"Bring me evidence, Beulah! And while you're at it, peel me a grape!"
'God! Peel me a grape!' Is the same attitude atheists exhibit today. Their mental laziness, mocking tone, and orders to bring them some evidence of God and then they'll think about it, only serve to highlight their gross self-centeredness in which they proudly luxuriate.
Imagine if you had a loving husband, your groom, who daily gave you beautiful gifts. Who served you, ministered to you when you were sick. Who told you that could trust completely and said he never would leave you. Where his loving effects on others around him were obvious. And one day, He came up to you and said, "I love you!" and you answered, "PROVE IT! BRING ME EVIDENCE!"
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. (2 Peter 3:3)
Worse, what if your 14-year-old son responded that way? If, there he was, in his well-appointed American bedroom, stuffed with laptop, digital camera, games, comfy bed, with his bank account passbook noting his growing college fund, and the key to the deposit box containing his inheritance. And you walked in one day, bringing him his supper that he wanted to eat in his room, and you lay it down and said, "Honey, I love you!" What if he answered, "PROVE IT! BRING ME EVIDENCE!"
I would think there would be punishments all around. I'd think he would receive a stern talking-to, and a grounding from his fun activities. And yet, our Lord, who has all power, does not respond this way. He patiently accepts mocking, self-centeredness, and constant demands for evidence that He has already provided (in His love and mercy). He has given us the world and we demand more.
Jesus, Lord of the Universe, Who has the worlds as a footstool for His feet, as your loving groom served us. He healed, ministered, told us in a thousand ways that He loves us and wants to be with us forever. He even dispensed with His own glory, and poured Himself into the form of a man, and washed feet, served food, and died for us whom He loves. Jesus still loves His children, all of them. And when you relate this eternal fact to unbelievers, they scream, "PROVE IT! PRODUCE SOME EVIDENCE!"
This selfish attitude should not surprise us. We are told by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." This is an age of unrestrained revelry and self-indulgence. Humility, diligent searching, and submission are anathema to culture today.
The tragedy of atheism is the hopelessness of the self. People who refuse to believe put their entire stock into their own strength, brain, abilities, and they say that any day now, the world will be better because of their own strength, brain, and abilities. It never will be, because we are sinners. But the proud refuse to accept their own sin as the stain that it is and humble themselves to Him who heals, loves, and saves.
The tragedy is that a whole class of people deliberately shrink their world to the provable and seen. Their world is of the brain, but not the mind. It is of the natural and not the supernatural, of the drearily provable and not the awe-inspiring mysterious. Their world is littered with decaying peeled grapes, while the believer's world is endless, eternal, and perfect. The tragedy is in thinking that peeled grapeskins is all there is to life, when they could have so much more. Even in Apostle Paul's day this attitude of 'serve me' was prevalent: "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles." (1 Corinthians 22-23)
Is this you? "Bring me evidence! But let me finish indulging in my debaucheries first..."
The tragedy is in the non-believer passively lying on a reclining Roman couch, demanding evidence when the bible says "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4). This is an active command, not a passively receptive one. He even told us how to do it:
"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:1-5). Again, this verse is full of active verbs, not passive tenses indicating a lolling receptivity.
Atheist, get off your lazy duff and seek His face! He is right in front of you!
How do we accept Jesus? Admit your sin. Yes, we all do wrong things, and we should be sorry for those. Apologize to Jesus and ask Him to be your Savior (saving you from eternal separation from Him) and also your Lord, (humbling yourself and admitting you need Him to lead you in life). Immediately you begin to understand how low you really are in your sin, and how permanently you deserve to be low forever compared to His holiness and glory. However, immediately begins His gifts. Far from your worst fears realized, that this is a permanent abasement, (as it should be) instead in His mercy He will lift you up! He will give you good work! A plan for your life that spiritually you intuit as better than the one you created for yourself! Talents and abilities to accomplish this work! A guarantee of your place in heaven and an inheritance of eternal life! It is within your reach, non-believer. But first, you have to get off the couch.