A letter to an atheist from Sherwood Haisty Jr:

______________

A letter to an atheist from Sherwood Haisty Jr:

Dear S________,

Thank you for your reply again. You seem to be a nice and thoughtful, and intelligent, person. One who has thought out your own views. I can respect that and hope that you find my words demonstrating respect to you on all occasions even if something I might say may be direct or challenging.

Do you have too much to give up? What will it cost you to follow Jesus Christ? Are you willing to forsake all to follow Him? Is there anything you are unwilling to give up? If you have to much to give up, you have too much. Learn from the Bible about a man who was intrested in going to Heaven but had too much to give up. To listen to the message, look for this icon in the "Sermon Media Vault" at... http://www.TruthandLight.TV

Do you have too much to give up? What will it cost you to follow Jesus Christ? Are you willing to forsake all to follow Him? Is there anything you are unwilling to give up? If you have to much to give up, you have too much. Learn from the Bible about a man who was interested in going to Heaven but had too much to give up. To listen to the message, look for this icon in the “Sermon Media Vault” at… http://www.TruthandLight.TV

First it would seem that (from most exchanges between Christians and atheist) that I would now begin to try to prove to you that there is a God and that you would likely attempt to counter my attempts to prove that there is a God. We would go back and forth until one of us grew tired of the exchange and said, “Well I guess that is it and there is no point going back and forth anymore.”

That is not the approach I wish to take in our discussion. This may be surprising to you, but I have no desire to try to attempt to persuade you that there is a God. Are you surprised? Do you think I am being honest now? I am. Here is why I said that I don’t desire to attempt to persuade you that there is a God. It is because the Bible says that you deep down know already there is a God. I mean you no disrespect here for I know you honestly claim to be an atheist. Yet I do not honestly believe that I need to persuade you that there is a God. I don’t need to argue the point or debate you on the matter. Let me explain with the Bible itself and let you see for yourself what the Bible says about you.

First let me turn to a very important passage in the Bible on this subject. Afterward I will draw out some points from these verses.


Romans 1:18-32
(18) For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,
(19) since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.
(20) From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.
(21) For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.
(22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools
(23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.
(24) Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves.
(25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
(26) This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual intercourse for what is unnatural.
(27) The males in the same way also left natural sexual intercourse with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty for their perversion.
(28) And because they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.
(29) They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, disputes, deceit, and malice. They are gossips,
(30) slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
(31) undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful.
(32) Although they know full well God’s just sentence–that those who practice such things deserve to die–they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.

I want to now point out a few things from these verses that are very important.

First notice that the Bible speaks of…
“The Reality of People Who Suppress the Truth.”

Romans 1:18-32
(18) For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,

So people actually suppress the truth. The word here means to literally hold back or hold down the truth in one’s own hearts. The truth is actually already revealed to them, but they are said to push it down on purpose out of the way. Let me show you that the Bible says that people already have be shown a basic knowledge that there is a God. Look at the next verse.

(19) since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.

The above passage says that there are things that are known about God that are already shown to all people. What has been shown to all people about God? How has it been shown to all people? The answer is in the next verse.

(20) From the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes, that is, His [God’s] eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

Many today deny the truth about Hell. Some think Hell is "Here" on earth. Some say it is a "Hallucination" and just a in a person's mind or a dream. Others say that Hell is a "Hoax" that religious leaders perpetrate on others to control them for wealth and power. The question is this. Is it Horrible? Is Hell Hot? The answer is YES! It is what all sinners deserve from the wrath of our holy God. To listen to the message, look for this icon in the "Sermon Media Vault" at... http://www.TruthandLight.TV

Many today deny the truth about Hell. Some think Hell is “Here” on earth. Some say it is a “Hallucination” and just a in a person’s mind or a dream. Others say that Hell is a “Hoax” that religious leaders perpetrate on others to control them for wealth and power. The question is this. Is it Horrible? Is Hell Hot? The answer is YES! It is what all sinners deserve from the wrath of our holy God. To listen to the message, look for this icon in the “Sermon Media Vault” at… http://www.TruthandLight.TV

The above verse here says that from the creation onward mankind has been given a basic knowledge about God. It says that certain of God’s invisible attributes are revealed to man. The two that are revealed to mankind are (1) God’s eternal power, and (2) God’s divine nature. It says that these things about God are clearly seen. They are revealed to mankind already because they are seen by the very creation that God made. The passage is saying that all people everywhere have been initially given the basic knowledge that there is a God with eternal power and that He is a divine being. This basic knowledge is granted to all men based upon the very witness to God that is His created world. Finally the verse says that all men therefore are without excuse because they already have had at one time this basic knowledge.

But this knowledge is sometimes suppressed as verse 18 stated.

