The Battlefront of the Conscience (continued from yesterday)
The atheist can deny all he wants and try to argue against God's existence from an intellectual standpoint. It is both foolish and futile for the Christian to war on this front because knowledge is not the issue and some atheists are a lot smarter than I am. But try as he may, the atheist cannot explain why his conscience opposes his human nature. But we know why because God's Word tells us that God's law is written on everybodies heart and our knowledge of right and wrong testifies both to God's existence, and man's alienation from this God.
Rom 2:14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
Rom 2:15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.
"The evidence is not the problem Niels, it's because you love your sin too much". Niels, the atheist, stood there staring at me (actually he was sitting). I was at Defcon One preparing myself for a flying fist coming my way at any moment. I could see that my comment had really detonated a bomb somewhere inside of Niels. But then, suddenly he looked down somewhat embarrassed and said "I guess that's true".
From there I pleaded with Niels to look into the mirror of God's moral law and see his sinfulness. I reminded him that he will answer to the Creator one day Who sees everything he has ever done, spoken, and even thought. Niels could see that he had lied, stolen, lusted (which is adultery in God's eyes), and hated (murder in God's eyes), and that if the Bible is true then he deserved Hell. From there I had a reference point to make sense of the Cross and the hope of the resurrected Christ.
It seems ironic that in a world with so many "seeker sensitive" mega churches built on a catch cry of "relevance" that they have neglected to fully explain the universal guilt of mankind. I can't think of anything more relevant than the fact that "all have sinned". Sure it might get mentioned from time to time, but rarely is it explained. Sin by definition is transgression of God's law (I John 3:4) and I fail to see how an individual could fathom their sinfulness without an understanding of God's law.
Niels was shaken but not stirred to repentance, at least for now. But at least he now goes to sleep at night no longer deluded that his unbelief is based on lack of proof but rather his love of sin. I hope he wrestles with this reality and that it will ultimately drive him to his knees crying out for salvation. Pray for Niels, and for boldness in the mission field of atheism, and for wisdom to fight the battles that matter.
Reasoning from sin, righteousness, and judgment is effective with all sinners. Because they all have a common Maker, and what He says about them is always true.
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