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1 Peter 3:15-3:15
Throughout the century’s mankind has always had some innate sense that there is
a divine being. Today, scientists, philosophers and other academics discuss,
debate and ponder over his existence. Is there really a God? Today we are going
to look at the evidence that God does in fact exist.
1. THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE
Our first piece of evidence is the very existence of the universe. By the
universe, I don’t just mean all the stars, planets and galaxies. I also mean
the whole sum of space and time itself.
How can the existence of the universe be evidence for God’s existence?
Well let’s consider the possible explanations of the universes existence. The
universe either had a beginning or it did not have a beginning. If the universe
had a beginning then that beginning was either caused or uncaused. Finally, if
the universes beginning were caused, then that cause was either personal or
non-personal in nature. It can be shown that the universe (a) had a beginning,
(b) its beginning was caused, and (c) it was caused by a personal being.
A. THE UNIVERSE HAD A BEGGINNING
If the universe has always existed then that means an infinite amount of time
has gone by. However this is impossible – you cannot reach infinity. Try counting
to infinity – even if you could live forever, it would be impossible. Because
you can always just add another number on to your existing number. But if you
cannot reach infinity than this means that the amount of time that has elapsed
is finite, and therefore the universe had a beginning.
One may ask, “Wouldn’t it therefore also be impossible for God to be eternal?”
However a good theory exists to this objection. Originally God was in a
timeless state of affairs. Then he spontaneously brought the universe, and
consequently space and time, into existence. Therefore God could have existed
forever – in the sense that he is eternal but was originally timeless, and not
have violated the law of non-infinity. It seems to make sense. After all if God
created space and time then wouldn’t it therefore mean that originally he was
in a timeless and space less reality? Of course this is just one theory
concerning Gods eternality and his relationship to time and we won’t know the
answer for sure until we get to heaven, however I do think this theory is both
philosophically and theologically sound. Now unlike God, time is an essential
property of the universe and since an infinite amount of time cannot elapse,
the universe must have had a beginning.
B. THE UNIVERSE HAD A CAUSE
Since the universe had a beginning, than it seems that its beginning must have
been caused. Something cannot just pop into existence from nothing. If there is
absolutely nothing – no matter, no energy, no space, no time and no causes –
then there will always be only nothing. Nothing only produces nothing.
Therefore the universe must have been brought into existence by some sort of
cause. In contrast God does not need a cause since he had NO BEGGINNING. He has
always existed and holds within himself his own reason for being. This is
certainly mysterious and very hard to understand – but unlike a beginningless
universe and a universe without a cause, it is not impossibility.
C. THE CAUSE OF THE UNIVERSE WAS A PERSONAL BEING
Now we can ask the question “What caused the universe?” Well we really only
have 2 choices – it could have been a personal cause (i.e. some personal being)
or a non-personal cause (i.e. some condition that exists outside of the
universe). Now both would have to be eternal since they are the cause of the
1st event – the beginning of the universe. After all it doesn’t make any sense
to say something caused the first cause!
Now it seems that the cause must have been personal. Why? For how else could an
eternal cause give rise to a non-eternal universe? If the cause was
non-personal – if it was just an eternal condition, then the universe must also
be eternal. For if the cause of an effect is present – then the effect is also
present. For example, suppose I push down on a cushion. As soon as I touch the
cushion it compresses – there is no time waiting. They occur simultaneously.
Therefore if a non-personal cause of the universe exists then the universe will
also exist. And since the cause is eternal then the universe will also be eternal.
Yet we have seen that the universe could not have existed for eternity.
The only way a non-eternal universe could come into existence from an eternal
cause is if the universe was brought into existence by the act of some personal
being. A non-personal cause can’t choose to bring something into existence. If
it exists, then its effect exists. But a personal cause can exist eternally and
then spontaneously choose to bring the universe into existence.
Furthermore, the personal cause must be a very powerful being – after all
bringing the whole universe into existence is no small feat! So the universe
must have been caused by a powerful personal being, or in other words, God.
Isn’t it interesting to note that the philosophically derived assertion that the
universe had a personal caused beginning fits perfectly with the Bible. Gen 1:1
- In the BEGINNING GOD CREATED the heavens and the Earth.
2. THE DESIGN OF THE UNIVERSE AND LIFE
Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the
work of his hands.” When I consider the physical laws that govern the planets,
stars and galaxies, along with the other laws of science, I am drawn to the
conclusion that a master designer created the universe.
