Does this make personal faith or doctrinal religion pointless? No, not really, but it puts both in perspective, and deglorifies both, for nothing that pertains to this transitory life, even the means we make use of to go beyond it, is worthy of praise.
Only One is worthy, and His sovereignty without qualification unthrones all our self-salvation mechanisms. Whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not, His life and salvific work has an effect on you. In fact, He does not wait for you to recognize Him before He will save you. This may sound like doctrinal monergism, but it is not. The synergy that intertwines the human and Divine natures is so pervasive, so total, that from some vantage points, it may look like predestination, or some other human construct we can name. Yet He does nothing without us.
So, an Atheist can be saved? Isn’t that what some claim the Roman pope has recently opined?—that is, if popes can be said to ‘opine’. Normally they dogmatize, and keep the tracks of their holy predecessors covered. If Atheists can be saved, then what’s the point of believing, being a Christian, and putting up with all those religious obligations? Well, that’s a very good question believers need to ask themselves, because their answer may lead them to a more deliberate, more honest, posture. If he meant nothing else, perhaps the pope meant to draw to our attention not the fate of Atheists, but of ourselves. What is it we want? What is it we are working for?
‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’