Engaging in Theological debate with Atheists is an eye-opening experience and a gut-wrenching endeavor knowing that vast numbers of American youth, as well as men and women around the World, will ultimately die in their sin and die a second death in Hell for having rejected the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ – Yeshua.
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24 (NASB)
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36 (NASB)
The chronology of a Christian – Atheistic debate generally follows the following protocol:
- Why do you believe the Bible is true?
- Once this is explained, the Atheist moves on to a list of various Scriptures that they believe brings reproach upon the God of the Bible – generally quoting from the Levitical Law relevant to slavery, rape, homosexuality or quotes from the Historical Books impugning the truth of the Exodus, the “atrocities” of the Hebrew-Pagan wars or the Genesis account of Creation, order of Creation and their perceived “hilarity” of the Noahic Flood.
- Once these “contradictions” and accusations are successfully rebutted, the Atheist then attacks the veracity and truth of Scripture by insisting that certain Books of the Bible are forgeries – especially the Pauline Epistles (dealing with homosexuality), that the Bible is replete with “contradictions” while the “oldest Bible,” the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, are riddled with errors and are the work of unscrupulous scribes.
- Once these arguments are rebutted I generally end with the explanation that the same Creator-God who ignited the Sun, hung the Moon, created and sustains Life, this same Creator is infinitely capable of providing His creation with the exact words He desires they have. This inevitably motivates the now angry and resentful Atheist to decry my rebuttal with personal attacks relevant to my sanity, my naivete, my lack of knowledge relevant to science-evolution, my obvious lack of education and a failure to read other books than the fairy-tale Bible…on and on it goes…far too often intermingled with vulgarity, obscenity, even MEME’s of semen laden nuns and Bible, MEME’s mocking Jesus Christ…photo’s and words I will not attach here…but…it is generally about this time in the debate that the Atheist makes their final stand…the encore of their foolishness, rebuttal and rebellion with the iconic demand i.e. PROVE IT!!! “PROVE the Bible is true, PROVE your God exists!!!” “You can’t use the Bible as proof…your arguments are ‘circular’ – that’s a ‘strawman fallacy’ – YOU’RE WRONG…YOU’RE A LIAR”…on and on and on goes the rhetorical atheistic rebuttal.
It has been said “The Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be proclaimed, not debated.” Though I agree wholeheartedly with this proclamation, I also believe that in these last days God’s Truth should be shouted-out into the darkness even if the pearls of LIFE are trampled underfoot by those wandering the road to perdition…perhaps one will take heed and a seed will fall upon fertile ground.
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6 (NASB)
A Line in the Sand
Debate after debate after debate…the Atheist ultimately demands PROOF that our Creator exists and insists that the Creator, this so called “Jesus,” can NEVER be proven with “EVIDENCE” – “EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE” that aligns with the Scientific Model; after all, “science” is the new god of the “enlightened Progressive,” Atheist-Humanist-Secularist-Satanist-Moral Relativist-Darwinist and nothing can be true unless it conforms to the will of the “science god.”
Herein lies the line-in-the-sand between Heaven and Hell, Life and Death, Eternity and Time, Spiritual and Carnal, Understanding and Deception, Truth and Lies. What has our Lord told us about His reality, His dominion, Power and Strength and why does the proclamation of the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ invoke such animus from the Atheist and their godless Ilk? What differentiates those who “believe” that Jesus is Lord from those who reject Jesus Christ and fight against His realty with such fervency and hatred? Is there a “secret” to knowing God and His will for our life?
The Atheist and “Proof”
Though the following statement will initially sound defeatist in nature, understand that I do not believe it is possible to provide irrefutable “proof” of our Lord’s existence to the Atheist. Even the most knowledgeable and astute Christian apologist will struggle in futility when attempting to convince an Atheist of God’s existence. Why? The Apostle Paul initiates reasoning for my argument in his profound letter to the Church at Rome…
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Romans 1:18-23 (NASB)
Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tell us that mankind intuitively knows that our Creator exists and evidence for this is provided by nature i.e. “by what has as been made.” Paul also tells us that the “evidence” for our Creator’s existence is so profound and irrefutable that anyone who rejects said evidence will be “without excuse” at their Eternal Judgment before Jesus Christ – The Great White Throne Judgment.
It is also very interesting to note that Paul does not end there but continues with an explanation relevant to the resultant of ignoring the irrefutable evidence of our Creator’s existence and dominion…
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. Romans 1:24-27 (NASB)
As Paul explains, there is an undeniable resultant for rejecting the evidence of our Creator’s existence and dominion e.g. a pursuit of aberrant, self-destructive behavior that wars against one’s own body; a compromise with the debased-nature of mankind and an obsession with the gratification of the flesh-sensuality i.e. aberrant lust.
Paul continues in the chronology of a falling away from, a rejection of the Truth of our Creator’s existence…
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32 (NASB)
Paul explains that as the unbeliever, the Atheist, continues in their rejection of Truth, our Lord ultimately permits them to internalize a debased or “depraved mind” manifesting in self-destructive and socially destructive behaviors while endeavoring to find justification and rationalization for their antisocial conduct within the group dynamic.
So what is the relevance of these most profound words shared in Paul’s Epistle to the Church at Rome? We see that the Atheist’s rejection of evidence relevant to our Creator’s existence initiates a progressive falling-away from Truth and Knowledge of God’s will, God’s plan, God’s redemption. This explains why so few older, elderly individuals seek the will of God and never find salvation in Jesus Christ; obviously, the continued rejection of Messiah ultimately culminates in a hardened heart, a soul that no longer hears the call of the Holy Spirit, a “depraved mind” that seeks the deception of this World and its god, Satan.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)
Why is the Atheist encumbered with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear?
