There Are No Atheists
Yesterday's reading included some basic introductory comments from Paul before he began his letter in earnest. The first two verses of today's reading function as a kind of formal theological introduction to the letter. Doug Moo writes:
"The train of thought is: 'I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome because I am not ashamed of the gospel.…'" 
Which bring us to the rest of today's reading. Before Paul goes deeply into the content of the Gospel (which will last for several chapters of Romans), he sets up our need for the Gospel. We are broken people. He writes in 1:18-21:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened." (emphasis mine)
There is A LOT that we could spend days on in just these few verses, but I want to highlight a few important things:
1. Man's need: What is the need? Salvation - God's wrath is poured out upon man.
2. The reason for wrath: In today's reading, he points out two major reasons:
a. The rejection of God as King. This leads to the worship of idols.
b. The rejection of God's plan. These leads to all kinds of depraved behavior. He kindly provides a list of some of these behaviors.
Man is in dire straights. We have rejected God and His plan for us, and His wrath is rightly upon us. This is the main idea that is being conveyed in our reading for today.
One more thought on a very important implication from today's passage. I know that if there happen to be any atheists reading this blog, they're not going to like what I have to say next. I know I probably wouldn't have like it when I was in that place either, but here it is: according to this passage, we as Christians must believe that there is no such thing as a true atheist. Why? Because "what can be known about God is plan to them, because God has shown it to them....So they are without excuse." If it is true that we are made "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever" (from the Westminster Catechism), then it follows that we as humans know that He exists. This passage backs that up. WE ARE MADE TO KNOW GOD. So what about those that "don't believe in that stuff"? According to this passage, they "suppress the truth". The truth can be suppressed in a number of ways, and this passage lists a lot of them - it can be intellectually, morally - you name it. They may (and probably will) reach a point where the truth is so supressed that they feel that there truly is not a God, but that doesn't change the truth. God does not run from unbelief. He is not afraid of it. And how can He let it slide, when we are made to know Him. There are no atheists, only those that have suppressed the truth. One day it will no longer be suppressed, for "...at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-11)