The very thought sounds almost too obvious to mention, yet the issue underlies discussions with unbelievers more than you might think. The importance of communicating this simple truth to people cannot be overstated, because trust in one’s own ability to answer ultimate questions and interpret ultimate reality apart from God’s explanation has terrible, eternal consequences. One’s personal perspective and opinion forms an inadequate, untrustworthy, and eternally destructive object of faith. All people will meet the God of Scripture someday whether or not they acknowledge His existence and authority.
God created and sustains the universe and everything in it, yet He remains independent of all things. His existence and attributes remain unchanged by what anyone thinks, says, or believes. Nonetheless, history and personal experience tell us that many fail to appreciate or accept this simple and important fact. From the Garden of Eden until today people imagine God to be whatever they want Him to be. The golden calf in the wilderness was merely one variation of this universal tendency to define God according to our fallen preference and desires. And while we may not physically carve a block of wood or silver into an object of worship, we do so mentally when we imagine God to be other than what He has revealed Himself to be, as if thinking makes Him so.
I recently encountered an atheist admonishing Christians to stop worrying about his eternal destiny because he did not believe in God and therefore would never meet Him when he died. Our worry, he thought, was “misplaced.” Weekly, I am told by a patient where I minister that nothing awaits us beyond our earthly life. “We die and that’s it,” she says. When I ask how she knows this, she appeals to “common sense.” It gives her pause, however, when I explain that our common but limited perspective and opinion cannot determine the nature of ultimate reality. Further, she has entrusted her eternal destiny to a mere guess about something she can’t possibly know, even while Scripture clearly speaks of life and judgment after death. In responding to these two atheists, as with all unbelievers, we help them by explaining the untrustworthy nature of personal opinion as an ultimate object of faith. Every atheist and agnostic will meet their Maker and bow the knee before Christ, regardless of what they believe. They may not thank or even like us for telling them, but we do them a favor, nonetheless.
So, as the world grows darker and atheism and unbelief grow in popularity, we need not be intimidated. Should the whole world follow after contemporary apologists of unbelief, God and His promises remain unaffected. Should the entire academic community and cultured despisers of Scripture and the Gospel laugh at our “naïve” and “foolish” faith in Christ, God and His truth endure forever. Christ told us that the way to eternal life is narrow and that few people find it (Matthew 7:13-14), and if people hated Him they will hate us also (John 15:18-21), so we need not be frightened into compromising or denying our faith by the strength and popularity of unbelief. God is not going to change or go away because people with a misplaced faith deny His existence. The fear of man is a snare (Proverbs 29:25), while God remains our sure and firm foundation, forever.
© 2016 Craig Biehl, Adapted from Craig Biehl, God the Reason: How Infinite Excellence Gives Unbreakable Faith, Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2015.
Yes, I Want a PDF of “God Exists and Remains Unchanged by What People Believe”
We respect your privacy. We’ll NEVER sell, rent, or share your email address. That’s more than a policy, it’s our guarantee!