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An old story, told before humans walked on the moon, went like this: The first astronaut landed on the lunar surface and was sending back messages to earth. “Well,” he said, “the moon sure doesn’t look like green cheese, but since we know that it is green cheese, it is green cheese.” He then bent down and touched it. “Well,” he continued, “it sure doesn’t feel like green cheese, but, again, we can trust what we have always known, which is that the moon is made of green cheese.” He then took some of the lunar surface and tasted it. “Yes,” he said, “it doesn’t taste like green cheese, either, but don’t lose faith—the moon is, surely, made of green cheese.”

However dumb the story, a modern real-life version of it has been expressed by a man considered to be one of the world’s greatest intellectuals: zoologist and atheist apologist Richard Dawkins, who wrote: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” However, he emphasizes that this appearance is just that, an appearance, and that there is no design at all. “Natural selection is the blind watchmaker,” he continued “blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet, the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”

The illusion of design and planning?

In other words, an iPhone, which looks designed, acts designed, reveals design in its innards and outwards, and works only through design is, of course, designed. In contrast, a human being, or any living creature on earth (much more complex than a smartphone), which looks designed, acts designed, reveals design in its innards and outwards, and works only through design is, of course—Dr. Dawkins assures us—not designed.

Who are we going to believe: our senses, which scream to us of design; common sense, which clearly shows that design exists; and the Word of God, which again and again points to a Designer—or Richard Dawkins?

Unfortunately, many people have, despite the overwhelming evidence, chosen to believe that no God exists and that all the wonderful complexity and diversity found in life on earth arose through the blind forces of random mutation and natural selection alone.

However, the Bible teaches that a time is coming when the God who created all this will, indeed, reveal Himself in a way that will be impossible for anyone to deny. Unfortunately, by then, it will be too late for many people.

When will this happen, how will it happen—and why now, despite all the overwhelming evidence for a Creator, do people, like the imaginary man on the moon, choose to deny the obvious?

ask now the beasts

Yuri Gagarin, in 1961, was the first human being in space. Supposedly, after returning to earth, the Russian cosmonaut said, “I looked and looked and looked, but I didn’t see God.” Some argue that, in fact, the quote was really from then–Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who wanted it attributed to Gagarin as part of Mr. Khrushchev’s antireligion campaign. Regardless of who said it, the point it was supposed to make—that because God can’t be seen means that He doesn’t exist—is vapid, silly, and ultimately useless. The Bible makes it clear, in fact, that we don’t see God, the Creator, because He’s invisible. “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17, emphasis added; see also Colossians 1:15).

The Bible also makes it clear that the creation itself is all the evidence we need for the existence of the invisible Creator behind it: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, emphasis added).

Centuries before Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans, Job said, “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” (Job 12:7–10, NKJV).*

The evidence for the builder and designer is found in the existence of what was, obviously, built and designed. Just because we never saw the designer and builder of a jet engine doesn’t mean that a designer or builder never existed. And just because we don’t see the Builder and Designer of the world doesn’t mean He never existed either. And if we see so much more design, so much more inexplicably complicated evidence of design in a single cell than in the jet engine, how can we, with a straight face, deny the existence of a Designer?

aliens in rocket ships

Of course, the big argument today is, again, that the wonderful complexity, beauty, and functionality of the natural world, which even Dawkins admits surely looks designed, really isn’t designed. It’s all part of the blind forces of nature alone; this process was supposedly explained by what Charles Darwin espoused in the nineteenth century with his theory of evolution by natural selection.

However, not even all atheists accept this “standard model” of origins. As hard-boiled an atheist as they come, the late Francis Crick (of Crick-and-Watson DNA fame) believed that life was way too complicated to have ignited on earth by chance, as science now insists that it did. Instead, the Nobel laureate proposed the idea of directed panspermia, “the theory that organisms were deliberately transmitted to the earth by intelligent beings from another part of the universe.” Thus, the evidence for design is so powerful that one of the last century’s greatest scientific minds proposed that aliens in spaceships might have seeded life here rather than it arising here by chance.

Even Richard Dawkins admits the following: “It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very, very high level of technology—and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. . . . And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.”

In other words, you might find evidence of design in the details of biochemistry and molecular biology in a world created by alien intelligences, but not in the details of biochemistry and molecular biology in our world now. One wonders what the differences between the two would be.

every eye shall behold Him

However much people can now, if they choose, deny the powerful evidence for God’s existence as found in the created world, the Bible makes it clear that, at Christ’s second coming, all excuses will be wiped away.

When Christ returns, there will be no atheists.

Why? What follows are just a few of many texts describing events at the Second Coming that explain why:

  • “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7, NKJV).
  • “As the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27, NKJV).
  • “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, NKJV).
  • “And said to the mountains and rocks ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’ ” (Revelation 6:16, NKJV).
  • “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30, NKJV).
  • “There was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. . . . Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found” (Revelation 16:18, 20, NKJV).
  • “Then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world” (Matthew 24:21, NKJV).

With events like these—Jesus appearing in the sky, everyone seeing Him come, the dead raised, massive natural disasters unlike anything ever witnessed before—there indeed will be no atheists, because they will with their own eyes see the Creator whom they had previously denied, even though His existence was clearly revealed by the things that He had made. Far from denying the existence of God, they will be so afraid of Him that they’ll cry out to the rocks and mountains to hide them from His overwhelming presence.

Atheists don’t normally do that!

why wait?

The Creator God, whose existence screams out to us from His Creation even more than a jet engine builder’s existence screams out to us from the jet engine, will be revealed in ways that no one will deny because no one can deny it. After all, they will see Him with their own eyes. However, the Bible also reveals that, by then, it will be too late for these people to be saved into God’s eternal kingdom.

The Creator, whose works are revealed in the Creation, is also the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17, NKJV). And Christ offers salvation now; He offers everyone, now, the hope of eternal life in a whole new creation.

Yes, the God whose existence calls out to us from the amazing beauty, structure, form, and purpose of the created world—from the astonishing complexity of a single cell to the aesthetic beauty of a rose, from the creative miracle of a newborn to the night sky full of stars—is the same God who died on the cross two thousand years ago as a self-sacrifice for sin. And this God is calling each of us to accept Him and the promise of eternal life that He offers now, and He urges us not to delay until it’s too late.

A time is indeed coming when there will be no atheists. Everyone will believe. So why not accept Him right now, when your belief—rather than causing you to cry to the rocks to hide you from God—will bring you the promise of eternal life with Him?

* Bible verses marked NKJV are from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

When There Will Be No Atheists

by Clifford Goldstein
From the November 2018 Signs