Thank you, my dear friend, for your excellent question. We can best respond to the arguments of atheists by using God’s Word as this is the only source of truth.  Like many unbelievers, atheists question the veracity of the Bible. And yet, the best way to respond to them is by quoting God’s Word. Most people desire a happy life and a sense of purpose, and finding purpose in life in this unpredictable and often sorrow-filled world would, I believe, be very difficult for an atheist. If they truly believe that life is a result of random events, they would always have to be wondering what the meaning of their existence is. So, I believe that the miracle of a changed life, a life full of purpose and meaning, and a secure future-the life born of God’s Spirit, would speak very loudly in an unbeliever’s ear. Consider Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus in Acts 9, or perhaps you can tell them what God has done in your life. But, the atheist is like any other unbeliever, to find God they must truly seek Him, and when they do, God will reveal Himself to them through the Bible. Nor do I think that debating their scientific arguments or their sense of worldly logic is of much help. What they need to know is in God’s Word, and faith is required in order to receive this-and, where does faith come from? In Romans 10:17, we read: “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. Please recall too that in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man found in Luke 16:19, the rich man died and was in torment, and begged Father Abraham to send Lazarus to testify to his brothers that they might believe. In verse 29, the response was that “…they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them”. God has revealed Himself in His Word, and it is there that man must turn in order to find truth.

Now, as to the proofs of the veracity of God’s Word, there are many in the Bible. I know of written testimonies of people who set out to disprove the Bible, and after reading and studying it, they became convinced that the Bible was actually true. Josh McDowell’s More than a carpenter is a prime example. The many Old Testament prophesies which have all been shown to be precisely accurate are to my mind tremendous proofs of the veracity of God’s Word, and thus of the existence of God. I’ll list just a few for your consideration: Micah 5:2 pinpoints the precise location of the birth of the Messiah, hundreds of years before that birth. In Luke 2, you see the fulfillment of this and several other prophesies. Psalm 22 is a very specific prophetic description of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, and it would be difficult to read this and not see the scene of the actual crucifixion hundreds of years later played out point by point. Then in the account of Matthew 11, when John the Baptist sent his disciples to inquire of the Lord Jesus as to whether He was the Anointed One prophesied from of old, He responded by relating His miraculous works, each fulfilling prophesy. In verses 4-5, Jesus enumerated these: The blind see (Isaiah 35:5); the lame walk (Isaiah 35:6); the deaf hear (Isaiah 35:5); and He cited other marvelous works such as healing lepers and raising the dead. Then He further cited that He had brought good news to the poor (see Isaiah 61:1). Additionally, I leave to you to read through Isaiah 53 and see how clearly the verses there point to the life, purpose, death, even the burial of the Lord Jesus, and His redemptive work, which the faithful remnant of Israel will one day acknowledge. Finally, the major proof of Jesus being the very Son of God is His resurrection from the dead-this irrefutable truth shows Jesus to be all that He said He was, Emmanuel, or God with us, and our Redeemer, Lord, and Savior. This fact of the resurrection is verified by very many live witnesses, and the fact that the disciples were willing to spend the remainder of their lives testifying of Him, and to be willing to die for their faith. Again, there are very many OT prophesies that find their fulfillment in Jesus, and it might be worth looking up as many as you can in order to note just how accurate and compelling these are.

Now, as to a general approach, I firmly believe that every human being that is born on earth has the sense that there is a supreme being, and that this life which we are given does not end with just death, and then after that, nothingness. We read in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “…He has put eternity in their hearts…”. A well-known evangelist once interviewed a Soviet anthropologist back in communist times, who claimed to be an atheist. When the evangelist asked him if he had ever studied a tribe or group of people from antiquity who did not believe in some type of supreme being, the anthropologist had to admit that he never did find such a group. But the simple fact of the matter is that Satan has deceived the minds of many so that they turn a blind eye to the Scriptures, and question that there is in fact a God who created all things, and that this God has revealed Himself to the world through the Bible and through Christ Jesus, His unique Son. Satan does not want men to believe in God for he knows that if they do believe, they might respond to the truth of the Gospel and be saved. You might recall the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-9 where some seed fell on stony ground, whereupon the seed was scorched. Satan works night and day to turn the hearts of men to stone so that they will not listen to God’s Word. Many atheists point to science claiming that our universe is a result of random events, but they cannot explain the amazing order and intricacy of the universe and of our world in particular, all of which bespeaks of purposeful design. The atheist has no real excuse for not believing as we read in Romans 1:19-20: “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…”.

I do think that Satan uses many devices to discourage people from believing. I read the story of a former Christian pastor who, during World War II, seeing all the misery caused by that war, concluded that God’s Word must not be true, because he felt that a loving God would not allow such suffering. Some, in haste to disprove God’s Word, turn to science or principles of law or logic, or they cite all the evil in the world as their arguments, but God’s Word is powerful and will speak to the heart if that heart is open. We read in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…”. I tell you these things to encourage you in your testimony; our best arguments cannot change the heart of unbelief. This is the work of the Spirit of God through the Word. The Word is powerful and can and does change lives if the hearts are open

So, how does one find God? We read in Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart”. God’s Word through the working of the Holy Spirit is there to reveal these truths to the heart that is open to hear, and the Spirit will do the convincing. We as Christians are only responsible to point unbelievers to the Bible.  (SF)  (494.2)