The shield-shaped logo with devil’s horns, emblazoned with the chilling phrase “Not afraid of burning in hell” atop the label “Unabashed Atheist,” showed up on a placard at the June 4 Reason Rally for secularists in Washington, D.C., and on a protestor’s T-shirt at a recent Decision America Tour event.
Having no fear of hell—and believing it doesn’t exist—is a dreadfully ignorant denial that should deeply burden Christians for the salvation of these souls for whom our Lord gave His life on the cross.
Atheists came together at the Reason Rally, held on the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial, for a day of God-bashing and promotion of wickedness in culture and politics.
Atheist comedian Ian Harris told the crowd, estimated at between 15,000 and 20,000, that the Bible is “a great work of fiction” and joked about how he mockingly explained the meaning of original sin to his 6-year-old daughter.
Another speaker, attorney Eddie Tabash, opined: “The same methods of empirical science and analytical philosophy that move us to refute the assertion that after we die, we will be punished forever just because we choose the wrong religion or no religion, also equally move us to reject claims of ESP and UFO visitations.”
Obnoxious as the rally was, it fell far short of projections that it would be the largest gathering of God-deniers in U.S. history. Four years earlier, 30,000 attended a similar event.
The rally was designed to advance secularist political platforms for the upcoming elections, including LGBT equality and abortion rights.
“This liberal godless kind of what they call ‘reason’ should concern every freedom-loving American,” Franklin Graham wrote in a June 6 Facebook post. “These atheists promoting secularism want to strip God out of America’s past, present and future. Here’s a warning—if you remove God, you remove God’s hand of blessing. That’s been shown over and over throughout history.”
Ray Comfort, a Christian apologist who works with actor Kirk Cameron on the Way of the Master television program, attended the Reason Rally to share the Gospel and to bring awareness to his upcoming movie, The Atheist Delusion.
Comfort said it was sad to see Bible verses being quoted far out of context at the rally in an attempt to prove that God doesn’t exist. He said there is a revival of atheism happening in the nation.
“Atheism is a philosophy that enables people to carry out their sinful desires,” he said. “Richard Dawkins and other high-profile atheists are pied pipers playing a tune this generation loves to hear. Atheism gives license to a moral-free lifestyle of pleasure for sin-loving sinners. … When you make up your own image of God—and for atheists, the idea of Him is so offensive they say He doesn’t exist—that allows you to carry out your own agenda.”
In today’s culture and political climate, that agenda is seeking to deconstruct America, revising its foundational history and setting forth a future without boundaries that God clearly commands in Scripture.
The Christian response must be swift and decisive, Franklin said.
“We need to urgently share Jesus Christ with an ever-growing secular world,” he wrote in his Facebook post. “One day each of these people is going to stand before the God that they disown, and they will face an eternity in hell if they have not trusted Christ as their Savior. This is where [their] ‘reason’ will get them.”
Comfort said believers must lovingly use the Ten Commandments, the law, to open the eyes of atheists to their need for a Savior and to bring them to repentance.
“It’s like a man who has no desire for a cure of cancer because he won’t realize he has cancer,” Comfort said. “A cure makes no sense to him. But once he’s convinced of the disease, that’s when he’ll appreciate an appropriate cure.
“What I do is use [scientific] evidence as bait. Bait doesn’t catch fish; it just gets their attention. Bait hides the hook, which is God’s Ten Commandments, the moral law. That’s what convinces them that they’re in eternal danger.”
And when that happens, Satan’s desperate ploy is exposed—to blind “the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
While the enemy prowls around now, looking for those he can devour (see 1 Peter 5:8), he knows he is on borrowed time (Revelation 12:12). What the atheists claim they don’t fear, he does fear.
Revelation 20:10 strikingly describes his demise: “The devil who had deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
That place of torment—where Jesus said there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth—was never intended for humans, which should cause a redoubling of evangelism efforts toward atheists and all unbelievers.
“We’re motivated by love and concern,” Comfort said. “I don’t want my worst enemy to end up in hell.” ©2016 BGEA
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.