Physicist Paul Davies states:
"The very success of the scientific method depends upon the fact that the
physical world operates according to rational principles which can therefore be
discerned through rational enquiry. Logically, the universe does not have to be
in this way. We could conceive of a cosmos where chaos reigns. In place of the
orderly and regimented behaviour of matter and energy one would have arbitrary
and haphazard activity. Stable structures like atoms or people or stars could
not exist. The real world is not this way. It is ordered and complex. Is that
not itself an astonishing fact at which to marvel."
Lets just consider one example - The proton to neutron ratio. In order for the
stable elements to exist, the mass of the neutron must exceed the mass of the
proton. But the neutron can only exceed the mass of the proton by a very small
amount - an amount which is twice the mass of the electron. This critical point
of balance is only one part in a thousand. If the neutron to proton mass ratio
were to vary outside of this limit then chaos would result.
World-renowned astronomer Fred Hoyle remarks, "A common sense
interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has moneyed with
Then there is the overwhelming design of life itself. Take for example, the human
body. An adult human brain contains over a hundred thousand billion electrical
connections – more than all the electrical connections in all the electrical
appliances in the world. Among the many complex features of the human eye is
the retina. John Stevens states, “While today’s digital hardware is extremely
impressive, it is clear that the human retinas real time performance goes
unchallenged. Actually, to simulate 10 milliseconds of the complete processing
of even a single nerve cell from the retina would require the solution of 500
simultaneous nonlinear differential equations 100 times and would take at least
several minutes of processing time on a Cray supercomputer. Keeping in mind
that there are 10 million or more such cells interacting with each other in
complex ways, it would take a minimum of 100 years Cray time to simulate what
takes place in your eye many times every second.”
And what about the cell? A cell has been described as “a marvel of detailed and
complex architecture” and “more complex then New York City”. A 1979 Newsweek article comments “Power
plants generate the cell’s energy. Factories produce proteins, vital units of
chemical commerce. Complex transportation systems guide specific chemicals from
point to point within the cell and beyond. Sentries at the barricades control
the export and import markets, and monitor the outside world. A centralized
genetic government maintains order.” Then there is the D.N.A inside the cell.
D.N.A is like a biological database that has an information density far
exceeding the most super engineered technological device created by man. If all
the information contained in a pinheads volume of D.N.A were written in
typewritten form it would fill a pile of paperback books 500 times higher then
the distance from the Earth to the moon.
Ounce more, all the parts of the body are inter-related and work in harmony
with each other with each part serving a specific and meaningful function.
There is purpose, there is order among each of the awe-inspiring complex parts
of the human body.
It seems that we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.
3. LIFE ITSELF
Are we just physical beings? Or is there something more to us? I believe there
is something more to us. For in addition to our immensely complex bodies, we
also posses a mind, and therefore life. If we are just physical beings then all
our actions would be determined by the laws of physics and chemistry. Of course
this is not the case. Rather we are living beings who, through the power of
choice, can ourselves freely act and determine certain events. We are not just
a pile of molecules - we have consciousness – we can think! Not only can we
recall past memories and events, but we have the ability to analyze, to
synthesize, to evaluate, to communicate, to draw conclusions, make decisions,
create ideas, concepts and designs. We have the ability to think logically, to
reason, to extrapolate, to summarize, and to understand. We have the ability to
think intelligently. We are intelligent living beings.
So where did the mind come from? Could mind come from matter? How could
consciousness arise from physical and chemical processes acting on matter? How
could the bombardments of inanimate particles give rise to life? It seems that
mind could not come from matter.
Since mind can not come from matter, than mind must have always existed. Now,
since mind is eternal, we have two options. Our first possibility is this: A
mind came from a mind which came from another mind which came from another mind
which came from another mind…and so on for eternity past! But this results in
an infinite regress of causes which is a logical impossibility! Our only other
option is that there was a first mind which has acted as the ultimate cause of
all other minds. But since mind has always existed, then this first mind must
be eternal. Therefore an eternal mind exists. Furthermore, since this first
mind is eternal and since this mind is the ultimate cause of all other minds,
it is reasonable to conclude that this first mind is greater than finite minds.
