Why Believe God Exists?

Is there a God? Atheists say no such being exists, yet have no proof. Agnostics merely offer that they cannot know with certainty either way. Is there, however, proof that God is real and that He is alive? This brochure presents careful reasoning to verify not only the reality of God’s existence, but the legitimacy of trusting Him.

The Inevitability of Faith: Everyone believes in something. No one can endure the stress and cares of life without faith in something that cannot ultimately be proven. Atheists cannot prove there is no God. Pantheists cannot prove that everything is God. Pragmatists cannot prove that what will count for them in the future is what works for them now. Nor can agnostics prove that it is impossible to know one way or the other. Faith is unavoidable, even if we choose to believe only in ourselves. What is to be decided is what evidence we think is pertinent, how we are going to interpret that evidence, and who or what we are willing to believe in (Luke 16:16).

The Limitations of Science: Scientific method is limited to a process defined by that which is measurable and repeatable. By definition, it cannot speak to issues of ultimate origin, meaning, or morality. For such answers, science is dependent on the values and personal beliefs of those who use it. Science, therefore, has great potential for both good and evil. It can be used to make vaccines or poisons, nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons. It can be used to clean up the environment or to pollute it. It can be used to argue for God or against Him. Science by itself offers no moral guidance or values to govern our lives. All science can do is show us how natural law works, while telling us nothing about its origins.

The Problems of Evolution: Some have assumed that an evolutionary explanation of life would make God unnecessary. This overlooks some problems. Even if we assume that scientists will someday find enough “missing links” to confirm that life appeared and developed gradually over great periods of time, laws of probability would still show the need for a Creator. As a result, many scientists who believe in evolution believe also that the universe in all of its immensity and complexity did not “just happen.” Many feel compelled to acknowledge the possibility or even likelihood of an intelligent designer who provided the ingredients for life and set in motion the laws by which it developed.

The Habits of the Heart: Mankind has been described as incurably religious. In unguarded moments of trouble or surprise, in prayer or in profanity, references to deity persist. Those who would dismiss such thoughts as bad habits or social vices are left with unanswerable questions. Denying the existence of God does not dispel the mysteries of life. Attempts to exclude God from the language of civil life does not eliminate the persistent longing for more than this life has to offer (Ecclesiastes 3:11). There is something about truth, beauty, and love that makes our hearts ache. Even in our anger with a God who would permit injustice and pain, we draw upon a moral conscience to argue that life is not as it ought to be (Romans 2:14-15). Even unwillingly, we are drawn to something that is more rather than less than ourselves.

The Background of Genesis: On first reading, the opening words of the Bible seem to assume the existence of God. Genesis, however, was written at a point of time in history. Moses wrote, “In the beginning God” after Israel’s exodus from Egypt. He wrote after miraculous events that were said to have been witnessed by millions of Jews and Egyptians. From the Exodus to the coming of Messiah, the God of the Bible rests His case on events witnessed in real time and locations. Anyone who doubted the claims could visit real places and people to check out the evidence for themselves.

The Nation of Israel: Israel is often used as an argument against God. Many find it difficult to believe in a God who would be partial to a “chosen people.” Others find it even harder to believe in a God who would not protect His “chosen nation” from the boxcars, gas chambers, and ovens of Auschwitz and Dachau. Yet from the beginning of Old Testament history, Israel’s future was prewritten. Together with other prophets, Moses predicted not only Israel’s possession of the land but also her unparalleled suffering and dispersion throughout the whole earth, her eventual repentance, and then finally her last-days restoration (Deuteronomy 28-34; Isaiah 2:1-5; Ezekiel 37-38).

The Claims of Christ: Many who doubt the existence of God have reassured themselves with the thought, “If God wanted us to believe in Him, He would appear to us.” According to the Bible, that is what God has done. Writing in the 7th century BC, the prophet Isaiah said that God would give His people a sign. A virgin would bear a son who would be called “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Isaiah said this Son would be called, “Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The prophet also said that this child would die for His people’s sins before seeing His life prolonged and honored by God (Isaiah 53). According to the New Testament, Jesus claimed to be that Messiah. Under the oversight of a Roman governor named Pontius Pilate, He was crucified on charges that He claimed to be the king of Israel and that He had represented Himself as being equal with God (John 5:18).

