Insight from an atheist…

atheism_00295570A few days ago I had a divine appointment with a  guy in my apartment complex.  He was about 40 years old.  He was an American citizen but was currently living in Denmark, and he was in the states for a vacation.  He told me that he owns a bar in Denmark and he discussed with me the culture and way of life there.  He pulled out his iphone to show me a few pictures of his life in Denmark.  He showed me pictures of his wife, his dogs, and also his crop of 10 marijuana plants that are growing in his back yard.  He was very proud of his crops and you tell very quickly that he was passionate about marijuana- So much so that he attends a festival in Amsterdam every year called the “Cannabis Cup.”  He told me at this festival they feature all the best marijuana in the world and you can try it out for yourself.

It didn’t take me long to realize how much this man desperately needed Jesus.  After listening to his story for about an hour I asked him one simple question, “What is your purpose in life?”  He told me that he didn’t know.  I shared my story of being raised in church, and how I  attended every Sunday and Wednesday and yet God felt a million miles away.  I knew all ABOUT Him, but I didn’t KNOW Him.  It was in my head, but not in my heart.  I shared my conversion experience when I was 16 years old when Jesus became real to me.  He was an atheist and had no belief in a deity, but he listened intently, and asked a lot of great questions.  He asked things like- “If God is a loving God when why is there suffering in the world?”  “How do you know the Bible is truly God’s Word?”  “What about evolution?” I could tell he was a skeptic and liked to question things.  Fortunately I had some decent answers that seemed to satisfy him.  I had to change his perspective on what it meant to truly follow Jesus Christ.

The only recent exposure he had to “Christianity” was a guy that would open air preach in front of his bar in Denmark, and he would tell everyone to turn or burn.  My new friend was all about free speech, but he thought the man did this without any love or tact whatsoever.  He told me that everyone thought it was super annoying and no one paid attention to the guy because of his approach.  This was his view of Christianity-  fundamentalists preaching a turn or burn message.  He had major issues with Christianity because he didn’t see the love in it.  He brought up how “Christians” killed Muslims during the crusades.  I knew I had to reshape his thinking on what it meant to follow Christ.  I shared with him who Jesus was, and who He claimed to be.  I shared my testimony of God taking me from being religious to a real relationship and how Christ changed my heart.  He took my filthy heart and changed me from the insight out.  He changed my motives, and my desires.  The more time I spent with Him the more I began to look like Him.  God started to place his heart within mine.  I told him that if someone truly follows Christ you would see good fruit in their life- love, joy, peace etc.  They will follow the teachings of Jesus.  They will love people.  I told him the problem with many “Christians” in the west is that many are Christian in name only, and there is no evidence of a true walk with God.  True repentance involves a change in thinking which results in a changed life.  He listened intently and then made a profound statement that I will never forget.

He said, “Everyone in Europe thinks you Christians are judgmental and crazy.  Do you know what you guys need?  You need a revolution in what it means to be a Christian because the world needs what you are telling me.  You need to separate the true Christians from the ones that are faking it because they are giving you all a bad name.” 

His insight was profound to me!  Here is a pot smoking atheist that realized that what Jesus taught is what the world needs he just had issues with those that were faking it.  I agree with him.  We need a Jesus revolution.   We need to preach a true gospel that results in changed lives.  We need to call the church back to it’s first love.  After our conversation my new friend thanked me for talking to him and walked back to his condo.  A few days later I saw him again at my apartment complex.  He told me what I shared with him was messing with his beliefs and it was changing the way he saw things.  We need a Jesus revolution…

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