In Genesis 2:7 we find that God breathed into Adam the breath of life, and Adam
became a living being. In other words, God breathed into Adam and imparted to
him consciousness – a mind – he became alive. You see what this text says? It says
that God created Adam physically – he created the complete form of his body and
then he breathed into him the breath of life and he became a living being,
aware of his surroundings, able to move, able to control his body! Isn’t it
great to know that we are not just a bunch of rearranged chemicals – that we
are human beings who were created in the image of God – God – the source of all
life. You know were not just accidental by-products of nature which have
evolved relatively recently on an infinitesimal speck of dust lost somewhere in
a hostile and mindless universe.” But rather a loving almighty God personally
created Adam in his image and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of
life and he became a living being.
4. THE EXISTENCE OF OBJECTIVE MORAL VALUES
An increasing number of people today hold to a view called Nihilism. Nihilists
believe that there are no real moral values. According to nihilism, there is
nothing really right or wrong – it’s not a question of whether you should or
shouldn’t do certain things but rather do you like or dislike those things. But
if a nihilist’s car were to get stolen would they really respond by saying “I
don’t like what happened – but there was nothing really wrong with it?” The
fact is, deep down we all know that some things really are right and others
really are wrong. For example torturing babies is not just an unpleasant act to
behold nor is it just a socially unacceptable behaviour. Rather it is a moral
abomination. Acts such as torturing babies and stealing are really wrong – they
are not just acts that you may not want to do, rather they are acts that you
should not do.
Now we have a very interesting question. What is the cause for the existence of
moral values? Many say that humans created these values. After all we create
many other laws – why can’t we be the creators of objective moral values? There
is a serious problem with this line of thought. It seems unreasonable that
moral absolutes – principles which ALL humans are SUBJECTED to – principles
which are DEFINITELY right or wrong – hinges on the decisions of fallible human
beings. Sure, we humans recognise moral values and we put many of these values
in the form of laws – but we are not the cause of the values themselves. Moral
values themselves are absolute and exist outside the realm of human creation.
So where do they come from? I believe that the existence of objective moral
values implies the existence of God who is the cause of them. For if there is
no supreme being – if we are just the result of accidental chemical
bombardments which have evolved through a long process of death and struggle,
on an miniscule crumb of dust lost somewhere in a hostile lonesome universe,
then how could there be any such thing as absolute moral values? Besides we usually
think of a command involving a commander. For example, the rules of Football
were invented by people – they didn’t just exist by themselves. Principles come
from or exist in minds. Therefore it seems that absolute moral principles would
have to come from an ultimate mind – a supreme perfect lawgiver.
5. THE OCCURRENCE OF SUPERNATURAL PHENOMENA
Next we come to the occurrence of supernatural phenomena. This includes things
like answers to prayer, miracles and even observations of angels.
Timothy Crosby, author of Is your God real? states “It is virtually impossible
to read [All] the accounts of miraculous healings, escapes, and appearances
etc, and believe that all such people are lying or that they are imagining
things. When those who make such claims are in the main, stable people, not
given to delusions in other areas of their lives and who tend not to ingest
mind-altering substances, then one must take their testimony seriously. It is
hard to account such consistent behaviour over so long a period of history as
the result of mass hysteria.”
- Insert Story, if any.
We must however acknowledge that miracles don’t happen all the time. We live in
a sinful world and ultimately we are in the enemy’s territory. We should also
realise that the supernatural has a significant dark side. One should stay well
away from all occult practices and any other elements of the supernatural that
may be related to the devil.
6. THE FULFILLMENT OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY
Sixth, we have the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy.
One of the prophecies concerns a man named Cyrus. In 700 BC, the prophet Isaiah
predicted that a man named Cyrus will become a king and will tell Jerusalem that it will be built and that the temple
foundation shall be laid. However an interesting point to note is that when
Isaiah made this prediction, Jerusalem was fully built and the entire temple was
standing. Can you imagine if one of the members in the congregation here were
to say that in some future time a pastor named Craig will tell [insert name of
your city] that it will be built along with this church? Why did Isaiah predict
that the city and temple will be built if it was already built? Well in 586 BC,
more than 100 years after the prediction was made, King Nebuchadnezzar
destroyed Jerusalem and its temple. Then after this invasion by the
Babylonians, in 539 BC it was conquered by the Persians. Shortly after, a
Persian king named Cyrus gave the decree to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. Thus Isaiah predicted that a man named Cyrus,
who by the way, would not be born until about 100 years, would give a command
to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple, which wasn’t even destroyed
Another prophesies. 4000 years ago God made these promises to Abram.
