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Not Afraid of Burning in Hell

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Ps. 14:1; 53:1).  Indeed, how patently foolish it is for a person to deny God within himself.  Likewise, how wicked it is for a person to dismiss God in his own thoughts and selfishly indulge his own carnal desires.  Notice Psalm 10:3-4:

3For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, and the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD.

4The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.  All his thoughts are, "There is no God."

This godless disposition leaves unbelieving men in depths of foolishness, for they are without a foundation for true understanding about anything.  Their worldview is so flawed that they can never find any genuine meaning in life or the world.  This is because they lack the most fundamental element of knowledge and wisdom, which is the fear of the Lord (Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7, 29; 9:10).  In their foolish disbelief, "they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Rom. 1:21). Furthermore, they are "darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart" (Eph. 4:18). They are fools by their own choosing and walk in self-imposed darkness.

If it is foolish to deny God in one's heart (which it is), then it is even more foolish to openly declare such disbelief of God to the world.  It is foolishness of the highest order to say aloud, "There is no God," to act on this mistaken belief, and to attempt to pull others into the same foolishness of disbelief.  Vocal atheists and agnostics have chosen to expose the foolish thoughts of their hearts to the world, and they dare believers in God to defy them.  Moreover, they boldly challenge the God whom they deny to prove them wrong.  Whereas Jesus quoted Scripture, saying, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test" (Matt. 4:7), unbelieving men test God's longsuffering daily.  Their brash arrogance and reckless foolishness are simply amazing.

A potent example of an unbelieving fool is Ron Reagan.  He is the son of former president Ronald Reagan and a proud atheist.  In a television commercial recorded in 2014, Ron Reagan boasts of his disbelief in an appeal for support of an atheist organization.  Consider Reagan's words from this commercial:

"Hi, I'm Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I'm alarmed by the intrusions of religion into our secular government.  That's why I'm asking you to support the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation's largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate, just like our Founding Fathers intended.  Please support the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell."

By his own admission, Reagan is proud of his atheism.  It is his desire that the world would know of his unbelief, and by his efforts he seeks to cause others to reject God.  His intent in this commercial is to garner support for a godless government rather than acknowledging that governments are ordained by God (Rom. 13:1-4).

It is fitting that Reagan's commercial airs primarily on the Comedy Central network, which is a bastion of foolishness.  Unfortunately, his message of bold atheism is no joke.  Certainly, Reagan's line, "not afraid of burning in hell," is intended to provoke a chuckle, but there is nothing funny about it. Most of Comedy Central's viewers are young people, and they are the target of this atheistic influence. Shall they be convinced to laugh at the notion of hell?  Will it be funny if they stand before the Lord in the Judgment and hear Him say, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41)?  The rich man was not laughing when he was in the torment of Hades (Luke 16:22-24); how much less will Ron Reagan be laughing in the eternal punishment of hell?

Unabashed atheism is nothing but shameless, brazen foolishness.  Ron Reagan's fearlessness of hell is not because there is no hell, but rather it is because he is too much of a fool to acknowledge a just God.  Furthermore, his fearlessness will quickly be replaced with terror when judgment is pronounced on him, for "it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31).  Unless he repents, Reagan's fate is certain, but the influence of him and other proud unbelievers does not have lead others to the same fate.  Let us resolve to counteract the foolish messages of godlessness and atheism that are prevalent in the popular media, and let us be careful to turn the minds of our young people away from them.  Let them learn that it is a good thing to be afraid of burning in hell.

Stacey E. Durham




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