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Atheists and God's Existence #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
February 28, 2024 12:00 am

Atheists and God's Existence #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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February 28, 2024 12:00 am

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Welcome to the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word. Today Don is continuing with the second part of a message we started last time.

So let's get right to it. Open your Bible as we join Don now in the Truth Pulpit. As we read on now in Psalm 14, the majesty, the holiness, the sobriety of what we're about to see here is quite staggering. After having said this in verse one, David now calls God himself as a witness to the truthfulness of what he has just said. In verse two, David says, the Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside. Together they have become corrupt.

There is none who does good, not even one. In verse two, that we're setting forth from Scripture, and so important to understanding Psalm 14 in its own context, is to realize that David is looking beyond the world. He's looking beyond man now. And he's going to a transcendent source. He's going to God himself to vindicate what is being said. And he says that God is God himself looks down as a witness on the actions and the attitudes of man. He examines what is being said. To realize that this omniscient God is looking on the entirety of humanity and reaching a conclusion, reaching a verdict on them all, staggers us into abject humility.

Are there any exceptions to the conviction? Are there any wise people among the fools? Close examination yields no results, yields no fruit. It's a sweeping indictment. All have turned aside.

No one does good. He states it emphatically, not even one. And if you'll turn to Romans chapter three to help us understand the fullness as we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, we'll see that the Apostle Paul takes this statement and applies it to all of humanity, Jews and Greeks alike. So that in verse nine of Romans chapter three, we read, what then? Are we Jews any better off?

No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks are under sin as it is written. None is righteous. No, not one. No one understands. No one seeks for God. All have turned aside. Together they have become worthless. No one does good.

Not even one. They're corrupt like spoiled milk. There is no integrity to their hostility against God. There is no value to their arguments. There's no truth to their opposition.

Scripture describes the entire human race as hopelessly perverted. They deny God, not because he hasn't spoken, but because he has a purpose. They deny God because he hasn't spoken, not because he's failed to reveal himself adequately.

They deny God because they do not like God. And we've turned here multiple times, and this will probably be the last time that we turn here for, I don't know, at least a week or two, in Romans chapter one. It's just so very important for us to see this in Romans chapter one, verse 18.

Part of the reason that we repeatedly emphasize this is that it helps us understand the world in which we live, and just a one-time passing reference to it is not sufficient for it to come deeply rooted in our hearts. Romans chapter one, verse 18. As we gather together around the word of God, as redeemed people, as true born-again Christians, we are on God's side in this matter. We are not on the side of the world.

Acts 2.40 says, be saved from this perverse generation. We're not trying to ingratiate ourselves with the word of God. We don't want those who disagree with us. We just want to know what God says so that we can be on his side and we can think like God does and assess the world as God does.

That's what we want. That's our heart desire to know the truth as it is found in Christ and found in the revealed word of God. And so we start not with what men say. We start with what God has said in the holy 66 books of the Bible. And what does God say about it all? Romans 1, verse 18. Beloved, this isn't complicated.

This is clear. It says, for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. What are atheists, except by definition, ungodly people? Not godly, not having God. And the ungodliness of men.

It starts there and then it works itself out in an unrighteous life. Against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. They hold it down. They push its head underwater trying to drown it.

They grab it by the throat and strangle it in an effort to choke the air out of it. There's a sense of suppressing the truth. Verse 19. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse for although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened. Scripture says it's clearly perceived. God has made it known to them.

They are without excuse. They knew God, but they responded to that knowledge by rejecting it, by refusing God, the honor that is his due, by refusing the gratitude to him that is his due as the maker and sustainer of even their physical life as a result of that moral choice in a John 3 way, in a John 3 way that we just looked at, that there are consequences. There are moral and mental consequences to that choice. Their thinking becomes futile. Their hearts are darkened and they plunge into darkness. And so Scripture describes them as hopelessly perverted. Now, beloved, before you and I get too high on our horse, understand that we're speaking from the perspective, and Scripture reminds us repeatedly, like in Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3 and other places, that we were once like them. Titus chapter 3, we were once foolish ourselves. And if there is a distinction in us vis-a-vis them, it's only by the particular grace of God given to us by the Holy Spirit, not by any superior wisdom of our own.

