Are Atheists Closer To Heaven Than Christians Who Could Not Care Less?

Are Atheists Closer To Heaven Than Christians Who Could Not Care Less? May 23, 2022

Are atheists closer to heaven than Christians who could not care less? Let me clarify that I believe that the ONLY way to heaven is through Christ. There is no other way. What I mean by the word care in my initial question is the amount of effort one dedicates to the pursuit of spiritual things. Now, obviously atheists (and agnostics) are not known for their pursuit of spiritual things, but I see the energy many of them extend towards proving theists “wrong” as a clear indication that they care a great deal. The words of Jesus in Revelation 3:15-16 support my claim.

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Lukewarm is Worse Than Hot or Cold

Some debate exists on what cold and hot means in this passage. Does cold mean refreshing or adversarial? Does hot mean on fire and that one is extremely passionate about their faith? Regardless of what these words mean, total agreement on the meaning of the word lukewarm also exists. Biblical scholars and theologians understand that lukewarm means indifference.

What is a Lukewarm Christian?

The world is sleeping in the dark,

That the church just can’t fight,

‘cause it’s asleep in the light!

Asleep in the Light, Keith Green – 1978

A lukewarm Christian simply does not care. As Keith Green so pointedly put it, they are “asleep in the light.” They go about their lives without a single care concerning anything spiritual or theological. Now, not everyone is a biblical scholar or a theologian, but this fact is no excuse for indifference. Moreover, a lukewarm Christian can also possess vast theological knowledge, so the issue is not what a Christian knows per se. The issue with lukewarmness concerns where one places their passion. A hot Christian in this sense is one who is passionate for their faith. They are consumed as in a fire. They are not indifferent.

Cold, Ardent Atheist (and Agnostics)

What of those who are cold? In the sense I am using it, cold here refers to those who have a definite opinion about God and Christianity but in a negative direction. Some have hatred and disgust for anything to do with Christianity for various reasons. Others make it their mission to shipwreck the faith of any Christian they encounter. Some simply cannot accept the Christian message. Their passion is the inverse of a hot Christian; therefore, they are cold. Why is this state of existence closer to heaven than a lukewarm Christian?

The Atheist that is Closer to Heaven

An atheist (or agnostic) is closer to heaven because they have a disposition God can work with. As seen in the Bible, and throughout human history, God can work with people who hold strong opinions and are passionate about them—even if those opinions are false. The apostle Paul comes to mind to illustrate this point. He was no atheist, but he did hold very passionate views against Christianity. Paul was not indifferent, quite the opposite. God saw his passion and was able to transform that passion into something with which to build His kingdom. Conversely, had Paul been apathetic to the whole new Christian thing, God would not reach him. Likewise, those atheists who still honestly fight and struggle with God (like Jacob in the Old Testament) may eventually encounter Him, as Paul did.

Avoid Apathy for the Sake of Your Soul

To conclude, I challenge anyone reading this (and myself) to flee indifference and apathy, especially regarding how we think about God and Christianity. God desires we either be hot or cold, that we pick a side. God desires we not stay “asleep in the light,” for we may eventually find ourselves spit out of Jesus’ mouth and cast into utter darkness.

I will end on a hopeful note. If you read this blog (and others) in order to spiritually challenge yourself, even if you vigorously disagree, you are on the right path. And to all those atheists (and agnostics) with whom I’ve dialogued with here and other places, I will still hold out hope for you. Thank you for the engaging debates!


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