Evangelist Ray Comfort, who has been tackling questions from atheists on his Facebook page, has offered a response to those who ask how God could justify wiping out most of humanity in the Great Flood story in the Bible, bar Noah and his family.
"How can you justify God killing everyone in a flood?" Comfort framed the question he was asked.
He answered by saying, "God doesn't have to justify Himself to anybody, because He is God."
"Everyone will die, because the judge of the universe has proclaimed our death sentence," he added. "We are the ones who need justification, not God, and we can be justified through repentance and faith in Jesus because of what He did on the cross."
A number of prominent atheists, including HBO's Bill Maher, have questioned the morality behind the Great Flood story, and in March 2014 said on his "Real Time" show:
"The thing that's really disturbing about Noah isn't the silly, it's that it's immoral," Maher claimed. "It's about a psychotic mass murderer who gets away with it and his name is God. Genesis says God was so angry with Himself for screwing up when He made mankind so flawed that He sent the flood to kill everyone. Men, women, children, babies, what kind of tyrant punishes everyone just to get back at the few he's mad at?" Maher asked.
A number of Christians, including conservative radio host Bryan Fischer, denounced Maher's description of God.
"Remember the picture that we are given of God in Scripture — He is the potter, and we are the clay. He is the judge of the living and the dead. He is the judge of all the Earth," Fischer said, adding that the evil of men was the reason behind the Flood.
"The point was, God had nothing left to work with. God's heart was not to destroy, God's heart was to redeem. But He only found one man, and perhaps the members of his family, who had a heart to respond to Him, to work with Him, to obey Him, and that man's name was Noah," he added.
Comfort has answered a number of challenges from atheists so far this year, including a separate question that asked: "What happens to those who never get a chance to hear the Gospel and die before they do get a chance?"
The evangelist answered by saying, "No one will go to Hell because they haven't heard of Jesus. They will be condemned for murder, rape, adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc."
Referring to non-believers, he added: "Put your concern for others to hear the Gospel aside for the moment. If you died right now you will justly end up in Hell. I would hate that to happen to you."