Psalm 14:1a states,The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”  Presumably, such a person also does not believe in heaven or hell.  So, if God,  heaven, and hell actually do exist, what are the implications for atheists and agnostics?  This article will attempt to explain why it is crucial for everyone to give serious thought to what their eternal destiny will be.

In this regard, we will first briefly consider what the Bible says about sin and the ultimate penalty for sin. [Note:  When we quote Scripture in this article, we use the wording in the New King James Version of the Bible.]

The Bible indicates that everyone has sinned.  This includes even those who earnestly attempt to live a righteous life.  Romans 3:23 declares, “[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. . . .”

The Bible also declares that the penalty for sin is spiritual death, which results in eternal punishment.  However, God demonstrates His mercy and His grace by offering the gift of eternal life (i.e., salvation from eternal punishment) to every person who genuinely trusts in His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior (or Redeemer).  Romans 6:23 asserts, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 3:16-18, which amplifies what is stated in Romans 6:23, says,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And, Revelation 20:15 indicates what will happen to people who have not genuinely trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  This verse of scripture states, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”  The Book of Life refers to God’s written record of the people whom He regards as righteous – particularly, if not exclusively, every person who has genuinely trusted in His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior.  And, the lake of fire that is mentioned in the same scripture is regarded by most Christian Bible scholars as a reference to eternal (i.e., everlasting) hell.

Thus, the foregoing scriptures indicate not only that there are severe eternal consequences for unforgiven sins, but also that God offers everyone an infinitely better alternative.  Before we further address this alternative, we encourage you to read our article entitled “Is the Bible Reliable?,” which discusses reasons to trust that the Bible is completely credible.  We believe that anyone who objectively considers those reasons will conclude that there is ample evidence that what is written in the Bible is trustworthy.  [To read that article and other articles that we reference in this article, click on their titles.]

Also, we encourage you to read our articles entitled “Does It Really Matter What You Believe?” and “What Must a Person Do to Be Assured of Eternal Salvation?”  These two articles should make it clear that trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior is the only way a person can be certain of having eternal life.

Next, consider what a person can expect after their physical death if they have eternal life.  Our article entitled “What Will Eternity Be Like for Christians?” addresses this matter.  One of the things that can be concluded from that article is that eternal life will provide unending bliss for every person whom God regards as righteous.  Subsequent to the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on a cross, this status of righteousness necessitates genuine trust in Him as their Savior.

But, what if a person does not decide to trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior?  What can that person expect insofar as eternity is concerned?  Will that person just cease to exist after the death of their physical body or will there be some type of punishment to endure?  As we previously indicated with regard to Revelation 20:15, the Bible makes it sufficiently clear that a person who does not genuinely trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior should expect to go to eternal hell.  Our article entitled “What Is Hell Really Like?” discusses what eternal hell will be like.


The evidence that we have presented in this article and in the other articles that we have referenced indicates that everyone, including atheists and agnostics, would be wise to give ample thought to their eternal destiny.  If people are not willing to seriously consider what is presented in those articles, or even if they do consider what is stated in those articles but do not trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior, the Bible indicates that their decision will result in severe eternal consequences for them.  Therefore, it is of utmost importance for everyone who is not a genuine Christian to not only objectively read those articles, but also to give serious consideration to the eternal implications of those articles.