Monday, November 7, 2011 – Lancaster, CA
Sunday, November 13, 2011 pm – Bellflower, CA

Evidences for the Existence of God

In Psalm 14:1, David said through inspiration some 3000 years ago, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” It is not a pleasant thing to call someone a fool (nor is it always the wise approach), but it is the conclusion one reaches when he sees foolishness in the arguments one makes to explain away something he refuses to accept.  That is what we often see when one denies the existence of God.  David’s concern was with those who rejected God and His counsel.

My assignment tonight is to give an answer to one the Bible calls a fool.  This is a very relevant topic in light of the assault against God, and in particular the God of the Bible, which is so prevalent around us. Man in his wisdom has reasoned away His existence and the accountability that comes with a personal God. He has appealed to science, his logic, inconsistencies with those who believe in God, and often his desire to do what he wants to do.  But it is a subject for which there are answers if we have a good and honest heart.  The challenge in dealing with the atheist or the agnostic (one who says that the existence of God is less logical than His non-existence) is to find those whose heart will weigh the evidence with the realization that they could be wrong and to honestly consider every side of the argument. 

It has been said, and I contend, that it requires a strong faith to be an atheist.  One of the sources I have consulted in this study is a book entitled, I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.  The authors make compelling arguments from science, the nature of man and the Bible which present conclusive evidence as to why we ought to live with the assurance that God is AND that the ONE TRUE God is revealed in the pages of the Bible.    In our lesson this evening we are going to tap into some of these areas as we briefly make a case for the existence of God.

I.                    Natural Laws that Argue the Existence of God –

a.        The Cosmological argument – is an argument for a first cause for the universe.  In simple terms, this argument states that based upon scientific laws (which demonstrate that time, space and matter had a beginning), someone or something had to start it all.  In other words, there had to be a cause. 
Scientists rely upon this basic premise every day in every experiment they conduct.  In fact, much of science is about finding what the cause is of whatever is being studied.   Some of the scientific evidence includes:

                                                   i.      The universe is expanding – thanks to advances in astronomy including super-powerful telescopes such as the Hubble telescope we have been able to see that the universe consists of many galaxies that are constantly and consistently moving further apart.  If it is expanding there had to be at some point in times past – a “ground zero” or a starting point when everything was together.  Scientists (including materialists – who believe matter is eternal) call this the big bang.  While we don’t have time to argue when the “big bang” occurred, it concludes that our universe had a beginning (i.e. for many they claim that something came out of nothing). My question is: What was before that beginning? All the atheist or naturalist can do is guess what was there BEFORE that. We believe that God CAUSED the universe.
Now answer this: Which of these possibilities requires faith? (The answer is BOTH).

                                                  ii.      Laws of energy – the 2nd law of thermodynamics is a law that states that while energy cannot be either created or destroyed (1st law of thermodynamics – the amount of energy is constant) it is constantly deteriorating over time (we understand deterioration with everything we own).  In other words, the universe is using up its usable energy.  Science says that eventually all the energy in the universe will be used up and will die (3rd law of thermodynamics which says that the universe is slowly cooling and will eventually reach absolute zero). 
Because of this, there had to be some point at which energy was as its maximum capacity – i.e. a BEGINNING, where someone CAUSED energy to begin to deteriorate.
Question:  Based upon the laws of energy, if matter is eternal (and there is nothing outside of the natural) why has it not yet been used up?  Anytime an argument is made for eternity within the natural realm, there is the dilemma one faces when you ask, “What was before that?”

                                                iii.      Is matter eternal? Without a plausible explanation, many atheistic scientists say that matter is eternal.  But they certainly cannot prove it with science.  In fact the above laws contradict that premise. 
The existence of an intelligent being outside of the natural realm is the best explanation for this first cause – God fits this premise.
 In fact, that is what Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God create the heavens and the earth.”  The word for “create” is from the Hebrew, “Bara” which means to create something.  The TWOT[1] distinguishes this word from “yasar” which means to fashion which involves the shaping of an object while the first word emphasizes the initiation of the object.  In other words, it means to create something from nothing.   This is MORE plausible in that it provides an explanation OUTSIDE of the natural scientific realm.

                                                iv.      The concept of eternity presents problems to the one who denies the existence of God.  Anytime a scientist says that something natural is eternal he runs into problems that natural process or science cannot explain.  But yet man KNOWS that something is eternal.  His logical mind says so.  Is it matter or is it something outside of this realm?

