

In making a decision to deny the existence of God a person is forfeiting a great number of blessings that make life beautiful, precious, and meaningful. I can certainly understand that some people really have not understood the evidence that is present in the universe which proves that God must exist. What I find impossible to comprehend is how the person who refuses to believe, has arrived at this conclusion without having done sufficient study to understand whether God exists.

SeeThe Cosmological Argument

In conversations with hundreds of atheists over the past 42 years, there is one abiding fact that is nearly always obvious in these conversations: People who don’t believe that God exists, make this decision because they don’t want to believe that God exists. The reasons are many and diverse but all of these center on one important reality; people want to live their lives a certain way and they don’t want interference from anyone.

Very rarely in all the years that I have questioned those who assert that God does not exist have I spoken to someone who has thoroughly investigated evidence on both sides of the question.

One principle that seems to be present in a majority of people who say they have found no evidence for God is how they came to this conclusion. In many of these cases the person who has determined that God cannot exist has done so because someone else who doesn’t believe in God has made statements that convinced this person.

It’s  interesting in life that we humans tend to listen to people who will validate our thinking rather than challenge our positions. We want to live a certain way and we are looking for confirmation from others to agree with our thoughts.

Bad Examples:

Others have told me they determined that God and the Bible were not true, based upon their experiences with people who claim to believe. They have seen the hypocrisy and inconsistencies of Christians and felt discouraged by what they saw or heard. I suppose the idea here is that if God really exists, people who believe in Him would be better examples than what is seen in the world. The problem in this case is that people have not considered the words of Jesus who said that He came to save sinners, not the righteous. By this, He means that the worst of the worst know that they are the worst and they have the greatest desire for change. People who have ruined their lives are usually the first to be attracted to Jesus since He promised the removal of the past and a fresh start. As a result of this, many people who have trusted in Christ are from troubled backgrounds and still struggle with the changes that are taking place within them.

The world expects the Christian to be perfect, since they preach perfection. The problem is that when Jesus saves a person, He saves their soul, not their body. It will not be till much later that we receive our new perfect body that all our behavior will be perfect. Although we trust in the Lord and sincerely want to be better people, we still live in the same old body that is sinful and seeks to control our behavior. The New Testament speaks repeatedly about the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. As long as a person lives, they will always make mistakes and not be perfect—though they believe in Jesus and seek to follow Him sincerely.

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.  —Romans 7:15-25 (NLT)

For many people, seeing an individual or group of individuals who claim to be changed by knowing God, yet still have many flaws; this reality is evidence enough that God is not real.

How exactly a person who is a bad representative—proves that God doesn’t exist, is a mystery to me. It became clear over time that these persons are were so offended by the bad behavior of people who claim to believe in God, that they ended their search and chose not to believe.

Given the importance of whether or not God exists, it seems wise to not place our decision in the hands of people who will simply validate our desires. If the words of the Bible are true and God does exist and we reject His offer of salvation, we place ourselves in an impossible situation. In this realization, it is imperative that we absolutely know for certain the facts of God before we end our search and move on with our life.

The Problems Of Evil And Suffering

The problem of human suffering is often an insurmountable mountain of difficulty for some people. If God exists could He allow a child to get cancer or be molested or abused? If God has the power to stop these things and He doesn’t do anything about it, what does that say about Him?

In these cases I have learned that people often have an incorrect view of God and lack knowledge for what the true facts are. People assume that because the child suffers or dies, God doesn’t care. One such critic said that God just waited for people to commit evil so that He can punish them rather than be proactive and stop them from hurting people in the first place.

This planet is not the world that God first created. When the first humans were placed upon the earth there was no evil, sickness, or death. These things came into human life as a result of man’s desire to live without God and do things his own way. As a result, God honored man’s desire and gave us what we asked for.

The world we see today is what earth is like when God is excluded. The suffering and evil that exists in our world is not God’s fault, it is ours. People make decisions to hurt other people. Much of the suffering and death that takes place on the earth is caused by other human beings, not by God. People die in natural disasters because they build their homes in earthquake fault zones, near the coast, and in areas known to flood or have numerous Hurricanes or Tornados. People get cancer and other diseases because our bodies are defective as a result of the presence of sin. God said that the soul who sins will die.

