I grew up as an atheist—someone who believed that a god could not or did not exist. Now, I wasn’t some “weak” atheist like some who I often meet—those who generally call themselves an atheist because they want to be “Christian repellant.” Or, those who don’t want to engage with evangelicals who think that they are going to get brownie points from God for defending Him. (As if the God who created the world—and Chuck Norris, even—needs to be defended.) But I was an atheist who believed that Christians, those who aligned themselves with the God of the Bible, were missing out on the pleasures of this world because of their bondage in some religion that was going to stop them from having all the fun they could while living this life.
Generally, Christians would tell me that God loved me, and when I would ask how they knew that, they would say something to the effect of: “Jesus loves you, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Now, when I asked how they knew the Bible to be true, their response was: "Because the Bible says so." That circular reasoning drove me nuts to no end, and added to the stereotype that Christians were a bunch of closed-minded morons who voted conservatively because they were from ‘Merica.
But then, one day, I was reading the Bible to try to figure out what these mindless drones believed, and I came across a verse that would eventually hijack my eternity. It was written by a guy who I later found out was Paul, the apostle, who prior to writing 2/3 of the New Testament was killing and imprisoning Christians for their claim that Jesus was God.
In 1 Corinthians 15:14, it reads: “If Christ has not risen, then your faith is useless and so is your preaching.” And, I thought as an atheistic skeptic: If I was going to attempt to get people to believe what I wrote in a book, I probably wouldn’t give them the key to disprove it. I thought the writer of this verse was saying: “Well, if you disprove the Resurrection, you’ve got us!” So, I spent the next year attempting to disprove the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Guess what happened? I couldn’t! Not because the Bible told me something different; but because based on history, it seemed to me that it would take incredibly more faith to believe that He stayed in the grave (which no one seems to know where that would be) than to believe if He were God, He could and did rise from the dead. Now, the Bible confirms this, but it is history that has footprints in it that lead back to the probable theory that He was raised from the dead. And, the Bible has the best explanation as to why He did so.
Now, I know there are some far-out stories in the Bible, and I know some of them seem too incredible to actually be believed. But, I contend and always will, that if God could raise Jesus to life, if Jesus did for you and I what we could not do for ourselves, and He defeated death, the other stories that seem so outlandish could absolutely be true. That is, if Jesus rose from the dead.
I believe that real atheists are just pre-believers, so if you consider yourself an atheist, and you claim you cannot believe in Jesus, first off: He believes in you. Secondly: what can’t you believe? His death and resurrection are the point, and they are highly evidenced. So, feel free to discount Christians all you want. I do; it’s easy. But, if you are truly willing to have an open mind and take on the evidence of the Resurrection, let me know when you want to get baptized and follow Jesus. It’s the greatest decision you will ever make. #boom
if you are interested in watching a teaching on the evidence of the resurrection: