Is your faith based on evidence, or is it "blind faith"? God has given Christians vital and encouraging proofs that He exists and that He has a plan for mankind!
Is it rational to believe in God?
Is your faith "blind faith"—or is it something more?
Millions around the world believe that there is no God. Many believe that science and religion cannot coexist. On the other hand, many who believe in God say that you should "just have faith" and not try to examine the evidence. What does the Bible say?
Contrary to common assumptions, the Bible does not advocate "blind faith." The God of the Bible challenges human beings to test and prove what is true and real. He tells us to: "Test all things; hold fast what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Or, as the King James Version puts it: "Prove all things…" (v. 21, KJV).
Can you prove that God exists? What evidence do you have for your belief? Those who believe in God have many different—often contradictory—ideas about God's nature. What does the Bible reveal about the true nature of God? Here is what God Himself says, in the first person: "'To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?' says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing" (Isaiah 40:25–26).
The Bible reveals a God who provides evidence of His existence, as we will see in this article by examining seven proofs of God's existence. If you find this brief overview helpful, please write for your free copy of our booklet The Real God: Proofs and Promises, which covers these seven proofs in more detail.
Proof 1: Creation Demands a Creator. The Hubble telescope continues to reveal previously unknown galaxies. Our awesome universe simply astounds us. Under the night sky, King David of ancient Israel asked God: "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?"(Psalm 8:3–4).
David called the universe the work of God's fingers. He knew that God created the universe. Did the universe have a beginning? What do scientists say? Famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, in a lecture titled "The Beginning of Time," stated the view of most astronomers today: "The universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago."
As Dr. Jeffrey Fall wrote: "Science now confirms that there has been no past eternity of matter!… Amazingly, science is finally catching up in understanding with the Bible concerning the origin of the universe" ("The Origin of the Universe," Tomorrow's World, January-February 2003, p. 28).
Science agrees with the Bible that the universe has not always existed. But how, then, did the universe arise? Did it come from nothing? If so, how? Can science give us an answer? Sir John Maddox, author of What Remains To Be Discovered, wrote a Time magazine article titled "A Theory of Everything." He observed: "Only 70 years ago, the universe was found to be expanding, but now there is a model of how it began: the Big Bang. At the beginning, it is said, there was literally nothing ('the void,' Genesis), not even space. Then there came into being a tiny speck of superheated space that contained enough energy to create all the stars and galaxies that fill the sky—with enough left over to drive the expansion of the universe ever since" (March 29, 1999, p. 206).
Maddox continues, "There are also serious philosophical problems created by the Big Bang, which can be described but not explained. Worse, nobody has been able to reconcile quantum physics with the other great triumph of 20th century physics: Einstein's theory of gravitation. Until that is done, the true nature of our universe will remain beyond our ken" (ibid.)
Maddox's candor is admirable. He recognizes that scientific truth is valuable, but limited. Science can describe the "how" of nature to a certain extent. But it cannot answer the deeper philosophical questions, such as "why the universe?" and "what is the purpose of human beings?" The Bible does answer those questions. Science can demonstrate that the universe began, but by itself it cannot reveal what—or Who—caused that beginning. Here, the Bible agrees with science, but adds a vital dimension to our understanding of the created universe: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3).
Proof 2: Life Demands a Life-Giver. Scientists have tried in vain to create life from non-life, or even from "soups" of laboratory chemicals. They have utterly failed! The law of biogenesis states that life can only come from life. Astrophysicist Hugh Ross comments on these failed attempts: "Even under highly favorable conditions of a laboratory, these soups have failed to produce anything remotely resembling life. One problem is that they produce only a random distribution of left- and right-handed pre-biotic molecules… Life chemistry demands that all the molecules be either right- or left-handed. With all our learning and technology we cannot even come close to bringing life together in the lab" (The Creator and the Cosmos, Ross, 1993, p. 148).
Even though science has never—not even once—created life from non-life, some scientists are so determined to reject the idea of a Creator God that they put aside their own scientific objectivity and stake their belief on what science has shown to be impossible. The scientific method requires observation, experimentation and human reasoning. No physical experiment can "prove" God in a scientific sense. Science can only produce experimental results that are either consistent or inconsistent with the hypothesis of a Creator God. Yet what happens when scientists encounter facts that are consistent with a Creator? Many will dogmatically declare that there cannot be a God, ironically making a "religion" out of their unscientific atheism!
