When I talk to people who are antagonistic towards Christianity, I often hear the challenge “so – you’re saying I won’t go to heaven then?!”, or “so, your God will send me to hell for not believing will he?!”. It is often presented as an accusation implying “your God isn’t loving!”
Do they understand what heaven is like? Read Revelation and it is pretty clear that whatever you might think about the end times and the prophetic elements of Jesus’ return, worshipping God and Jesus is an integral characteristic of heaven. Why ever would someone who refuses to acknowledge or worship Jesus here in this life, ever want to worship him in eternity? Wouldn’t it actually be more unloving to force them to do that against their will? Why would someone get upset if I said they wouldn’t have to go somewhere they don’t want to go to, or that they don’t even believe exists?
In any case, God doesn’t “send people to hell”. God permits people the freedom to exercise their free will, to accept Him and discover life in all its fullness, or to reject Him and by doing so, to choose to live an eternity away from His presence. Going to hell isn’t God’s choice for you, it’s your choice for yourself.
You may not believe it, but your eternal soul is in far more imminent danger than the planet is.
If this choice is so important for our eternal destination, surely you owe it to yourself to investigate Christianity for yourself and not rely on someone else’s opinion. Don’t throw away your brain, blindly follow some atheist on social media and regurgitate the anti God nonsense society is pushing at the moment. You owe it to yourself to check out the claims of Scripture for yourself.
Some suggestions I would make for you as you do this.
- Understand you have a worldview, EVERYBODY does. It comes from our family background, our education, our friends, and culture at large. Every single one of us views the world through this lens. It determines not only the language we speak and the clothes we wear, but also how we think, what value we place on things, including the importance and influence of such things as science, education, religion, philosophy etc. Accept the fact that if you live in the west, it is possible, likely even, that your unbelief comes not from your intellect, but your biased worldview which rejects all things which are not “scientific”.
- Try to keep an open mind, reserve judgement and honestly engage with the arguments for Christianity.
- Look at what the Bible actually teaches, not what some biased enemy of Christianity posts in sound bites on their social media.
- Try to “park” issues about Christians who do not or have not lived in a Christian way. After all, if a musician plays Bach badly, you don’t call Bach a bad composer, you recognise the inadequacy of the musician. Likewise the actions of a bad Christian reflect on the Christian, not on God.
- Find a church. Many, if not most, churches run courses for people who are not Christians, but who are sincerely seeking for the truth. Check out alpha, cross examined, cold case christianity and the many other excellent resources available to you.