What If Christianity is Wrong and Atheism is Right?
New Christians discover from this web site that Christianity is the only spiritual path that leads to God. More accurately, a relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to know God. Of course, we try to provide reasons and honest reflection on why we believe this; yet ultimately, it's what we believe. But......
What if we've got it all wrong? What if we're horribly deluded and deceived, and in fact, Christianity has as much chance of leading to God as crawling over broken glass for 70 years? What if Christianity is just plain wrong? It's certainly worth thinking about...
Is it Feasible that Christianity Could be Wrong?
Definitely! Christians have the same evidence in the world around them as do other people. They see the same sun rise and set; they see the same common human traits - good and bad. And they have access to the same human mind to think and reason. The difference is in how Christians interpret the evidence around them. In other words, there is no 100% "scientific" guaranteed method of "proving" that Christianity is right. (For a fuller discussion of this, you can read our article Can You Prove God Exists?) It all comes down to trust.
We trust that God has revealed truth in the Bible, and we trust that he has given us enough information to take him at his word. We trust him, when he promises things like "If you really search for me, you will find me". But the bottom line is that it's still trust. Christians don't have some secret piece of evidence that conclusively "proves" that Christianity is right.
How Would it Affect the Here and Now?
So, if Christianity was in fact wrong, how would that affect the lives of people right now? From the perspective of Christians themselves, it would mean that their attempts to live a life of trust in God would be utterly pointless. After all, if there was no God, trusting in this non-existent god would be useless and silly. Yet, this would be a fairly harmless delusion. For the most part, we would attempt to live morally upright lives, and to contribute positively to society and culture. In reality, we would be kidding ourselves, since there would be no reason to do this, but it wouldn't really hurt anyone else.
From the perspective of those who were not Christians, it might be a welcome relief. Sure, Christians would still keep talking about weighty matters, like heaven and hell, sin and judgment, life and death; but these would be delusional beliefs. Those who followed the spiritual path of atheism might well view Christians as a nuisance; or as an annoying but harmless itch. (No doubt, this is how many people do view Christians!) Ultimately, they could rest secure in the knowledge that these beliefs were indeed mistaken beliefs, and had no bearing on anything whatsoever.
How Would it Affect Life After Death?
But what about when we die? What difference would it make if Christianity was wrong? Well, largely, the joke would be on Christians. Instead of finding the heaven we had believed in, we would find...nothing. We would die, and that would be the end. We would simply cease to exist, just like everyone else. No God, no afterlife, no heaven - nothing. Those who were not Christians would be in exactly the same position.
What if Christianity was Right?
However, it's equally worth considering what it would mean if Christianity was right. If the things spoken of in the Bible, and by Christians, were in fact completely true, where would this leave those who were not Christians?
In terms of life after death, it would leave them separated from God forever. Rather than simply ceasing to exist, they would continue to exist, but would know fully that there were no more opportunities to find God. Theirs would be an eternity filled with regret and remorse.
Furthermore, anything done during their lives would be completely pointless. No matter how great the achievement, it would be meaningless in a neverending existence separated from God and all that is good. The Bible refers to this neverending separation from God as "hell".
While on earth, Jesus often spoke about hell. To describe it, he used the terms "fiery", and "unquenchable fire". He spoke of "weeping and gnashing of teeth", and said that those who wanted to cross over from hell to heaven would not be able to. The Bible also warns of avoiding hell, since those who go there "pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of God". It is clear that hell was, and is, a place to be avoided at all costs.
Is it Worth the Risk?
So, the question is: Is it worth the risk of not considering the possibility that Christianity is right? In other words, if Christianity is wrong, then Christians have lived around 70 years of a life, which ultimately, is pointless, but harmless.
However, if Christianity is right, then those who are not Christians will face a neverending existence of pain, penalty, regret, remorse, and overwhelming sorrow, away from God, and away from anything good.
Is this prospect worth the risk of not looking carefully at Jesus, and the good news He provides?
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