The Great Debate Part 2
Do Atheists Exist?
For centuries now men have been debating the existence of God. Just think about that; men who were created by God debating about whether or not that God exists, little men attempting to bring the almighty Creator before the bar of their finite judgment! If it were not such a crime it might be something to laugh at.
But the fact of the matter is that men will not sit in judgment upon God, but God will sit in judgment upon man. And in that great and terrible day of judgment, all delusions will be set aside and all self-deceptions will be swept away. Everything will finally be set right and reality will be clearly seen by all of mankind. And in that day, it will be acknowledged by all that atheists did not exist.
Scripture tells us that deep down inside all men know that God exists through what He has made. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3) “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes have been clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
All men will be “without excuse” on the day of judgment. No one will be able to say that they did not know that God existed. Every time we open our eyes creation is right there in our face, so to speak, testifying to the existence and greatness of God. But we don’t even really have to go that far; we don’t even have to open our eyes, for we ourselves are a part of God’s creation and as those who are created in God’s image our very being testifies to the glory, greatness, and existence of God. We are a revelation of God unto ourselves.
But not only does all of creation testify to the existence and attributes of God, but each person’s conscience testifies to the righteous requirements of God’s moral law (see Romans 1:32 and Romans 2:12-16). Everyone knows His moral standards. Even those who have seared their conscience to the point where they cannot see their own sins will still see them in others. Steal from the most hardened thief or attempt to kill the most hardened murderer and they will both quickly recognize your wrongdoing. Everyone knows God’s moral standards deep down inside, they are part of who we are as creatures originally created in the image of God (Romans 2:15).
As creatures who are created by God and spend our entire existence within the creation of God, the knowledge of God is inescapable! This places the fallen, sin loving human race in a profound conundrum; if we acknowledge the true God’s existence then it follows that we must seek Him, submit to Him, worship Him and obey Him but that is the last thing that sinful men want to do. We don‘t want a holy God telling us what to do!
On the other hand, if we acknowledge God and refuse to submit to Him, then we must spend all of our days in the bitter shadow of “the Day” of judgment feeling the constant weight of the guilt of all of our sins. What’s a fallen man to do?
But sin is never lacking in ingenuity, the answer is simple: Don’t acknowledge the true God. Stifle and suppress what we know to be true (see Romans 1:18-23), invent a lie more to our liking and pretend that the lie is true. As Romans 1:25 puts it we “exchange the truth of God for a lie”.
For some this means worshipping false gods, for others it might mean going to church and using parts of the Bible to create a false version of the true God. And for others it might mean simply denying that any God at all really exists. In these and other ways men can quiet their consciences while at the same time hanging on to their dearly beloved sins.
This then is the great crime of mankind: we know deep down inside that the true and Holy God exists but we refuse to seek Him. We refuse to worship Him, we refuse to obey Him, we refuse to thank Him and we even refuse to acknowledge He exists. Instead we invent the most absurd ideas and lies (such as evolution) and pretend that they are true. And not only do we espouse the most foolish absurdities but while we do it we pretend that we are very wise for figuring them out! As Romans 1:22, 23 Puts it “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”
So Atheism, like all other false religions is a crutch. It is an opiate to calm the fear of judgment and shut the mouth of a guilty conscience. It is a lie desperately clung to by sinful minds in order to escape reality!
My dear reader, all of us have been guilty of this very same sin. All of us have exchanged the truth of God for a lie at one point or another and God’s judgment has been unavoidably clear. As Romans 1:18 puts it “…the wrath of God is revealed from heaven…”, in other words we can see it all around us. Because we have loved sin, He has given us over to its power. Because we have loved darkness He has given us darkened minds. Because we wanted a lie, He has given us minds prone to believe lies. (See Romans 1:24, 26, 28 and 2 Thessalonians 2:11)
We gave up the glorious truth of God for vain, literally “empty”, speculations, but our hearts did not stay empty but became “…filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:29-32). The seeds of every sin have taken root in our hearts!
We were created to glorify (reflect) God and to have fellowship with Him. We were created to be God-centered and wired to find fulfillment, joy, happiness and peace in God, in submission to His Law. “….In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forever more.” Psalms 16:11
But we have shaken our little fists at God and have each turned aside from our intended purpose to go our own way (Romans 3:9-18). We have sought fulfillment, joy, happiness and peace in the fleeting and temporary pleasures of sin. We have traded eternal delight in the true God for a small mouth full of dust We worship and love the creation while despising the Creator. We have dishonored the infinite God and now our sin has taken on an infinite character.
Each one of us has become the prodigal son; a mutinous, self-centered infantile traitor. Each one of us a Judas and a rebel. God feeds us, sustains us, gives us air to breath and keeps our hearts beating. He gives us good and pleasant things such as food, friends, family and more and what is our response? We bite the hand that feeds us! We don’t thank Him when things go well and we complain about Him when times get hard.
Our desire to free ourselves from the yoke of God’s rule and from the reality of His existence is nothing less than a declaration of war against Him. It is our little attempt to throw off His Law and govern ourselves; the created trying to usurp the authority of the creator. The punishment for our rebellion?: Eternal confinement under His wrath and displeasure in a place we call Hell, a place that cannot even qualify as life and is therefore called the “second death” (see Revelation 20:14). This is the punishment for rebellion against God, as Romans 6:23 puts it “the wages of sin is death”.
Because we have wanted sin so badly, God has given it dominion over us and now here we are; enslaved to our corruption and helpless to free ourselves from the guilt of our sins and the lusts of our hearts. We are estranged from God and always fighting with each other.
But when we could do nothing to help ourselves God provided the way of escape. He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer that death on behalf of sinners. God became man and suffered the wrath of God that man deserved. The Eternal God paid the eternal price that we as finite creatures could never fully pay. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)
Death being the punishment of sin, and Jesus having paid for sin in full, death could no longer hold Him so He arose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, receiving any who will cry out to Him for salvation! “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts:4:12
Christ lived the perfect life that God demands we live, and Christ paid the debt for sin that God demands we pay. Now His perfect life and His payment of debt can be credited to us if we will simply look to Him repentantly, humbly and in faith, as the only one able to save us.
My dear professing Atheist; refusing to acknowledge reality will not change reality in the slightest. Refusing to believe in the God who created you will not make Him go away and cannot release you from the guilt of your sin. Acknowledge your God, surrender to Him and He will graciously receive you as His own dear child. Look repentantly to Him and He will look favorably and compassionately upon you.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.”
Isaiah 55:6, 7