You, as an atheist, are disregarding the most important thing of all--you are literally betting your life on the possibility that God may not exist. If He is real, you are in big trouble. So it would only make sense for you to do everything in your power to make sure He really doesn't exist before you officially write off God and Christianity as nonsense.
You kept saying that a supernatural feeling isn't a replacement for intellectual evidence. When describing his salvation experience, Kirk Cameron once said something like this: "I didn't look up to see a vision of Jesus on my windshield. The Holy Spirit didn't rush in through the air-conditioning vents. It was nothing weird; I just knew that God was real." That's what we call faith--trusting in something we cannot see.
Just like I have faith that God is real and His Word is true, you have faith that God isn't real and this life has no ultimate purpose. I have entrusted my life to the hands of God; you have entrusted your life to so-called science and intellectualism. I have the hope of one day seeing my Savior face to face; you have the horror of being put in the ground to stay. I have a Savior who literally loved me to death; you have so-called intellectual heroes who couldn't care less about you.
Jesus said in John 10:10, "I have come that [you] may have life, and that [you] may have it more abundantly." Ray Comfort once said that, when a person rejects God, he rejects life itself. If you love life, as I suspect you do, atheism is not for you.
You described your life as being mundane. I found that quite interesting, considering the definition of the word. We ordinarily would think the word mundane to mean that something is boring or meaningless, but the word mundane also has another definition. When I looked up its definition, I found this: "Of this world." Of. This. World. I suspect that, when you chose that word to describe your life, you were comparing yourself to the standards of the world around you. I may be wrong, but I doubt you've ever murdered anyone or robbed a bank. So in your mind that makes you a good person, right? However, God doesn't judge by our standards; He judges by His. Let's take a look at some of them, shall we?
- The first of the Ten Commandments: "You shall have no other gods before Me." Have you always put God first in your life? Is there anything more important to you than Him? (I know you've probably heard all of this before, but please bare with me. There's nothing more important than your eternal salvation.)
- The second of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not make for yourself any idol." The disobedience to this commandment is the basis of atheism. While some non-Christians claim that God is a god of love and would never send anyone to Hell, atheists see God as a tyrant whose main goal is to suck all of the fun out of our lives. Both are idolatry.
- The third of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not take the name of God in vain." If you have violated this commandment, you have used the name of God as a filthy, four-letter curse word. Again, I may be wrong, but I doubt you would like it if I used your mother's name in that manner. So why do you do that with God's name? Contrary to popular belief, blasphemy is not just a part of society.
- The sixth of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not murder." In the above paragraph, I mentioned that I doubt you've ever murdered anyone. I may be right, but 1 John 3:15 says, "He who hates his brother is a murderer." If you have ever hated anyone, God sees you as a murderer.
- The seventh of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not commit adultery." You may not have ever actually committed adultery (by the world's definition of the word), but the Bible says that God even sees lust to be adultery. Have you ever looked at a woman with lust? The Bible warns that no adulterer or fornicator will enter the kingdom of Heaven.
- The eighth of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not steal." Have you ever taken anything that didn't belong to you? If you have, God sees you as a thief.
- The ninth of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not lie." There are no "white-lies" in God's eyes. Even if you have only stretched the truth one time in your entire life, God sees you as a liar.
Adrian Rogers used to tell a story about a lady who had her picture taken. After the picture was developed, she looked at it and told the photographer that he would have to retake the picture. She said that one didn't do her justice. The photographer looked at the picture and then back at her and replied, "Lady, you don't need justice. What you need is mercy."
That story is true of all of us. On our own, we are criminals in God's sight. And just as that woman couldn't do anything about her looks, we cannot erase our sin. God is good; therefore, He cannot let sin go unpunished. The only way you could be set free is if someone else stepped in and paid your fine for you.
Thankfully Someone did do that. Two thousand years ago, God sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect, sinless life, and then die on the cross for your sin. There is a Christian song called "Beautiful Terrible Cross." In that song are these words, "Savior, You suffered the most wicked fate on the cruelest creation of men." He did that for you, JD. He paid the price for your sin so that you wouldn't have to. It should have been you on that cross. However, God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to pay the price for your sin...to take your punishment.