The Evidence of Miracles: The reports of the first followers of Jesus agree that He did more than just claim to be the long-awaited Messiah. These witnesses said He won their trust by healing paralytics, walking on water, and then voluntarily dying a painful, undeserved death before rising from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). Most compelling was their claim that many witnesses had seen and talked to Christ after finding His tomb empty and before watching Him ascend visibly into the clouds. These witnesses didn’t have anything on earth to gain by their claims. They had no hopes of material wealth or power. Many became martyrs, claiming to the end that the long-awaited Messiah of Israel had lived among them, that He had become a sacrifice for sin, and that He had risen from the dead to assure them of His ability to bring them to God.

The Details of Nature: Some who believe in God do not take His existence seriously. They reason that a God great enough to create the universe would be too big to be concerned about us. Jesus, however, confirmed what the design and detail of the natural world suggest. He showed that God is great enough to care about the smallest details of our lives. He spoke of one who not only knows every move we make but also the motives and thoughts of our heart. Jesus taught that God knows the number of hairs on our head, the concerns of our heart, and even the condition of a fallen sparrow (Psalm 139; Matthew 6).

The Voice of Experience: The Bible says that God designs the circumstances of our lives in a way that will prompt us to look for Him (Acts 17:26). For those who do reach out for Him, the Scriptures also say that He is close enough to be found (Acts 17:27). According to the apostle Paul, God is a Spirit in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The Bible makes it just as clear, however, that we must reach out for God on His terms rather than our own. He promises to be found, not by just anyone but by those who admit their own need and are willing to trust Him rather than themselves.

You’re Not Alone: You’re not alone if you find yourself honestly unconvinced about whether Christ rose from the dead. But keep in mind that Jesus promised God’s help to those who want to be right with God. He said, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own” (John 7:17).

If you do see the reasonableness of the resurrection, keep in mind that the Bible says Christ died to pay the price for our sins, and those who believe in their heart that God has raised Him from the dead will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). The salvation Christ offers is not a reward for effort, but a gift to all who in light of the evidence put their trust in Him.

This information comes from Radio Bible Class (RBC Ministries).

[print_link] [email_link]

Obvious Evidence for God

Evidence that God exists, that Christ is the Son of God and that, along with the Holy Spirit, God encompasses these three identities, appears throughout the Bible. To know that the one God created the universe forms the basis of faith, our foundation. We know God created the world and everything in it, and see evidence of this every day in its order and complexity and the way all things fit together in an extraordinary planned sequence.

Extraordinary order = Unimaginable Intelligence

This irrevocable order comes from the indisputable intelligence that created it, ordered it, even maintains it, in spite of man’s interference. Those who attempt to refute the existence of God, the Creator, have to believe in Him on some level in order to refute Him! We witness the miracles in creation every day.

They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. (Romans 1:19–22)

Man is Only the Created; We Know Who the Author Is:

Imagine the giant ego of man to think he can reason beyond God! This arrogance is hubris, from the Greek word meaning excessive pride, which becomes the downfall of the person who possesses it. Literature is full of stories in which the hero ultimately fails because success has gone to his head, and he loses his true perspective and direction. “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” (Romans 1:25). Those who assume they know all the answers are victims of their own delusion. Remember: God is the judge of man; not man the judge of God.

Christians are constantly challenged by those who believe in evolution, the “accidental,” “scientific” process of change in the universe and living things. We are charged by Christ to patiently answer the naysayers, in the hope that the Holy Spirit uses our answers in their conversion:

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. (1 Peter 3:15)

Know Thy Limits, Respect Thy Maker

For God is the ultimate intelligence, and we must accept that there is no way we will understand and explain everything. Our limitations as humans are too great. “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:26). Let us be reminded that an image is a representation of a being or object. A picture of a person is NOT the person himself. It is but a mere reflection. By believing that the Bible is God’s Word, recorded in remarkable consistency by many through the ages, we take God at His Word. Denying His Word reduces that denial to absurdity.