A Majority of those who live today do not want God to interfere in their lives. By our exclusion of God, He allows us to live without Him and this includes His care in healing all our diseases and granting us an endless life.

Sickness and death are the natural results of sin being present in our lives that causes us to acquire cancer and many other diseases. What is seldom understood is that if we all live as moral perfect being, none of us would get sick or die.

One important principle that we must understand in this present world is that God will not force himself upon us. He has given every person the right to choose for themselves and then be responsible for their decision. If you examine the life of Jesus in the New Testament, He never forced Himself on anyone. He told the truth and then let people make up their own mind.

Each day we live upon this planet, we are deciding what we will believe.

Jesus said those who trust in Him, receive the forgiveness of their sins. God created us perfect and determined that we should live as creatures who are made like Him, perfect as He is perfect. Those who trust in Jesus for their salvation, have all their imperfection removed and are seen by God as ready to live with Him.

The penalty for all human imperfection has been paid by Jesus death. There is no judgement awaiting these persons. People who refuse to let Jesus pay for their sins, will pay themselves. It is a simple choice but not an easy one. Many people find it impossible to surrender themselves to God. They cannot bring their heart to the point where they feel deep remorse for their sins. It is hard for some to admit they have been wrong and ask for help. Jesus understand this about us and for this reason he give us an entire lifetime to make up our mind.

Evil and Suffering As Barriers To God

Because people do not see God preventing evil men from hurting others or stop the suffering of sickness and death, they imagine that God could not exist. If He is the God of love that Christian claim, surely He would stop these things. The fact that every day little children die of cancer or are brutalized by evil men is evidence enough that God is not real.

What is seldom understood is that God has take extreme measures to stop these horrible crimes. He gave the world His Only Son to Die for us.

The presence of Jesus on earth, 2,000 years ago is a vivid example of the great love that God has for people. It was because of the problem of evil that Jesus died. Sin is the reason that evil exists and so Jesus came to destroy the power that sin has which causes sickness, suffering, and death.

It was because children die from cancer and are abused by adults that God sent His Son into the world. It was for the evil that plagues our lives and the suffering that permeates all of human life, that Jesus died. God has done something about the suffering in our world, we have just not understood what He has done. When Jesus died, He was ending the reign of terror that sickness, suffering, evil, and death have covered our planet with.

Jesus’ death paid for all the sins of the whole world. Although He was perfect in every way, He was willing to take our sins upon Himself and bear them in His own body. Every filthy and vile thing that has been done on this earth was placed into Jesus and He took the punishment for these horrors so that none of us would have to ourselves.

Why God Waits

God will judge all those who murder, abuse, take advantage of others and rob them of their lives. He hates evil more than we do because He sees how it ruins our lives. He made us to live in perfection and beauty and He despises what has happened to us.

We must also remember that God loves sinners. It was for this reason that Jesus gave His life. We are all lost and in need of a Savior. Jesus cares for the child molester and murderer just as much as he does the thief who stole a box of paper clips from work. We tend to grade the sins of people based upon our standards. We forget that all moral failures are equal before God.

God is giving time for people to change their minds. He is withholding judgement that will result in an eternity of suffering because He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. He is longsuffering towards evil men who need to come to a realization that their behaviors are wrong and turn to God for salvation. Forgiveness is for everyone. Jesus death on the cross had made it possible for any person to have a new and perfect life.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  —2 Peter 3:9

For this reason, God waits. The child who is murdered or dies from cancer, the Lord picks them up in His arms and carries them home to heaven where they will never be hurt or get sick again. He comforts and strengthens the parents and loved ones who have lost children, friends, or loved ones. He makes good come from evil and loves those who suffer by His heart of compassion.

