HOW CAN I BE SURE THERE IS A GOD?
The key question is, 'How can I be sure that there is a God? How can I be certain?' Let me give some suggestions for thinking through this leading question. I suggest that we ask ourselves the following questions: What do I make of the fact that I exist at all? What do I make of the world around me, the universe? How do I account for it? What is the purpose of it?
How do I account for the complexity of life? Can I really shrug it all off as an accident of biochemistry which occurred millions of years ago? Can I seriously believe that all the order, the life cycles, the amazing systems -- all the unmistakable signs of a great designer behind the universe -- can I seriously believe that it can be explained by pure change?
We are told by biochemists that a bewildering array of complex chemical reactions would have had to have taken place at precisely the same time and in perfectly correct order and synchronisation to turn non-living substances into simplest living organism. No one can conceive how such an impossible thing could occur by sheer accident.
Can I believe that one day, millions of years ago, many highly sophisticated components somehow just leapt together, in perfect synchronisation, by pure chance, in order to create a living cell? And if I can believe that, can I also believe that this first living cell could somehow, unaided, give rise to life as we know it today?
Think of the amazing complexity of everything. Think again of all the life cycles and of the organisation of the human body. Think of the microscopic detail, order and wonder of the created world. Think of our own highly delicate and profound emotional make-up.
Then think of the extraordinary beauty of so many things, a beauty which frequently extends beyond the range of human vision. The micro-snowflake is uniquely different, each one resembling a most intricately designed piece of exotic original jewellery. Is it order or chaos? Design or accident -- which is it?
Accident or design?
We know that accident and chance in the affairs of everyday life always lead to chaos, muddle and confusion. Are we to believe that an accident brought this complex world into being; that chance brought all this order and design into existence? Surely it requires vastly more faith to believe in accident than it does to believe in a Creator; a designer behind the universe.
Accident? Chance? It is impossible to conceive, and it requires the most sublime form of blind faith. Yet we are told that it requires blind faith to believe in a Creator God!
But there is another quite different line of thought which we should pursue, and it is this: how do we account for the human race? How do we explain ourselves? What a unique and strange creature man is! The entire animal kingdom is ruled by instincts and drives, and yet man stands absolutely unique, a thousand times higher, endowed with the power of reason.
How do we account for this? Not only does man possess the power of reason, but he also has a conscience, a mysterious, built-in knowledge of right and wrong; an intricate moral value system.
The mysterious conscience
You can prove the existence of the conscience by observing its operation at the international level. Every nation in the world is corrupt and breaks its own rules, yet it looks with righteous indignation at the aggression and the unreasonable activities of other nations.
Alternatively, you can see conscience operating in some way in the lives of individuals. What am I? I am a being with a highly-tuned conscience which frequently hurts me, and which I habitually use to judge and criticise others by. Yet at the same time, while I have this conscience, this remarkable piece of equipment, I am utterly incapable of living up to it.
Every time I try improve my life, turn over a new leaf, advance, or make progress to become the kind of person I would like to be -- I fall.
People do not always want to lie; they just lie. They do not always set out to commit sin; they just do it. How do we explain this? What explanation do we have for mankind possessing this knowledge of right and wrong, this highly-tuned conscience, and yet having no power to live up to it?
There is only one explanation for these things and it is the explanation given to us in the Bible. Man was originally made by God and in His image, but he is now a rebel who has fallen away from God.
God planted within him this moral consciousness, this awareness of right and wrong, but because he is a fallen rebel he cannot keep these standards.
Has this conscience just developed and emerged during a process of evolution? No, for there is not the lest shred of evidence for that. Man is clearly designed differently from the animals. He has in common with them many biological features, but once we take account of reason and conscience we realise he is altogether different.
The massive contradiction of human race is that we possess the power of reason and moral values coupled with hopeless weakness and failure! This enigma can only be explained by the Fall -- the sinful rebellion of man against his Creator God which is described in the Bible.
When we consider these things, we must surely realise that there is a God, and that there is truth in God's Word -- the Bible. The alternative explanations for the existence and make-up of the human race are too far-fetched, too impossible to contemplate.
So far we have glanced at just two lines of argument to help faith. Actually there are many more which Christians have used down the centuries to help seekers. Yet however convincing they may be, such pieces of reasoning can do no more than persuade us intellectually.
The question, 'How can I be sure that there is a God?' can only be fully answered by a felt experience of God, and this is what Christian conversion brings. It is not a matter of just believing with the mind, and certainly not just knowing about God. Neither is it merely going to worship on Sunday.
Conversion is nothing less than undergoing a personal experience of seeking and finding Christ the Saviour, Who suffered the penalty and punishment of sin to make it possible for people to be forgiven.
Proving God is real
Conversion is an experience which answers our greatest needs. It brings pardon and forgiveness, an understanding of God, and a completely new life. It changes us so that we come to feel and know the Lord in a way that is unmistakable.
How can I be really sure that there is a God? Only be seeking and finding Him. Contrary to what some think, that is, in a way, the hardest battle of life. To seek and find the Lord I must desire conversion. I must be ready to turn my back on past life, my greed, ambition, and pride. I must be willing to acknowledge my sin and failure, and to repent humbly and truly. I must sincerely put my trust in God and yield my life to Him.
God is the rewarder of all who earnestly, wholeheartedly seek Him and He makes them sure. For the sake of your eternal soul, you must earnestly seek to know God. Be more serious about this than you have ever been about anything else, because it is possible to know Him, if you sincerely apply for a new life. You must seek the Lord, while He will still be gracious to you.
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