Is There a God?
We all think about God from time to time, even if we conclude we do not believe. It’s nearly impossible not to consider it occasionally.
Here are some letters that children have written to God:
Dear God, I read the Bible. What does “begat” mean? Nobody will tell me. Love, Alison
God, I bet it’s very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it. —Frank
Dear God, Are you really invisible, or is that just a trick? —Lucy
Dear God, I wish there was no such thing as sin. I wish there was no such thing as war. —Tim
Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. —Larry
The problem for some of us is, if God doesn’t write back, eventually we wonder if he even exists. Have you been there before? Are you there now?
The good news is that God is not intimidated by our questions—and neither is Second City Church. If you have questions about God, you’re welcome here, because all of us have questions. We’ve all written letters to God. Even if it wasn’t a literal letter, we’ve all tossed up prayers in the midst of struggles. And God welcomes those questions. Though he might not write his name in the sky or respond to your letter with a handwritten note, he’s given us lots of indications of his presence.
• Natural indicators such as creation and beauty.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
All of these things point to what theologians call God’s general revelation.
There are principles that point to God’s “fine-tuned universe.” Examples include:
Earth’s distance from the sun
The combination and concentration of atmospheric gases
The charge of subatomic particles that make up our molecular structure
The human genome and the intelligence necessary for its orderly composition
The Anthropic Principle
An Explore God resource article spoke of a discussion noted pastor Timothy Keller conducted with a brilliant young scientist struggling with belief in God. These were their conclusions:
The existence of something rather than nothing—that is, our very existence—is more likely if a creator exists than if one does not.
The universe is orderly to a remarkable degree, and in more than one way. (Natural laws are both simple and uniform, the capacity for reproduction is pervasive, and great complexity is produced using only a very small number of elementary particles interacting according to a small number of laws). Any one of these features suggests that it is more likely that the universe is the product of design than that it is the product of random forces impelling purposeless particles that resulted in accidental stability. Taken together, these two statements are even more formidable as an argument for a designer.
Value—both moral and aesthetic—appears to be an objective feature of the world (and not merely imposed by human preferences), a fact much more likely to be the case if a creator exists than if the universe is a grand accident.
Human consciousness and intelligence are more likely the products of a conscious and intelligent creator than of a physical universe devoid of either.
Humans have numerous features that are more easily explained by theism than by metaphysical naturalism, if only because metaphysical naturalism currently explains all human capacities in strict terms of their ability to enhance survival. Among such features are the possession of reliable faculties aimed at truth, the appreciation of beauty, and a sense of humor. Metaphysical naturalism also does not explain why humans possess (or at least convincingly appear to possess) free will.
• Ethical indicators such as conscience and a sense of right and wrong.
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
“If God does not exist, everything is permitted”
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
In other words, the fact that we all have an innate sense of right and wrong is an indicator of a God who instilled morality in us.
Could there really be any such thing as horrifying wickedness [if there were no God]? I don’t see how. There can be such a thing only if there is a way that rational creatures are supposed to live, obliged to live. . . . A [purely naturalistic] way of looking at the world has no place for genuine moral obligation of any sort . . . and thus no way to say there is such a thing as genuine and appalling wickedness. Accordingly, if you think there really is such a thing as horrifying wickedness ( . . . and not just an illusion of some sort), then you have a powerful . . . argument [for the existence of God]. -
Yet there’s more.
The Scriptures, prophecy, etc.
The health code contained in the Law of God
In over a 1000 year period, men from various socio-economic backgrounds, professions and periods of both geopolitical turmoil and peace wrote over 300 prophecies concerning the coming of a Jewish Messiah who would be the Savior of the world. All of these were fulfilled in the life, miracles, death burial and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
Special Revelation in the person of Jesus Christ
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
“Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” —C.S. Lewis
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” -C. S. Lewis
Is the evidence convincing? Statistics show that 80–85 percent of people believe in God (even among those who do not consider themselves religious). Are you among them? Even more, are you living as if God exists?
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
- A. W. Tozer
If each person here were truly to live not only as if God exists, but like he cares for us and has a plan for us, what would change in our lives? In our families? In our schools and workplaces? In our neighborhoods? In our city? Imagine if we lived as if God were with us always. It would be enough to change the world.
Evidence of God comes from creation, morality, intelligence, and love. Once we establish that there must be a God, we are ready to discover who God really is.
How should I respond?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Second City Church - Explore God - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019