Indeed, for the unbeliever, our faith is blind, but as the Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:25, “Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.” They cannot see truth until repentance. First Corinthians 2:14 says: “But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”

We have our foundational evidence: IN THE BEGINNING, GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH. (Genesis 1:1)
Enough said!
Praise be to God (not man)!

I found this article at Creation Today website. This is an edited version.

[print_link] [email_link]

Are All Sins Equally Bad?

The question comes from skeptics and believers alike, “Are all sins really equal in God’s eyes?” It is common within evangelical circles to say that they are. The smallest white lie and the most brutal murder both nailed Jesus to the cross; he died for all sins. Most people may find this theological concept very appealing and accept it without doing much homework. I think this is true for two reasons:

  1. A reaction by Protestants against the Roman Catholic distinction between mortal sins (sins that are grievous) and venial sin (sins of a lesser nature).
  2. A tendency within our church culture to find a way to say that we are all equally in need of God’s grace and that all sin is extremely serious in God’s eyes (which is true).

After a little research, I don’t believe that all sin is equal in God’s sight. I also believe that telling people all sins are equal does damage to the character of God and the seriousness of certain sins. There are several reasons for this:

Think about it:

What if people lived according to this theology?

  1. If all sin is equal in the sight of God, then His anger will be equal for whatever sin we commit.
  2. How would it affect our relational disposition before God?
    1. If we suffer from the conviction of the Holy Spirit for all sins equally, our conscious getting weighed down by unrepentant sin will become confusing.
    2. This weighing down normally only comes from those sins that we perceive to be more severe. But if all sin is equal in the sight of God and one lived according to that theology, we would be just as troubled and just as repentant each time we exceeded the speed limit as when we commit adultery, steal the last loaf of bread from a starving family, or abuse children.
  3. But no one does this. We all see speeding down the road as a minor infraction because our conscious bears witness that it is not as bad as other things.

What Does the Bible Say?

I think that it is biblical and necessary to say that some sins are more grievous in the sight of God than others. This also translates into the assumption that some people are sinners to a greater degree than others. There are many instances in the Scriptures where degrees of sin are distinguished.

  1. Jesus tells Pilate that the Jewish leaders have committed a worse sin than him, saying “he who has handed me over to you has committed the greater sin” (John 19:11).
  2. Certain sins in the law are distinguished in a particular context as an abomination to God, implying that others are not as severe (as in Leviticus 18:22, Deuteronomy 7:25, 23:18, Isaiah 41:24).
  3. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is set apart as a more severe sin than blasphemy of the Son (Matthew 12:31).
  4. Proverbs 6:16-19 lists particular sins in such a way as to single them out because of their depraved nature, separating them from others.
  5. There are degrees of punishment in hell depending on the severity of the offense (Luke 12:47-48).
  6. Jesus says of the Pharisees, “You strain out a gnat while you swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24). If all sins are equal, Christ’s rebuke does not make any sense.
  7. Jesus also talked about the “weightier things of the law” (Matthew 23:23). If all sins are equal, there is no law (or violation of that law) that is weightier than others. They are all the same weight.

Where Do We Get Our Theology?

So where does this faulty theology come from? Many people might refer to Christ’s comments in the Sermon on the Mount as justification for this way of thinking, or perhaps that verse in James.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall not commit adultery;” but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28).

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. (James 2:10)

Is there a difference in the eyes of God between thinking about adultery and actually doing it? Absolutely. If we say anything other than this, we do damage to God’s character and encourage the act based upon the thought of it. The point Jesus makes in Matthew 5:28 is not that lust and the actual act are equal, but that they both violate the same commandment. He was telling all people (particularly the religious leaders of the day) who thought they were safe because they had fulfilled the letter of the law that the law runs much deeper. The spirit of the law is what matters.

  1. If you have ever lusted, you have broken the sixth commandment (Matthew 5:28).
  2. If you have ever hated your brother, you have broken the fifth commandment (Matthew 5:22).

