ATHEISTS CAN’T BE TOO CAREFUL!
During the days in England, when it was popular to reject the
supernatural, poets wrote about creation but felt the Creator wasn’t
interested in what He’d made and scholars sought wisdom without
believing in an all-wise God. God was, so they said, an absentee
landlord. If there is a God, He leaves us alone and we return the favour.
In that apathetic society were two brilliant but atheistic lawyers,
Gilbert West and Lord Lyttleton, who set about to crush the defenders of
the Bible. They met at Lyttleton’s splendid country estate. Surrounded by
the breathtaking beauty of God’s handiwork, they plotted against their
Two of the bulwarks of Christianity, they decided, were the “alleged”
resurrection of Jesus from the dead and the “alleged” conversion of Saul
of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. Lyttleton, who was for a while the
chief financial officer of Britain, agreed to write a book to show that
Saul of Tarsus was never converted as recorded in Acts chapter 9 of the
Bible. West agreed to write another book to prove that the resurrection of
Jesus was not based on any reliable truth. “I’ll have to depend on you for my facts,” West said to Lyttleton as they sat pondering their plan of attack, “I’m somewhat rusty on the Bible.” Sir George Lyttleton, however, had been counting on West to supply him with ammunition, for he too was “weak” in his Bible knowledge. “If we’re going to be honest in the matter, “West said, “we ought to, at least, study the evidence.” This they agreed to do.
The next time they met, Gilbert West turned to his friend, 1st Baron
Lyttleton, and with a peace foreign to his former manner of life, asked,
“Have you finished your book?” Lyttleton thought for a moment as if the
answer was not as simple as it seemed. “Yes, I’ve finished my book. But, as I’ve been studying the facts and weighing them according to the standards of legal evidence, I’ve become thoroughly satisfied, almost against my own will, that Saul of Tarsus was converted, as stated in the Acts of the Apostles, and that Christianity is true, and I have written my book on that side!”
West smiled. “As I’ve studied the evidence for the bodily resurrection
of Jesus from the dead and have assessed it according to the criteria of
our profession as lawyers, I’m satisfied that Jesus actually rose from the
dead as recorded in the Bible, and have written my book to that effect.”
(nearly 500 pages!)
Both these men were doubters who dared to be serious about the evidence.
God expects you and I to think. God said the great commandment was not
only to love Him with all our heart and soul but with our mind as well!
One day the Lord Jesus said to some intellectuals, “Have you not
read…? They hadn’t done their homework properly. If they had, they
wouldn’t have been so hasty in verbally attacking the Lord. But I wonder,
are we as guilty as they? If you’re not a believer in the Lord Jesus as your Saviour perhaps the reason you aren’t is because you’ve rejected God’s Word without a fair hearing. In these Covid 19 days why not take a small section of the Bible like the book of Mark or John and seriously read it, examining the message and asking God your tough questions. He’s able to reveal Himself to you through the scriptures. Of course, if you’re hanging on to your own ideas because you’re not willing to give up a lifestyle centred on you, be very careful. The last thing you want is the facts. Reading the Bible could be dangerous. Like Lord George Lyttleton and Gilbert West, you could end up losing faith in your unbelief!