According to the Christian Post, they have taken out ads like the one here, showing other atheists that they are not alone in their unbelief. The real newsflash is that there is nothing new about unbelief. It is only by God’s grace that anyone believes in the Bible and the gospel of Christ. So some atheists claiming that they are right because there are more and more unbelievers every day really proves nothing on their part.
In the ad, young Evan is all happy now that he is out of the closet. I guess atheists feel like they have had to remain in the closet because of their unbelief, but the only people who put them there is themselves. The true Christian knows and understands that there are a lot of atheists, even in our churches. We get it. As I already said, it takes God’s grace in the life of a person for them to believe in Christ and be saved. Just because young Evan read the Bible and didn’t believe proves nothing at all. It is like the guy who went to church once, so he thinks he is a Christian, or he went and because he read the Bible, now has all understanding and wisdom he needs to make a wise decision.
I wonder if Evan sat under any good teaching, or did he just read it on his own, with his darkened mind unable to grasp that which is spiritual? I imagine the latter. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 shows us that Evan’s mind is darkened. It takes an act of God for the enlightenment needed for him to understand the word of God. The problem is, the atheists think that because they have read the Bible once or twice, they are now experts on Christianity. They are not. It takes years of study, WITH an enlightened mind to understand Christianity in any way that truly matters. Evan probably read the Scripture with the typical condemning view that most atheists read Scripture. They come to the first three words of the Bible, In the beginning, God… and scoff (three words in Hebrew). As if the God of all the universe is going to honor reading the Scripture in such a manner.
What does the Scripture say about wisdom? Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. From the outset, the atheists is already doomed because he does not believe in the God who is. He doesn’t entertain the thought that He might truly exist. He reads from a stand point of unbelief and continues down that road. God is in no way bound to show grace to anyone, much less the scoffer.
The assumption many make in Christian circles it that because we have free wills to exercise as we please, then all we need to do is get the atheists to read the Bible and he will decide to choose God for himself. The atheists believe this too and they have exercised their free will in the realm of unbelief.
But unbelief is the rule, not the exception to the rule. Faith in Christ is by grace and grace alone. When someone believes in Christ it is because God has moved in their hearts and minds to work belief in us (Ephesians 2:8-10). It is all God’s hand, not ours. He gets all the glory and we get to be saved.
This is why I don’t believe in free will. The Bible never addresses free will. It tells us of the bondage of sin, and the corruptness of the heart, and how we are slaves to sin until we are saved, then we become slaves to righteousness. The point is that it is our hearts that guide and direct us, not some concept of free will. God must give us a new heart in order to believe the Bible and the gospel. When we read of someone like Evan, there should be no surprise at all. His hearts is bound by sin. Of course he didn’t trust in Christ to be saved. That is what we should expect.
It is when the Holy Spirit moves in someone who does read the Bible, like me, and He gives us eyes to see, ears to hear and a new heart to believe, that we should be surprised. Why? Because the God of all the universe has redeemed us from the mass of humanity that all deserve damnation and hell. It is all grace. He chooses who is and is not saved. It is His decision, not ours.
However, this does not remove the responsibility that we have. Even though we do not have the ability to believe without God moving in us, we are still responsible to do so. Yet, in our bondage, we would choose what is most natural to us, we would choose darkness. As Jesus tells us: And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Poor Evan. He needs the Spirit working in his life. Let’s pray to that end. Maybe God will show him grace, and work faith in his heart so that he comes to believe in the Bible he read. As for the atheists spending money to shore up their position of unbelief, let them. They are only living out the unbelief they were born into.