Notice this quote by Nobel Prize-winning scientist George Wald: "The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation" ("The Origin of Life," Scientific American, August 1954, p. 46).
Amazing! A Nobel Prize-winning scientist calls it "impossible" yet believes it to be true! We must not be deceived by scientific theorizing that has no basis in reality. Wald's phrase "spontaneous generation" may sound impressive, but however erudite such a phrase may sound, it is not scientific truth, and does not agree with true science and the real world! As true science recognizes, life can only come from life.
The Bible explains that life originally came from the Life-Giver: "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" (Genesis 2:7). Or, as the KJV has it, "man became a living soul." God gave physical life to human beings and many other life forms. God is also the giver of spiritual life, as Tomorrow's World Editor-in-Chief Roderick C. Meredith explains in his article "Your Incredible Future" on page 4 of this magazine.
Proof 3: Laws Demand a Lawgiver. Science has discovered that our physical universe appeared from nothing. But how did this happen? Science cannot explain the origin of the universe, but there must be an answer. Contrary to what some believe, the Bible's simple answer is consistent with true science: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).
Notice that the Bible does not tell us when this original creation occurred, only that there was a beginning of time, and a beginning of the universe.
Science and the Bible agree that the universe began, and that it immediately operated according to predictable natural laws. When the universe came into existence, all the laws of physics and chemistry were intact; they did not "evolve." Patrick Glynn, in his book God: The Evidence, writes that everything had to be "'just right' from the very start—everything from the values of fundamental forces like electromagnetism and gravity, to the relative masses of the various subatomic particles, to things like the number of neutrino types at time 1 second, which the universe has to 'know' already at 10-43 second. The slightest tinkering with a single one of scores of basic values and relationships in nature would have resulted in a universe very different from the one we inhabit—say, one with no stars like our sun, or no stars, period. Far from being accidental, life appeared to be the goal toward which the entire universe from the very first moment of its existence had been orchestrated, fine-tuned" (pp. 7–8).
Science has found no reason for the many laws of physics and chemistry, and for the many precise values and relationships, to have come into existence exactly as they are. From a mathematical point of view, the odds against our universe having just the right laws to sustain life are astronomical.
Remember, these laws were in existence at the first moment of creation. Scientists recognize that they had to be. As Hawking acknowledged in The Nature of Space and Time: "The only way to have scientific theory is if the laws of physics hold everywhere, including at the beginning of the universe" (p. 40).
Is it reasonable, then, to assume that these laws came about from nothing—from random chance? Absolutely not! The existence of such marvelous and predictable laws in nature points to a master intelligence and Lawgiver. Add to that evidence the existence of unseen spiritual laws, and you double the evidence of a great Lawgiver.
What is the origin of these natural laws that permeate our universe? As your Bible reveals: "There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy" (James 4:12). Yes, the Creator God is the Lawgiver, both of natural law and spiritual law. "The Lord is our Lawgiver" (Isaiah 33:22).
Have some scientists recognized the significant evidence of intelligence behind the natural laws of our universe? Yes! Albert Einstein, the great physicist and Nobel Prize winner, saw awesome intelligence revealed in the existence of natural law. He wrote that the scientist's "religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection" (Einstein: A Centenary Volume, ed. A. P. French, Harvard University Press, 1979, p. 305).
Einstein was amazed at the intelligence he saw in natural law. He called human intelligence, compared to that superior intelligence revealed in natural law, "an utterly insignificant reflection." That far superior intelligence behind the laws of the universe is the God who created the universe—the great Lawgiver!
Proof 4: Design Demands a Designer. Not only do we find predictable physical laws throughout the universe, we find tremendous evidence of intelligent design. The human body, for example, shows insurmountable evidence of design. See John H. Ogwyn's article "Evolution: Fact or Fiction?" on page 16 of this issue for more on this fascinating topic. Consider the human eye. Even Darwin admitted that "complex organs such as the eye would be difficult to explain in terms of the gradual stepwise process outlined by his theory." But Darwin did not realize the complexity of vision's molecular biology, which science would later discover (Christian Century, July 15–22, 1998, pp. 679–80).
If we find design in the universe, we naturally expect a designer. Significantly, then, we may ask: was the universe designed for a purpose? As Patrick Glynn notes in his book, God: The Evidence: "The most basic explanation for the universe is that it seems to be a process orchestrated to achieve the end or goal of creating human beings" (Glynn, p. 32). Glynn states further: "From the scientist's viewpoint, the fact that the universe looks as though it had a definite beginning might be upsetting enough. But what appears to drive cosmologists nearly to distraction is the anthropic principle"—that the earth and the universe were created for mankind (ibid., p. 42).
