Why are so many of us Christian Atheists slow to share our faith? There are many possible answers, among them the strong desire not to be pushy or disliked. Also, many don’t feel they know enough. And the list could go on, but I believe one of the main reasons people don’t share their faith in Christ is that they don’t really believe in hell. Many of us are out of touch with the genuine urgency.
As a pastor, I’m often confronted by death. One thing I’ve observed is that when someone dies, that person’s loved ones want to believe their relative went to “a better place.” We’ll say things like, “She wasn’t a religious person, but deep down, she had a good heart,” or, “He wasn’t a saint, but he did some good things.” When it comes to death and eternity, it’s human nature to hope for the best and avoid contemplating the worst.
Research shows that while almost three out of four people believe in heaven, less than half believe in hell. Think about the ramifications: if hell didn’t exist, unbelievers would easily reject Christ with no fear of God whatsoever, and believers would be unmotivated to share their faith in Christ with nonbelievers.
But opinion polls don’t determine reality. God has created a universe with a heaven—and a hell. He’s told us about both. And Christians take these truths to heart. We are here to help others come to terms with reality. Are we living as lights in a dark world? Be honest. When was the last time you were so burdened for someone far from God that you spent the whole day or night praying on their behalf? How many people have you brought with you to church to hear the gospel this past month? When was the last time you had a non-Christian in your home? (The plumber repairing your leaky faucet doesn’t count.) Is there someone in your family who doesn’t know Christ? How about an old friend, a neighbor, or someone at work?
If we really believed in heaven and hell—and we sincerely cared—wouldn’t our actions be transformed? — The Christian Atheist: When You Believe in God But Live as if He Doesn’t Exist (Craig Groeschel)