June 18, 2015

The Atheist’s Main Problem

by Donald G. Mashburn

A recent article on religion argued that an atheist’s belief that God doesn’t exist is as valid as other beliefs. The argument was that believing there is no God is merely the opposite of believing there is a God, and is just as easy.

That argument, however, ignores what God has done to reveal Himself. For to deny the existence of a Creator, requires one to ignore the greatest show and tell presentation known to mankind.

And therein lies the atheist’s problem.

God has revealed Himself to us is several ways. And they’re not hidden or difficult to know – not even for the unlearned, or those who view themselves as intellectuals.

First, anyone who understands how our world functions can see evidence that intelligent design and purpose were involved. Evolutionists recoil from the words “Intelligent Design” because they know it logically assumes a Creator.

But God, as Designer and Creator, didn’t need anyone’s assumptions or approval when He created the world of Genesis. David saw God’s creation and wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).

But however they rationalize their position, in the end, atheists must reject God’s ways of showing and telling us about Himself.

Man is one of God’s prime exhibits. An objective, rational study of human life leads to the conclusion that humans are indeed “wonderfully made.” And in our wonderfully made being, God placed that useful, often priceless, characteristic called “conscience.”

No other being has that inner voice that tells its owner that certain things are right or wrong, based solely on God’s Spirit speaking to our sense of “rightness” or “wrongness.”

We learn to be guided by our conscience, and that going against our conscience is wrong, as God’s Spirit speaks to our spirit.

A Creator would not leave His creation to “hunt and peck” for the right way to behave, to live and die. He would communicate with the created, to show His concern for them and to instruct them on what is expected of them.

God has done just that through His Word – delivered through humans chosen for their obedience and effectiveness, including prophets, kings, and apostles.

Moreover, God made His Word available to everyone whose understanding has been illuminated by God’s Spirit: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Those holy men wrote the accounts God directed them to reveal to us, including creation, and His plan of salvation by sending His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

This greatest of all gifts is God’s unmerited gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. And that is the atheist’s main problem aside from the one he faces if he rejects God.

Some may explain away the world’s existence with “just so” stories of evolutionism. The Bible may be called a collection of stories. But atheists can’t explain away the resurrected Christ, who died for our sins, and told beforehand of His death on the cross and of His resurrection on the third day.

It happened as Jesus said. After His resurrection, “He was seen by over 500 brethren at once” (1 Cor. 1). He also tarried 40 days and nights with His disciples, teaching and preparing them for ministry and “to be witnesses to me ... to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The historical authenticity of Jesus resurrection and post-resurrection appearances pose problems that neither atheists nor evolutionists can solve. Not being able to refute Jesus’ historicity, His detractors are left with trivializing and openly rejecting Him.

Jesus said, “The one who comes to me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). By rejecting Jesus’ gift of eternal life, the atheist creates his most serious problem of all: Where will he spend eternity?

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The Fairest Cape

(Cape of Good Hope)

When seaports are named the world around
There’s a name none can escape
Of a bay, a port, and peninsula
By Africa’s famous Cape

Its beauty’s known in legends old
Its storms spawn tales of woe
Of the sailors, ships, and wealth it claimed
Only the sea itself can know

Against its rocky shores the waves
From two oceans are unfurled
To sculpt the fairest cape of all
To be seen in all the world

When Sir Francis Drake first saw Good Hope
At its feet the oceans swirled
He wrote ’twas fairer than any cape
He’d seen in all the world

Its grandeur’s diminished not at all
Its beauty’s fresh, pristine
As the Atlantic frames God’s handiwork
And His rains oft wash it clean

To view it go to old Capetown;
Make it your port of call
See what De Gama called the Cape of Storms
Tho’ its the fairest cape of all

For Capetown serves up the bounty of
Two oceans where they meet
The Atlantic, wild, the Indian, blue
Mix at Cape of Good Hope’s feet

Drink in its beauty, taste its air
Its ambience savor long
Then you’ll understand just why
It’s famed in poem and song

And sailing out of Table Bay
South, from Capetown’s sea-washed air
You’ll see of all the capes there are
T
he fairest of the fair.

—Donald G. Mashburn