Does God Exist?
In our times of intellectual advancement and industrial achievement, growing numbers of people have lost faith in God. Many question whether a person can really know that God exists (“agnostics”), while others blatantly deny his reality (“atheists”). This growing phenomenon is amazing in light of the evidence which points to an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present Creator. Consider the following support:
1) Cause and Effect. Every day we wake up and look around us we see evidence of the “cause and effect” principle. The bed in which we sleep and the table at which we eat our breakfast were manufactured by a furniture company somewhere. The newspaper we read reflects the research and reporting of a team of journalists. The food we eat has been produced on a farm, processed and packaged at a plant, distributed, and sold through a grocery store. Every effect must have a superior cause. This principle points back to an eternal, all-wise, all-powerful God. The first verse of Scripture assumes this truth: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). It should be evident to those who have never even read the Bible: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
2) Design. The creation that we see around us exhibits masterful design. When we consider such complexities as the human body, the food chain, the water cycle, and the solar system, we stand in awe. These intricate systems work in harmony with each other and give evidence of a creative Designer. They are not the result of chance, accident, or evolution. A glimpse of God’s masterful design can be seen in the Lord’s response to Job (Job 38–39).
3) Beauty in Nature. Have you ever stared at a sunset that contained beautiful shades of red, orange, and blue? Have you ever stared off a mountain, admiring various shades of green trees and fields? Have you ever stood on a beach and witnessed the powerful tides rolling in? These scenes, and many others like them, are evidence of the great Artist, whose canvas is ever changing from day to day and season to season. The psalmist wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:1–4).
4) Religious Instinct. From the beginning of time human beings have been creatures of worship (Genesis 4:3, 4, 26). The worship of the one true God frequently became corrupted into the worship of idols and nature. People “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:23). Nevertheless, throughout history humanity has demonstrated a need to worship. If God does not exist, where does such an instinct come from?
5) Morality. Every society in existence has been built upon a sense of morality, a belief that there is right and wrong. These values are enforced by government (Romans 13:1–7). While these values may degenerate, the concept of morality testifies to the existence of God. Where did morality originate? Where did human beings get a sense of conscience which, when broken, stirs up feelings of guilt and remorse? The conscience is a gift from God as evidenced by the first couple who hid after their sin (Genesis 3:1–9). If humanity evolved from lower forms and this life is a “survival of the fittest,” why is it universally wrong to steal and murder? Why are people imprisoned for such crimes?
6) Justice. Many people act immorally in this life, but yet seem to prosper. What about those who committed crimes and were never caught or justly prosecuted? If there were no God, there would be no true justice. Scripture, however, affirms that God will deliver justice: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
7) Hope Through Suffering. The fatalistic mentality of many today leads them to end their own lives when their quality of life fails. They have no hope for life beyond this one. There is nothing to bring them cheer or relief in their time of pain. All they foresee is a grave where their body will be left to decay into utter nothingness. Such a view of life causes people to think, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32). Such ones are “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). In contrast, those who have a vibrant faith in God and his Son Jesus Christ also have great hope in times of suffering. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18). Without God, there is no true hope.
8) Purpose in Life. It has been said that there are three big questions concerning life: 1) Where did we come from? 2) Why are we here? 3) Where are we going? Consider the second question concerning our purpose in life. If there is no God, there is no clearly defined purpose for our lives. Our existence is arbitrary, happenstance, and meaningless. On the other hand, if God is real, then life makes all kinds of sense. We are here to bring glory and honor to our Creator. After contemplating the meaning of life, considering wisdom, wealth, and work, Solomon advised: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).
9) History. God has given testimony to his existence by his ongoing work throughout history. He did not simply wind up the world like a clock, as deists believe. Rather, God has been at work since the foundation of the world, revealing his love, mercy, power, and holiness. His work can even be seen in the lives of those who do not know him. “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17). God has communicated with select individuals throughout history, revealing his will and purpose. Many of these revelations are recorded in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. The fullest revelation of God was the incarnation of Jesus Christ. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1, 2). “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:18).
(Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.)