Guess all those churches, synagogues, and mosques might as well close up shop and go home, right?
Well, wait a minute. It can’t be “scientifically” proven that Julius Caesar ever existed either. But there are marble busts of Caesar, coins with his name and image on them, and untold numbers of ancient documents and inscriptions that refer to him. In fact, books about him could fill an entire library. But all these are evidence, not proof.
Evidence points to a fact. Proof asserts a fact undeniably. For example, you can prove that 2+2=4. You can add two oranges and two oranges, and you will always end up with four oranges. That’s proof, what scientists call empirical proof. Whether or not Julius Caesar lived cannot be proven empirically. However, the weight of historical evidence indicates that he actually did.
The same is true of God. His existence can’t be proven. Yet, as in Caesar’s case, the preponderance of evidence makes it not only possible to believe that God existed; some would say it makes this conclusion inescapable.
The questions that follow are commonly asked by people just like you who are searching to know the truth about God. Maybe you yourself have asked these questions. Take a little time. Go through them in your quest to determine for yourself whether or not God exists.
Many think that science, especially Darwinism, or evolution theory, has largely disproved the idea of a God who created everything around us. Despite this brand of thinking, the existence of God remains what scientists call a “highly convenient hypothesis.” In other words, it “fits,” as if our minds have a built-in “feel” for God (so much so, in fact, that when people reject the idea of God, they will always replace it with something else, like nature or even materialism).
Even with the wide acceptance of Darwinism in our world today, Darwin’s extensive theorizing has done little to adequately explain the ultimate cause and origin of life. Where did this world come from? The sea that teems with fish, the sun that flames with energy, the invisible particles of dust that swirl in the air—what caused them? If they “evolved,” what caused the things from which they came?
Faith is faith friends—whether you have faith that “In the beginning, God created” (Genesis 1:1) or you have faith that once there was nothing that over eons of time developed into something with no mind to trigger its occurrence. It’s still your faith and what you choose to place it in.
After careful investigation, it is next to impossible to believe that our universe evolved accidentally into its vast, beautiful, complex precision that we see all around us. The universe contains roughly one hundred billion (that’s a one followed by eleven zeros!) galaxies. Each galaxy holds approximately one hundred billion stars and perhaps as many planets. The astronomer who charts the expansive intricacies of the universe must assume that such things happened by chance or say, like the Bible says, “The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship” (Psalm 19:1, NLT).
Consider our planet, the only place in the solar system where life is found. If the earth’s orbit around the sun moved just a little faster, centrifugal force would hurl it away like a stone from a sling, and all life would cease. If it traveled only slightly more slowly, the sun’s massive gravity would draw the earth closer, causing all life to end. If the earth’s placement in the solar system were slightly closer to the sun, the average temperature on earth would rise significantly, and the effect on the ratio of land and water would be disastrous to the balance required for the maintenance of life. Likewise, if the earth were slightly farther away from the sun, lowering the average temperature, constant winter would set in, making our planet uninhabitable. If the moon were not in its present, perfect distance from the earth, tides would overflow coastal areas and erode continents, creating a desolate water-world that could not sustain life. The scientist who understands the miracle of the earth’s placement in the solar system must either attribute it to some cosmic form of luck or resolve in his mind, as the Bible says, that “God…made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos” (Isaiah 45:18, NLT).
One molecule of human DNA, far too tiny to be seen by the naked eye, is a complex ladder of a hundred million or so twists and about a hundred billion atoms. The biologist who probes DNA must imagine that this astoundingly complicated building block of life developed on its own, like a jigsaw puzzle of a hundred billion pieces that assembles itself in a box, or say, like the Bible says, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it” (Psalm 139:14, NLT).
A single organ in the human body—the eye—is incredibly complex. Forty different mechanisms—a lens, a pupil, a retina made up of 130,000,000 cells, nerve fibers, and so on—function in mind-boggling harmony to produce the most sophisticated imaging device known to science. The surgeon who studies the human eye must believe that its development happened randomly or conclude, like the Bible says, that “Ears to hear and eyes to see—both are gifts from the LORD” (Proverbs 20:12, NLT).
Such obvious and breathtaking design points compellingly to a Designer. In fact, Anthony Flew, one of the world’s leading proponents of atheism, has recently made a dramatic turnaround, admitting that recent biological research “has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved.” Far from discrediting the notion of a Creator, science continues to expose the astounding intricacy and irreducible complexity of the universe, adding faster to our wonder than to our understanding. The honest seeker should at the very least consider the possibility that behind such wonder is an infinite Mind rather than the mindless march of chance.
