The Voice Of One Transcript

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The Atheist

The story is told of an atheist who was dying. On his deathbed he appeared very uncomfortable, very unhappy and frightened. Another atheist who stood at his bedside said to him"Don't be afraid. Hold on, man; hold on to the last!" The dying man said, "That is what I want to do; but tell me what to hold on to!"

The greatest problem that man has had to face is that of admitting that there is a Sovereign God. Many people believe that there is a God; but disagree on the manner in which this God is to be approached, and the criteria of those qualified or best suited to approach Him. This is where religion comes in, prescribing all manner of options and avenues through which man can make contact with God. In the midst of all the religious brouhaha, there exist a small, and yet very significant group of men and women who say that there is no God!

These men and women are commonly referred to as atheists. They claim not to believe in anything which is itself a fallacy, because not believing in anything is a belief itself. However, so that atheists will not be tagged as belonging to a religion, they choose to call themselves free-thinkers. Atheists discredit every claim to the existence of God, at least, publicly. I say at least publicly, because, I was once of this group. In public I vilified those who ever mentioned God in any form whatsoever. Interestingly, however, after such public encounters, particularly with Christians engaged in evangelism, I found myself privately praying to the same God I just vilified, asking for forgiveness, for fear that He would smite me!

On the ground, where there seems to be enough footing to stand on, it is very convenient and comfortable for anyone to announce that there is no God. However, when you have to travel by air, and you are some 35,000 feet above sea level, with nothing holding the aircraft in the air, your confidence will begin to shift; and all that is needed to prod you into the reality that there is a God, is a slight jerk of the aircraft mid-air, and suddenly, everyone is praying to this God!

The atheist in our story today, was being told by his fellow atheist (who himself was not facing the solitude and fear of death) to hold on. But the reply he got was swift, for his dying friend said to him, Thats what I want to do; but tell me what to hold on to! How very sad! The Psalmist says, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil for Thou art with me The dying atheist in our story needed Someone to hold on to in his hour of need, as he was approaching the valley of the shadow of death. Unfortunately, having derided the existence of that Someone, indeed, the existence of God throughout his life time, now, he was suddenly faced with the stark reality of his need for God! Dear friend, there is always going to come a time when you must leave this world, through the valley of the shadow of death. When your time comes, what will you hold on to?

This is a pertinent question not only for those who say that there is no God, but also for those who say that there are many pathways to God. Some say the way to God is through Buddha, others say it is through the prophet Mohammed, and yet others say that it is through one of the gurus. Some even affirm that Mary, the mother of Jesus in the bible is needed to help a person through the valley of the shadow of death. Then there are those who say that a combination of the pathways is what is necessary. Therefore, now we have religions like Chrislam, which as you may have guessed is a combination of Christianity and Islam. For all that it is worth, may we quickly say that this broadcast is not a subject of religion, but one about life itself. This is not about credibility of a persons religion; rather, it is about how you will make the journey through the valley of the shadow of death when your time comes.

One thing that we must all understand is that Death is not interested in the religion you pursued while here on earth. Death comes to all men. The issue is, when Death comes calling, what will you be holding on to? Will you be holding on to a religion? If yes, then you, my friend, are in serious trouble! For when Death comes calling, only one Person can save you from the journey that Death seeks to take you through. It is a journey to the depths of hell, for that is the only destination that Death must take all its passengers to. However, when Jesus Christ, the Son of God comes on the scene, Death will have no power over you; for Death must yield its passenger to Him, because Jesus is the only One who has conquered Death!

It follows that once a person gets to that point in his journey through the valley of the shadow of death, and you hear him or her say, I am afraid; Its really dark where I am going to; I am trying to hold on to something, but I cannot find it; then you have found someone who held on to nothing while he or she was alive on earth, or who held on to something that cannot conquer Death! Jesus Christ is the only One who has tasted death, conquered it, and rose again. In rising from death, He showed openly His power over Death; therefore, as many as trust in Him and hold on to Him while here on earth, will be delivered from the brutal claws of Death, when their time on earth is over.

Someone may say, Sir, why should I believe what you are telling me, and not what someone else is saying? As good a question as that is, the answer is even better! You should believe what I am telling you about the assurance of Jesus Christ being there to see you through the journey after death, because, while you are alive, Jesus will give you the assurance that when your time to depart this world comes, He will be there for you.

Please permit me at this time, to address all those who are attending church all over the world believing that they are in church to earn a better life here on earth. Whoever you are I plead with you: Do not allow any man deceive you; the promise of God is that He will give eternal life to all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. The promise of God further goes on to say that He will deliver those who call on Him from the captivity of the devil here on earth, and from the moral decadence that is destroying this present age. Please do not let those men and women who are captive to money and pleasure deceive you into thinking that salvation is all about having money, and living the good life here on earth. No! Salvation is securing a better life with God in heaven after death; while living for Him here on earth, regardless of the challenges that you may be facing. For the people I am addressing, I am sure you are familiar with the story of Lazarus and the rich man. In that story, Lazarus was a poor beggar who ate his meals from the rich mans rubbish bin, and had sores licked by dogs. The rich man on the other hand was a man of means, power, and wealth. But in the end, Lazarus went up into heaven, while the rich man went down to hell. Friend, do not be deceived, your salvation is more important than whatever money and comfort false prophets and preachers are promising you! That is why Jesus Christ asked, What shall it profit a man if he gained the whole world and loses his soul?

Are you on a deathbed, on a sickbed, living in fear of the eventuality of death, unsure of what will happen to you when your time to go on the journey through the valley of the shadow of death comes? As I close today, I ask again, What are you holding on to now? And what will you hold on to when Death comes for you? To the atheist, I say, Turn to Jesus!; to the religious man, irrespective of your religion, I say, Turn to Jesus!; and to the man who is going to church in pursuit of money, marriage, contracts, the good life, and so on, I say, Turn to Jesus!

But how do you get to turn to Jesus? The starting point is to admit that you are a sinner. That is, that you have lived contrary to the way and will of God. And then, you ask God for forgiveness for living against His will. Finally, you ask Jesus Christ, the Son of God to come into your heart and begin to lead you aright. Once these are done, the assurance that Jesus will be there when it is time to leave this world, will come into your heart, and give you peace and joy.

Let us pray!