In Genesis 12:2 God said to Abram:
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
In Genesis 13:14-15 God said to Abram:
Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north, south, east and west. All
the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.
Two very important predictions are made here. Firstly, a great nation will
arise through Abram. Secondly, a land will belong to his descendants forever. A
few hundred years after these promises, the nation had emerged – they were the
Israelites. Eventually the Israelites entered the land promised to them.
However God warned them that they would fall into disobedience and that this
would lead to their removal from this land. Lets just stop here for a minute.
Why would God allow the Israelites to be removed from their land for their
disobedience? You see God wants to provide us with blessings and protection.
However if we turn our backs on his offer and continue to knowingly and
defiantly disobey him, then what is he suppose to do? He wants to provide us
with blessings and protection but if we slam the door in his face through
continual defiant disobedience then we have effectively closed the door to his
blessings. God longs to be with everyone, but he does not force himself on anyone.
As one person noted “If we say no to him than he politely steps aside like the
gentlemen he is.” And so it was with the Israelites. God knew that they would
indeed fall into disobedience and that this would lead to their removal from
their land. They would be dispersed across the earth. God however did promise
that one day they would return to their land.
So what took place? The Israelites fell into idolatry and in 606BC they were
taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar. However in 536BC, as God promised, the
Israelite people returned to their land.
Now when Jesus Christ was on earth, he knew what was going to happen to the
Jews and we find him sadly saying the following to the Jews:
“The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against
you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the
ground, you and the children and your walls. They will not leave one stone on
Well in AD70, the Romans decimated Jerusalem and scattered the Jews. For nearly 1900 years
the Jews remained dispersed throughout the world. But, on May
14, 1948, a
seemingly impossible event took place. The state of Israel was reborn and Jews flocked back to their
Through all of this, the Jewish nation did not loose her identity. This is
truly amazing. Famous apologist Josh McDowell states “people who leave their
homeland will, after about five generations, loose their national identity by
being absorbed into the new culture, but the Jews remained a distinct identity.”
He goes on to say, “Have you ever heard of a Swedish Moabite? A Russian
Philistine? A German Edomite? An American Ammonite? No! These people have been
totally absorbed into other cultures and races. However have you ever heard of
a Swedish Jew? A Russian Jew? A German Jew?” An American Jew? Yes! As
prophesised, they have not lost their identity.”
7. THE LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
2000 years ago a man was born that was so influential he split time into AD and
BC – a man who claimed to be God incarnate and the saviour of the world. That
person of course was Jesus Christ. We must remember that the New Testament is
not just a collection of spiritual writings – they are historical documents. In
fact many scholars view the New Testament as the most reliable set of
historical documents of the ancient world – hence the New Testament paints an
accurate picture of an array of events that took place nearly 2000 years ago.
So based on these accurate documents as well as many other historical sources,
what is the evidence that Jesus was who he claimed to be – the Son of God?
Well let’s take a look at an interesting argument known as the Trilemma.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and the saviour of the world. His claims
were either true or false. If his claims were false then he either knew they
were false or he did not know they were false. If he knew they were false, then
he was a liar. If he did not know his claims were false then we would have to
class him as a lunatic – after all it is no small delusion to sincerely believe
that you are God. Of course, if his claims were true then he is who he claimed
to be – the Son of God and the saviour of the world. Now it seems that Jesus
was most definitely not a liar.
Consider what Historian Phillip Schaff has to say:
“How, in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an impostor?
that is a deceitful, selfish, depraved man? have invented, and consistently
maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in
history with the most perfect air of truth and reality? How could He have
conceived and successfully carried out a plan of unparalleled beneficence,
moral magnitude, and sublimate, and sacrificed His own life for it, in the face
of the strongest prejudices of His people and age?”
Like wise it appears that Jesus certainly was no lunatic. Phillip Schaff
“Is such an intellect ?clear as the sky, bracing as the mountain air, sharp and
penetrating as a sword, thoroughly healthy and vigorous, always ready and
always self? possessed ?liable to a radical and most serious delusion
concerning His own character and mission? Preposterous imagination!”
It seems inconceivable that Jesus was a liar or lunatic. The only option left
is that his claims are correct and therefore he is Lord. His life certainly
Next we have his resurrection. You know many people ask “How can you believe in
miracles such as the resurrection?” “Don’t miracles contradict science?” The
fact is there is no contradiction whatsoever between science and miracles.
