December 11th, 2013
The Message of Hope
Have you noticed the difference? People of the Christian faith are exuberant about this time of year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and later Holidays are certainly times to be thankful. Why? Because we are celebrating a message of hope and expressing gratitude for what God has done and will yet do on our behalf. Contrast this with the message of atheistic evolution which has no hope. Why celebrate anything?
Years ago, Mary Jo and I had an opportunity to share for many hours with a zoology graduate student who claimed to be an atheist. Near the end of our time with him, he said that his parents were atheists and that they were getting old. Then he said, “You know, there is not much hope in atheism.” Boy, did he ever hit the nail on the head! There is no hope in atheism.
OK now, think from an evolutionary, atheistic perspective. Somehow the first life accidently formed as a single cell in the slime of a primordial pond. Later generations evolved more and more, turned into fish, and finally crawled onto land to begin their march to eventually become humans after 3.5 billion years. So looking back, according to this perspective, people are nothing but glorified pond slime. That doesn’t sound like anything I want to impress on my grandkids!
The evolutionary heritage doesn’t give much foundation on which to build hope. The atheistic worldview says there is no more to life than what there is right now. In a short time, we pass on, leaving little trace that we were here before something else (perhaps bacteria) finally surpasses or destroys the human race and takes a new direction in evolution. Our individual lives, hopes, and dreams really don’t matter. Our only job is to pass on our genes. Since there is no afterlife in this view, we just pass out of existence and into evolutionary oblivion. Where’s the hope in that?
Some atheists will debate this idea, and say they find joy in each day and hope in “leaving the world a better place.” I suppose it’s good that they find good in life, but that doesn’t negate the futility of their beliefs. Maybe what they are really seeing, in spite of their worldview, is the goodness of God and His kindness, even to the ungodly.
For Christians who are celebrating this season, we have a reason to celebrate. There is hope! The whole message of the Bible, including the account of our Lord’s birth, the coming of His Kingdom, and eternal life with Him is a REAL message of hope. Jesus is our Salvation, YES! But here and now he is also our Creator, our Shepherd, our Wisdom, our Comfort and our HOPE! Think about all of that as we celebrate this time of year. There is quite a difference between the Biblical and the atheistic worldviews. The message of the Bible and Jesus’ work in our hearts and lives is certainly reason to be thankful for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. We hope you share your hope with others.
By the way, after our discussions with the student mentioned earlier, and through the prayers and patience of his friends, he later became a Christian. He saw the futility of the evolutionary, atheistic worldview and found Hope in the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Praise the Lord!
By Dave Nutting
Originally published in the November/December 2013 Think & Believe newsletter.
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