Psalm 14:1-3 (NIV)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.Lord looks down from Heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, and who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
“Every man,” says the 17thcentury theologian David Dickson, “so long as he lieth unrenewed and unreconciled to God is nothing in effect but a madman.” Why do so many Christians assume that most atheists are highly intellectual people who simply refuse to believe in the supernatural claims of an ancient book because there is not sufficient scientific evidence to back up those lofty claims? God calls the atheist a “fool.” Plain and simple. No nuance. No intellectual explanation. No excuses.
When people mention to me that somebody they know is “an atheist,” I usually reply with, “No they aren’t.” To put it simply, God is the proverbial 800-lb gorilla in the room and everybody knows he is there “because God has made it plain to them…so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20). Apologist Frank Turek regularly engages “atheists” on college campuses around the country and he often asks them, “If it could be scientifically proven that the claims of the bible are 100% accurate, would you become a follower of Jesus Christ?” Sadly, more often than not, their answer is “no.” The fool says in his heart, “There is no God,” because they don’t want to believe it’s true…and they don’t want to believe because “everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (Jn 3:20).
Today’s psalm also deals with the notion of doing good and makes the uncomfortable claim that not only are there no atheists who do good…but there is no one in all mankind who does good – not even one! Not only that, but the psalmist claims that there is no one who actually seeks God, but rather, “All have turned away.” The outspoken atheist of verse 1 is really just one example of mankind in general. Spurgeon dealt with this bluntly when he said, “What a picture of our race is this! Save only where grace reigns, there is none that doeth good; humanity, fallen and debased, is a desert without an oasis, a night without a star, a dunghill without a jewel, a hell without a bottom.”
One of mankind’s greatest Gospel hurdles is understanding just how broken and fallen we are…just how “not so good” we are…just how far we are from God and how deserving we are of His righteous judgment. It’s not that we can’t believe…it’s that we don’t want to believe. But PRAISE JESUS! He refused to leave us in this sorry state of affairs! He made His existence plain to see and He came after us, despite our disinterest in Him! We would all do well to contemplate that…fool or no fool.