December 24, 2003

The Atheist's 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 – God’s unmerited gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ – is the insurmountable hurdle in the atheist’s problem.

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: Where will he spend eternity?

t last garage sale. Christ is forever.