Anyone traveling to Europe, as I recently did, will see many impressive churches and cathedrals dotting the landscape. Unfortunately, except for tourists, they are largely empty historic reminders of a bygone Christian era.
Many social scientists believe that the USA is not far behind. A number of recently published studies by organizations such as the Pew Research Institute indicate that the ranks of atheists and those with no religious affiliation (the “none’s”) continue to increase. The book of Romans tells us that people like these are living in denial of truths so obvious that their rejection of God is inexcusable.
I would add that those who deny God face a question of logic that they can’t explain. For instance, if they are correct and God doesn’t exist then no human experience has meaning or purpose. To come to any other conclusion makes no sense! But have you ever met an atheist who lives as though life has no meaning or purpose? They all care about their families, their finances, the outcome of sports games, politics, the state of the economy, the stock market, the weather, and everything else you can think of. Psychologists refer to this kind of contradictory thinking as cognitive dissonance.
The Bible explains why people who deny the existence of God continue to care about life. In Ecclesiastes 3:11 we read that God has implanted in the hearts and minds of every person a sense of eternity. That includes a natural desire to live forever.
God wants us to know that His purpose for man is eternal—He wants to have an eternal relationship with us!
I discuss this wonderful truth in the very first principle in the Life Essentials Study Bible. Principle #1 in Genesis explains that God had us in mind even before He created the physical universe: “Think about this great truth for a moment! Before God created the vast immeasurable universe and any human being, He had determined that all who put their faith in His Son Jesus Christ would be saved.” This also helps explain why He planted eternity in our hearts and minds.