Look around. There’s trouble everywhere: in homes, on the streets, in the seats of government and around the world. Uncontrolled passions and desires: for sex, drugs, money and a life of ease and pleasure. Sickness: more hospitals and treatment centers, mushrooming health care, people dying, nobody can slow the pace and conditions worsening with no end in sight. Old and new diseases: flesh-eating viruses, cancer, AIDS, syphilis and little babies inherit diseases and misery from addicted mothers. Violence and crime: gangs, skyrocketing murder rates, mass shootings, sexual and child abuse at every level and often in broad daylight with no shame. We’re poisoning ourselves: air pollution, steroids and poisons in your food, waste in this world’s rivers, lakes and oceans. Rampant graft and corruption: in banking and at every level of government with a special bull’s-eye on Washington. Corruption and injustice are the norm in Houston, in London, in Moscow, in Greece and world-wide. Brother against brother: blacks and whites endlessly prejudiced and at odds, gays and straights, rich and poor, young versus old and us versus them. A world-wide economy in which one collapse can collapse the whole. Overnight! Nation against nation: Syria, Somalia, North Korea, Iran, East versus West, Islam’s Jihad and dreams of world dominance with Sharia law and the ever-present threat of WWIII including nuclear weapons. On planet earth nobody’s safe; not a polar bear, not an elephant or rhino or tiger, not freedom of speech or religion and not you in your own home.
Christians frankly admit that the world is a cauldron of troubles and miseries of all sorts, and they predict that it is going to get worse and worse. In fact, they say this current state of operation will come down to a world-wide meltdown and collapse. Most people have heard of Armageddon. Christians are not fatalists, but they are realists. They are honest about the suicidal spin in which this world finds itself. They know this world is going to self-destruct; fully collapse.
Yet Christians are optimistic. They say there is hope, but it is in Jesus Christ. They say He is coming again. They really believe He is going to save the world and everyone who has made Him personal Savior. Yes, they have the idea that believers in Christ will face the rigors of a collapsing world and mortally suffer and die just like everybody else. But, they believe that when Jesus returns, all of the dead in Christ will rise again and receive brand new eternal immortal bodies. They will never again get sick or die. Furthermore, they believe that when Jesus Christ returns, He will establish an earthly kingdom over which He will personally reign in absolute righteousness. Yes, they really believe this. They also believe that their “eternal life” will be personal and knowing. They do not believe that their future is some sort of impersonal stasis. No, they think they will know each other, including Jesus Christ, on a personal level; and they think He will know them too. Consciously and personally!
Yep, like everybody else they’re in a hurting world that is full of suffering: pain, sorrow, predation, decay, aging, violence and death; but they believe that Jesus Christ helps them in a way that unbelievers do not know. They have hope beyond the grave along with courage and strength to face and bear the challenges of life.
That’s really not a bad combo: (1) help for here and (2) hope beyond here. Nobody else seems to have much to offer. What comfort is there in a religion that says you’ll continue to exist; but only in some sort of unconscious, non-knowing or impersonal way? It must be deeply satisfying to know that your austere god may or may not let you into his heaven. Your best hope would be to die for him in a holy war, but even then at the end of your life he might knock you off the long bridge between mortal death and where his is into the abyss of eternal fire. Imagine how comforting it must be to think that unless you are one of a select 144,000, your death will be the end of you. What does an atheist have to offer? They scoff and mock Christians, and go to great lengths to get God out of everything; but they offer absolutely no hope. Nothing!
If I was not a Christian, I would hope the Christians were right. Oh yes! They’re the only ones who have anything to offer.