DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Do you think there are more atheists today than there used to be? I don't remember hearing much about them 20 or 30 years ago, but now it seems like you hear about them all the time. —J.V.
Dear J.V.: You're right; atheism (the belief that there is no God) has become more visible in recent years — largely through the writings of a few prominent atheists. In their view, atheism is the wave of the future, and in time religion will simply fade away.
Are they right? No, they aren't (although I don't doubt their sincerity). For one thing, atheism has no satisfying answer to the basic questions of life — questions like "Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? How do I know what's right and wrong? What happens when I die?" Atheism says we are here by chance, and life has no meaning or destiny. Taken to its logical conclusion, atheism ends up in despair.
But our hearts cry out for something more — something better and more lasting. Down inside we sense that we aren't here by chance, nor were we made for this world alone. The reason we feel this way, the Bible says, is because God has put this conviction within us. The human being is not just another animal; we were created to know God and live for Him. The Bible says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Many atheists, I find, reject God for one reason: They want to run their own lives. Don't be swayed by their arguments, but commit your life to Jesus Christ, who by His life, death and resurrection demonstrated not only that God exists, but that He loves us and gives us hope for the future.