We should never think that because God has delayed His judgment He doesn’t care. It is because He cares so much, He waits and gives time to people. Soon, all the wrong that has been done on this earth will be reckoned and those who have hurt and destroyed lives will be punished. Until that time we have to trust that God’s delay is because He wants us all to be saved and not one lost.

Taking Time To Consider Facts

In reality, a great number of people who have chosen to live their lives without God—do so in a careless manner. They have not really weighed both sides of their decision and haven’t realized that all around them there is a great deal of evidence for God.

I read a story recently about a lady who was telling her friend about a visit to Mount Rushmore. As she stood beneath the immense heads of four past presidents, she cried out to her companions: “Isn’t this amazing? And to think that this all happened by accident!”

For some people, the presence of this complex universe which is infinitely more complex than any machine that exists on earth, is just an accident. There is no plan or purpose to the universe, it all just happened by accident.

Either the rock faces of these presidents happened by accident or as a result of purposeful action. Does anyone really believe that Mount Rushmore happened as a result of a long evolutionary process of time, erosion, and chance? Of course not.

Then how is it that a universe which exists today as the most complex machine ever to exist, is viewed by so many as the produce of evolution? Many people don’t know that scientists have never proven how the universe began. They know that there was nothing and then suddenly it began, but they cannot tell us why it began. How is it that after an incredible expanse of eternity past, when there was nothing that suddenly this enormous Cosmos appeared? Sounds strangely like the first line of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The word “created” in Hebrew means to make something from non pre-existing materials. This is exactly what scientists have learned about our universe; that there was nothing and suddenly everything came into existence.

This Is Your Life

In my own personal quest for truth, I came from a family that did not go to church or have any religious background. I simply heard about God from a childhood friend and was curious about the whole matter. I began my search during my teens and voraciously consumed every scientific, religious, and philosophical book I could find.

What ultimately convinced me that God must exist was the presence of the universe itself. I looked at all the evidence for how the universe began and was stunned to discover that scientists still do not know how the universe began when nothing existed prior to that moment. All the non-creative theories that have been postulated, describe other universes which cannot be scientifically tested or proven. All the evidence that we can observe and test for the universe reveals that this is the only universe and it came into being suddenly and magnificently. The manner in which the universe began was precisely controlled and calibrated to ensure that life could exist on earth billions of years lager. Today, there are hundreds of precise constants that must be in place in order for life to exist on earth. These constants began at the moment the universe commenced and were specifically controlled over the past 14 billions years. This is a fact and one that cannot be impeached by any natural or evolutionary theory. The facts are, the universe was built for us and all of the evidence proved conclusively to this truth.

I have read all of the theoretical assertions regarding the multiverse and other hypothesis which are based on similar ideas that require the presence of trillions or an infinite number of other universes. This seemed quite plausible to me until I discovered that we cannot see past the universe we inhabit and don’t know if any other universes exist. All of these theories are based upon unprovable assumptions. The evidence that we can see and test in the universe indicates that there is only one universe and no one knows exactly how or why it began.

As we examine the first pico-seconds of our universe, we find that there were invisible forces in existence that science cannot explain which caused a specific type of universe to come about. I read an article in a scientific journal two weeks ago that stated that the conditions for the universe at its beginning was so chaotic that it never should have begun. The manner in which the universe started should never have produced an ordered system where life could exist. It is a fact that order never comes out of chaos. So that second generation stars could form that contained carbon, necessary for life, certain precise events had to take place at specific times during the first second of the universe.

The environment that was present at the commencement of the universe was so hostile that it was impossible that all of the constants, laws, and requirements that make life possible on earth today, could not have happened during these initial moments of the universe, by themselves.

Either the universe exists by accident or on purpose. Science has never proven that it happened by accident, leaving us with only one other possibility: A Magnificent Being with unlimited intelligence and power, made it for us.

As the title of this article states, this remaining portion of this article contains 10 important differences between the Believer in God and the Atheist. These 10 points are well known and common aspects of life that all human beings are aware of. What is seldom considered is the fact that these beautiful benefits are stunning examples of God’s existence in the universe.

