Arguments for God’s Existence
In the last two messages, we discussed “Two False and Opposing Views” to God’s existence and “The Existence of God: Assumed in Scripture.” In the third part of this series we will deal with arguments for His existence.
As we have seen, this is not to simply argue with those defiant to God and His existence. It is to help genuine seekers, strengthen the faith of those who already believe, enrich the knowledge of the God we serve, and provide ammunition to soldiers of the cross.
The argument from creation (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3; Romans 1:20). The universe must inevitably have had a beginning. It is the effect and therefore must have a cause. How did it all begin if there was no God to create it all? No matter what you believe concerning creation you have to exercise an element of faith (Hebrews 11:3). I personally feel it takes a lot less faith to believe there is an eternal God who created all things than to believe everything started from nothing. Even a “big bang” had to originate from something. There had to be something there first to cause it. Where did it all come from? The cause is God and the effect is the world (universe) in which we live. Thomas Aquinas put it like this, “He is the first cause, Himself uncaused” (Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology; page 122, paragraph 1). God is the first cause, who of His own volition caused everything else.
A young man who had recently graduated from college approached an elderly lady sitting on her porch. The elderly lady was not very educated but had always relied on her common sense. After exchanging pleasantries, the young man said to her, “After studying mathematics, science and philosophy, I am convince there is no God and that it is but an empty word.” The elderly lady paused for a few seconds then said, “May I ask you a question then?” The young man, puffed up in pride (thinking he could impart his wisdom to her), said, “Absolutely.”
This simple lady then picked up an egg and asked him, “Where did this egg come from?” He replied, “A chicken.” She asked, “Where did the chicken come from?” “An egg,” he said. “Which came first,” she asked? “The chicken,” said the young man. The lady proceeded, “Where did the first chicken come from from which all subsequent chickens and eggs came?” The young man, somewhat frustrated asked, “What’s your point?” She answered him, “You can’t explain the existence of a chicken or an egg without God and you expect me to believe you can explain the existence of the universe without Him?”
The argument from design (Psalms 139:6). Design and beauty imply there was a designer. Our world, as messed up as it may be, is indisputably beautiful and incredible. The complexities that cause it and all that is in it to operate and function the way it does is simply mind boggling. As you look at it, you can’t help but think there must have been a creator who understood it and designed it for the purpose which it fulfills.
Let’s consider a watch. To suggest it had no designer is an insult to intelligence and reason. It had a maker, who understood its construction and designed it for the purpose of telling time. The universe, much more complex, must have had a maker, who understood its construction and wisely designed it for the purpose it fulfills. Let’s compare it to an author, who takes a car load of printers type and a shovel, throws the type into the air and as they fall to the ground they resolve into a book.
Let’s say there was an explosion at the Campbell’s Soup factory (the division that makes alphabet soup) and out poofs Webster’s Dictionary. The most pronounced unbeliever would say nonsense to both of these examples. Atheistic theories that attempt to leave God out of the equation are just as ridiculous.
The argument from man’s nature. Let’s consider the law of nature. God has placed within man a moral nature. Paul wrote, “For when the gentiles who do not have the law do instinctively the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves” (Romans 2:14 NASB). Man, even in his fallen and corrupt state, has had placed within him a moral law of right and wrong.
Much of what causes man’s psychological problems is guilt. Down deep within him, he knows the difference between right and wrong, even if he is unable to live up to it. Butler said, “If conscience had the power to enforce what it commands it would revolutionize the world.” Kant, the great German philosopher said, “Two things fill my soul with awe, the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” (“Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible,” by Myer Pearlman, page 42, paragraph 1)
There is also man’s search for something beyond and outside of himself. Man has always had the need for worship. Even in the godless society in which we live recovery groups insist addicts have a higher power. They do this because even godless mankind realizes man needs to worship and rely on something greater than himself. Man has a hole inside his soul that he seeks to fill. The soul would not thirst for what doesn’t exist. Sadly, man seems to look in all the wrongs places. God is the only one who can fill the void within us (Isaiah 12:3; 55:1; John 7:37-39; Matthew 5:3-5; Psalms 42:1-2).
The argument from history (Psalms 75:7; Daniel 2:21; 5:21; Romans 13:1). History can actually be defined as “His story.” It is God’s story of all He has done. It’s interesting that national decline and decay has always followed disobedience (sin). As nations become more and more corrupt, their glory seems to dissipate if not eventually collapse all together. We better be careful as a nation. We are treading on dangerous ground. God’s overruling providence is displayed throughout history.
The argument from universal belief (Romans 1:19-23). This goes along with our discussion under man’s nature. Man is incurably religious. We see this in Acts 17 as well as throughout scripture and history. Man has always sought to worship something or someone. This is because man was created to have fellowship with God, and therefore, longs for Him within his heart. The problem is we tend to look in all the wrong places. Today is no different, except we are leaning toward self worship. This longing and need for worship testifies loudly to the God who is there and created us for worship. Like I said before, man doesn’t long for what doesn’t exist but for what does.
The argument from prophetic fulfillment (Isaiah 46:10). The Bible is a book of prophecy. Throughout the Old Testament there are predictions for the future, which have come to pass. We are seeing things today that the Word spoke of thousands of years ago. It would have been impossible for the authors of the Bible to imagine or make up these things.
For example, Jesus fulfilled over three hundred prophecies at His first coming. Think of it, three hundred. That would have been utterly impossible unless there was an omniscient God who was foretelling history (telling history in advance). There were thirty some prophecies fulfilled in one twenty four hour period of His death. Peter Stoner, using the science of probability, studied just eight prophecies surrounding Jesus’ death. The chance that any man who might have lived to this present time could have fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,,000,000.
To illustrate it, he said, You could fill the entire state of Texas with silver dollars two feet deep, place a mark on just one of them, and stir them thoroughly, then blindfold a man and have him walk as far as and wherever he wanted and reach down at random and pick up just one silver dollar. The chance that the one he picked up would be the one that was marked would be the same chance of Jesus fulfilling those eight prophecies. Jesus fulfilled over three hundred. (“Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” by Josh McDowell, page 167, paragraph 2)
The argument of the power of God to change lives (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Bible testifies to the power of God to change lives. It is full of examples. History also testifies to this, as well as present times. Charles Bradlaugh, at one time one of England’s most outstanding Atheist, challenged a minister to a debate. “The minister said a debate wouldn’t change anyone’s opinion, so I propose that I bring concrete evidence of Christianity, in the form of those whose lives have been redeemed from sin and shame by its influence, and you by Atheism. I will bring one hundred. If you can bring one hundred also. If you can not bring one hundred then fifty. If you can not bring fifty then bring twenty. If you can not bring twenty, Mr. Bradlaugh, then I will be satisfied if you can bring just one person whose life has been redeemed from sin and shame by the influence of Atheism.” Mr. Bradlaugh withdrew his challenge.