James is telling us that whatever the sin, no matter how small a sinner you believe yourself to be, that tiny sin still put Jesus on the cross to pay the debt.

The breaking of the principles of the commandment is the issue, not the degree to which it is broken.

Absurdity in Action:

If we believe that adultery and lust are equal in the sight of God, then here are the logical results:

  1. Any man or woman can justify divorce based upon the fact that Christ condemns divorce except for marital infidelity (Matthew 5:32). All they need to do is make the assumption that their spouse has lusted to some degree during their marriage.
  2. If a man were to lust after a woman on the Internet, he might as well commit the actual act, since in God’s eyes he already has.
  3. If you have ever lusted after a girl, then you should marry her since in God’s eyes you are one with her (1 Corinthians 6:16).

I think that this way of thinking is not only wrong biblically, but it also has repercussions that lead to a distorted worldview and it discredits the integrity of God.

It is true that all people are sinners; all the way since birth. But not all sin is equal. I think that it is safe to say that while not all people sin to the same degree, we all share in an equally depraved nature.

Assurance of Salvation

This section is part of a class that I am teaching called Discipleship 101, the Lost Art of Disciple Making, where we are going to cover the basics of the Christian faith. I have in my class those who have never been discipled as well as those who have been with Christ for a long time, but are seeking tools and strategies for helping or mentoring others toward becoming disciple makers.

This is a brief section of reasons to believe and trust, and several verses to look up, which is done easily on this site.

Assurance of Salvation
We find direct statements in God’s Word: John 5:24, 1 John 5:13, Titus 1:2

But can We Believe the Bible?
The Bible claims to be the Word of God: expressions in the Bible, like “and God said…” or “Thus says the Lord…” and “God spoke to Moses…” – Genesis 1:3, Exodus 20:1, Joshua 14:5, Luke 24:27, 44, John 10:35, Acts 1:16, 17:2, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21

The Bible is proved to be the Word of God.

  1. Unity: recorded over 1600 years, three languages, men and women from different countries and ages, with a unified message, it is one Book.
  2. Fulfilled Prophecy: hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, the Jews, the Gentiles.
  3. Archaeology: always proves the Bible’s story, if it hasn’t, just wait.
  4. The Test of Time: through sword and flame, atheism and paganism, cold indifference and false prophets, it’s still here.
  5. Universal Demand: the world’s bestselling book.
  6. Denunciation of Sin: evil is never tolerated, but is dealt with openly, nothing in secret, characters are recorded as fallen, never perfect (Exodus 17:5-7, Numbers 20:7-13).
  7. Power to Change Lives: George Muller of Bristol, as an example.

The Witness of the Holy Spirit – Romans 8:16.

  1. What That Means:
    1. He is a Person, not a force.
    2. He is a Trinity, co-equal with the Son and Father.
    3. We are His temple, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 John 4:13
  2. How This Happens:
    1. He is the believer’s teacher – John 14:26, 15:26-27, 16:12-15
    2. He is the believer’s comforter – John 14:16, paraclete, John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7
    3. He is the believer’s guide – John 16:13, to lead the way (Matthew 15:14), Romans 8:1, 14
    4. He is the believer’s helper and intercessor – Romans 8:16
  3. A New Life – Transformation, 2 Corinthians 5:17
    1. A new attitude toward sin: Romans 7:19-20, they hate it, a new heart.
    2. New desires and new friends: new primary fellowship, community and growth.
    3. Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 7:20, Acts 4:13
    4. Assurance through Christian growth: Titus 3:5, Philippians 3:14, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?

The resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith – 1 Corinthians 15:14. Since we have already looked into the big questions of life (Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?), so if Christ rose from the dead, we know for certain that God exists, what He is like and that He has a great plan for humankind!

Not wishful thinking:

If the resurrection had never happened, Christianity is nothing more than a museum piece, and devotees whom many have given their lives were only poor deluded fools. Skeptics attack the resurrection because Christianity stands or falls on this fact.

One skeptic promotes that it is all a fable or fantasy, attempting to expose the faith as a fraud and superstition. While Frank Morison was doing his research, he could not get past the question, “Who moved the stone?” Lee Strobel has a similar testimony, while trying to expose Christianity as a lie, he examined the evidence and came to faith in Christ.