1. Hope

One of the primary differences between those who trust in Christ for their salvation and people who do not believe that God exists is the abiding hope of the believer. Many atheists will tell you that they really don’t know what will happen to them when they die. A great number of atheists have stated the position of scientists today that the universe is a cosmic accident and all of us are products of this accidence. Our lives have no importance and our existence here on earth makes absolutely no difference to the universe whatsoever.

The Bible is clear that each one of us was made for a purpose and that our presence here on earth hold tremendous importance. Our lives are held in God’s hands and He has wonderful and meaningful plans for us. Right now He is in the process of giving each person a choice—whether to love and trust Him or to ignore and disregard Him and His claim upon their life.

Those who trust in Christ for their salvation have a calm assurance in their heart that at the moment of death they will go to be with the Lord forever. They read the scriptures which tell us that God knew us before we were born. He watched us as he fashioned our bodies inside our mothers womb. He prepared all of our days and has a meticulous plan for our lives.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?…For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret,and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. and in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.  —Psalms 139:1-18

Contrast this tender care and deep regard of the Lord for every person with the hopeless words of noted atheists; Dr. Lawrence Krauss:

“The picture that science presents to us is, in some sense, uncomfortable because what we’ve learned is that we are more insignificant than we ever could have imagined. You could get rid of us and all the galaxies and everything we see in the universe and it will be largely the same. So we’re insignificant on a scale that Copernicus never would have imagined. And in addition, it turns out the future is miserable. So the two main lessons that I like to say I like to give is first we’re insignificant and second the future is miserable.”⁠  —Lawrence Krauss, Ph.D, bigthink.com

This knowledge of God’s careful planning and immense value that he places upon our lives gives the believer great encouragement in the many trials and difficulties of life. When loved ones die, jobs are lost, homes taken away, health deteriorates, and death is near; the believer has confidence that God is working all things together for good to those who love Him. We do not always understand why things happen the way that they do. We do understand that everything God does is for of our best interest and because of His infinite love for us.

These things give tremendous hope to the person who has determined to trust in what God has said and all the promises He made to those who love Him.

2. Assurance

A peril of life without God is the lack of assurance in what the outcome of all things will be. When we believe that there is no real purpose for our life except to live and die, we are left without any assurance that we will really have a full and satisfying life.

The one who has place trust in Jesus for their salvation realizes immediately that even before they believed, there already was a plan in place. They quickly begin to see a glimpse of this plan as God works out everything in their life for good. Though there are losses, suffering, hurts, and sorrow, all things always have a good purpose. Whether this purpose was for change that was needed within our heart or by circumstances that are brought to our life in order to accomplish growth in our character.

Even when the outcome does not appear good by any standard of the world, the one with trust in God, realizes that good things happened even in the midst of loss and pain.

This begins an assurance in the life of the believer that carries them throughout their life and all the way home to heaven.

3. Peace

A certain premise for a life without God is the lack of any lasting peace. There are times when nature, relationships, and the beauty of life, can cause the one without God to feel peace. The problem is that this sense of serenity does not last. At the next conflict, disappointment, or loss, a person can suddenly be thrust into turmoil or despair.

The life of the believer allows peace to abide in the heart—regardless of the circumstances or difficulties. This is a peace that the Bible describes as “passing understanding.” The believer doesn’t know exactly why they feel peace when everything is going so wrong, they just know that they do feel peace and it is because they have a relationship with God.

A constant reality of the atheist is the fleeting moments of peace and the rarity of these instances in their life. The Bible describes the absence of abiding peace in those who do not have a relationship with God. I know that before I understood who Jesus is and came into a relationship with Him, I seldom had peace.

4. Safety

We feel safe when there are no threats in our life—whether real or imagined. The person who lives for themselves or this life, can never feel really safe because they believe that all things that happen are strictly accidental, luck, or coincidence.

The person who trusts in God always feels safe when the realize that they are safe within the protective care of their Lord. Jesus promised those who love Him, safety from all enemies.

