Can an atheist follow Christ's commandments better than many believers? This was asked of me during one of my radio broadcasts. Well, here we need to distinguish several different concepts. Can an atheist be a moral person, a law-abiding citizen, a conscientious worker, and a caring family member? Of course, they can. Can an atheist perform good deeds? Without a doubt. Consciousness of moral law is not a sign of belonging to the Church. It is a sign of belonging to the human race. It would be quite strange to talk about God's judgment if people simply had no concept of the law. But as the Apostle says, the Law is known to everyone; it is written in human hearts, and some people (including atheists) have steadfastly tried to follow it.
But we cannot say that an atheist follows the commandments. The commandments are not quite the same as the "rules of human society."
The commandments are what exist within the Covenant, the special relationship with God. You can fulfill family obligations only if you are a member of the family. You can obey military orders only if you are a soldier. You can follow the instructions of a manager only if you are an employee of that company.
Likewise, one can fulfill God's commandments only by being in the covenant with God. The first of the Ten Commandments states: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:2-3).
The commandments belong to the people of God, and it is in them that their relationship with God is manifested. Therefore, even a very good, moral atheist does not follow the commandments - and cannot.
The second thing to note is that the goal of the Christian faith is not to make you a decent citizen. This is its side effect. Mandatory - but side effect.
For example, imagine a person who is preparing for a space flight - while leading a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a regimen and diet, not drinking or smoking, and as a result, has a healthy complexion. But this healthy complexion is not his main goal. It is a manifestation of the fact that he has a goal in life - to fly into space.
The goal of the Christian faith is not to become a law-abiding citizen, although it is mandatory. Just as the goal of a caterpillar's life is not to become a law-abiding caterpillar. This goal lies beyond its caterpillar life. It is destined to become a butterfly and easily flutter over all the world that was familiar to it in its past life.
The Gospel speaks of God offering us eternal and blessed life. To achieve this, one must follow the commandments of Christ and be in the covenant with God.