Romans 1:18 … of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,

The Bible picks up this same point again in the verse 21 also. After it says that all people are “without excuse” in verse 20, it then states…

(21) For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.
(22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools

The passage above in verse 21 says that already “they knew God”. This is known truth but it is suppressed in the heart. It says also that rather than glorify God as God or be thankful to Him, that rather instead their “thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” This is because of self deception from willful rejection or suppression of the truth about God.

The Bible says that…

(25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie…

Later a similar point is made in verse 28.

(28) And because they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.

Again, here is a willful suppression of the truth about the knowledge about God. The Bible teaches that those who deny God once had a very small basic knowledge about Him but have intentionally rejected that knowledge by suppressing it.

Second notice that the Bible speaks of…
“The Reason for People Who Suppress the Truth.”

Why would anyone suppress the truth about the knowledge of God? The Bible says that this suppression of the truth is because of a person’s love for his or her sin.

Romans 1:18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,

Note that is “by their unrighteousness,” that the truth is suppressed. Unrighteousness is sin. Notice also these verses bellow again.

(22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools
(23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.
(24) Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves.

God gives these over to their own “cravings of their hearts.” The reason for the unbelief in God is because of sin. That is always what the Bible teaches. Please consider the words of the following verses.

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

John 3:19-20
(19) “This, then, is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
(20) For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
(10) and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved.
(11) For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false,
(12) so that all will be condemned–those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.

The opposite of belief is not merely unbelief, it is sin. The Bible says that unbelief is a result of a love for sin. The above verses teach that they depart from the living God because of a evil heart. People love darkness rather than light because of their sin. People do not believe the truth but rather enjoyed their sin.

Now not all who love their sin are atheist, but all atheists love their sin and suppress the truth about God. That is a strong statement but it is what the Bible teaches.

Third notice that the Bible speaks of…
“The Results for People Who Suppress the Truth.”

 

.

The Bible warns…

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

S________, this is one of the results of rejecting the knowledge of God. The other main result is also here and can be dealt with shorter treatment. Back to the first verse that we even looked at…

Romans 1:18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,

It is the wrath of God. This is part of what we saw already that God actually gives people over to their sin. That is a part of His wrath even now. The other part of His wrath is that God sends the wicked to Hell. This is the eternal torment promised in the Bible. It was Jesus Himself who said…

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

S________, I hope you read with care all of the words above. I don’t actually believe you to be an atheist. I believe you think you are an atheist and you honestly claim to be. However, I do not believe that I need to persuade to you that there is a God. Such an attempt is a vain exercise for me.

For one, you already know deep down that there is a God though you have now suppressed that.

A famous preacher once said something like this, "No man can come to Christ except God draws him." That is a shocking statement. Do you believe it? Be careful. That preacher was Jesus. He actually said, "No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day. (John 6:44) There is a lot of confusion about "free will". The truth is a lost sinner is free to do as he chooses, but he will never choose to come to Christ apart from sovereign grace. His will is free to do as he chooses, but his will is bound to his nature and his nature is corrupt to the core. He will choose sin over Jesus every time because that is his nature. He cannot come to Christ because he will not come. Lost sinners will not come because they are at enmity against God and love their sin. They do not receive the things of the Spirit of God nor can they. Lost sinners are spiritually dead, not just sick. Those who have come to Christ were drawn by the Father. That is what Scripture teaches. That is the only way. All other presentations of the Gospel make lost sinners out to be in better shape than they really are. They are guilty of robbing Christ of all the glory he rightly deserves. Learn why in this series.</p><br /><br /> <p>To listen to the sermons, go to...<br /><br /><br /> http://www.TruthandLight.TV<br /><br /><br /> from the home page select the "Sermon Media Vault" and then click the icon with this picture

A famous preacher once said something like this, “No man can come to Christ except God draws him.” That is a shocking statement. Do you believe it? Be careful. That preacher was Jesus. He actually said, “No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day. (John 6:44) There is a lot of confusion about “free will”. The truth is a lost sinner is free to do as he chooses, but he will never choose to come to Christ apart from sovereign grace. His will is free to do as he chooses, but his will is bound to his nature and his nature is corrupt to the core. He will choose sin over Jesus every time because that is his nature. He cannot come to Christ because he will not come. Lost sinners will not come because they are at enmity against God and love their sin. They do not receive the things of the Spirit of God nor can they. Lost sinners are spiritually dead, not just sick. Those who have come to Christ were drawn by the Father. That is what Scripture teaches. That is the only way. All other presentations of the Gospel make lost sinners out to be in better shape than they really are. They are guilty of robbing Christ of all the glory he rightly deserves. Learn why in this series. To listen to the sermons, go to… http://www.TruthandLight.TV from the home page select the “Sermon Media Vault” and then click the icon with this picture

Secondly, it is impossible for you on your own to actually come to saving faith and believe (not merely in the fact of a god, you might could do that still I don’t know), but it is impossible for you to come to saving faith on your own, in the one true God and in His Son Jesus Christ. Again I say that it is impossible for you by your own mind and your own reason to come to real faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as the Lord. I don’t tell you that because I am glad about that. Nor is this some funny reverse psychology, but it is also what the Bible says.