One of the perils of the unbeliever is their vulnerability to the forces of the devil and his minions. Those who do not believe in God, also do not believe that the devil is a real entity. They see the evil that is present in the world and imagine that these incidents are caused by people. They never understand that there are forces at work which hate mankind and will do horrible things to people who do not have the protection of God upon their lives.

The promise of the Bible is that “greater is Jesus who lives in us than the devil who lives in the world.” Since Christ dwells within the heart of those who love Him, the devil and his demons have no power whatsoever in the life of the believer.

The unsaved have no such protection and they are constant targets of the evil entities that are present all over this world. The Bible describes their numbers as greater than the number of sands upon all the seas.

5. Confidence

Because those who trust in Christ have hope, assurance, peace, and safety in their lives, they also have confidence in how things will turn out. God promises everyone who loves Him that He will be with them always and never leave or forsake them.

I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen  —Matthew 28:20

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”  —Hebrews 13:5-6

The unbeliever is left to fend for themselves and is at the mercy of others and their own abilities to fight for enemies.. There is little confidence in the life of people who live for themselves because they always worry about the future. If they have money, the never find peace in their prosperity because they worry that their riches will be taken away of lost. They don’t really trust people because they see what has been done to others by those who claim to be friends who later betray, abuse, take advantage of, or harm people they pledged loyalty and love to.

The followers of Jesus understand that their Lord is always with them and nothing can touch their life except that these things have been filtered through the Lord who loves them. This freedom of mind allows the believer to live a life unencumbered by worry and confident that all will turn out for Good This is a blessing that people without God never experience.

6. Expectation

People who exist without God are unable to live their lives with expectation that all will turn out well—even when all is lost or hopes and dreams do not happen as they imagined.

These persons expect that hard work and diligence will convey to them prosperity. These people do all of the right things and expect that this will bring good and pleasurable things into their life. They go to college, get high paying jobs, buy beautiful homes. They marry, raise children and have satisfying careers.

The difficulties arises when something happens that interrupts their plans or ends their hard work and dreams altogether, as often happens in life. Without an eternal perspective on life the loss of earthly possessions, status, fame, or fortune caused tremendous despair and feelings of hopelessness.

It is during these time that many without God see their world collapse and they feel empty, and often seek to end their suffering by suicide, or self medicate by drugs or alcohol.

The one who has a genuine relationship with God, also knows that hard work and diligence can make for a prosperous life. They also realize that often plans get changed. Dreams get put on hold. Hopes get squashed, and things don’t always turn out as planned.

Because these people who know God—recognize that trouble will come—they are prepared for these setbacks because of what God’s word has told them. Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble but to be encouraged because He has already overcome this world If we continue to trust the Lord, He will work everything out for our good.

When prosperity comes; when dreams are becoming reality; when we are doing well and happy, we also realize that everything can change in just a moment. In these difficulties and the pain that comes with them, we have a loving Lord who cares for us. He will sustain us through the hard times and help us start again when all is taken from us. We feel joy at knowing that God has blessed our life, but also realize that everything in this world is passing away and someday God will destroy this planet by fire. For this reason we don’t place any lasting hope in the things of this world because it is all passing away.

The expectation of the believer is that in the end all will turn out for good, though all the years before may be filled with trouble and trials. This perspective on life allows those who love God to endure anything that comes along and keep their life in proper perspective.

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”  —1 Corinthians 2:9

7. Protection

Although God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, there is a special and unique love that He has for people who have obeyed His command to repent and believe the Gospel. There is a covering of protection for those who belong to the Lord that the rest of the world does not have.

There have been several instances in my life when I knew that I should have been hurt or killed but I was spared. It was clear to me then and more so now, some 50 years later, that my entire life in knowing and loving God, I have been protected and preserved by Him.

See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”  —Luke 10:19-20 (MSG)

There is a unique protection that is placed upon everyone who loves Jesus that the unsaved do not have. No harm can come to the person who believes, apart from the permission of God. There are occasions, as with Job, where people who love God do suffer terrible events. This is not because they have done anything wrong but because they have done everything right.

