Human actions and inactions come with their consequences. This saying is applicable to whether a man or a woman believes in God or not. There are consequences for believing in God and there are consequences for not believing as well. What inspired this short piece is the statement accredited to Thandie Newton at the just concluded Emmy awards. While delivering her acceptance speech, the lady said: "I don't believe in God, but I am gonna thank her tonight."
The truth is there are so many unbelievers out there today, and it is the responsibility of us who had come to believe in God to let them understand certain things. Let me even start on this logical note, to avoid sounding too spiritual to some people in certain quarters. Let me show you the statement from a great philosopher Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician and physicist; when he was addressing matters about God in his time.
A great defence of believing in God is what is commonly known as Pascal's Wager. It says: "It is better to believe in God and be wrong in your belief than to not believe in God and be wrong in your unbelief." This is from a logical, and not so spiritual point of view about believing in God. Pascal further argues that a reasonable person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas he stands to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).
This above statement is logical, isn't it? If I, as a person happens not to be born again, but choose to use common sense about the things and the existence of God, I would rather stick with this Pascal's point of view. It is more safer. But let us leave this stance for now and go a bit further about what I am addressing in this piece.
Several places in the Bible I have read how God allow man to make his choices. God is not one authoritarian or some dictator, thousands of kilometres away above the sea level who forces His wishes and commands on man that He has made in His own image. As a matter of fact, the singular reason why He should even have forced His dictates on man in the first place is simply because we are made in His image. Look at it this way. If you are a manufacturer, let us say of cars for instance, it is natural that the car responds to all the programs you have put in it. That way, the car is doing your bidding, which is the right thing to happen.
But God chose never to do that, despite the fact that man has been made in His image. God made man and place choices before man to choose which ever he deem fit and suitable for him per time. But those choices, as we read in the Bible are never without their consequences.
An instance is in the book of Genesis where He told Adam and Eve never to eat of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. He made it clear to them that the day that partake of it, they would surely die.
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Well, Adam and Eve did eat of the said fruit, and the consequences as we saw was spiritual death. They didn't die physically, as that was not what God meant when He told them they would die. God was talking about spiritual death. They both lost the vital connection they had with God and were placed under some curses. That, as we see, was the consequence of their action - for eating of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.
Joshua as well, told the children of Israel that they have before them life and death, he later admonished them to chose life so that they would live. Deuteronomy 30:19-20. It says:
19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Certain things are key in the Bible passage above. Joshua said to the Israelites that if they choose life, number they and their descendants would live, number two they would also dwell in the land that God has sworn to their fore-fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is the consequence of them choosing life. But if they decided to choose otherwise, which is death, well they were on their own. That is to tell you that our actions and inactions both have their attendant consequences. But let us go back to the thrust of this matter: the consequences of not believing in God.
The Bible is replete with examples of what happens if we don't believe in God but I would just speak on this one matter that is like an umbrella in which all the consequences come under. Not believing in God means you are at the whims and caprices of the devil. The Bible refers to the devil as the god of this World (2 Corinthians 4:4) and he never has any good intention for mankind. The phrase “god of this world” (or “god of this age”) indicates that devil is the major influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His influence also encompasses the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions.
So, when the Bible says that devil is the "god of this world," it is not saying that he has ultimate authority. It is conveying the idea that devil rules over the unbelieving world in a specific way. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, the unbeliever follows the devil's agenda: "The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." The devil's scheme includes promoting false philosophies in the world—philosophies that blind the unbeliever to the truth of the Gospel. The devil’s philosophies are the fortresses in which people are imprisoned, and they must be set free by Christ
The Bible made it clear in John 10:10 about his three-fold mission: to steal, to kill and to destroy. The devil never promises anything good to his subjects, even though he makes them comfortable for a season, and then destroys them. It is like buying a day old chick, and then you feed and nurture it until it grows, after which you then slaughter it for your own refreshing. That is what the devil does to his subject. People in the camp of the devil are captives, they are not free, they are perpetually in bondage. I tell you, it is not a good side to belong.
Not believing in God automatically means you are on the side of the devil. There is no sitting on the fence, it is either you are on the side of God, or on the side of the devil.