Not long after the beginning of men upon the earth, some questioned whether their Creator really existed. We must come directly to the point of this treatise: if there is no God, there is no universal standard of right and wrong; there are no moral atrocities; there is no definition for evil; there is no real purpose for life, for hope, nor for the future! Someone may assert, "Society must decide what comprises good or bad." We ask, by what standard or system will they define such? Something must lie behind any law or decision. Something absolute must undergird all such laws. Without an absolute, there really is no legal stand that anyone can take either for or against a certain kind of behavior.
But, if there really is a God, then many problems and questions regarding morals and ethics have been answered. There is now reason to oppose evil because we now know what it is. There is good reason to support what is good and right for we know what these are. It is now absolutely proper to act a certain way, and we can know what the certain way is. If a God can create us and a system by which we can know how to live in harmony and benefit our fellow men, then He surely has communicated this to us. Indeed He has. The Bible is that communication.
The Bible tells us of what God thinks of those who will reject Him. Note these verses: "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God" (Psalms 14:1).
"Because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . . and even as they refused to have God in their knowledge God gave them up unto a reprobate mind" (Romans 1:21,22,28).
But, God is well-pleased with those who will accept the message concerning Him and His Son and will act accordingly. Consider these passages:
"But sanctify in your hearts
Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you
a reason concerning the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15).
"But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, I believed, and therefore did I speak; we also believe, and therefore also we speak" (2 Corinthians 4:13).
"and without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh unto God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him" (Hebrews 11:6).
There are three points of view that men can hold regarding the existence of God. THEISTIC: This position claims to believe that God exists. ATHEISTIC: This person says that they can know and prove that God does not exist. AGNOSTIC: This position says that perhaps God does exist, but His being cannot be proved one way or another. These latter two are false! Paul warned of those who have a false "philosophy" to be used against believers. He wrote,
"Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8).
WE CAN PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD!
Proof of course comes through examination of evidence. The evidence comes through empirical and philosophical means. "Empirical" means "through the five senses." The philosophical means has reference to that which is rational and logical. This evidence includes perception: consciousness, memory and reason (logic). It also must include testimony: which involves witnesses who are reliable and give a clear statement. All these together comprise knowledge.
The Bible speaks to all these. Therefore, it is the source of knowledge and understanding. Let us consider the testimony of the Bible writers. In Galatians 1:11,12 the apostle Paul wrote,
"For I make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man. For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ."
Peter makes this claim,
"For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to him by the Majestic Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: and this voice we ourselves heard borne out of heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount" (2 Peter 1:16-18).
Similarly, the apostle John adds his testimony to these matters thus: "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word f life (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us); that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:1-3).
Several times the apostle Paul declared that what he wrote and spoke was the absolute truth (Romans 1:9; 9:1). These things were to be handed down to others (2 Timothy 2:2), and would be the source of God's work within those who believe that message (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Finally, listen to what Jesus Himself had to say about this matter of knowing the truth, and thus knowing God. He said, "and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Why is man religious? This is universally so, with things both "right and wrong" in all cultures. Though sometimes these "codes" of morality differ somewhat in definition, they still exist in all societies. Yet, all of them stem from and point back to a "higher Being." Why is this Being called God? This conclusion came not through human reasoning or imagination. Man's imagination can only measure and rearrange information already given. Man's imagination generally gets him into trouble. This is how man is described in Genesis 6:5, "And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Paul speaks to this as well,
"This is say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who being past feeling gave themselves up to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Ephesians 4:17-19).
Man's reasoning can only measure information given to it. Hear Paul, "Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged" (1 Corinthians 2:14). That is to say, man with all his knowledge and scientific instruments used on "nature" cannot suddenly "discover" God. It takes something else to come to know about God and His will. Paul told us what that was in this text (read verses 6-13). Man is religious because God has revealed Himself to him.
Why believe in God? This is an old question. Some 2,000 years before Jesus came to this earth, a man asked this very question, "And Pharaoh said, Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto his voice . . . I know not Jehovah" (Exodus 5:2). This man paid the price for not knowing and believing in God (read chapters five through twelve). Here are some reasons why we can and must believe in God.
First, because of CAUSE AND EFFECT. For everything that exists, there had to be a first cause. The Bible says it this way, "For every house is builded by some one" (Hebrews 3:4).
Second, because of DESIGN AND DESIGNER. King David wrote in the 19th Psalm, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork" (verse one). Again he wrote, "I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well" (Psalms 139:14).
Third, because of KNOWLEDGE OF EXISTENCE. That is, since I have personality, and am aware of myself, I know that I exist. Since I exist, and that every existing thing came from something, and that all things have a designer, I conclude that I came from some one who is greater and of more powerful personality than I.
Finally, because of MORALITY. This is a study of the conscience, of knowing that there are right and wrong. This is where the problem of evil sometimes must be dealt with. But, we refer the reader to another tract written by Chuck Northrop dealing with Human Pain and Suffering. Though some may ask, "If there is a God, why is there suffering?", the real question is "If there is no God, why is there anything good?"
The universe can be only one of four things: illusion (this is philosophical nonsense since we know that we do exist. You can and do know that you are at this time holding this tract and reading it.) Perhaps the universe is spontaneous. This has been scientifically proven not to be the case. Everything comes from something. Third, the universe is theorized to be eternal. Again, science tells us this cannot be. The laws of thermodynamics will not allow any physical entity to be eternal. This has also been proven. So, the universe must of necessity be created. This is correct. The Creator therefore must be real not illusion, the originator and eternal.
Let us conclude that God has made Himself known in two distinct ways: naturally (creation) and supernaturally (the Bible). It is our hope that the evidence all around you will convince you to take seriously the testimony God has given man: the Bible. Read it, believe it and obey it. Your eternal well-being stands in the balance. God bless you in your study of His word!
by Robin W. Haley © 1993 USA
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