I just learned about the Atheist’s Challenge a few days ago when I came across a youtube video of Leonard Ravenhill saying that it has provoked him for over 50 years. No wonder why the great preacher was so haunted by the challenge of this atheist as it seems so sad that it was an atheist that wrote this challenge which so beautifully sums up the life of faith lived to the max in the life of the believer which very rarely if ever happens.
“Were I a religionist, did I truly, firmly, consistently believe, as millions SAY they do, that the knowledge and the practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, religion should be to me EVERYTHING. I would cast aside earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as less than vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image when sleep sank me in unconsciousness. I would labor in her cause alone. I would not labor for the meat that perisheth, nor for treasures on earth, but only for a crown of glory in heavenly regions where treasures and happiness are alike beyond the reach of time and chance. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I WOULD ESTEEM ONE SOUL GAINED FOR HEAVEN WORTH A LIFE OF SUFFERING. There should be neither worldly prudence nor calculating circumspection in my engrossing zeal. Earthly consequences should never stay my hand nor seal my lips. I would speak to the imagination, awaken the feelings, stir up the passions, arouse the fancy. Earth, its joys and its grief, should occupy no moment of my thoughts; for these are but the affairs of a portion of eternity so small that no language can express its comparatively infinite littleness. “I would strive to look but on eternity and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly miserable or everlastingly happy. I would deem all who thought only of this world, merely seeking to increase temporal happiness and laboring to obtain temporal goods I would deem all such pure madmen. I would go forth to the world and preach to it, in season and out of season; and my text should be: ‘What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.’”