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Every person chooses their own path

had a serious conversation the other day with a middle-aged man and we talked for a couple of hours about God. I’ve known him for years and we’ve had these discussions before, but I noticed he has become stronger in his opinions, which are based on atheism.

He is a likeable person, hard worker, a great husband and known as popular. He is also a talented artist and sculptor who concentrates much of his art work on the dark world of the supernatural. He has studied Greek mythology and loves any type of art work about this subject and is also very much into modern superheroes or any type of figure or being that has special abilities and powers.

He collects books, posters, paintings, sculptures, comic books, creates incredible statues of these creatures and has a waiting list of people around the world who want to purchase his work. I’m glad he is gifted and successful, but I am, of course, concerned that he will not consider the one who has all power and authority and is the creator of all things.

I know from our past conversations he was not raised with any type of religious instruction or influence and never even entered a church until he was married in one. He loves history, has read about spirituality and has concluded religion has always been used as a way to calm the masses and distract them from the discouragement and suffering of being controlled by tyrannical governments.

To be honest, I’ve not really known many atheists and as a Christian minister, I find it disturbing to hear someone say they believe God is nothing more than a figment of the imagination. He says that everything we see and know came from nothing and the Bible is just a storybook filled with fables and legends. He is also strongly convinced we are not spiritual beings and there is no such thing as an eternal life after this one.

Of course, in between all of these statements, I spend a considerable amount of time explaining what the Bible says all the while realizing I am using a resource he does not consider reliable. Even though he has made up his mind against the almighty, I also have faith and believe with God, no situation is hopeless and anything is possible.

I understand God has given every person the free will to believe whatever they want. As we look around, we can see people have definitely taken him up on that. In today’s world, it’s becoming more common to hear people say the Bible is not true and all the thousands of gods and religions in the world are all the same.

I’ve walked with the Lord for much of my life and have come to the realization we cannot change someone’s mind. We can relay God’s message and demonstrate his character, we can pray and confess God will intervene, and we can hope the Holy Spirit will influence and persuade an individual to consider turning to Christ, but the rest is in God’s hands.

The gospel of Jesus has the power to convict the human conscience and stir the soul but ultimately each person who hears how God so loved the world that he gave his only son to be crucified and save us will either choose to accept his offer of salvation or walk away from him. The individual who embraces the God of the Bible becomes a Christian while those who reject him have simply made the decision to acknowledge an alternative idea and follow another path.

I could fill the entire newspaper with reasons why everyone should become a follower of Christ, but I know there are others who could also do the same about their own worldviews.

I could tell stories from the Bible and I could share about those who were once unbelievers and have now miraculously turned to God and are excited, grateful and filled with joy and peace. But you know, I’m not really thinking I can make anyone love God and like I said, I certainly cannot spiritually redeem or save anyone.

In all honesty and sincerity, I just want to communicate about God’s infinite love for all of us and will pray that someone will want to know more about him.

Dr. Billy Holland lives in Central Kentucky where he is a Christian minister, chaplain and author of the book, “A life-steyle of Worship.” Read more at billhollandministries.com