But having said that, having acknowledged that, saying, yes, I was once guilty like they are. I was once a fool just like them, and I was. The fact that we were once like that does not compel us, does not give us liberty to explain it away in anything other than the terms that God himself uses. And so Scripture says, looks at the atheist and says, there's a fool who denies God. There is a fool morally corrupt and morally culpable for his condition. Now, let's go back to Psalm 14 and pick up our second point. We said, first of all, that the fool defies God. Secondly, what we find is that the fool defies God's people. The fool defies God's people.

And we begin here in verse 4. Sinners try to eradicate God, but they still encounter his people, and that's a problem. You know, people like us are a problem to those who try to maintain an atheistic worldview and proclaim it. You know, all of a sudden, they're meeting with opposition. They're meeting with resistance. They're meeting with resistance. However, however modest, however weak, however, you know, however inarticulate the opposition may be, it's still an opposition. It's a roadblock to the chosen manner in which they want to think and live.

And there's a reaction that takes place, an abuse that takes place. Verse 4, have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord, as they persecute, as they make life difficult for the people of God? Don't they know that God is a fool? Don't they know what they're doing? Don't they have any idea of the consequences of this?

They should be afraid. Verse 5, there they are in great terror, for because God is with the generation of the righteous. Do these people who are hostile to the Church of Christ, hostile to the people of God, do they think that they can abuse God's people without any consequence?

Do they think that there will be no implications for what they have chosen to do? What the psalmist is saying here, when he says in verse 5, they are in great terror, he's saying a day of dread will come upon them. Their hostility against the people of God is doomed to fail because God is with his people in their distress. God is in the midst of his people to attack the Church of Christ. To malign the Church of Christ is to attack Christ himself, so identified is he with his people. And so, what David says to the wicked is how can they be so complacent about their defiance? How can they be so complacent against their hostility against the Church?

Because there is a consequence coming. And when God displays his power, the wicked will go from great arrogance to great dread, because God is going to reverse the entire situation in his time. Verse 6, he addresses the wicked in the second person, he addresses them directly. You would shame the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge. God will reverse the entire situation, because God is the shelter of his people.

He protects them from danger. As you read in the book of Revelation, he will avenge the blood of the martyrs. Even as the martyrs cry out from under the throne of God, how long, O God, will you let our blood go unrequited?

How long will you let this continue? In the end, God will take care of it. And so, the physical abuse that our brethren have suffered in other parts of the world today, certainly throughout the course of the history of the Church, the political abuse, the verbal abuse, God will make all of that right in the end. He will provide and care for his people and shelter them and bless them, as we'll see in a moment. And the unrepentant wicked will face the consequences of their action. I want to remind you in this regard of what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5.

You don't need to turn there. But in Matthew chapter 5, there in the Beatitudes, Jesus says this in verses 10 to 12, and it builds on the spirit of what's being said in Psalm 14, how God will be the refuge of his people. The view facing hostility in the workplace, difficulties of maintaining, a Christian testimony when all around you is the opposition of the world, take heart from what your Lord says to you in his own word. Matthew 5 verse 10, blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. The persecution will one day come to an end.

Terror will overtake the unrepentant wicked. Abundant comfort will come upon the people of Christ. And that leads us to our third and final point as we consider Psalm 14 here this evening. While the fool has been defying God and defying God's people, the Psalm ends on a note of triumph and says that God will defy the fool.

That's the third and final point. God will defy the fool. With corruption all around, David now prays for divine intervention. He has assessed the spiritual condition of those who say there is no God. He has looked with sympathy on the people of God and reminded everyone that God is with the generation of the righteous and warns the wicked against their attacks against the people of God.

This isn't going to come out well for you. And now, having looked around at the situation horizontally, David, as it were, breathes a prayer vertically to the Lord and prays for divine intervention. You see it there in verse 7. He says, oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion.

Zion being a poetic name for Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God at that time. Oh, that salvation, oh, that deliverance for the people of God would come out of Zion, would come forth from the presence of God. His heart is longing for that, longing for the release of the deliverance of the people of God, a longing that is manifested in many different ways throughout the lives of the humble righteous. Falsely accused, longing for vindication, longing for the protection of God. In long pain and sorrow of body and bodily affliction, longing for the new body that will be ours one day at the resurrection. Under duress, longing for the comfort of God to come while it seems to tarry. Under the affliction of lying on a deathbed, waiting for the earthly pain to come to an end, longing for the faith to become sight.

Waiting for the Lord, as it were, to send his angel to bring that one safely into his presence as he so faithfully promised to do. In all of those times, looking to the Lord, longing for the Lord's deliverance, longing for the Lord to act on behalf of his people, longing to see faith become sight to restore us to that position of blessing that God saved us to one day know. David here in verse seven is saying, oh, God, won't you hasten the day when you reverse the situation, when you overturn the dominance of the wicked and put yourself on display? Won't you hasten the day when the glory of God fills the earth like the waters fill the sea?

