Can atheists be moral?

Can atheists be moral without the Bible? Of course they can!  Atheists, Moralsskeptics, Christians, Muslims and Communists can live moral lives. Nobody denies, or should deny, it. However, there is a difference between a moral lifestyle (independent of God) and a God-dependent lifestyle. The Bible is not about moral living per se, but about becoming part of God’s Kingdom, part of the family of God.

God’s Kingdom

In the Kingdom of God, there is only one Ruler (God). Obedience, which means doing what God wants, is the recipe for a successful eternal Kingdom. Those who have learned to love and obey the Lord God Almighty, is part of God’s Kingdom. This means that they adhere to a lifestyle as prescribed in the Bible. What the world calls a ‘moral lifestyle,’ the Bible calls ‘holiness,’ a life pleasing to the Lord.

The ‘moral’ unbeliever lives his good life mostly by self discipline. He does not want God in his life.  Contrary to that, the believer understands that God is the inspiration that makes it possible to live up to His standards. Nobody on earth can do what the Bible commands without God’s help. Let us look at an example in Scripture, ‘… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience….’ 1   It is impossible to do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. God knows it and He proved it in the Old Testament with the failure of the Israelites to keep the Covenant. Somewhere, somehow, with the best intentions, we slip, break God’s rule, and that’s it. Yet ‘…without holiness no one will see the Lord.’ 2

Logically God wants ‘all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth,’ 3 so He provided His brilliant solution, Jesus. Jesus makes it possible for us to be in a relationship with God, and to have the Holy Spirit inside us. The Holy Spirit is our Personal Coach who teaches us for example to live according to the standards that we referred to above, ‘clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

To summarise:

  • The ‘moral’ man does it all by his own strength, with his own designed moral standard, which varies among people.
  • The believer in God has the power of the Holy Spirit who helps him to keep God’s unchangeable standards of living.
  • The moral lifestyle is commendable, but it has a limited value. When such a person dies, the morals die also.
  • Contrary to that, the Holy Spirit inspired lifestyle does not stop at death. It carries over to the eternal reign of God.


The lifestyle of the moral man is to be commended. It has value and benefits in this life. Nobody denies that.

Contrary to that, the person who lives a holy lifestyle has benefits not only in this life, but also in the life to come.

The one lasting difference is that only the Holy Spirit filled ‘holy’ person will be in God’s presence eternally.


  1. Colossians 3:12
  2. Hebrews 12:14b
  3. 1 Timothy 2:4

Why was Jesus poor?

Jesus, Son of the living God, should have arrived on earth in glory and Jesus not esteemedsplendour. Yet He was born in a manger. Though He received gifts of gold, incense and myrrh,1 His parents could only offer the poor man’s sacrifice, ‘a pair of doves or two young pigeons’ when Jesus was presented to the Lord.No mention is made of the customary lamb.3

He joined His father, Joseph, in his profession as a carpenter, again with no indication that He was a wealthy entrepreneur. There is no hint that He preferred the company of the high and mighty. On the contrary, when He was brought before Herod for His trial, we read, ‘When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see Him. From what he had heard about Him, he hoped to see Him perform some miracle.’ 4 Herod probably did not see Jesus when He performed miracles, because Jesus was not counted among the high and mighty and Herod did not associate with the lowly.

Jesus was poor for a reason. He wanted to sift out those who mix with the wealthy for possible benefits. We have them in families, among friends, at work, or have heard about them. They don’t consort with ordinary people; they like to be seen among the wealthy and influential, moving up the social and economic ladder, and not consorting with ‘losers.’

That explains why Jesus was not counted among the rich.  If He was very rich, people might have followed Him for other reasons than what Jesus came for. They might have tried to be in His favour, or impress Him with their own riches. Jesus came to save the lost. Wealth would have obscured it and put off those who specifically needed God’s mercy. One thing is very clear, if you want to be counted as somebody, don’t look to the earthly Jesus for fame or wealth.

Isaiah 53:2-3 is descriptive, ‘He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him…. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.’  These verses accurately convey the message: while on earth, Jesus wasn’t a Somebody, or a Mister Wonderful.

What do we learn from that?

Appearances can mislead. At the right hand of the Father, Jesus is very high, mighty, wealthy and exalted. Not only that, He is busy preparing a wonderful place of extreme beauty and gorgeous houses for those who might be like He was on earth: ordinary, run of the mill kind of people, but with a strong love for the Lord, and confidence in His promises. He was poor while He was on earth, but He will cause billions of people who love and trust Him to become billionaires for all eternity. Glory to the King!


  1. Matthew 2:11
  2. Luke 2:24
  3. Leviticus 12:6, 8
  4. Luke 23:8

3 Big Bangs?

There are people in the Church who believe that Genesis 1 is Three great acts of Godcorrect when it says God created the heavens and the earth in six days. Other ‘Christians’ believe that the universe evolved over billions of years. Those who believe in the billions of years, claim that they are ‘saved.’ They believe the Bible (except all the parts that deal with God’s supernatural, instantaneous creation). What is the practical impact for some-one who rejects supernatural creation?

A God who can create the heavens and the earth in six 24 hour days (no more and no less) is all-powerful. He can do what He decides to do. He can do what Revelation 21 says, ‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.’ 

He can do what 2 Peter 3:10-13 tells us. There will be a decisive destruction between the two creations. A stupendous fire will erase the old to make way for the new. It will lay bare the old earth and heavens. Even the elements will be destroyed. These three events show God’s omnipotence. Only the all-powerful, supernatural God can do such things.

However, for those who accept that the first universe was the result of the big bang, there should be three big bangs.

  1. The one we usually hear about, that ‘created’ this present universe.
  2. Peter’s big bang (the fire).
  3. The new heavens and earth (Revelation 21:1).

Big bangs 2 & 3 logically follow big bang 1.

The problem is, if the first big bang took about 13.7 billion years, how many billions of years are necessary for big bang 2 & 3? You can speculate, but it should be double, more than 26 billion years. That is an immensely long period of time to wait around (maybe on clouds) for the final new heavens and earth.


God is either the supernatural cause of creation in Genesis 1, the fire in 2 Peter 3:10-14 and the new heavens and earth in Revelation 21:1, or not. It might just be risky to tell the Holy Spirit He lied about God’s omnipotence. It might also be risky to rely on three big bangs, because the first one has not yet been proven true.

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