Only hours after noted author Christopher Hitchens died of cancer, several of his famous Christian friends were declaring that the atheist would finally know that God is real.

"He was left, I was right, but we had great debates, great drinking bouts," conservative radio host Bill Bennett said on CBS Thursday. "And I hope as the big atheist that he was, he's in for a big surprise."

Pastor Rick Warren called Hitchens a "friend" in a post on Twitter.

"I loved & prayed for him constantly & grieve his loss," Warren wrote. "He knows the Truth now."

But not all of Hitchens friends used the occasion of his death to trumpet the existence of God.

"Christopher Hitchens, finest orator of our time, fellow horseman, valiant fighter against all tyrants including God," fellow atheist and author Richard Dawkins tweeted.

Watch this video from CBS's The Early Show, broadcast Dec. 16, 2011.