Even when Moses led the people out of Egypt, the people demonstrated unbelief. These people lived by what they had in their bellies or what they could see. They were materialists and limited in their capacity to see beyond their nose. Egocentric people are all the same. The will shoot the messenger of glad tidings because they do not believe the reality of life on this planet is merely a taste of whether they want eternal life or eternal punishment for what they do with their own lives.
An example of how egocentric people function is found in the account of the waters of Marah. When the people who had been delivered from being killed by the Egyptians had tasted the bitter water at Marah, the people murmured against Moses. This is what the Bible states:
- When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he proved them, saying, “If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord, your healer.” (Exodus 15:23-26 )
For an atheist, and anyone for that matter, to be attracted to the gospel message, usually sweeteners are required. This is probably why the Bible states that the kindness of the Lord is meant to lead to repentance.
- Or do you presume upon the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
However, there are two types of repentance. One is known as imperfect repentance and the other is known as perfect repentance.
- Imperfect repentance occurs when a person changes his or her attitude because he or she fears punishment.
- Perfect repentance occurs because a person appreciates the goodness of God and acknowledges his or her own inadequacies, such as being unable to overcome death and having no justifiable reason for existence if the Creator does not exist.
By the way, there are two types of atheists. Those who openly state they are atheists and those who claim they believe in God but in reality they do not. The latter are usually called hypocrites. For if they believed in God, they would not put Him to the test and take His name in vain—which is what the third commandment of the Decalogue is really about.
Hypocrites often prove to be stumbling blocks for atheists. Therefore even a message of doom will not shake them, because atheists see religious hypocrites and are convinced God does not exist. In the atheists’ reasoning, if God existed, then there would be no religious hypocrites, because they know they would be going to hell.
In the main, one would have to say that religious hypocrites are the atheists who prevent self-confessed atheists from accepting that God really is the final arbiter.
The Atheists Who Claim They Are Not Atheists Have Plenty To Fear As Well