About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Practical Atheism


An atheist is one who does not believe in the existence of any kind of god.  For all practical purposes, one can claim to believe in a god yet his actions deny his claim of belief.  Can someone, then, who claims to be a Christian, be a practical atheist?  Yes, he can.  According to Jesus, in all practicalities, those living in the first-century, Greco-Roman city of Laodicea who claimed faith in Jesus, were practical atheists.  Revelation 3:17 reads:


"You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.'"


The so-called believers in Laodicea claimed belief in Jesus, but their self-sufficient lives apart from Jesus denied their claim.  In fact, they were practical atheists.  They had left Jesus standing outside of their lives.  Their god was their wealth, the work of their own hands.  For this reason, Jesus would vomit these hedonistic claimers of faith out of His mouth, but not before inviting individuals in this community of practical atheists to Himself, as seen in Revelation 3:20. 


"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."


If you think God would never spit those claiming faith in Him out of His mouth, you think wrong.  In 722 BC, God via Assyria, destroyed the ten northern tribes of Israel.  In 586 BC, God via Babylon, destroyed the two southern tribes of Israel.  In 70 AD, God via Rome , destroyed His holy city Jerusalem along with its residents.  In the eleventh century AD, God via Islam, destroyed the Laodicean church, along with other so-called churches in the general vicinity. 


Among all of the so-called prophetic words now being prophesied, what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5 applies for those claiming faith in Jesus today.


"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?"


Not all that is called church is church.  Not all who call themselves Christians are Christians.  Practical atheism is a present-day reality, yet despite this reality, Jesus invites individuals to Himself.  He will have His remnant of true believers in the midst of practical atheism.  Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.  Can your claim of faith be verified by a life of repentance and true trust in Jesus?  Are you being transformed by God's Spirit or have you given into a life of practical atheism? 

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