I am sorry but the Bible says that your heart has become darkened. In fact, this is the common condition of all people in general. However for some, they are given over to their sin and the heart is darkened at a deeper level. I don’t know where you are on this scale but I know that the Bible says that you are at least at a stage where you cannot believe without divine intervention by mercy from God.

In fact in your natural state, you are at least where I was and where the Bible says that all lost unsaved people are at one time. Let me give you just a few more verses.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I know that all that I have said and these verses if you have even read them are complete foolishness unto you and that you cannot even receive this as truth unless God does a work in your heart. Look at the next verse and hear what Jesus said…

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

So no one can even come to Jesus Christ apart from a special work of God the Father. I think that you had said in a previous letter that you were not seeking to find the information that my ministry teaches. I believe you to be honest and truthful and that you are not. Nor does anyone have the desire to seek the Lord Himself either.

Romans 3:11 (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

No one understands nor seeks after God. Many seek favors from God. They seek what God can give but the Bible says NO ONE seeks God Himself. This is because we are all sinners and we all love our sin. The next verse explains more.

Romans 8:7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so.

Any lost and unsaved person actually is said to have a mind-set (whether they seem to be religious or not) they have a mind-set that is actually hostile to the true God of the Bible and is unable to obey Him.

Finally everyone when in a lost condition was or is still blind. A person cannot truly believe unto salvation because his or her mind is blinded. However, there is good news, verse 6 gives some hope for those who God opens their mind.

2 Corinthians 4:3-6
(3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
(4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
(5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
(6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Also these verses teach that a lost person who is now saved was spiritually dead and in slave to sin. But God has the power to awaken a dead heart to cause it to respond to Him.

Ephesians 2:1-5
(1) And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
(2) in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience–
(3) among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
(4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
(5) even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–

I give you all of these verses to say that I know that you cannot believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that you cannot. I cannot argue into it. I can’t argue into even believing in God. You may already be given over to such a hard blind heart that you are already judged by God and are given over to your own sinful desires. I have no idea about what God has done or is doing in your life.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.</p><br /><br /> <p>Discover salvation through the only begotten Son of God. To listen to the message, look for this icon in the "Sermon Media Vault" at... http://www.TruthandLight.TV

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Discover salvation through the only begotten Son of God. To listen to the message, look for this icon in the “Sermon Media Vault” at… http://www.TruthandLight.TV

However, I also know that God is a merciful God and also pardons and forgives and shows mercy to those who it seems He has given over to their unbelief and sin. S________, (know this much as a intellectual fact of what the Bible teaches even if you cannot accept it as truth anymore in your mind), know this… If you are ever to believe in God and actually believe and trust Jesus Christ as the Son of God as your Lord and Savior, it MUST take a special divine act from God Himself to open your eyes, reveal the truth to your mind, and open your heart to receive it and Him. If this ever happens, it will be all by God’s grace despite your own sinful hard heart.

I am praying that God will open your heart and be merciful to you. This is what God did for a woman named Lydia so that she would receive the truth taught by the Apostle Paul.

Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended [gave attention] unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

S________, I have no need to argue with you nor do I intend to. If you ever believe it will take God to do it and open your heart. If He does, you will not be able to stop Him either. You will believe and be glad you did and you will get no credit for believing and you will be so changed that you won’t be the same and you couldn’t imagine what will have happened to you. God is a big God who still chooses some for His purposes and His glory. The rest are left to their sin and they will not believe. Again, I do not know about your future only God does.

In the mean time, I imagine this all may be either (1) something that you cannot receive at all, or (2) it may be a seed that God uses to begin to open your heart to Him. I do not know what will be for you. I have done my part in sharing with you the truth. It has been my privilege. If God ever begins to open your heart, I will be glad to tell you what to do next should that time come. There are others who can do so also. Reading the Bible and the book of John in the Bible is a great first step. In the mean time I can pray on your behalf.

May God choose to be merciful to you and open your heart and turn you to Him,

http://www.TruthandLight.TV

With tender compassion and Christian love,
A slave of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Pastor Sherwood
http://www.TruthandLight.TV

Feel free to reply or send me a message if you like. I would love to hear back from you no matter what you have to say. 🙂

___________________________

George Bush with Adrian and Joyce Rogers at Union University

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