What are we to do with Stephen Hawking?

Stephen-HawkingYou have probably heard by now about the passing away of renowned scientist and avowed atheist, Stephen Hawking. His studies, teachings, and writings have influenced untold thousands in the pursuit of cosmology (not cosmetology…an important distinction!) and theoretical physics. From what I have seen he was a doting father who loved his daughter. He also lead many from a belief in God to devout atheism. He is celebrated and he is condemned. He is loved and despised.

As Christians, what are we do with Stephen Hawking?

1) Don’t be arrogant.

Yes, the Bible is clear on what awaits those who reject the work of God in Christ. If he died as he so loudly lived during his lifetime there will be no “rest in peace” for him. What I do not know is what he processed, thought about, and dealt with as his life was coming to a close. Did he have a “thief on the cross” moment? If he did, even 5 seconds before stepping into eternity, he is with the Savior in glory. I pray he did. I also pray that believers don’t proclaim they know he is in hell. We don’t. All we know is the outcome for those who die having rejected the saving work of Jesus Christ (1st Peter 4:17-18). In his final breaths maybe he faced his frailty and mortality, reaching out to the Creator he fought so hard and so long to discredit. He wouldn’t have been the first, nor the last.

2) Don’t be ungodly.

I have read various posts online seeming to rejoicing over his death and victoriously celebrate that he met his Creator in defeat. If that is you, in any measure, repent. Stop right now and repent. Seriously. We dare not take pleasure in something that God does not (Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11).

3) Be fearful.

If Stephen Hawking indeed continue to shake his fist in the face of God through to the very bitter end, he now is experiencing a wrath so terrible the mere anticipation of it for even for only a short duration caused the Lord Jesus Christ to cry out to God for another way and to sweat great drops of blood (Luke 22:39-44). We need to fear, not for ourselves, but for those who do not know Jesus. Our fear should drive us to engage unbelievers not as enemies but people in dire need of salvation.

4) Be confident.

I believe the temptation to celebrate the death of one who so loudly preached the religion of atheism is because it awards us a sense of vindication. We want to see people like Stephen Hawking defeated, humiliated, and condemned not out of any sort of righteous indignation, but because we want to be acknowledged as being right. We want to say “In your face!”. God calls us to humbly submit to Him and trust that in His time He will exalt us. He will vindicate our faith when the time is right (1st Peter 5:6-11). We needn’t worry we won’t get our due, our recognition, our victory. Look to the cross. Look to the resurrection. That is vindication. We don’t need to revel in the death of an atheist.

I pray we represent our Lord in a way that truly honors Him as we respond to the tragic passing of one Stephen Hawking.

1 thought on “What are we to do with Stephen Hawking?

  1. Linda Olson

    Thank you for reminding us. I wouldn’t have been loud vocally, but in my mind I was. It was not behavior not becoming of a believer. I really did need the reminder.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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