Data to be considered:

The fact of the Christian church: It can be traced back to the first century Palestine, around AD 32. Did it just happen or was there a cause for it? They were first called Christians in Antioch, and they turned the world up-side down – Acts 11:26, 17:6. They constantly referred to the resurrection as the basis for their teaching and living.

Then there is the fact of the Christian day: Sunday is the day of worship, and can be traced back to around AD 32. Something significant must have happened to change the day from the Jewish Sabbath to the first day of the week. Even more remarkable is the fact that many of the first Christians were Jewish!

There is the Christian book, the New Testament: There are six independent testimonies to the fact of the resurrection; three of them by eyewitnesses (peter, John and Matthew). These who helped transform the moral fabric of society could not have been skilled liars or deluded madmen.

Accounting for the empty tomb:

The earliest explanation was the disciples stole the body (Matthew 28:11-12, 13-15) – Religious leaders gave money to guards to say the disciples came and stole the body while they were asleep. It was so false that Matthew did not even bother to refute it. If they were asleep, how would they know the disciples did this? It would be laughed out of court. This was also totally out of character of the disciples; they would be thieves and liars. But each of these disciples faced torture and martyrdom. People will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not however die for what the know to be a lie.

The Jewish or Roman authorities stole the body: But why? Evidence they did not comes out of their silence in the face of the bold preaching of the resurrection by the apostles. They were in rage and did all they could to squash this new faith. The truth is that if they had taken the body, they would have paraded the bloody corpse through the streets of Jerusalem!

The women, distraught with grief in the pre-dawn light, went to the wrong tomb: They imagined Christ was alive because they found a tomb empty. If this happened, the authorities would have just gone to the right tomb and produced the body. It is also inconceivable that all the disciples would have made such a mistake, and Joseph of Arimathea would not have gone to the wrong tomb (it belonged to him – Matthew 27:57-59, 60-61).

The swoon theory: Jesus did not actually die, but was weak, exhausted and passed out, but in the cool of the tomb was revived and got out. First off, these Roman guards were good at their trade; they knew dead when they saw it! If Jesus revived, how did he regain strength without food or water for three days? What about the blood loss? How did He remove the grave clothes? How did He roll away the stone, overcome the guards, and walked miles on spike pierced feet? How do you explain the appearances of Christ with only the nail wounds? He would have looked like a resuscitated corpse not a glorified Savior.

The appearances of Christ:

This happened from the morning of the resurrection to 40 days later. He appeared to Peter and John, the disciples, over 500 people, in different places (the tomb, the upper room, to the Emmaus Road). These eyewitnesses testify that this actually happened.

Was it a hallucination? These people were a diverse group and dispositions, not said to be imaginative of nervous minded. Hallucinations are subjective and individual; no two people have the same experience. When He appeared to the 500, over have of them were alive by the time Paul wrote about it in First Corinthians 15. Hallucinations usually take place at certain times and places. These appearances happened indoors, outdoors, and at all times during the day. Some of these experiences took place over a long period of time, abruptly ending after the ascension.

A hallucination is generally comes from an intense desire to believe something that is not there, so he attached reality to the imagination. But these disciples were persuaded against their wills to believe He was raised from the dead. They came to the tomb with spices in hand. Mary did not expect to see Jesus alive, and even mistook Him for the gardener. The disciples believed he story to be an idle tale. When they thought they had seen a ghost, He calms then by inviting them to touch Him and even eating with them, something a hallucination would not have done.

Then there’s Thomas. He wasn’t about to believe in this hallucination! When Jesus shows up, he exclaims “My Lord and my God.” To hold to the hallucination theory is to ignore the evidence. What changed these cowardly disciples into men of courage and conviction? How do we explain Peter’s denial before the crucifixion to Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, later risking harm and jail time?

Contemporary proof:

If Jesus is alive, He is ready to invade your existence. Thousands of people across the globe have trusted Him with their salvation, and testify how He changed their lives.