That cross is terrible because of the torment and pain that He went through. But that cross is beautiful because it has the power to pay your ransom. Isaiah 53:5 says, "But He was wounded for [JD's] transgressions, He was bruised for [JD's] iniquities: the chastisement of [JD's] peace was upon Him; and with His stripes [JD can be] healed."
I'll never forget a video I saw where Ray Comfort was asking different people questions about evolution and atheism. Well, actually I'll just always remember one part of the video. That part was when Ray was talking with a man on an airplane. Ray asked him a series of questions, and then said, "Do you think God had anything to do with this?" The man looked at Ray with fear in his eyes and said, "It's hard not to believe that sometimes."
It's not hard for me to understand why you fell away from the faith. I have a book that I have yet to read entitled Hard to Believe by John MacArthur. Normal biblical Christianity is hard to believe. God doesn't want you to just believe in Him; He wants you to trust Him. Trust is much like faith. Faith says, "Although I cannot see You, I believe You're there." Trust says, "Everything I have is Yours. I'll go where You say go, I'll say what You say say, and I'll do what You say do. Even though I see no way this can work, my life is in Your hands."
Really, it's not that hard to believe in God. Many non-Christians believe in God--the Bible tells us that even Satan believes in God. The hard part is trusting God. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." And in Matthew 10:38 Jesus said, "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me."
The cost of following after Christ is too high for this world. There's too much to give up. There's too much to give. With the commitment to Christ comes temptation, persecution, etc. Without a wholehearted commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, the devil will eventually succeed in pulling you away from the faith (which is what I suppose happened to you some years ago).
Choosing to obey God and trust in His Son cannot come from any sort of feeling. The choice to honor God is just that...a choice. It is a lifelong decision and comitment that will turn your whole world upside-down. Loving God unconditionally is not like loving another person unconditionally, where you love them whether they deserve it or not--God will always deserve your love. Loving God unconditionally means setting aside your desires and taking on His. God's definition (which is the only right definition) of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, which says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
When I read your comment, I immediately thought of a song called "All Is Well." Specifically, I thought of the line that says, "When His presence I can't feel, I'll still trust that God is real." We may not be able to see Him, we may not always be able to feel His presence in our lives, but we can always trust Him.
I'm going to challenge you right now, wherever you may be, to come to Jesus. Get up, go to a quiet place, and do not leave until you have gotten right with Him. Put your trust in Jesus, make Him Lord of your life, and turn completely from all sin. Ask Him to stir up a bitter hatred in your heart toward all the things of this world that you once loved so dear. He will not only forgive you for every sin you have ever committed, but He will also forget them. You will then be righteous in His sight. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
By choosing to follow after Christ, you will not be joining any sort of religion. Actually, you will have finally woken up to reality--God created, you sinned against Him, and Jesus will have saved your sorry soul. That's why normal biblical Christians refuse to call Christianity a religion. Christianity, although not always called by that name, existed before there was such a thing as religion. In fact it existed before the universe did. God has always and always will be God.
God does have a wonderful plan for your life. However, it's not to bring you health, wealth, and prosperity; but to use you for His glory. Will you make the decision to let Him do that today?
Thanks for hanging with me and reading this immensely long post. Please think long and hard about what I said, and give your life to Him before it's eternally too late for you. I have a hard time believing that you found this blog by coincidence. It may be that God had you find this blog so that you could hear what I had to say to you today. Please don't give up on Him; He most certainly has not given up on you.
Do you have a Bible at home? Dig deep into His Word daily. That is what will help you grow in your faith and know Him better. If you have any questions, that's where you'll find the answers. Also, find a Bible-believing church family to help support you in your faith. And find some awesome Christian ministries to help encourage you during the week. One that I highly recommend is Love Worth Finding with Dr. Adrian Rogers. If you have an iPod, you can download his free podcasts from iTunes. Trust me, once you come to know Him, you won't want to stop learning about Him.
Hope you have a great weekend!