Habakkuk 2 14. Won't you hasten the day when you reign in Jerusalem? Revelation 20. You see, what David is expressing in a very compact, concise way here, David is longing for God's righteous rule and judgment to be manifest. He's longing for God to resolve the conflict in favor of the righteous. He's longing for the principle and the implied vindication from Psalm 1 6, which in some ways is a verse that sets the course for the entire rest of the 150 Psalms. Psalm 1 6. The Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Lord, here I am in my affliction, my sorrow, my pain, the ebbing out of my earthly life. Lord, I know you know my way. I trust you for that. Vindicate your promises. Keep your promises to me.

Help me, Father, in the difficult relationships. Help me walk this path that you've appointed and bring to me the blessing that you promise to all who know Christ. It's a humble, tender prayer looking beyond human opposition to the ultimate deliverance that all who know the Lord will one day experience. And so, beloved, we do not fear well-spoken atheists. We don't fear their thick books or their philosophical arguments.

We're not ashamed when they mock us. We know the truth about the way that God has made himself known. We know that our God exists and not only exists, our God reigns. We know that. And so the intimidation of man loses its force against our hearts.

But not only that, we know the truth about their inner corruption. We believe the word of God. We can understand how there are people like that in a world where God has so magnificently made himself known.

So that in the end, the existence of a so-called atheist simply points us back to our hope. It throws us like a wave back onto the shore of the blessing and the promises of God. He is with us. He defends us. He will one day restore us. He will one day restore the situation.

He will one day give us joy. Let's pray together. Gracious Father, we gladly, wholeheartedly yield ourselves to the revelation that you have given to us. Father, we know beyond a doubt, we know conclusively, not because we are wise, but because you have spoken that you are there and that you are not silent. Yes, Lord, you have spoken in creation. We see, we hear and we believe.

You have spoken in your word, the 66 and no more books of the Bible. We read, we hear, we believe. You have spoken in the principle of conscience. We recognize your imprint on humanity and on our own hearts in that way.

Though it's not a perfect instrument, it speaks of a judge and of a standard of right and wrong. We see that. We see that you have spoken. We hear that you have spoken in conscience and we believe. Lord supremely, we see that you have spoken in the Lord Jesus Christ. We see and we read about him and we see, we see you, O Father, as we see Christ.

We see Christ and we see God himself for all the fullness of deity dwells in him in bodily form. You have spoken in Christ. We hear, we believe, we affirm. Father, how sweet in our conversion that you have spoken by your spirit to our own hearts and you have taken away our blindness and shown the light of the knowledge of God deep into our heart and transformed us and made us into a new creation.

Lord, we would rather deny our next breath than to deny that work of the spirit in our hearts. We see it. We hear it, as it were, and we believe. We vindicate you against all of the opposition of man. We submit ourselves gladly to your revelation. We acknowledge its sufficiency.

It is enough. Father, we need no more and we seek no more. Father, rather, help us simply to absorb, appreciate, understand, give us a greater measure of the illumination of the spirit, to understand the significance of creation, canon, conscience, Christ, and our conversion, that we might, Father, have that cornerstone of a biblical mind established and that we could build from there upon it, that our lives might glorify you, that our testimony of you might be clear and resound in places yet to be found, and that as you look in our hearts, Father, you would see a responsive, receptive, compliant faith, ready to believe, ready to speak on your behalf, come what may in the world. Help us all to that great end, O God, we pray, in Jesus' name.

Amen. That's Don Green here on The Truth Pulpit, and here's Don again with some closing thoughts. Well, thank you, Bill, and just before we close, my friends, I just want to let you know that this podcast is made possible for you by the generous support of many friends of our ministry. We're grateful for that, and if you have supported us, I want to say a special word of thanks to you for all that you've done to make this possible. And if you would like to join in the support of our ministry, you can do that so easily by going to thetruthpulpit.com.

That's thetruthpulpit.com. You'll see the link to give, and you can add your support to the others who make this possible for us. Thank you for whatever you do and whether you give or you don't give. Know that our love and prayers are with you. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you so much for listening to The Truth Pulpit. Join us next time for more as we continue teaching God's people God's word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-28 04:52:17 / 2024-02-28 05:01:04 / 9

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