ANSWER: An atheist is someone who denies the existence of God. However, before one can be an atheist and positively assert “there is no God,” he must presumptuously assume for himself the wisdom and omnipresence of God. He must essentially be everywhere and know everything to have any confidence in his theory. You might say that, in order to prove there is no God, you would have to be God. Therefore, even the atheist believes what he believes by faith. And so the bottom line is actually, whom are you going to believe: man’s reasoning or God’s Word?
The Word of God makes no effort to prove God’s existence; that fact is taken for granted. The very first verse of the Bible refutes atheism. This verse declares that there is a God, that He is alive and that He created us. Because He created the heaven and Earth, we will someday answer to Him.
Because the first step toward salvation is the knowledge of God, we must somehow reach every man with that fact. The Bible says faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). And without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). So in order to witness to an atheist, you must use the Bible. He may not want to read it, but you can slip it in from time to time in your conversation. As is said of the beautiful, “It may be shown but not proved,” so we say of the existence of God.
My experience has been that most people who claim to be atheists do so for the shock value. They don’t want to talk about religion and find that to be an effective way to turn the conversation. Give them time, love, patience, kindness and a consistent Christian life and you’ll win them to Christ. The lost world knows how a Christian is to act. If you drink, smoke, tell or laugh at dirty jokes, your atheist friends will never come to Christ. Do you attend church regularly and live your Christianity 24/7? The world expects that a Christian would pray and read the Bible and be significantly different (no night clubs, partying, gambling, etc.).
You might use some logic. There does seem to be some indirect proof that points to God’s existence as the necessary ground and condition of the existence of anything else. First, the law of cause and effect demands that the universe came from someone or something at least equal to it. Second, the law of order is demonstrated by all things having their use, order pervades the universe, and the methods of nature are rational methods. Man’s moral conscience cannot be satisfactorily explained without a holy Lawgiver and Judge. You might also ask how else we could account for the fulfillment of prophecy, miracles and conversion (the moral and spiritual change in man) apart from the existence of God?
The Word of God is logical, practical and harmonious with every fact of nature. Be patient. Always remember that someone is watching you to see if what you have is real. Is it?
Do you have a question? You can contact Pastor MacDonald by writing to this paper or New Testament Baptist Church, 2501 S. 1st Ave., Safford, AZ 85546; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.