Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do Atheists Exist? Part 1

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”

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