What is the alternative? Some scientists, like zoologist Richard Dawkins, espouse the idea that human beings are merely animals with no purpose in a purposeless universe. As he put it: "the universe we observe has… no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pointless indifference… we are machines for propagating DNA… It is every living object's sole reason for living" (Science, August 15, 1997, p. 892).
Certainly one may ignore evidence of design behind the laws that govern the universe, and behind the universe itself. But in the face of so much evidence, it takes greater "faith" to believe in a godless universe than to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion: the existence of a Creator God who set in place His laws for a purpose. Why would people exercise so much "faith" to ignore the evidence right in front of their eyes? Even some atheists and agnostics admit that by choosing to remain ignorant, they can continue living their lives without God, denying the consequences. Aldous Huxley, the famous English author, expressed this perspective well: "Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don't know because we don't want to know. It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence. Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their books that the world should be meaningless" (Ends and Means, p. 312).
What an admission! Huxley's statement sounds very much like what the Apostle Paul wrote: "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, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened" (Romans 1:20–21).
Do not be like these foolish people! Examine the universe, creation and the purpose of human life, and you will find that design demands a designer!
Proof 5: Fulfilled Prophecy. Regular readers of Tomorrow's World are familiar with the framework of Bible prophecy. Hundreds of prophecies given thousands of years ago have been fulfilled, are right now being fulfilled, and will be fulfilled in the years soon to come.
One such prophecy involved Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, who had a dream that none of his advisors could interpret. Only Daniel, through God's revelation, was able to reveal and interpret King Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Daniel explained that the king had seen a mysterious image, with head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, and feet of iron mixed with clay. The head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar. The rest of the image foretold future kingdoms.
"But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay" (Daniel 2:39–41).
Reputable Bible scholars and historians agree about the identity of these empires. After Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian Empire from 625bc to 539bc came the Medo-Persian Empire from 558bc–330bc, the Greco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great from 333bc–31bc and the Roman Empire from 31bc–476ad. Finally, the ten toes of iron mixed with clay represent a future revival of the Roman Empire. The prophecies of Daniel are genuine, and his predictions of these four empires did come to pass.
Also, there are more than 100 fulfilled prophecies in the Old Testament foretelling the coming of the Messiah. Among them is Isaiah's prophecy that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David, the son of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1), that the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), that He would live in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1–2), that His mission would include the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:1–4) and that He would die with the wicked (Isaiah 53:9). Other prophecies foretold that He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), that He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12–13), that He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9) and that He would be like a smitten shepherd (Zechariah 13:7). These are just a sampling of the many prophecies that came to pass about the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ.
Proof 6: Answered Prayer. Skeptics and doubters will not experience this proof, unless they begin to study the Bible and meet its challenges. According to a recent Barna Research report: "Americans believe in the power and impact of prayer. Four out of five (82 percent) believe that 'prayer can change what happens in a person's life.'"
Luke 11:1-4 gives us instructions on how to pray. The Bible also gives these guidelines in praying: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:7–8). The "faith chapter" of the Bible reminds us: "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" (Hebrews 11:6); and we find this principle: "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:22).
God has answered thousands of my prayers over the past 40 years, just as He has answered the prayers of all true Christians, and He will answer your prayers if you meet His challenge.
Proof 7: A Way of Life that Works! The history of the world is generally the history of mankind living its own way, apart from the instructions of its Creator. Human beings have experimented, and continue to experiment, with man-made institutions of education, science, government, business and entertainment. And what progress have we made? Have we brought about world peace? As the Apostle Paul wrote: "Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:15–18).
The way of man brings about death, not life: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). But there is a way of life that works. That way is revealed in the Bible. As the Messiah, Jesus Christ, proclaimed: "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Luke 4:4). The Bible challenges you to live the way of life, not the way of death! God's way of life produces abundant living and true peace, not death and destruction. Jesus said: "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
May God help you to take the challenge. Study the Bible. Begin to live by the Creator's instruction book for His creation. Whether or not you yet realize it, God's purpose is to create in you His character of love, joy, peace and abundant living.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to all human beings is found in the book of Isaiah: "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6–7). May the great Creator of the universe, and His Son Jesus Christ, help you to prove His existence, and to find the true way of life.