Is God Real?
Life is full of questions, Questions abound everywhere. What am I going to do with my life? What will I be? Will the kids turn out all right? What will tomorrow bring? When I die will I go to heaven? Why does God allow such tragedy to exist on the earth?
But these aren’t the only types of questions we ask. We also have philosophical questions, which comes first the chicken or the egg, how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it fall, does it still make a noise?
We could spend all day asking questions, but what good is a question if it doesn’t have an answer? And most of our questions have an answer if we are only willing to look for it. This morning we are starting a new series where we will answer “A Question That Must Be Answered.” Over the next few weeks we’re going to look for real answers to some of the crucial questions people ask. I think the answers we will find will be simple, straightforward, based on facts and logic, and helpful to us in our daily lives.
This morning, our first question is the most important one, “Is God real?” It’s the most important one because if the answer is, “no,” then we’re wasting our time here today, and we ought to just head out to the foyer for a time of fellowship before we eat.
Our text this morning is from Psalm 19:1-2, where David says, “Hey look around, the entire universe is full of pointers to the existence of God” But even in the face of all of these pointers, every one of us wonders about God from time to time, that’s the nature of faith. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” If we can see it, it doesn’t require faith.
Have you ever thought about the fact that all of life is built on faith. We put money in the bank, with faith that it will be there when we want it or need it. We join a company, with faith that we’ll get a paycheck every payday. We get married, with faith that we’ll live happily ever after. We came to this building this morning, with faith that someone paid the light bill.
There are no guarantees in life, only expressions of faith. But that doesn’t mean that we have to have blind faith. We put our money in the bank after checking it out, making sure it’s sound, talking to people we trust who do business there. We accept a job after educating ourselves about the company. We get married after meeting our fiancé’s family, and thankfully Trista got married in spite of meeting them.
Our willingness to put faith in something is based on our ability to think and reason. God set it up that way, that’s why David could say, “Take a look around you, look at the stars, they shout God’s glory. Look at the skies, they show His craftsmanship. They are telling you that God is real!”
This morning we need to answer the question “Is God Real?” by looking at 3 Pointers to God’s Existence, three things that are all around us that scream out for the existence of God. Here’s the first one: The existence of “stuff.”
The very fact that stuff exists is a huge problem for the atheist. You see if nothing exists, then we don’t have to explain it. But the minute we acknowledge that something is real then we have to explain how it got here.
The universe exists. It’s real. We live in it. We see it, hear it, feel it, and breathe its air. So where did all this stuff we feel, hear, breath, smell come from? That’s just a principle we all understand naturally: If something is here, it got here somehow and from somewhere and by something or someone. In Latin the principle is “Ex nihilo, nihil fit” or from nothing, nothing comes. It is the basic principle of cause and effect. For every effect, there has to be a cause.
I’m wearing a ring. How did that get there? It has writing on it, it says, “Liberty University” on it. How did those little letters get there? Someone had to put them on it. It’s the basis of cause, and effect.
Even atheists have to admit that there must be a cause for every effect. Atheist Richard Dawkins, who wrote the book “The God Delusion”, refuses to believe in an almighty designer. But when faced with the question of cause and effect he surmises that life on earth could conceivably have been started by aliens from another planet. So instead of believing in God he would rather put his faith in aliens from another planet. Which leads me to ask where did the aliens come from...
Let’s move to the second pointer: The nature of “stuff”
The universe is a huge, complex, and amazingly organized place. And even more amazing than the simple fact the stuff exists is the fact that everything is dependent on something else. Take trees for example. They need air, water, and sunlight to exist and survive. So before you can have a tree you must have carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight. Genesis 1 says that God created trees on the third day, water and air on the second, and light on the first. It has to be more than a mere coincidence.
The very earth itself needs the sun and the sun needs the solar system, and gravity to be able to exist. So, if everything we see around us is dependent on something else, then we’ve got to figure out who or what is responsible for all these dependent objects and beings?
Scientists and philosophers jump through all kinds of hoops trying to answer that question, writing papers nobody reads full of big words nobody understands, so let me try to make it real basic, not by looking at the big picture, but instead let’s look at something a little simpler.
I have in my hand a Mountain Dew can. Have you ever wondered how this got here? Where it came from, or how it was formed? Let me tell you about it.
Millions of years ago, an incredible big bang came out of nothing and nowhere, and sent a massive rock hurtling through space. As the rocked cooled, a yellow, sweet, bubbly liquid formed on its surface. As time passed, aluminum oozed out of the rock and shaped itself into just the right shape and size for a human hand, which would develop a few million years later.
Over time, this thing formed itself a pull-tab on the top of the lid, and centuries later, red, white, and green paint fell from the sky and stuck to the thing, and the paint formed the letters Mountain Dew.
It fits perfectly in my hand, it tastes good, it’s got just about the right amount in it to be satisfying when you’re thirsty, and It’s got enough caffeine to pep you up a bit, but not so much that you bounce off the walls. Its contents are always the same. Its quality never varies.
Is there any chance that I could convince you that this can happened by chance? What are the odds that something this complex and this useful and comfortable and attractive and delicious came about random chance or coincidence? And this is just a can of Mountain Dew.
