February 16, 2011

The Danger of Unbelief

 God has stamped His image upon every work of His hand. In every object in nature, we see evidences of His mighty power. The fields of waving grain bow their heads in acknowledgment of the God who gives to man his bread in due season. The trees, bending beneath their weight of precious fruit, bear unmistakable evidence of the love of a beneficent Creator. Every tree and shrub declares the work of infinite power. Upon every blade of grass God’s name is written. The opening buds and blooming flowers, with their varied tints, outvying even the glory of Solomon, show forth the skill of the divine Artist. The cattle upon a thousand hills, all with their distinctive characteristics, express the wonders of their Maker, and declare that He is God indeed.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Who can behold the wonders of God in the starry heavens, and yet deny that an infinite Power gave these jeweled lights their place, and upholds them there by His omnipotent arm? God has left His own witness upon the canvas of heaven and upon nature everywhere.
2011 1505 page22No Maker?
The story is told of an astronomer whose friend denied the existence of God. In order to show him the folly of his unbelief, the astronomer obtained a globe of the starry heavens, and placed it in the room where they were seated. On seeing it, his friend inquired where he got so beautiful a globe, and who was the maker. 
“It was not made,” answered the astronomer, “it came into existence of itself.”
“You are jesting,” said his friend; “that is impossible.” 
The astronomer answered: “My dear sir, you will not accept my word for it that this small body originated of itself, or came by chance, and yet you contend that those heavenly bodies of which this is but an inferior representation came into existence without a Master-power or design.” As he pursued this line of reasoning, the atheist saw and acknowledged the absurdity of his own position. 
The Absurdity of Atheism
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God,” but he can advance no evidence to sustain his claims; he can only take the position of an objector to the purposes of an all-wise God. Atheism can shed no ray of light into the grave. It cannot restrain crime or quicken the moral energies. It has no power to elevate the character or purify the soul. On the contrary, it always tends to degenerate the human race; it leads away from purity and peace. An instance of this is given in the history of the French Revolution. That period, when the existence of God was denied, and His commandments were abolished, was the most revolting that is recorded on the pages of human history.
Deathbed Confessions
Was there ever an instance known where a dying Christian left to his watching friends the testimony that he had been deceived, that there is no God, no reality in the religion of Christ? But how many of those who have drawn about them the dark robes of atheism have let them fall before the grim messenger of death. We might call to mind many instances where learned men have gloried in their unbelief, and have thought it a virtue to parade their infidelity upon every occasion. But when death claimed them, they have looked with horror into the starless future, and their dying words have been, “I have tried to believe that there is no God, no reward for the faithful, no punishment for the wicked. But how vain has been the attempt. Now I know that I shall meet the doom of the lost soul.” Sir Thomas Scott in his last moments cried, “Until this moment I believed that there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and that I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of God.”
Thus many testimonies have been borne. Men may think that they have succeeded in tearing the image of God from their minds and hearts; but when they are brought face to face with the king of terrors, the image of God remains, and the confession is wrung from unwilling lips that the boasted faith of a lifetime has been a delusion.
This article first appeared in the December 24, 1896, Youth’s Instructor under the title “Folly of Unbelief.” Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical Gift of Prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. This article was published February 17, 2011.