With these Scriptures in mind, we begin the journey to explain why the hearing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is most often insufficient to convince the Atheist of their need for forgiveness of sin or even the truth that sin exists. I am amazed to hear the Atheistic rebuttal exclaiming that they don’t believe in Satan, Sin or Jesus Christ; therefore, they are not sinners. The KEY to understanding why “evidence” alone will never be sufficient for the Atheist to come to a knowledge of the Truth is articulated in the following Scriptures…keep in mind the previous chronology of falling-away and the “depraved mind” that manifests subsequent to the rejection of Nature as evidence of God’s existence…
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NASB) Note: [Satan] added by me for clarification.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
In these Scriptures we see that as a result of the “depraved mind,” the Gospel is actually “veiled” and that the “natural man” (those who actively reject or simply don’t know of Jesus Christ) are unable to “accept the things of the Spirit” – Why? Because “they are spiritually appraised.” In other words, to understand God’s will, His plans, purposes, destiny, one must posses the indwelling Holy Spirit which is the Gift of God to all who place their faith, their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and seek to live a life in obedience to His Word and His will.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:7-14 (NASB)
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13 (NASB)
Subsequent to reading the Scriptures presented thus far, one might rightly ask the question…“How can anyone actually be saved seeing that the Holy Spirit is necessary in order for knowledge and wisdom concerning our Lord to manifest?” In asking this question we discover the answer relevant to why the Atheist will never be convinced of our Creator’s existence regardless of the amount or veracity of evidence or Scripture presented in an argument. Consider the following words of Jesus Christ…
And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:27-31 (NASB)
A very powerful statement from Jesus Christ relevant to the power and persuasion of sin having manifest in a debased, “depraved mind” that will not believe…“‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
So then, how does the Atheist find life, spiritual truth and salvation when their mind is entrapped by their sin, their lust, their deception and their father, Satan?
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:42-47 (NASB)
Jesus teaches us that the unbeliever does not hear or comprehend the Word of God because they, the Atheist, “are not of God.“
Therefore, it is Scriptural-Doctrinal truth that the Atheist will not be persuaded by our words of Truth but ONLY by humbling themselves and seeking that Truth in faith. Our God, Jesus Christ, is a Gentleman in His attributes and He will never force Himself upon anyone in an attempt to coerce them to believe. Yes, the Lord via the Holy Spirit does call, does woo, but never coerces anyone’s love or affection. Why? From before Time and Creation, our Lord has desired “RELATIONSHIP” with His created beings; therefore, our Creator infused volition (the ability to chose) in every man, woman and child…this volition is necessary in order that relationship manifest in truth and honesty; otherwise, relationship becomes robotic-forced-coerced and thus not authentic or genuine.
Relationship = Knowledge-Assurance-Faith
As we observed in Romans 1, our Lord has provided sufficient evidence for mankind to take the initiative and diligently seek our Creator through study of His Word and through prayer. Before anyone can begin to discover the Truths of God, His will and His plan, they must first step-out in faith and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God to the glory of the Heavenly Father…one must believe that Jesus is God and that He died to provide a pardon for the sins of mankind.
Why is this profession of faith in Jesus Christ necessary in order to initiate the acquisition of spiritual knowledge?
Our Creator is a Warrior God and He does NOT reveal the secrets of the Kingdom to His Enemies, but when one diligently seeks Him and desires to know Him and expresses this desire through loyalty and fervency in seeking Spiritual Truth and Wisdom…our Lord is faithful to reciprocate and provide this knowledge as we humble ourselves and are obedient to His will. This process is incremental and manifests over time; therefore, as we continue to seek knowledge, more knowledge is revealed…much like peeling away the layers of an onion…it is through faithfulness, obedience, prayer and diligence that we mature, that we grow in the knowledge of our Lord and accompanying this knowledge there is increasing assurance, faith, joy and contentment – this ever deepening and most coveted relationship is ONLY possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit of Truth.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 (NASB)
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
So then, when the Atheist demands “evidence” of our Lord’s existence and dominion over their lives, always be faithful to tell them of God’s plan and purposes in Jesus Christ but know that until the Atheist is willing to humble themself and “first” accept the evidence presented by nature that our Creator does exist and possesses dominion…until the Atheist is willing to diligently seek the Lord with an open and honest heart, our Creator will remain an enigma, a mystery and as a result of their obsessive-compulsive infatuation with lust and sensuality, the Atheist will often times rebut your proselytizing efforts with obscenity, vulgarity, hatred and accusations of bigotry, sexism and homophobia.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-13 (NASB)
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. John 15:18-19 (NASB)
It is important to explain to the Atheist that as a result of their rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior they are an enemy of the Living God and while living in disobedience to the will of God for their life their prayers are hindered, their prayers are impotent and will remain so unless they are first offering a petition of repentance and salvation – in other words – our Lord does NOT hear the prayers of the wicked, the unrepentant, unless said prayer is one seeking forgiveness of sin and acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as Lord.
God Bless and MARANATHA!
Rickey D. Holtsclaw
Progressivism – Satan’s Party of Death: https://rickeyholtsclaw.com/2018/01/26/progressivism-satans-party-of-death/
President Trump – A Warning-A Prophecy-A Plea: https://rickeyholtsclaw.com/2017/09/08/president-trump-a-warning-a-prophecy-a-plea/
Atheism – The Crippled Mind: https://rickeyholtsclaw.com/2018/01/13/atheism-the-crippled-mind/
Atheist Ask the Most Difficult Question (Gospel of Jesus Christ – explained): https://rickeyholtsclaw.com/2018/01/15/atheist-asks-the-most-difficult-question/
Reading the Bible – Overwhelming? Not Really: https://rickeyholtsclaw.com/2018/02/12/reading-the-bible-overwhelming-not-really/