Today, the news reported the death of world renown atheist, Christopher Hitchens, from a long battle with cancer. Hitchens is known in religious circles for his role as a leader in the New Atheism movement and as author of God Is Not Great. In the world of atheists, I think that Hitchens was my favorite. He had a British whit about him that made him a likeable person even though I disagree with what he stood for. I had the opportunity to hear Hitchens debate at Samford University a few years ago. Though I believe Hitchens was wrong in his views, I have hoped that God would use his battle with cancer to open his eyes to the transformational power of the gospel.
As a finite human being, I do not presume to know where Hitchens stood before God in the end, but I have been reflecting on what it would be like to stand before a God, who you claimed was not great, in all the greatness of His glory. As I ponder the picture of standing before God, I have been reflecting on how many times we as Christians live like God is not great. We have reduced God to a deity that is not great by making our relationship with God a mere addition to our busy lives. This idea was most clearly stated by Brenan Manning:
“The single greatest cause of Atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him with their lifestyles. This is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
The question that each of us must ask: Are we living lives that tell the world that our God is great?
May our actions be empowered by the Holy Spirit so that we reflect Christ and the transformational power of His gospel. We serve a great God who is worthy of all of our lives and all of our worship. Do those around you believe that you serve a God who is great? There will come a day when every person will stand before this great God. What will He say to you?