One might ask, “Who made God?”  How can you prove He is eternal?  We can’t prove it with science because the spiritual realm of God is outside the natural realm.  Which is why the concept of an all-powerful, intelligent being is MORE plausible than saying matter is eternal.
A friend that works with my son Joshua at Chick-fil-a in dealing with this subject quoted apologist Charlie Campbell who said: “If nothing cannot produce something, and yet something exists, then it follows necessarily that something has always existed (in order to bring the something into existence). Think of it this way: If there ever was a time that absolutely nothing existed, nothing would exist now. Something exists now therefore, there was never a time in which nothing existed. So to answer the question, Who made God? No one. God is eternal and does not need a maker. The universe is not eternal and does require a maker.[2]
The Bible also explains this.  In Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 Solomon wrote, “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

b.       The Teleological argument – Design demands a designer.

                                                   i.      Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” Paul’s point in this verse is to say that if one looks around, the existence of God becomes clearly evident as one observes creation.  As the processes of science have improved (shall we say evolved) we find more and more evidence for intelligent design within creation.  Let’s consider this for a few moments.

                                                 ii.      Have you ever ridden in a car? Do you watch a television or listen to a radio? Do you own a Bible? Have you ever turned on a switch as you entered a room and it lit up?  Do you own a watch so that you can tell time?  Do you have a computer? We could go on with multitudes of questions like this.  What do they all have in common? They would not exist if someone did not design them.  We KNOW that for a fact.

                                                iii.       The story is told that Sir Isaac Newton who was an adamant believer in God once had a series of discussions with an atheist about the existence of God.  After several failed attempts to change his friend’s mind, he went to a carpentry shop and had the owner build him a to scale model of the universe with great detail.  The next time his friend came to his house, he saw the model on the center of a table.  Admiring it, the friend asked, WHO made it.  Newton’s answered that no one made it.  It just appeared.  The friend refused to believe it so Newton finally explained why he did what he did. Design DEMANDED a designer.[3]

                                               iv.       Our universe is no different.  The universe is very orderly in so many different ways.  In fact, science relies on order and consistency of natural law to learn and formulate factual conclusions.

                                                 v.      When we consider the complexity of the various elements of this earth, we see order.  When we look at the human body we see order.  When we look at the universe, we see order.
 In every other area of study order means there is design behind it, e.g. archaeology, forensics, copyright & patent laws, etc.  Why is the universe any different?

                                               vi.      Consider the placement and complexity of our earth.   The size of the earth is just right.  If it were larger or smaller, it could not support our atmosphere which is necessary for life.  If it were any closer to or further away from the sun, the earth would be too cold or hot.  The earth is tilted at the right angle, if it were not then water would flow to the poles and stay there – in the middle would be vast desserts.  The earth is rotating at the right speed (ca. 1000 mph), circulating around the sun at the right speed (70k mph), etc.   If the rotation of the earth around the sun were halved seasons would be twice as long and unable to support life.  If the rotation speed were doubled the earth could not grow enough food to feed its population. 
And the moon is in just the right place (240K miles away) to circulate our water and restrain their boundaries.  If the moon were 1/5 closer tides would be so large that twice a day there would be great flooding over most of the earth’s surface.[4]& [5]
The rate of oxygen in the atmosphere of the earth is 21%.  If it were 25%, fires would erupt spontaneously.  IF it were 15% humans would suffocate.  It is at just the right level.[6]
All of these things make life possible and show a Creator/designer behind our existence.
Have you ever considered how complex the various systems of the human body are?  The nervous system, respiratory system, circulatory system, reproductive system, etc, all work together to make the human body.  That many details would be impossible without a designer.
Buddy Payne, (a chemist, mathematician and apologist) noted that there are some 150 elements necessary to sustain life in the universe.  There is no other known planet that comes even close to the earth in the viable ability to sustain life.  Scientists are desperately trying to find something, but they have NOTHING! 

                                              vii.      David in  Psalm 139:14 said, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.”

                                            viii.      DNA, demonstrates a mechanism through which information is disseminated in an orderly fashion that causes living things to function.  It is said that the information contained in one strand of DNA is equivalent to 10,000 encyclopedias.  Where there is organized information there is ALWAYS a designer coordinating that information.

