In our first article in speaking of Atheists, the question arose if Atheists even really exist. While this may sound silly, a true atheist means they DO NOT BELIEVE there is a God or god. In reality, if we worship something or someone, that is our God or god. The definition of worship is the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. With that in mind, one of the definitions of deity is defined as divine status, quality, or nature. You see, you can put anything into this category. To deny that you do NOT have a god is ridiculous. Even in the sense that everyone has a hierarchy of "like" for things. In other words, you have friends and then you have a "best" friend. This is a hierarchy of "like". If you put everything in your life on a list and ranked them according to your "like", this would be your god; according to Webster anyway.
Also, in this series of articles, the goal is to not dispute an atheist. These articles are to simply get the "atheist" to see a different view of things. After all, one "atheist credo" I read was "I believe in a purely material universe that conforms to naturalistic laws and principles." If God, big G, actually created what you see here, then it would only make sense that God also created the "materialistic universe" and "natural laws and principles". By the end of this series of articles, hopefully at least, a documented case will be brought forth for an"atheist" to have a different view of Christianity. I say Christianity because we put God (big G) on the top of our hierarchy, or "like" list.
An "atheist" does not believe in God, therefore by extension, they do not believe in a heaven or a hell. In the rare case where they do believe in a heaven, it is NEVER followed up by a hell. After all, can we not take the proverbial "bad with the good"? What is heaven and what is hell?
Heaven is broken down into three areas according to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:2. The first is our immediate atmosphere, the second is outer space, and the third is where "God" lives. Now, keeping in time with this article, an "atheist" will not believe that there is a "God" so they do not believe in a literal heaven or place where our "God" lives. Again, by extension, they will also not believe that the "counterpart" to heaven would be hell. To a Christian that is well versed in scripture, hell is NOT a counterpart to heaven. It would be in the same respect that God is not Satan's opposite. God has no equal nor opposite. However, that will be for another article.
What of this "hell"? What is it and why is it there? Most, and I am even including Christians here, have no idea outside of Hollywood, what hell really is. Studying the Bible will help anyone understand these things. However, finding the time to study seems difficult at best. Everyone is familiar with the "fire" and the "brimstone". A few are even familiar with the darkness that will accompany this place. But very few actually understand that hell will be the absolute absence of God. This would be like the law of gravity. Whether or not you believe in the law of gravity, if you fall off of the roof, you WILL hit the ground. I can guarantee you that. By the way, let this act as a disclaimer that if for some reason you do not believe in the law of gravity, please do not fall off your roof to see if gravity be so. Thank you.
While there are many great scriptures speaking of hell, for the purposes of this article, they are not necessary. I say that not meaning that hell is great, but that the description is great. If any "atheist" is actually reading this, the odds of them reading the scripture and thus believing it would be remote at best. However, the take away here is there is a hell. The obvious question would be, WHY? Why does God need a hell? Why not just annihilate the souls and be done with it. Why use up good real estate, eh?
Matthew 25:41 says, "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels".
The best question someone can ask is, "if God created hell for the devil and His angels, why do humans go there"? Let's look at hell as a sort of jail. When someone commits a crime, when convicted, they go to jail. They serve a sentence in jail and this is to satisfy the law. Because we see in Genesis Chapter 3 a rebellion against God led by Satan, then of course, those that follow this insurrection will have the same punishment. An even better question would be what does the sin in Genesis 3 have to do with us? We have an article on this in our blog but suffice it to say that the sin is passed down through the blood from father to child.
Consider debtor's prison. This was the way the debt was paid for most of history. It is still this way in some countries today. The way it works is if you owe a debt to society, or if you have broken the law, you must pay the sentence. The person would be put in prison with a placard on the door stating the crime and what it takes to pay off the debt. If the person dies in prison, the next of kin is put in prison to pay the debt until paid in full. This would perpetuate throughout the family until the debt was paid. The same thing is going on here. Adam is our father and the sin has been passed down all the way to us.
Because "atheists" do not believe this, hell is not a "real" place. However, if you ask an "atheist" if there was a hell, who would be there. Inevitably, they will tell you that "child molesters, murderers, and rapists" should all be there. That is, if it were real. You see what just happened. Everyone wants justice. Because everyone wants justice, there has to be a fixed point so as to not move the scale of justice. In other words, we cannot decide what is right and what is wrong. If we do, then the things we do "wrong" we will let slide. Looking at it that way, a child molester, murderer, or a rapist would exonerate themselves, would they not?
An "atheist" will not admit that there is a God because if they do they would have to admit that there is sin. If they admit that there is sin, then they would have to admit that they sin and that cannot happen, can it?