Question:

Good day, brother!

I've found from an atheist site these statements.

  1. Is God really all-powerful? Omnipotent? Is it true that He can do anything? If this is the case, why has God not already defeated and destroyed Satan? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to conquer Satan before Adam and Eve could be tempted in the garden? Why do you think God is waiting?
  2. If Jesus is God, and if God is omnipotent, why did the redemption of humankind require Christ’s torture and execution? Why would a God with limitless power not simply forgive man his sin?
  3. You were born with a sin nature. Do you deserve Hell? If so, why would God choose an eternal (and agonizing) punishment instead of a finite one?
  4. In Genesis 22, God commanded Abraham to take his son, Isaac, to Moriah and sacrifice him with a knife upon an altar. Ultimately, God spared Isaac and revealed that this exercise was a test of faith. However, if God was truly omniscient (all-knowing), would he not have already known the measure of Abraham's faith? And wouldn't this edict have been traumatizing and cruel for both the parent and the child?
  5. If God commanded you, as he did to Abraham in Genesis 22, to take one of your children and kill him/her upon an altar as a demonstration of your faith and obedience, would you do it? Can you explain what you might do in that situation?
  6. Matthew 10:29 states that not even a sparrow will fall to the ground apart from God’s will. If God’s will is already guaranteed to be done, what purpose does prayer have?
  7. Luke 12:7 declares that God is so intimately familiar with you as his child that he has numbered the hairs on your head. Psalm 121:7 says “The LORD will keep you from all harm--he will watch over your life.” Do you carry health insurance? Do you wear a seat belt while driving? Do you lock your doors at night? Do you own a firearm, taser or mace? If any of these apply to you, can you explain why such protective measures are necessary if you are guaranteed God’s omnipotent hand of protection?
  8. Do you believe that the Bible is the perfect, accurate and divinely-inspired Word of God? As the Bible’s authors cannot be verified by sources outside of the Bible, how do you know that this is true?
  9. In Matthew 16:28, Jesus declares to his disciples that he will come again quickly. “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Yet the last of the disciples died 2,000 years ago. Why has Christ not fulfilled his promise?
  10. What state were you born in? What was the religion of your parents? Do you feel that these elements contributed to your current religious beliefs?

These questions do bother me a lot, brother, since I saw the site. I hope you would consider my long question. Thank you, again!


Answer:

  1. It is a mistake to assume that "all" includes the impossible or the impractical. "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify" (I Corinthians 10:23). The assumption is that because God did not choose to do something in the way this person would have chosen, then God must be wrong. It would make more sense to assume that this person has neglected to consider some critical elements that has lead him to a wrong conclusion. In this case, the person is arguing that it is better to remove free choice from people so that they can't choose to do wrong. What the author neglects to understand is that God makes use of the wicked to accomplish a greater end.
  2. The person is arguing that salvation should be granted with no effort on the sinner's part. The cost Jesus paid for our salvation demonstrated the extent of our sins and the depth of God's love for us. "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:18-19). "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8). What is being overlooked is that arbitrary forgiveness is not just. God chose this route so that is it clear He was just in releasing people from their sins. "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:24-26).
  3. The initial statement is false. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). The reason people end up in hell is because they choose to sin and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Most criminals think the punishment handed down by a judge is too severe; that doesn't make the criminal or the crime right.
  4. Again, there is the false assumption that "all knowing" includes knowing what cannot be known. Until Abraham made his choice, the choice was not known. "And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me"" (Genesis 22:18).
  5. The measure of another person's faith or lack thereof does not alter the faith demonstrated by Abraham. It is because of what Abraham did that we understand and appreciate how much faith Abraham truly had in God.
  6. The writer assumes that only God benefits from prayer. He neglects to consider that prayer benefits the one asking as a reminder of where life's blessings really come.
  7. Jesus told Satan, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God'" (Matthew 4:7). It is not man's job to make God prove Himself. Rather, man does his part to do what he can and trusts God to handle what he cannot.
  8. The premise is false. There are numerous internal and external witnesses to many of the writers of the Bible. See: Can We Trust the Text of the Bible? and Why Believe in the Bible?
  9. This question demonstrates the author's ignorance that the kingdom did come, just as Christ predicted. It is spoken of as existing in Colossians 1:13 because the kingdom is just another name for the church.
  10. Again, personal experience does not make truth subjective.