Because God is an orderly God, he created an orderly universe that conforms to
orderly scientific laws. But as the creator of these laws he has the power to
intervene over these laws – what we call miracles.
With this in mind, lets take a look at the evidence for the resurrection.
Firstly, consider the empty tomb. There are both Jewish and Roman sources that
acknowledge the existence of the empty tomb. Dr. Paul Maier says this is
“positive evidence from a hostile source, which is the strongest kind of
historical evidence. In essence, this means that if the source admits a fact
decidedly not in its favour, then that fact is genuine.” Another point to note
is that Christianity began in Jerusalem. But how could Christianity have begun in Jerusalem if Jesus remained dead? All the Jewish
authorities would have had to do would be to produce Jesus body – this would
have killed the existence of the early Christian movement. There is a theory
that Jesus body was stolen from his tomb. However one should realise that a
large amount of security was placed at the tomb of Jesus. A 1.5 – 2 tum stone
was placed at the tomb entrance, while 16 roman guards were stationed at the
tomb. These guards were mean fighting machines – together, the 16 guards were
expected to be able to protect 36 yards [32.4m] against an entire battalion and
stand their ground! Some say that the guards may have fell asleep. However if a
guard fell asleep on duty, he faced the death penalty. Dr George Currie, who
studied the Romans military discipline, states that the fear of punishment
“produced flawless attention to duty, especially in the night watches.” The
fact that Jesus tomb was empty amidst such hefty security is enough for one to
conclude that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead.
Next there are the eyewitness reports of his post-resurrection appearances.
Among the people he appeared to were the apostles, Mary Magdalene, Several
women, James, Paul, Stephen, John and some 500 in Galilee. Some say that the witnesses hallucinated.
However could all of the witnesses have hallucinated? One should consider the
variety of the appearances. They took place at different times of the day, at
different locations, sometimes to individuals, other times to whole groups of
people. The reactions were also varied. Professor Merrill Tenney points out
that “Mary was overwhelmed with emotion, the disciples were frightened, Thomas
was obstinately incredulous when told of the lords resurrection, but worshiped
him when he manifested himself. Each occasion had its own peculiar atmosphere
and characteristics.” The hallucination theory cannot account for such
We also have the changed lives of the disciples. We can ask the question “what
motivated them to go everywhere proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus Christ in
the face of some of the most sadistic persecution and torture in history?”
Remember, when Jesus was being arrested they ran away like scared pussycats. If
the Resurrection did not happen, the disciples certainly knew it. Who would
willingly die for what they knew to be a lie? Simon Greenleaf, a professor who
has lectured for years on how to analyse testimony and determine whether a
witness was lying or telling the truth states “It was… impossible that they
could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus
actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as
they knew any other fact.”
And what about Paul? Formally known as Saul, he was originally a Jewish fanatic
that hated Christ’s followers with such malice that he made it his duty to go
and ravage the Christian church. His mentality towards Christians was probably
as evil as Hitler’s mentality towards the Jews. But something happened to him.
Something happened that transformed him from a merciless demolisher of the
Christian faith to one of its greatest evangelists. Would you believe it – he
himself died a martyr’s death for the Christian cause! What could possibly
cause such a miraculous change? I believe the best explanation is found in
Paul’s own historical testimony “And last of all he appeared to me also” (1
Finally, the beginning of the Christian church was marked by an absolute
explosion in the number of converts. But what is really amazing is the converts
mainly consisted of devote Jews. At the time Jews were fiercely devoted to
Judaism and feared going to hell if they were to tamper with any of its major
beliefs. How could the death of a Nazareth carpenter manage to convert multitudes of devote
Jews to Christianity, right in the hostile heartland of its oppressors? The
most logical explanation is that his death was followed by his resurrection.
8. THE EXPERIENCE OF GOD
Finally one can personally know and experience God. Religious experience has
occurred all throughout history and in all civilizations - in primitive
cultures and advanced cultures, in the miserably poor and the filthy rich, with
the most learned intellectuals and those who have not experienced the slightest
amount of education. It occurs among society’s most despised criminals as well
as societies most respected individuals, in the proud and the humble, in cool
composed people and emotional hysterical people. Such diversity suggests that
God is the common cause of these experiences. The Bible promises, "Draw
near to God, and He will draw near to you". For those who listen, God is
not simply reduced to an inferred entity - rather he becomes a lived reality