Or what about a banana. Have you ever really looked at a banana? I mean it fits in the hand. Kind of like it was made for it. It has a non-slip surface and it comes with a time-sensitive indicator on the outside to let us know the condition of the contents before we even open it. Green means keep going, yellow means slow down and eat it, black means you’re too late.
The bottom contains a thoughtfully made handle and on the top there is a button that makes opening it convenient. The wrapper is completely bio-degradable and the fruit inside is pleasant to taste, full of healthy calories, and is easy for the stomach to digest. And the Maker of the Banana has even curved it towards the face to make the whole eating process easier.
Remember how Psalm 19 said that the heavens proclaim the glory of God? Apparently so do bananas. They not only declare that God exists, but they give us hints of what he must be like. To design something so intricate and delicate and beautiful and superior as this, whoever created the banana must be smart and thoughtful and creative and superior. He must be loving, because He designed it around the needs of His creatures.
How smart do you suppose you’d have to be to design and create one of these from scratch? Even something as mundane as a banana tells us about God’s creative power and His care for us.
If a friend, co-worker, classmate ever ask you how you know there is a God, you can turn them to Romans 1:20, where Paul says, For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Here’s the third pointer to the existence of God: Our sense of right and wrong.
Every one of us has a sense of right and wrong. A sense that some things are right and should be done and other things are wrong, and shouldn’t be done. And it’s not just us in Mid County, every culture and society on earth has morals. Now they vary from person to person and culture to culture, but every person has them.
Every one of us here today has done something we thought was wrong? We have all told a lie, or cheated, or done something that we felt bad about. That’s not an Texas thing or an American thing, that’s a universal thing. Everyone admits that they have a moral standard, and that they haven’t lived up to that moral standard. Because the moral standard is actually better than they are, it’s superior to them.
Even the Gentiles in the Old Testament had a sense of right and wrong. So if we all have a sense of morals that are better than we are, where did that come from? The only reasonable explanation is that our morals didn’t originate with us, it came from a higher source, a bigger, better moral authority.
And, if you want a verse to demonstrate this with, Romans 2:14-15 says, For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.
When we began our time together today with the question “Is God Real?” To answer that question I gave you three pointers to His existence. I stated first for something to exist, there has to be a cause. If you have a ring, or a watch, or a Bible it has to come from somewhere.
Next we looked at the fact that everything we can see, feel, and touch is dependent on something else. The Bible’s account of creation in Genesis 1 shows how God not only created the world but created the world in an orderly fashion so that His creation would have everything it needed to exist.
We noticed that a banana shows us that the creator is very smart, creative, thoughtful, and cares about his creation, He could have just made everything look and taste like a turnip, but he didn’t. He put great beauty and care into His creation. He has to be smart and creative and caring.
Finally we noticed that our hearts, our sense of right and wrong shows us that this creator is morally better than we are. If you put it all together you can’t help but acknowledge that we’ve got an eternal, powerful, smart, beautiful, loving, moral creator. To me that sounds an awful lot like the God described in the Bible, doesn’t it?
And really, what are our alternatives? Random chance and circumstance? Aliens from another planet? Which takes more faith? Which is more intellectually honest? It seems to me that it takes more faith to believe that there is no God than to believe that there is one.
The Bible claims that this God who exists revealed Himself in two ways: He told us about Himself in the Bible, and He showed Himself to us by coming to earth in the form of a man named Jesus. God did all of this because He’s in love with us. He’s absolutely crazy about you, He made everything we can see and touch and taste and feel so that we would want to have a relationship with Him.
That being said some of you here will say, “Jeremy, I’m not feeling it, it seems like God, if He’s real, is so far away.” The Bible says that the distance between God and us didn’t come because He moved. It came because we did. We moved away from God. We said, “I don’t want to live in your house, under your rules, under your guidance. I want to live life my way.”
And still God says, “I want you to come back home, I want to be your Father again. And since you won’t come to me, I’ll come to you, to show you how deep my love is for you. And 2000 years ago, that’s just what He did. Jesus experienced a terrible death just so we would want to come to live with Him again.
There may be someone here this morning who, for the first time is willing to admit that God really does exist, and by the way, if He exists, then He must have created you. And if He created you, then you belong to Him. So when He asks you to come back home, He’s only asking you to return to where you belong.
God says that in order to do that, you only need to do 2 things: trust, and receive, Trust Him, believe that He exists, and that He’s your God, and receive the love and forgiveness and leadership that He offers you.
Questions to Consider
Read Romans 1:18-25
How were ancient people able to know that God existed? Does that still hold true today?
In what ways have we shown ourselves to be fools? What evidence of these things can we see in our own society?
This morning we said “Ex nihilo, nihil fit” or from nothing, nothing comes. Can we logically assume that there was a time when nothing existed? What would that mean?
If scientists were able to create life in a laboratory would that prove that there is no God, or that intelligence is required to create life?
Nature gives us a powerful testimony about the existence of God. What are some things that nature cannot tell us about God?
What does the order of creation tell us about the existence of God?