The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. Psalm 53:1
Corrupt is how God describes those who deny Him; corrupt and vile. These are not just nice people who have lost their way. They shake their faithless fist in the face of God and demand that He disappear. This is what they did to Jesus. He came claiming to be the Christ. He was the Messiah for the salvation of mankind. But some men did not want God. They were gods unto themselves. So they paid Jesus back evil for good. They also made fun of the men and women who, by faith, followed Him. Some were so offended by His teachings that they ran Him out of town. He taught submission to God’s authority over their list of man-made rules. He made the undercover atheists irate because He rivaled their authority and power. So they attempted to kill God. But Christ’s crucifixion drove the final nail into the coffin of their nihilism. After three days He came alive. God is not dead. It’s ironic that corruption tries to kill others, but winds up wounding itself.
As a follower of Jesus, you may feel the pressure from outside forces to deny Him. There is no need to go there. Do not allow the persuasion of unprincipled people to force you into a faithless box. Atheism is for the uninformed. How can someone deny the existence of God when his or her understanding of all knowledge is relatively minimal? An atheist can only say in their heart, while Christians can know in their heart. We know because the evidence for God is overwhelming. We know because we have experienced God. We know because we know Him. Belief in the absence of God is foolish. It is the opiate of the uninformed. Belief in God is wisdom. It is what makes sense out of life.
So be there for those when they finally figure out that atheism is not working for them. It may be a crisis that turns them to Christ. It may be in a respected relationship that they begin to see authentic faith lived out and they desire the same. It may be reading the Holy Scriptures and mining out mounds of Gospel gold that point them to their heavenly Father. Pray for the Holy Spirit to penetrate the deceived heart of an atheist.