Christian leader, you remember these words written from Paul to Timothy. Given the context, it sounds rather like he was quoting them in the same way we might quote a poem or hymn. Do you trust these words? They are powerful!
These words confirm what we know deep in our hearts: that God’s faithfulness to us does not depend on our faithfulness to Him. If it did, what straits we would be in! On the contrary, our faithfulness to Him depends on His faithfulness to us.
Let’s assume you’ve bought a present for one of your children. Would you tell them that if they will believe that you bought it for them, then you will give it to them, but if they don’t believe then you will throw it away? Of course not. You tell them that you have bought it for them. If they believe you, they can be excited and happy immediately and look forward to receiving, opening, and using it. If they don’t believe you, then they have no immediate joy and hope. They’ll still eventually receive the present from you and enjoy it, but they will have missed out on some of the hope and joy they could have had.
Even so, the atheist will receive life in heaven just as we will. The difference is that we who believe have been given the privilege of knowing and looking forward to it. The atheist deprives himself of joy and blessing in this life.
Jesus Christ is faithful, even when we are faithless.