Monday, February 3, 2014

When Christians Become Atheists

Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. -Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21

In the above parable, Jesus gives us a vivd illustration of what happens when the gospel is sown on rocky ground. At first it appears as if the person is receptive to the gospel, but the gospel never actually takes root in their life and therefore fails to bear fruit.

Most likely we all know someone that we could place into this parable. I remember in college having a coworker one time that was enthusiastic about his new found faith and wanted to share it with me because I was the only Christ follower at our workplace. He received some early criticisms and people made fun of him, but there was no stopping him. Within two weeks time this guy was no longer walking with the Lord, wanting nothing to do with Christianity, and ran at the sign of someone approaching him about it.

For many years these type of people confused me and I was unsure of what had taken place, but then I remembered the parable that Jesus had given of seed sown on rocky soil. And the same holds true for friends that I grew up with in church who now flaunt their new found lack of faith or atheism. Their attitude is almost this, "look at me, I'm cool now because I don't need Jesus anymore like you do."

The truth is that I am completely fine with people like that and wish that more people would do the same. What I mean by that is that I wish the faith impostors, the posers, would quit pretending and just be honest.

Does this mean that there is no hope for people like this? Absolutely not. Although I personally give them less time than I do those that have not heard the gospel at all. I look at it like this, these people have heard the gospel and rejected it. They know the truth and know how to "find Jesus." I am more interested in those that have never received the truth to begin with and giving them an opportunity to respond to Jesus in their place.

1 comment:

  1. I think you have it right. True Christians don't become atheists. I have known people who have claimed Christ at one point and then turn away from him. Often I hear the explanation as something like, "I can't believe in a God who _____." Just fill in the blank with some clearly revealed attribute or activity of the true God and it's clear that they were worshiping the wrong god to begin with.