                                               ix.      There are too many details in this universe and on earth to deny the creator of it all.
Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.

c.       The origin of life

                                                   i.      Evolution generally teaches that life originated from inorganic matter.  If there is no creator, than one must believe that life originated from an inorganic (non-living) source.

                                                  ii.      While this is a subject addressed with evolution, it is also a key argument for the existence of God.  As science has evolved and advanced, scientists have continually sought to create life in a test-tube. And the subject of the origin of life continues to plague the scientific community that wants to deny the existence of God. 
In 2003, (11/11) the NY Times published an article entitled, “How did life begin?” 
The article began, “The origin of life is biology’s most daunting problem.” In the article we read, “Some progress is being made at reconstructing the process that led to the first living cells.  But it consists of conjectures of varying plausibility, not proof.”  The article proceeds to describe that it was probably the result of “a natural chemical reaction that repeated itself.”  But in the end, there is no conclusive answer.  In fact the article concludes by saying, “Researchers are a long way from reconstructing any plausible path to the origin of life.  But they have not given up.  And they always conclude, no matter how fragmentary their evidence, that life is possible.”[7]
How truly sad.  Many scientists REFUSE to consider that life originated from an intelligent source OUTSIDE of the boundaries of science.

                                                iii.      The origin of life (i.e. its cause) cannot be explained with scientific laws.  You CANNOT create life from inorganic matter.  You may understand the composition of a living thing, but that still doesn’t create life. 
Let’s take the example of a single seed – With advancements in the study of DNA, micro-biology, chemistry and other sciences, science can accurately determine the chemical and biological structure of just about anything.  Let’s say science determines the structure and chemical composition of a peanut.  They may be able to assemble all the elements and components of that single seed.  It may look identical, feel identical and taste identical, perhaps even to the point that you cannot tell it apart from the real peanut.  BUT, when all is said and done, when they plant it – NOTHING will happen.  There is that “spark of life” in the “real thing” that science cannot create or duplicate.

                                                iv.      And when science says that life originated from inorganic matter, they are talking about a so-called simple life form (such as an amoeba – a single celled organism or maybe a protein which is simply a component of a cell and DNA).  That still doesn’t explain HOW that simple life form evolved into complex life forms such as a peanut, animal or human being.

                                                  v.      An interesting thought: In one source I consulted in this study the statement was made that even if science could eventually create life (and he was NOT saying they could) it would be interesting to note that such a creation required INTELIGENCE to do it!  So to create life would in itself make a case FOR God.

                                                vi.      The Bible says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Gen 2:7 

                                               vii.      When you see life, no matter how small or great, you see an argument for the existence of God.  Consider the faith an atheist has to have to say that life just happened.  That it came from inorganic matter and thereby reject the intelligent designer.

II.                  The Nature of God Within Us - Moral Laws that Argue His existence

a.        Even beyond the laws of science dealing with the universe and life, there are characteristics of human beings that cannot be explained by nature.

b.       What is the meaning of life?  The fact that man asks, “Why am I here” is not “natural.” You can’t explain it in a laboratory or in the laws of nature.  There is nothing else in nature that makes this inquiry.

c.        There are also many logical considerations better answered by acknowledging God rather than denying Him.  The biological, evolutionary process cannot explain:

                                                   i.      The highly developed intelligence of man.  This includes our ability to carry on intelligible conversations with one another or to debate subjects such as this

                                                  ii.      Our craving for knowledge so that we can improve

                                                iii.      The conscience, emotions, virtue, and even faith itself, etc. 

All evolutionary science can say is, “It happened over time.” 

d.       The fact of morality –

                                                   i.      Exact standards of morality differ throughout the world, but there are certain general moral principles that EVERY civilized society understands, such as you cannot indiscriminately kill other humans just for kicks and a need to respect certain boundaries for others. 

                                                  ii.      So WHO determined what is moral and not moral?  There is a standard inherent within us.  Some have called it, “a sense of ought”.  That is there are things we naturally know we ought to do and ought not to do.  How did we get that sense?  Nature cannot explain this!

                                                iii.      What is interesting is that such reasoning is not existent in other forms of life.  Animals may respect territories and such, but it is purely natural, based upon their survival and primitive.  There is no evidence, scientific or otherwise to say they have a conscience of right and wrong.

                                                iv.      But where did our developed morality come from?
A moral standard requires a source greater than ourselves to whom we are accountable.
IF not, WHO determines right and wrong?
IF we are just creatures of chance, then how can there be any moral standards?  Even humanists, some of who say there is no absolute morality (they deny the existence of God, etc.) set standards of decency in dealing with others.  Humanism says you should not do things that interfere with the personal rights of others.  I ask, WHY?  If there is nothing beyond this life, why not live totally for yourself?  Isn’t that the law of nature – survival of the fittest?

                                                  v.      For those who deny absolute morality, we ask: What would they do if their child is killed by a drunk driver (whose moral standard permits him to drink and drive) or someone steals their possessions.  What made the holocaust wrong - IF there is no absolute morality?  Why was Hitler so bad? What is the big deal about Muslim extremists who believe they should kill anyone who will not submit? Why should we condemn the warlords in Africa who are engaged in genocide?  If this world is nothing but a part of the natural process of evolution (here only for a few billion years) why not live for ourselves?  One might say, so that we can live in peace.  But why?  Who gives you the right to make that decision for someone else? 

e.       All things that makes man who he is in contrast to nature cry for the existence of God.

                                                   i.      The Bible gives us an answer – Gen. 1:27 which says, “So God created man in his own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

                                                  ii.      Paul in 1 Cor. 15:19 said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable.”  We know this text speaks of the resurrection, but in so doing it makes a point to the atheist who denies God and anything beyond this life. 
Rom. 14:10-12 says that we will all stand before God one day and give an account.  This explains WHY God gave us a sense of morality.

III.                Concluding Thoughts:

a.        We could say so much more about this subject.  You do not have to look very far to see that there had to be an intelligent being who created this world. 
Remember again Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse

b.       By faith, I believe that intelligent being is the God of the Bible. Psalm 33:6-9 says, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.  For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”

c.        Does our belief in God require faith?  Absolutely!   Heb. 11:3 & 6 says so!

d.       But what about atheism? Does it require faith?  ABSOLUTELY!

                                                   i.      Often times, the atheist mocks the Christian’s faith calling it a crutch or fantasy.  While our belief in God IS by faith, it is NOT a blind faith, as we have seen some examples of in this lesson.

                                                  ii.      But consider the faith an atheist must have.  He may not call it faith, nor define it as Christians do, but there are many things he believes and accepts by the same standards that we would call faith.  There are many things he accepts without scientific or natural proof.  AND he bases his eternity upon these things.  In fact, he must accept many things by faith:

1.       That God does not exist (which he cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt)

2.       That matter is either eternal or created itself (both of which are contrary to natural  laws)

3.       That life originated from inorganic matter spontaneously

4.       That order and design are the result of accidents which are contrary to laws of nature that science depends upon to learn

5.       That our morals and conscience are the product of natural selection, i.e. it evolved.  But with all our advances, science still cannot explain the “cause” of the mind.

6.       That man created the idea of God because he wanted something greater than himself to worship – Note: About 84% of the world believes in some sort of deity[8]

7.       That he will not have to give an account for his life when it is over

e.       Note: I have peppered this lesson with Bible verses because I want us to KNOW that the Bible has answers to some of the questions we have posed that science CANNOT answer.   The skeptic may not like the answer or the Bible itself, but it is there.  If you can prove that the Bible is more than a fairy tale you can begin to show that there are plausible answers, BEYOND the natural realm.  Such does NOT contradict science.  And that is why we study the word of God for answers.

Truly, there is much evidence for the existence of God.  We have just scratched the surface.  The atheist may not accept these points as valid, but that doesn’t change the truth of the points that we have made.  The atheist may mock the believer or try to discourage you from following the Bible.  But know that your faith, while not based upon the five senses, is NOT a blind faith.  In fact, overwhelmingly, the evidence of science and nature verifies the existence of God rather than denying it.  Many of the things that we cannot explain naturally make sense when we believe in God.  May these things strengthen our resolve to serve Him rather than reject Him.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6)  Do you have the hope of a reward beyond this life?  If not, let me invite you to obey the gospel today.

[1] Bara, (Strong’s OT: 1254) Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ©1980, The Moody Bible Institute.  Via, Biblesoft.

[2] Campbell, Charlie; Quick Responses to Skeptics, “What Evidence Do You Have That There Is A God?”

[6] Geisler, N. L., & Turek, F. (2004). I don't have enough faith to be an atheist. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.  P98.