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Certainly, some people cherish the opinion that those who believe in God are reality challenged. But facts do not support that belief. Reliable, sophisticated, intellectual men and women through the ages have testified to their belief in the reality of God. A former Egyptian official named Moses encountered God in a burning bush and wrote an affidavit that has become part of our Bible. The head of state of a major world power, Israel’s King David, gave credit to God for his own throne. A renowned political prisoner, the Apostle John, recorded his encounter with God in a lengthy revelation that now concludes the Bible.
Throughout European and American history, some very high-powered thinkers have believed wholeheartedly and whole-mindedly in God: scientists like Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton; Noah Webster, the creator of Webster’s Dictionary; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln; Samuel F.B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph; philosopher Soren Kierkegaard; and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Arthur Compton, to name a few.
To believe in God requires no less intellect than not to believe in God because each is a function of faith, not intellect. The Bible says, “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command” (Hebrews 11:3, NLT). You can refuse to believe without having a Ph.D. in microbiology. And you can likewise choose to believe without having all of your questions answered. Whatever you decide, you need to dispel the myth that intelligent, sophisticated people do not believe in God because the evidence from history firmly indicates otherwise.
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Fair enough, for starters. But that must mean you’ve rejected evolution theory as well; unless, of course, you’ve actually witnessed that whole fish-to-mammal-to-ape-to-man transformation. Not to mention evaporation. Photosynthesis. Wind. Of course, you may argue, that even though you cannot physically touch or see these things, you can certainly observe their effects and thus believe they exist.
As it is with the wind, so it is with God. Take, for example, the case of prisoners on the Malay Peninsula during World War II. Professor and author Paul Little tells of these men in a Japanese POW camp who “had been reduced almost to animals, stealing food from their buddies, who were also starving.” These unbelieving men, however, began reading the New Testament. As a result, “this group of scrounging, clawing humans was transformed into a community of love…a touching and powerful story that demonstrates clearly the reality of God in Christ Jesus” (from Know Why You Believe, by Paul E. Little, Victor Books).
An alcoholic, who has not had a sober moment for three years, suddenly after one night, announces that his life has been changed and he has stopped drinking. A woman crippled by multiple sclerosis is totally healed in an instant, and her doctor can only shake his head in wonder at her sudden and complete turnaround. A teenager who has often contemplated suicide because of loneliness finds hope— even happiness—in prayer, Bible reading, and selfless devotion to her church.
The bottom line is, you can experience God and His effects, but God has designed such an experience to come about not via proof but through faith. The anonymous writer of the book of Hebrews in the Bible makes it clear that we must have faith to please God because “anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6, NLT).
People can see some of God’s greatest beauty and most complex creations, and they will still look from here to eternity for proof of God’s existence. But we cannot nail down God with proofs; He is infinitely greater than our efforts to understand Him. We can only take hold of Him with the grasp of faith; in other words, we must “believe that He exists.” When we believe in Him and earnestly seek Him in His Word, in the world, and among His people, He will reward us and reveal Himself to us, and to others through us.
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If you can believe there is a God, then you face a new decision: Which god is the true and living God? Can you progress from believing in a god of your own understanding to believing in the God of the Bible?
The Bible declares that there is only one God, whom Jesus called “the only true God” (John 17:3, NLT). The Apostle Paul, the great church planter of the first-century church, patently stated, “But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything” (1 Corinthians 8:6, NLT). Isaiah the prophet recorded the words that God spoke to him: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God” (Isaiah 44:6, NLT).
The testimony of Jesus is that the only true God is the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who spoke to Moses in a burning bush and to Elijah in a still, small voice, and most vividly through his Son, Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-2). But none of this matters if you don’t find a way to connect personally with God. According to the Bible, if you can believe that God exists, then you must ask yourself whether you can go so far as to believe that he will reward you if you “sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NLT). In other words, if you earnestly try to connect with God, do you believe that he will show up in some way in your life? Can you go that far in your faith? If so, then you’re on the path.
You don’t need to know right away all there is to know about God in order to open the lines of communication with him. You don’t even need to have all of your questions answered before you ask him to reveal himself to you. You just need enough faith to start, and you might be amazed at what happens next.
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