The devil constantly accuses the believer before God. He watches every failure of our life  and tells these shortfalls to God constantly. God acknowledges that we have sinned, satan is right. Jesus steps forward as our mediator and reminds the devil that we belong to Him and all our sins are already paid for by the blood He shed for us on the cross. This ends the discussion.

The unbeliever remains under the condemnation of God for their sins. They have no one to protect them or speak up in their defense. All of the wrongs are still attached to their record and they bear responsibility alone for their sins.

The believer knows that they are guilty. They admit that they have done wrong. They also understand the power that resides within Jesus’ death on the cross. At that moment, the sins of the whole world were paid. All that is necessary for any person to partake of this removal of all sins is to place their trust in Jesus. This protection that is afforded to the believer gives them a sense of wonder in their life and great joy at knowing that all is well between them and God. There is no condemnation to those who have placed themselves in Christ Jesus.

The believer is protected from future judgement for their sins because Jesus has already paid the penalty that was owed.They are protected while on earth from the devil and his demons, and they are protected at the future judgment for sins, being excluded by Jesus’ death for their sins.

The unsaved have no such protection and they never feel peace. The unsaved are vulnerable to the devil and his demons while they live and vulnerable at their final judgment, having no protection from the final judgement when every person will give an account for their life before God..

Knowing these things has a profound effect upon the peace of those who understand these important principles. I cannot imagine living without the protection that God has given to me in this life and the security He has made me feel for the life to come.

8. Purpose

A few years ago I read an article by a Theoretical Physicist who wrote that  God is not necessary for the universe to exist. We live in a self caused universe that came into being from the existence of prior universes that provided the matter and means for our universe to come into being.

Because our universe is an accident and all human life is also the product of random chance through the evolutionary process, our lives have no purpose. We don’t matter and the universe doesn’t care if we are here or not.

The Bible describes God’s love for us that existed before He made anything else. He knew that the conveyance of choice would cause the first humans to err in their choice and disobey God’s moral law. This would bring the defect of sin to every person and ruin human life on earth. The proof that this is true is seen by each one of us every day as we see the evil, cruelty, suffering and carnage of human life on earth.

The whole world suffers because of sin. This is not the world that God made and it has fallen far from His glorious ideal of a perfect world where no one ever gets sick, suffers or dies. It is sin that is responsible for all human suffering and the choices that each one of us make every day that is to blame for the suffering of this world.

We were created to be loved by God and to love and worship Him forever. Until we discover these two important points and begin to live these principles in our life, we will never be truly happy or satisfied. This is our purpose and the reason we exist.

The unsaved do not believe this, therefore they do not have a true sense of purpose. They live and die and from their vantage point, this life is all there is and at the end of their life there is nothing more.

What I find particularly interesting is that I know that each one of us feels something deep within our heart, totally different than this. God said that He placed eternity in our hearts. This means that we somehow know that death is not natural and we should continue to live forever. He also places a knowledge of Himself, within us. These facts being self evident, we should feel a deep sense of purpose.

The reason that people do not feel their life is important or matters much, is because they have lost their wonder and awareness of God. The moment that Jesus is invited into the heart of a person, all this changes and a whole new view of life emerges. Living in Jesus and Him living is us, gives a person a great sense of purpose and deep seated awareness that we are here for a reason and that reason originates in God.

9. Understanding

There are many millions on this planet with advanced degrees in education. They are known by three letters at the end of their names as intellectuals and the most accomplished of our species.

The problem with knowledge is that the ability to use the information we acquire wisely does not come with the acquisition of facts. We can know all about the laws of Physics but if we don’t know how these laws came into existence in the first place and why they exist at all, we are lacking in understanding of the true nature of the physical laws.

There are many people who know a lot about a great number of things. They do not, however, have the wisdom to know how to use their knowledge and often end up living broken and empty lives. There have been a great number of people who have acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge but still feel empty and unfulfilled. The ability to know what to do with the knowledge we acquire comes by way of a gift from God called “Understanding.”

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.  —Psalms 32:8-9

From God’s perspective, the beginning of wisdom is to know God and fear Him. For, if one does not know God who made all that exists, how much can a man really know?

Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.  —Proverbs 9:9-12 (NLT)

The person who has come into a relationship with God through His Son, has been given the gift of understanding. They may have knowledge that is inferior to the intellectual, but they have the ability to understand how the world works and what its true nature and purpose is—far superior to those with graduate degrees.

From God’s perspective, people who deny His existence are fools because they have violated their own conscience which tells them that God exists. He know this is true because He made us with a knowledge of Him. When He hears a person assert that God doesn’t exist, He laughs. How wise can a person really be if they fail to understand the basic premise of life; that God exists, made all things, and loves us. The wisdom that is claimed in this world is seen by God as foolishness, because it is limited to human understanding and yet has no awareness of God who created knowledge.

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”;  and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”  —1 Corinthians 3:18-20

God being aware of man’s insistence in his wisdom, chose a method to save mankind that would be seen as foolish to the intellectual. For this very reason—that God might destroy the wisdom of this world, He chose a cross and the death of His Son as the method whereby He would save people. Not by any good work that people would do, but by the work that God’s Son has already done.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.  —1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (NLT)

Those who have yet to know God and understand who He is, have very limited understanding for how and why the universe, the earth, and mankind functions and exists. The beginning of understanding is to submit one’s self to God and seek the knowledge that He gives to those who diligently seek Him.

10. Knowledge

What this world considers knowledge, God called foolishness. Let me give you an example: A person goes to college and earns a Ph.D. They become a noted Theoretical Physicist and extremely wealthy. This person has enough money to buy anything they desire. They travel the world and see places that most people only dream about. They are hailed by the world as one both wise and important. They have everything that that a person could desire in this life.

In all this gain, they find no need for God. They deny His existence and count Him as irrelevant and unnecessary.

After a long an prosperous life of 105 year they die.

They descend into the darkness and blackness of a place they couldn’t imagine. The end of existence they one thought was true is not at all what has happened. In this place of isolation from all that is good, they become aware that all they have achieved is meaningless now. All that is before them now is emptiness, despair, and regret.

None of the good things they held so dear are with them. Every beautiful part of life is gone. All the fame and fortune are now a great burden tied around their neck as a heavy weight.

What good does it do a person to gain all of the things that this world counts as desirable if they only last for 105 years? It would be far better to have only what was necessary for life, yet seek the eternal and lasting acceptance of God and His world that is perfect beyond imagination.

I didn’t want to come to this place. I didn’t choose it..”

“Oh but you did,” a distant voice cries. “You made this decision every day that you ignored God and claimed He wasn’t real. You lived for yourself on earth and for its gain. You gave no thought for God. You cast aside the sacrifice His Son made for your sins and denied Him His rightful place in your life. You most certainly did choose this place, just like all of us. How wise are you now? What did all of your wealth, achievements, and fame earn you in this place? You’re a fool just as we are and you will never leave here.”

What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? What will a man give in exchange for his soul? These are the words of Jesus to all those who will live for this world and miss all that He has planned for everyone who loves Him.

It is foolishness to gain the whole world and live only temporarily, while forfeiting eternity where there is a perfect life waiting, without end.

The atheist gives up infinitely more than he he gains. In his small world of people who ignore God and make a destiny for themselves, horrific beyond comprehension; what is the point?

God has done all that He could do to save us. He gave the world His only Son. Jesus suffered and died for the sins of every person. Anyone can be saved from hell and an endless life of suffering, if they will only choose wisely. As heaven is an eternal reward for making the right choice, so also is hell and eternal punishment for making one foolish decision.

The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord and realize who He really is. To believe what He said and believe upon His Son. Everyone who does this has a rich and full life of abundance now, and eternal life when this earthly life is over.



See notes in 1 Thess 5 BE commentary

Categories: 10 Lists, Atheists, Common errors of Atheists, Forgiveness of Sin, Hell is not God's will for you, How Salvation Occurs, Not understanding salvation, One Way to Heaven, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation through Jesus, The world rejects Jesus, We must repent, What happens after death?

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