Brethren, welcome to another lovely weekend! Last week we examined the question of whether God truly exists. We learnt that people claim to reject God’s existence because it is “not scientific” or “because there is no proof.”
We realised that creation, crave for eternity and civilization provided evidence about the existence of God. The very fact that some attempt so aggressively to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence.
So this week, the question we are looking at is “why should I care if God exists?
There are myriad views on not only the nature of God but also His very existence. Humans have limited perception of the complexities of our immediate world and the universe as a whole. The irony is that God’s nature is not one of confusion, but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33 states, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” The key to overcoming confusion is not to avoid the question altogether, but to focus on the very One whom many choose to ignore (Philippians 4:6–7).
We should eagerly address the real, concrete problems facing humanity, such as poverty, illiteracy, and disease, and it is true that debates about the existence and nature of God can keep us from concentrating on those challenges. So, why should any of us care whether or not God exists? To the believer, it is the theological question above all others. To the unconvinced, it remains a philosophical issue. Theology, to the agnostic, is merely a human invention; the question of God’s existence seems pointless.
The Bible’s presentation of God shows why His existence matters. God’s holy nature is revealed in contrast to human (sinful) nature, and the Bible gives mankind a standard of right and wrong. Without an arbiter, there is no final authority to weigh the values we establish for ourselves (Psalm 19:7–11). Who is to say one thing is wrong and another right? Why is it incumbent upon us to help those in need? By what authority can we object to illiteracy? If there is no God, and life on earth is simply “survival of the fittest,” then why should anyone work to feed the hungry? Upon what standard do we lay the foundation of our morality?
God reveals to us His essence: “I AM WHO I AM” (see Exodus 3:3–15). This statement speaks to God’s self-existence, which is fully independent of mankind’s perceptions of Him. He encompasses everything, and He Himself is the standard of what is good. Psalm 19:1–5 paints a beautiful picture of God’s eternal nature and His revelation of that nature in His creation.
The question of God’s existence is important because, on a practical level, if God does exist, there is a good chance that He wants to connect with us and that He requires the meeting of certain standards to make that happen. So, the question is central to everything. We are either created in God’s image, or we are not. Love and compassion are either part of God’s nature (and therefore, to be reflected in us), or they are products of a random biological accident (and therefore, unnecessary). Our existence has significance (or insignificance) depending on the existence (or non-existence) of God. Meeting the temporal, material problems of mankind is important, but meeting the eternal, spiritual problems of mankind is even more important.
The Bible says mankind has been spoiled by sin. In fact, the pressing global problems that we face today are, ultimately, the result of sin. The question of God’s existence then becomes of utmost importance, because to ignore God’s existence is to ignore the reality of sin and thus the root of the world’s problems.
Fortunately, God has provided a way to forgive sin and restore our fellowship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16, Romans 3:21–26). Sinful man is spiritually dead and often rejects any notion of the one true God. John 3:19 states, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” It is God who brings us to faith in His Son through the Holy Spirit (John 6:41–51). Salvation is a gift God offers to all mankind (John 3:16). Our role is simply to believe what God says and yield to His Spirit. The validity of this message, of course, in contingent upon God’s existence!
Why do people attempt to persuade others to agree with their view of God’s existence? Why can’t Christians keep their faith within the confines of their homes and churches, as they are often told to do? The motivation for many Christians is that they want everyone to have the opportunity to fellowship with God. Also, Christianity is inherently evangelistic. One of Jesus’ mandates is to spread the gospel and make disciples. This outreach is done out of love, and it is an endemic principle of the Christian faith.
While no one has seen God, He manifests Himself to us in a number of ways. First, God is made known through His creation (Romans 1:20). The willing observer can look all around him, see God’s handiwork, and spend a lifetime in wonderment at the intricacies and interdependence of all physical things. Scripture states it is foolish to deny there is a God (Psalm 14:1). The universe was clearly designed, and we have been created with an ability to comprehend it at some level. Scripture is unambiguous that God has given us everything we need to acknowledge His existence (Job 38).
God also reveals Himself through His Word (Psalm 19:7–11). The Bible teaches us of God’s nature, and it instructs us in morality (1 Timothy 3:16). The supreme expression of God is to be found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:15).
The plain fact is that God does exist. He loves us and wants to bring us from spiritual death to life in His Son, Jesus.
Why should I believe in God?
Belief in God is the most basic of all human considerations. Acknowledgement of one’s Creator is foundational to learning any more about Him. Without believing in God, it is impossible to please Him or even come to Him (Hebrews 11:6). People are surrounded with proof of God’s existence, and it is only through the hardening of sin that men reject that proof (Romans 1:18–23). It is foolish to disbelieve in God (Psalm 14:1).
There are two choices in life. First, we have the choice to trust in man’s limited reason. Man’s reason has produced various philosophies, the many world religions and “isms,” different cults, and other ideas and worldviews. A key characteristic of man’s reason is that it does not last, for man himself is not lasting. It is also limited by man’s finite knowledge; we are not as wise as we think we are (1 Corinthians 1:20). Man’s reason starts with himself and ends with himself. Man lives in Time’s box with no way out. Man is born, grows to maturity, makes his impact on the world, and eventually dies. That is it for him, naturally speaking. The choice to live by reason leaves one weighed in the balance and found wanting. If a person objectively thinks about such a lifestyle, it should cause him to consider the second choice.
The second choice we have is to accept God’s revelation in the Bible. To “lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Of course, to accept that the Bible is from God, one must acknowledge God. Belief in the God of the Bible does not negate the use of reason; rather, it is when we seek God that He opens our eyes (Psalm 119:18), enlightens our understanding (Ephesians 1:18), and grants us wisdom (Proverbs 8).
Belief in God is bolstered by the evidence of God’s existence that is readily available. All creation bears silent witness to the fact of a Creator (Psalm 19:1–4). God’s book, the Bible, establishes its own validity and historical accuracy. For example, consider one Old Testament prophecy concerning Christ’s first coming. Micah 5:2 states that Christ would be born in Bethlehem of Judea. Micah gave his prophecy around 700 BC. Where was Christ born seven centuries later? He was born in Bethlehem of Judea, just as Micah had predicted (Luke 2:1–20; Matthew 2:1–12).
Peter Stoner, in Science Speaks (p. 100–107), has shown that coincidence in prophetic Scripture is ruled out by the science of probability. By using the laws of probability in reference to eight prophecies concerning Christ, Stoner found that the chance that any man would fulfill all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000. And that is only considering eight prophecies; Jesus fulfilled many more. There is no doubt that the Bible’s accuracy and reliability are substantiated by prophecy.
Reading the Bible, we discover that God is eternal, holy, personal, gracious, and loving. God has broken open Time’s box through the Incarnation of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s loving action does not impinge on man’s reason but provides enlightenment for man’s reason so he can begin to understand that he needs forgiveness and eternal life through the Son of God.
Sure, one can reject the God of the Bible, and many do. Men can reject what Jesus Christ has done for them. To reject Christ is to reject God (John 10:30). What will it be for you? Will you live by man’s limited, faulty reason? Or will you acknowledge your Creator and accept God’s revelation in the Bible? “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7–8).
Until Next Week,