If you are a non-Christian, but not a hardcore atheist, you realize deep down that there is a real possibility you are wrong about God. Since you cannot prove the non-existence of God and the non-existence of Heaven and Hell, it is perfectly reasonable, and even wise, to keep your options open. You see, open-minded people are far more successful than closed-minded people at discovering what is true.
If you were not taught the truth about Jesus during your childhood, you did not have the advantage that many who know Christ were given early in life. That being said, millions of other believers first heard and embraced the Gospel as teenagers or adults. (see John 3:16 & Romans 10:17). And while it is easier to accept Jesus as a child than as an adult, it is not too late for you even if your childhood was devoid of the Gospel.
You would be extremely wise to ask the Creator of the universe a simple question: “Am I wrong about you?” And here is an excellent follow-up question: “What don’t I know that I need to know?” If you are an open-minded unbeliever, it should be fairly simple for you to make this request of God. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by sincerely approaching God with a genuine desire to know the truth. Perhaps at this point I should ask you, “Do you definitely want to know the truth, even if you are currently wrong about God?”
I hope you will think long and hard about that last question. After all, some unbelievers have made the wild claim: “If I am wrong about Heaven and Hell, I don’t want to know about it until after I die.” I cannot think of a more irrational and catastrophic approach. It is completely illogical for someone to claim that he doesn't care whether Hell is a real place, and he doesn't even care if he is in danger of going there. Are you kidding me?
Think about all the places you strictly avoid because they are so dangerous. Likewise, no one in their right mind wants to spend even a few minutes, let alone eternity, in the painful prison which Scripture identifies as Hell.
Have you ever suggested that you would rather go to Hell than experience everlasting joy and eternal peace with God and all believers in Heaven? If so, I don’t buy it. You are far too protective of yourself to embrace such a maniacal and self-destructive attitude. And you have not carefully thought through this crucial issue, especially given the dreadful dungeon described in the Bible. Jesus Christ warned people about the “fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:42).
You could actually demonstrate your open-mindedness and your desire for self-preservation by asking God a heartfelt question: “Am I wrong about you?” God is deeply interested and highly invested in the salvation of your soul. Thankfully, the Lord responds to everyone who truly seeks Him. “Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8). This beautiful promise came straight from the heart of God!
“What if I am already a Christian?” Then I encourage you to go to the Lord today and sincerely ask Him to show you any areas in your life where you are offending Him without even realizing it. David’s heartfelt request provides us with a model prayer that could catapult your spiritual life to the next level: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
If you were to start praying this prayer every day, just watch how your attitude toward God begins to change. It will require an open mind and an open heart toward your Savior, as well as toward the Holy Spirit who is always working to transform believers to become more like Jesus.
“Am I wrong?” It is a question not only for non-Christians, but also for every single follower of Jesus Christ. There are plenty of times when we get things wrong in our thoughts, which then generally leads to wrong behavior. Man tends to assume that his personal perspective regarding God and religion is right on target. But the truth of the matter is that we all get it wrong at times and are in desperate need of correction, humility, repentance and divine revelation. The Word of God provides such revelation as the Holy Spirit convicts us of our wicked thoughts and sinful behavior (see John 16:5-15).
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart’” (Hebrews 3:7-8). A hard heart is a landmine just waiting to explode. For the non-Christian, the biggest explosion by far occurs at the moment of death when the soul is immediately transported to Hades (see Luke 16:19-31)For a believer, the explosions are of course far less severe. Nevertheless, our missteps cause significant damage to our spiritual life, and to our personal relationships with others.
Are you humble enough and wise enough to admit that you sometimes get it wrong, or has your heart become hardened by unbelief or other sins which you are continuing to deliberately commit? If so, then turn to God today with an open mind and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you whatever you need to know.
After all, God has never been wrong about anything. Just think about that glorious fact! And then allow Christ's perfection and the Holy Spirit’s power and wisdom to breathe life and truth into your heart and mind. It is the only way to make the transition from wrong to right, and from spiritual darkness to spiritual light.
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.