Atheists’ Memes Refuted: Repentance and the Gospel

Timmy Gospel

The above image is obviously meant to make fun of Christianity and the Gospel, but it actually demonstrates what’s so amazingly beautiful about the Gospel: that anyone through repentance and faith can be forgiven! It’s available to all. I’ll demonstrate from two instances in the Bible.

  1. Joseph was hated by his eleven brothers. They wanted to kill him, but they decided to sell him into slavery, so he ended up a slave in Egypt. Years later, there is a famine, and they come to Joseph, now second in command in Egypt, looking for food. Joseph recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him, believing him to be dead. Does Joseph harbor resentment, bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness towards them? No, Joseph forgives them and they have been in heaven together for about 4,000 years. [1]
  2. A man named Stephen gets up and preaches a sermon. A mob then attacks him, falsely accuses him and stones him to death. Saul, a Pharisee and likely the ringleader of the mob, held the garments of those who stoned Stephen. Saul then went on a rampage persecuting and killing Christians wherever he could find them. As he was on his way to Damascus to continue his rampage, Jesus appears to him and he becomes that which he hated most: a Christian. Now, Saul (now known as the Apostle Paul), and those he murdered – including Stephen – have been in heaven together for about 2,000 years. [2]

Here is what an early church father had to say about Stephen and Paul’s current relationship:

Now Paul rejoices with Stephen, and together they delight in the glory of Christ, together they exalt, together they reign. Stephen went first, killed by the stones thrown by Paul, but Paul followed after, helped by the prayer of Stephen. This is surely the true life, a life in which Paul feels no shame because of Stephen’s death, and Stephen delights in Paul’s companionship, for love fills them both with joy. Stephen’s love prevailed over the cruelty of the mob, and Paul’s love covered the multitude of his sins; for both of them it was love that won the kingdom of heaven.” ~Fulgentius of Ruspe (468-533) [3]

Such beautiful reconciliation because of the Gospel.

The above meme also takes a subtle jab at the justice of God, that God is somehow unjust to allow both a murderer and an innocent child into heaven. But as we saw in another refutation of an atheist meme, the Gospel satisfies God’s justice. If the hypothetical murderer of the meme did indeed repent, then his sins were paid for by Jesus on the Cross. And the young boy will be delighted to see him in heaven, as there is always joy in heaven when a sinner repents. [4]

Many unbelievers love to say that for God to sentence people to an eternity in hell is too harsh of a punishment, but then this meme makes fun of the Gospel message which if a murderer believes, he can be forgiven and go to heaven. You can’t have it both ways!

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. [5]

Endnotes

[1] See Genesis 37-50

[2] See Acts 7-9

[3] A monk who became bishop of Ruspe in North Africa. He was persecuted and forced to flee numerous times under Arian political powers. He wrote frequently against Arianism and Pelagianism. Excerpt taken from the reading “Stephen and Paul,” #216 Daily Devotions from the Early Church

[4] Luke 15:10

[5] 1 Corinthians 1:18

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