A blogger at Patheos interviewed a man who claims to have “de-converted” from Christianity to atheism. (The blogger herself has left Christianity and in the process of converting to Judaism.) He says he grew up in a “fundamentalist” home but came out as an atheist as an adult. Did he consider himself saved? He identified as a Christian but then switched to identifying as an unbeliever.
Some Christians try to avoid saying, at least out loud, that a specific person claiming to be a Christian isn’t really saved. We can look to the Bible for guidance, of course, but we don’t truly know whether Christ has worked a miracle in the sinner’s heart. Does the person understand he’s a wretched sinner in desperate need of a Savior? Does he know he cannot save himself and there is nothing in his sinful nature that wants to? Does he believe that Christ’s work on the cross once and for all time wiped away his sins and that his “good” works won’t save him?
Stories about people converting from Christianity to just about any other belief or nonbelief are like blood in the water for circling skeptics. How can those who are perishing understand spiritual truths? In John 10, Christ said:
“… you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”
It is simple logic that even the spiritually blind can understand. If no one is able to snatch the sheep away from Christ, and He will by no means cast out anyone the Father gives Him, it follows that the Father didn’t give Him the person who says he’s no longer a Christian. Identifying with Christianity doesn’t mean one is saved. Christ must redeem the soul. He pays off the sin debt, and the transaction is effective.
The atheist says his mind is now free, that his “worldview is uncluttered.” He calls fear of eternal damnation irrational and eternal life boring. Believing we are Christ’s own is the most “uncluttered” thing there is. The truly saved have no fear of eternal damnation or think being in the presence of God would be boring. Our finite minds can’t quite grasp it, but I take it on faith that heaven will be glorious and eternal separation from God will be torturous.
Turning your back on a Savior who prays for you and requires not your lowly works but your belief for salvation? Lord, may it never be said about me. Christ intercedes for His elect, among whom are the present generation of atheists and other unbelievers. His grace and mercy are boundless. It is Scripture fulfilled. Of those He does save, He’ll cast out none.