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Saturday, August 02, 2014

Why Atheists Do Not Believe In God

Major religious groups
Major religious groups (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For some unknown reason I have been getting into conversations with atheists lately - online and face to face. Needless to say, the views expressed were very painful for me to listen to and to read. My suggestion that atheists should think about what would happen if they were to die and discover that God does exist was shot down as a "fear tactic." One person called it Pascal's Wager.  I checked out Pascal's Wager and found that it "is an attempt to justify belief in God not with an appeal to evidence for his existence but rather with an appeal to self-interest." http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/theistic-proofs/pascals-wager/

The article goes on to point out that "if one believes in the Christian God then if he exists then one receives an infinitely great reward and if he does not exist then one loses little or nothing." In other words, the believer believes in God, just in case. Pascal's Wager is also based on the premise that God may or may not exist, which is not what I, or any other Christian, believe. Christians believe that God does exist based on our faith in Jesus Christ ( who, by the way, Pascal never mentions).

My suggestion that atheists should think about what would happen if they were to die without Christ is no "fear tactic." The Bible tells us, "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed" (Romans 2: 5). I don't want to have to face God's wrath, but that's not the only reason I believe. I believe because I have that conviction in my soul that God is real. The way He answers - or chooses not to answer - my prayers, the manifestation of His love in my life everyday, the infallible truth of His Holy Word and the way He has changed my life. I cannot live without Him.

There were scoffers and doubters in the Bible. They needed proof that Jesus was the Christ. Even Thomas, one of Jesus' own disciples, doubted that He had risen from the grave.  When the other disciples told him they had seen the Lord, Thomas replied, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it" (John 20: 25).

So what did Jesus do? He went back to the house just to show Thomas the wound in His side and the nail prints in his hands. Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"  Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (v 28 - 29).

An atheist I spoke with recently gave me a fantastic story about Jesus being taken off the cross by Pontius Pilate because he didn't want Jesus killed. Even though this person said he has read the Bible from cover to cover, this is what he chooses to believe. Others have made up similar stories to dispute the resurrection. Why? According to the Bible, "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts --" (John 12 : 40).

Unless God opens the eyes of the atheists and softens their hearts, they will continue to disbelieve God's existence. Therefore we as Christians should not argue with them. We can only pray that one day God will "open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light" (Acts 26: 18).




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