When an Atheist Dies

When an Atheist Dies

Christopher Hitchens was a one of the best known atheists in America—until December 15, 2012, when he died of esophageal cancer. His book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything was a massive bestseller, not only in the States but internationally, as well. It is an interesting read, to say the least—much more captivating than Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion. Hitchens was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and The Atlantic. He has many debates with well known Christian academics on YouTube.

Here’s what’s so haunting about his death: as Hitchens was dying, he wrote a series of articles which have been published into a small book entitled Mortality. I read it this past year. In its pages, he talks about his cancer, the process of dying, and his lack of faith in God. What’s so disturbing is how defiant he is about facing death as an atheist. At one point, he even said that, if we hear of any reports of a “deathbed conversion” that we shouldn’t be fooled! He claimed he was hanging on to his atheism to the bitter end. This is pretty sobering when we consider Psalm 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” No wonder the Scriptures point us to Jesus as the only hope for eternal life. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.” This means we all have to make a choice: do we trust in our own perceptions of truth, or do we trust someone who claimed to be God and backed it up by coming back from the dead?

I know where my hope is—do you?

by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor