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He is a Believer Now

Christopher Hitchens is a believer now.  He was a longtime champion of atheism through his voluminous writings, speeches, debates, and appearances on television.  He termed himself as an "antitheist,” which he defined as a person who not only is an unbeliever of Deity but also is "relieved that there’s no evidence for such an assertion.”  He did not want there to be a God, for he blamed religion for most of the problems in the world.  In 2007, his book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything reached the top position on the New York Times Bestseller list in only its third week of sales.  Hitchens’ atheist messages have reached millions of people worldwide, but now his unbelief has ended, and he has realized the error of his ways.

Mr. Hitchens became a believer in God only after he died on Thursday, December 15, 2011, at the age of 62.  He succumbed to esophageal cancer after a lifetime of heavy smoking and alcohol abuse.  Far from a "death bed conversion,” Hitchens remained defiantly unfaithful until the end.  As he saw death approaching, he told the American Atheists convention that "all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before.”  He closed his address by saying, "And don’t keep the faith.”  Now that death has come to him, the true hollowness and artificiality of a life spent in faithlessness and the propagation of godless philosophy have left him with only an eternity of bitter regret and misery.

What a sad ending for a man who was blessed by God with so much skill to communicate to others.  There is no doubting this man’s intellect or his ability to express thoughts, reason, and logic in words.  However, the Scriptures tell us that the fool has said in his heart, "There is no God” (Ps. 14:1; 53:1).  If it is foolish to silently conceal unbelief in the heart, then how much more foolish it is to declare unbelief openly before the whole world.  Mr. Hitchens made it his life’s work to influence as many people as possible for the cause of atheism, and his foolish endeavors gained him fame and fortune.  He received his rewards in this life, and his opportunity has come to an end.  He now leaves his rewards to the dust of this world and waits to give an account of his life before the Lord whom he did not believe existed until it was too late (Rom. 2:5-10; 2Cor. 5:10).

If Mr. Hitchens could speak to us today, what might he say?  If he could write one last book from the grave, would he warn us not to imitate his life of rebellion against God?  In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus spoke of a man in a similar circumstance who desperately wanted to send a message from the grave.  He had died and gone to Hades, where he was in agony, and he wanted to warn his brothers "lest they also come to this place of torment.”  However, this man was not granted his wish, for Abraham told him, "They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.”  Likewise, Mr. Hitchens will not be sending any messages from beyond the grave, for we also have the Scriptures to give us all the warning we will ever need.  Even if he could write another book pleading with us to repent and avoid his fate, it would not change the hearts of men.  As Abraham said, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.”

Mr. Hitchens is now learning what God declared long ago, which is "that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).  Despite all the resistance and denials of man, the sovereign power of God will provoke a confession from everyone, for God has said, "I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance” (Isa. 45:23).  Mr. Hitchens joins a long list of famous atheists who have now bowed the knee and made the confession when it was too late – Isaac Asimov, John Dewey, Robert Ingersoll, Friedrich Nietzsche, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Ayn Rand, and many others.  Although they spent their lives influencing others to deny God, they now have been forced to accept the truth that there is a God and that Jesus is Lord.

Eventually, every soul will confess God and bow before Him.  For each soul, the only question that remains is whether this confession and submission will come during this life as a result of faith in the Son of God or after this life as a result of painful, regrettable, and undeniable truth.  Those who confess and submit to Christ during this life have the hope of eternal life in His presence, but those who deny and disobey Him in this life will go out of His presence forever into eternal destruction.  Which will it be for you?  Will you be a believer now or later?

Stacey E. Durham



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