Just once wouldn’t you love for someone to simply show you the evidence for God’s existence? No arm-twisting. No statements of, “You just have to believe.” Well, here is an attempt to candidly offer some of the reasons which suggest that God exists.
But first consider this. If a person opposes even the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be rationalized or explained away. It is like if someone refuses to believe that people have walked on the moon, then no amount of information is going to change their thinking. Satellite footage of astronauts walking on the moon, interviews with the astronauts, moon rocks…all the evidence would be worthless, because the person has already concluded that people cannot go to the moon.
When it comes to the possibility of God’s existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God.1 On the other hand, for those who want to know God if He is there, He says, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.”2 Before you look at the facts surrounding God’s existence, ask yourself, If God does exist, would I want to know Him?
Here then, are some reasons to consider…
Could one say with any sense of confidence that all those people have been mistaken? Billions of people, who represent diverse sociological, intellectual, emotional, educational makeups…all came to the same conclusion that there is a Creator, a God to be worshipped.
“Anthropological research has indicated that among the farthest and most remote primitive people today, there is a universal belief in God. And in the earliest histories and legends of people all around the world, the original concept was of one God, who was the Creator. An original high God seems once to have been in their consciousness even in those societies which are today polytheistic.”3
Many examples showing God’s design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few: The Earth…its size is perfect. The Earth’s size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.4 Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth’s position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.
And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet it restrains our massive oceans from spilling over across the continents.5
Water…colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it. Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You’ll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:
It has an unusually high boiling point and freezing point. Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees.
Water is a universal solvent. Take a full glass of water, add a cup of sugar, and nothing spills over the edge; the water simply absorbs the sugar. This property of water means that thousands of chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.6
Water is also chemically inert. Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries, water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body.
Water has a unique surface tension. Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity, bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees.
Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.
Ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water is in the oceans. But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people. It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.7
The human brain…simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of this article in your hand. Your brain registers emotional responses, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.
The human brain processes more than a million messages a second.8 Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant. This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world. A brain that deals with more than a million pieces of information every second, while evaluating its importance and allowing you to act on the most pertinent information…can we say mere chance brought about such an astounding organ?
When NASA launches a shuttle mission, it is assumed a monkey didn’t write the plan, but intelligent and knowledgeable minds. How does one explain the existence of the human brain? Only a mind more intelligent and knowledgeable than humanity could have created the human brain.
Imagine looking at Mount Rushmore, in which the likenesses of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are carved. Could you ever believe that it came about by chance? Given infinite time, wind, rain and chance, it is still hard to believe something like that, tied to history, was randomly formed in the side of a mountain. Common sense tells us that people planned and skillfully carved those figures.
This article only touches on a few amazing aspects of our world: the Earth’s position to the sun, some properties of water, one organ in the human body. Could any of these have come about by chance?
The distinguished astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle showed how amino acids randomly coming together in a human cell is mathematically absurd. Sir Hoyle illustrated the weakness of “chance” with the following analogy. “What are the chances that a tornado might blow through a junkyard containing all the parts of a 747, accidentally assemble them into a plane, and leave it ready for take-off? The possibilities are so small as to be negligible even if a tornado were to blow through enough junkyards to fill the whole universe!”9
When one considers the intricacies of our life and universe, it is reasonable to think that an intelligent, loving Creator provided for everything we need for life. The Bible describes God as the author and sustainer of life.
There arises in all of us, of any culture, universal feelings of right and wrong. Even a thief gets upset and feels wronged when someone steals from him. If someone violently grabs a child from a family and rapes that child, there is an anger and revulsion and a rage to confront that act as evil, regardless of the culture. Where did we get this sense of wrongness? How do we explain a universal law in the conscience of all people that says murder for fun is wrong?
And in areas like courage, dying for a cause, love, dignity, duty and compassion, where did these come from? If people are merely products of physical evolution, “survival of the fittest,” why do we sacrifice for each other? Where did we get this inner sense of right and wrong? Our conscience can best be explained by a loving Creator who cares about the decisions and harmony of humanity.
God’s thoughts, personality, and attitudes can only be known if God chooses to reveal them. All else would be human speculation. We are at a loss if God does not wish to be known. But God wants us to know Him and has told us in the Bible all we need to know about His character and how to relate to Him. This makes the reliability of the Bible an important consideration.
Archaeological findings continue to confirm rather than refute the accuracy of the Bible. For example, an archeological find in northern Israel in August 1993 confirmed the existence of King David, author of many of the Psalms in the Bible.10 The Dead Sea Scrolls and other archaeological discoveries continue to substantiate the historical accuracy of the Bible.
The Bible was written over a 1500-year span, by 40 different authors, in different locations and on separate continents, written in three different languages, covering diverse subject matters at different points in history.11 Yet there is an astounding consistency in its message. Throughout the entire Bible the same message appears:
1. God created the world we live in, and created us specifically to have a relationship with Him.
2. He deeply loves us.
3. We have sinned and are under God’s judgment, in need of His forgiveness.
4. God provided a way for our sins to be forgiven.
5. He asks us to receive His forgiveness and have a relationship with Him that will last eternally.
Along with this central script, the Bible specifically reveals God’s character. Psalm 145 is a typical summary of God’s personality, thoughts and feelings toward us. If you want to know God, here He is.
Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you’ll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you’re looking at Him. Though He talked about His Father in heaven, it was not from the position of separation, but of very close union, unique to all humankind. Jesus said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father, anyone who believed in Him, believed in the Father.
He said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”12 He claimed attributes belonging only to God: to be able to forgive people of their sin, free them from habits of sin, give people a more abundant life and give them eternal life in heaven. Unlike other teachers who focused people on their words, Jesus pointed people to himself. He did not say, “follow my words and you will find truth.” He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”13
What proof did Jesus give for claiming to be divine? He did what people can’t do. Jesus performed miracles. He healed people…blind, crippled, deaf, even raised a couple of people from the dead. He had power over objects…created food out of thin air, enough to feed crowds of several thousand people. He performed miracles over nature…walked on top of a lake, commanding a raging storm to stop for some friends. People everywhere followed Jesus, because He constantly met their needs, doing the miraculous. He said if you do not want to believe what I’m telling you, you should at least believe in me based on the miracles you’re seeing.14
What did Jesus reveal about God’s personality? What about God’s thoughts, expectations and His feelings toward humankind? Jesus Christ showed God to be gentle, loving, aware of our self-centeredness and shortcomings, yet deeply wanting a relationship with us. Jesus revealed that although God views us as sinners, worthy of His punishment, His love for us ruled and God came up with a different plan. God would have His Son receive the punishment for our sin. And Jesus willingly accepted this plan.
Jesus was tortured with a whip of nine sharp-tipped ends. A “crown” of two-inch thorns was pressed into his head. Then they secured Him to a cross by pounding nails through His hands and feet into the wood. Given His other miracles, those nails didn’t keep Him on the cross; His love for us did. Jesus died in our place so we could be forgiven. Of all the religions known to humanity, only through Jesus will you see God reaching toward humanity, providing a way for us to have a relationship with Him. Jesus proves a divine heart of love, meeting our needs, drawing us to Himself. Because of Jesus’ death we can be forgiven, fully accepted by God and genuinely loved by God. God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”15 This is God, in action.
The most conclusive proof that Jesus is equal to God was Jesus’ most closely scrutinized miracle – His own resurrection from the dead. Jesus said that three days after His burial He would come back to life. On the third day after His crucifixion, the almost two-ton boulder in front of His tomb was catapulted up a slope.16 The guard of well-trained Roman soldiers saw a blinding light and an angel. The tomb was empty, except for the burial clothes that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body. Over the years, legal, historical and logical analysis has been applied to Jesus’ resurrection and the most feasible conclusion still is that Jesus rose from the dead.
Does God exist? If you want to know, investigate Jesus Christ. We’re told that “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”17
So, does God exist? Looking at all these facts, one can conclude that a loving God does exist and can be known in an intimate, personal way.
About the Author: As a former atheist, Marilyn Adamson found it difficult to refute the continuously answered prayers and quality of life of a close friend. In challenging the beliefs of her friend, Marilyn was amazed to learn the wealth of objective evidence pointing to the existence of God. After about a year of persistent questioning, she responded to God’s offer to come into her life and has found faith in Him to be constantly substantiated and greatly rewarding. Article used by permission from www.everystudent.com
(1) Romans 1:19-21
(2) Jeremiah 29:13-14
(3) Paul E. Little, Know Why You Believe (Victor Books, 1988), p. 22
(4) R.E.D. Clark, Creation (London: Tyndale Press, 1946), p. 20
(5) The Wonders of God’s Creation, Moody Institute of Science (Chicago, IL)
(9) Little, p. 24
(10) Thomas McCall, “The Stone of the House of David,” The Levitt Letter (Zola Levitt Ministries), September 1993
(11) Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, 1979), p. 16
(12) John 8:12
(13) John 14:6
(14) John 14:11
(15) Jeremiah 31:3
(16) Josh McDowell, More Than A Carpenter (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1977), p. 90-91
(17) John 3:16
(18) Revelation 3:20
(19) John 10:27-29