Through him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to his name. Hebrews 13:15
Have you ever met an atheist? An atheist believes he’s too smart to believe in God.
– They usually think they’re too sophisticated to believe something weak-minded people use as a crutch.
Do you know what God’s response is? — Psalm 14:1
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; There is none that doeth good.”
While no Christian would ever be guilty of being an atheist, many Christians are guilty of being practical atheists.
– Practical atheism doesn’t believe there’s no God; practical atheism lives as if there’s no God.
– Could you be a practical atheist?
THE PRACTICAL ATHEISM TEST:
. – Notice the convicting similarities between atheism and practical atheism:
1. An atheist doesn’t pray.
– So many Christians don’t really pray.
– They may mumble something with a bowed head before dinner or before bed, but there’s no real time to seek God in prayer.
The Lord says — James. 4:2
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war; ye have not, because ye ask not.
A Christian lady lived next door to an atheist.
– Everyday, when the lady prayed, the atheist could hear and he thought to himself, “She sure is crazy, praying all the time like that. Doesn’t she know there isn’t a God.”
Many times while she was praying, he’d go to her house and harass her, saying “Lady, why do you pray all the time? Don’t you know there’s no God?”
But she kept on praying.
One day, she ran out of groceries.
– As usual, she was praying to the Lord explaining her situation and thanking Him for what He was going to do.
AS USUAL, the atheist heard her praying and thought to himself. “Humph I’ll fix her.” He went to the grocery store, bought a whole bunch of groceries, took them to her house, dropped them off on the front porch, rang the doorbell and hid in the bushes to see what she would do.
When she opened the door and saw the groceries, she began to praise the Lord with all her heart, jumping, singing and shouting’ everywhere!
– The atheist jumped out of the bushes and told her, “You crazy old lady, God didn’t buy you those groceries,I bought those groceries!”
Well, she broke out and started running down the street, shouting and praising the Lord. When he finally caught her,he asked what her problem was . .
– She said, “I knew God would provide me with some groceries, but I didn’t know He was going to make the devil pay for them!”
The reason Christians are no longer leaving an impact on our world and our families is because we don’t pray anymore than the atheists do.
Years ago a young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. . – “That depends,” replied the foreman. “Let’s see you fell this tree.”
The young man skillfully felled a great tree.
. – Impressed, the foreman said, “Start Monday,”
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and Thursday afternoon the foreman came to the young man and said, “You can pick up your paycheck on the way out today”
Startled, he replied, “I thought you paid on Friday.”
“Normally we do,” answered the foreman, “but we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday”
“But I’m a hard worker,” the young man objected. “I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!”
The foreman, sensing the boy’s integrity thought for a minute and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your ax?”
The young man replied, “I’ve been working too hard to take the time.”
How about you? Have you been too busy, too hard at work to sharpen your ax?
Prayer is the hone that gives you that sharp edge. Without it, the more work you do, the duller you’ll get.
Why should your family and friends believe in a God that you don’t seem to believe in either?
George Buttrick, former chaplain at Harvard, recalls that students would come into his office, plop down on a chair and declare, “I don’t believe in God.”
Buttrick would give this disarming reply: “Sit down and tell me what kind of God you don’t believe in. I probably don’t believe in that God either.”
Many people who reject Jesus aren’t really rejecting Jesus, but a distortion of Him as seen in lives of Christians they know.
2. An atheist doesn’t read the Bible. . – So many Christians don’t read the Bible.
The average Christian is very susceptible to Satan’s lies because he doesn’t take time to read and study God’s Word.
“You Christians don’t even know what’s in the Book you say you believe.”
Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee.
3. An atheist walks by sight, not faith.
– So many Christians do the same thing — They fail to evaluate their situation in light of God’s miraculous power, so they worry and fear and fail to simply trust God.
. – How quickly we forget. — Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.
“Infidelity does not consist in believing or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.”–Thomas Paine
4. An atheist doesn’t give to the Lord’s work. . – So many Christians don’t either.
Many Christians spend more money on their pets than they do the Kingdom of God.
My cousin belongs to The Church of Christ.
. – She says her pastor said you don’t have to tithe because it doesn’t specifically mention tithing in the New Testament and her group rejects the Old Testament and claims if something isn’t mentioned in the New Testament it is no longer required.
That’s why they don’t have musical instruments in the Church to worship as they are not mentioned in New Testament.
They’re dead wrong because the Old and New Testaments stand together… …… . – Christ didn’t come to change the Law, but to fulfill the Law.
God said, Malachi 3:8-10
Will a man rob God? yet ye rob me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with the curse; for ye rob me, even this whole nation. Bring ye the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in my house, and prove me now herewith, saith Jehovah of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
– That command was never changed — Jesus endorsed the tithe in Matthew 23:23
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.
But woe unto you Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone
– Jesus referred to tithing as something that should not be neglected…
I know preachers radio say you don’t need to tithe, but just in case, I’d hate to face God with His money in my pocket.
– I do know from experience that God blesses my wife and me when we tithe.
A recent statistic revealed if all the members in an average-sized church were on welfare, and each one tithed, the giving to that church would double. WOW!
5. An atheist lives only for this life.
. – So many Christians are guilty of the same thing.
. – They store up their treasure on earth.
– They live and plan as if this temporary, mortal life is all that matters.
They make decisions with only earth in mind, not Heaven.
The Bible says — Proverbs 17:24 — CHANGE ME, LORD!
Wisdom is before the face of him that hath understanding; But the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
If some of those similarities are too close for comfort, don’t cower with guilt and shame.
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
. – Confess it as sin — ask God to change your heart.
Tell God you don’t want to live as if He weren’t alive and able to work miracles. This means we’re to praise Him in the bad times as well as in the good times.
May God forgive us for only thanking YOU and praising YOU when everything is okay in our lives. We’re just about to launch into a new year — 2013!
What would change in your life and your Church if you stopped living like Practical Atheists and began living like devout Children of God?
JOIN ME IN MAKING THAT COMMITMENT AM LET’S SEE WHAT GOD WILL DO!