while back, I defined an atheist as someone who disbelieves in or denies the existence of God. I also said that I’ve met very few true atheists. But just recently I met one…a man who genuinely sees no reason to believe in the existence of God or any higher power whatever…and I believe he is very sincere.
We had a short, but interesting conversation and he asked me if I had ever considered becoming an atheist. I replied that I’d tried to embrace atheism during my teen years, but I simply didn’t have enough faith.
In reality, I can’t prove that there is a God anymore than he can prove that there isn’t. It is like the debate about whether man landed on the moon or not. Astronaut interviews, lunar photos or moon rocks are fruitless to someone who has already concluded that travel to the moon is impossible.
I do, however, have several reasons for believing that God exists. Creation itself with its order, symmetry and beauty, demanding that there be a creator, is just one of them. Psalm 19:1ff poetically highlights this saying, “The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God.”
But one of the greatest proofs is the atheists themselves. It seems that no one talks more about God than those who say that there is no God. If He is not, then what is the big deal? Don’t we tend to leave alone those who are not? But the tendency of many deniers is to debate His existence and demean His followers. Why?
Because mankind cannot sidestep thinking about God. So much evidence surrounds us that it is nearly impossible to avoid pondering the possibility of God. And in running from the evidence of His existence, we discover that He is in loving pursuit of us. He wants to be discovered and He wants us to be recovered!
Both Malcolm Muggeridge and C.S. Lewis attest to this. Muggeridge wrote, “I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued.” Lewis said that, “…night after night…I sensed the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. Finally, I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed…”
God created us with the intention that we should come to know Him and to fellowship with Him…and until that happens we wander; when we know Him we enter into wonder!
“God has done all this, so that we will look for him and reach out and find him. He isn’t far from any of us…” (Acts 17:27).
— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church