Last Week I started a series of 7 questions you need to answer before you can leave a meaningful legacy to your children. Until you can answer these questions well, you will leave a paper-thin legacy that does not have the foundation to move through the generations.
The first question that we discussed last week was “Why do I exist?”. This week we will tackle the question of the existence of the God. God said, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.” Jesus said, “knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matt. 7:7.
What if you don’t believe in the Bible? Let’s get to some realities that prove His existence.
- The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe but sustains it today.
The Earth…its size is perfect. The Earth’s size and corresponding gravity hold 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.1 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.
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 a wide margin between its 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. This property of water means that various chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.2
- Water is also chemically neutral. 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.3
- The universe had a start – what caused it?
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, “The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion…The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen.”4
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, “the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade…and the universe was filled with light.”5
The universe has not always existed. It had a start…what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.
- The DNA code informs, programs a cell’s behavior.
All instruction, all teaching, all training comes with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. Did you know that in every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: 110010101011000. The way they are arranged tell the computer program what to do. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It’s made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. There are three billion of these letters in every human cell!!
Well, just like you can program your phone to beep for specific reasons, DNA instructs the cell. DNA is a three-billion-lettered program telling the cell to act in a certain way. It is a full instruction manual.6
Why is this so amazing? One has to ask….how did this information program wind up in each human cell? These are not just chemicals. These are chemicals that instruct, that code in a very detailed way exactly how the person’s body should develop.
Natural, biological causes are completely lacking as an explanation when programmed information is involved. You cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally constructing it.
Now we get into what God says that convinces us that He exists:
For many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothers them. What is it about atheists that they spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that they don’t believe even exists?! What causes them to do that? Atheist attribute their intentions to caring for those poor, delusional people…to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded.
I believe the reason the topic of God weighs so heavily on the mind of an atheist is that God is pressing the issue. God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. Here is the point: you cannot escape thinking about the possibility of God. In fact, the day you choose to acknowledge God’s existence, your prayer should begin with, “Ok, you win…” It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.
Malcolm Muggeridge, a socialist and philosophical author, wrote, “I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued.” C.S. Lewis said he remembered, “…night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”
Lewis went on to write a book titled, “Surprised by Joy” as a result of knowing God.
Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.
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.”7 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.”8
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.9 This is not just in the Bible. It is written in numerous Roman history books written by secular writers.
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 he views us as sinners, worthy of his punishment, his love for us ruled and he came up with a different plan. God himself took on the form of man and accepted the punishment for our sin on our behalf. Sounds ludicrous? Perhaps, but many loving fathers would gladly trade places with their child in a cancer ward if they could. The Bible says that the reason we would love God is because he first loved us.
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 and resurrection, he offers us a new life today. We can be forgiven, fully accepted by God and genuinely loved by God. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”10 This is God, in action.
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.”11
God does not force us to believe in him, though he could. Instead, he has provided sufficient proof of his existence for us to willingly respond to him. The earth’s perfect distance from the sun, the unique chemical properties of water, the human brain, DNA, the number of people who attest to knowing God, the gnawing in our hearts and minds to determine if God is there, the willingness for God to be known through Jesus Christ. If you need to know more about Jesus and reasons to believe in him, please see: Beyond Blind Faith.
Footnotes: (1) R.E.D. Clark, Creation (London: Tyndale Press, 1946), p. 20 (2) The Wonders of God’s Creation, Moody Institute of Science (Chicago, IL) (3) Ibid. (4) Robert Jastrow; “Message from Professor Robert Jastrow”; LeaderU.com; 2002. (5) Steven Weinberg; The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe; (Basic Books,1988); p 5. (6) Francis S. Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, and author of The Language of God, (Free Press, New York, NY), 2006 (7) John 8:12 (8) John 14:6 (9) John 14:11 (10) Jeremiah 31:3 (11) John 3:16
Thanks to Marilyn Adamson in her article Is There a God for ideas in this blog.
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Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.
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