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Discovering God in Your Own Backyard

Discovering God in Your Own Backyard

Belief in God used to be generally taken for granted, but not today. The number of scientists, educators, philosophers, politicians, and even celebrities who seem devoted to convincing you and your loved ones that God does not exist is astronomical. The onslaught can be overwhelming. But you don’t need a PhD to push back, all you need is a walk outside, and a mind open to simple truths!

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

An Increasingly Secular World

Belief in God used to be generally taken for granted, but not today. The number of scientists, educators, philosophers, politicians, and even celebrities who seem devoted to convincing you and your loved ones that God does not exist is astronomical.

The onslaught can be overwhelming.

But you don’t need a PhD to push back. All you need is a walk outside, and a mind open to simple truths.

Join us today on Tomorrow’s World, and begin “Discovering God in Your Own Backyard.”

A Godless Effort

Hello, and welcome to Tomorrow’s World. I’m glad you’re here. We’re going to discuss several ways you can be assured that God exists, how you can assure others, and how you can do so by what you observe right outside your own home. We’ll also offer you a free booklet titled The Real God: Proofs and Promises, explaining seven proofs that God MUST exist. Keep an eye out for the information you need to get your own free copy.

Now as we begin, we have to recognize that our world no longer takes the existence of a Creator for granted. In fact, many of those who influence our culture are actively and passionately working to destroy that belief.

In what has been termed the rise of the “New Atheism,” the work of public atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens has made atheism—or disbelief in God—a popular choice. Dubbed “The Four Horsemen,” these men present ideas that are, frankly, not new, but their aggressive writings and public presentations have inspired a new vigor to those who publicly denounce religious belief. The influence of that sentiment can be felt in various facets of society, from the halls of academia and the courtrooms and legislatures of our governments, to celebrity interviews on YouTube. Disbelief in God is being spread by passionate, atheistic evangelists, determined to permanently turn our culture away from acknowledging a Creator.

This is well illustrated in the work of Peter Boghossian, professor of philosophy and author of A Manual for Creating Atheists. In that book, he expresses his opinion that religious belief should be contained and eliminated like a disease. Chapter 9 of his book is titled “Containment Protocols,” in which he writes, “The purpose of this chapter is to suggest potential changes and to propose ways that readers can contribute to the struggle for reason” (p. 202). What are some of the ways he suggests individuals can “contribute to the struggle for reason”? Consider his suggestion #2: “Stigmatize faith-based claims like racist claims” (p. 203). Or suggestion #8: “Treat faith as a public health crisis” (p. 208). Elaborating on that point, Boghossian states that he isn’t suggesting specific policies on how to do this: “Rather, I want to add my voice to the growing number of people who argue that we must reconceptualize faith as a virus of the mind… and treat faith like other epidemiological crises: contain and eradicate” (p. 209). Then there is suggestion #10: “Create skeptical (atheist) children” (pp. 210–211). Now note: The word “atheist” is his word, not mine.

Finally, there is suggestion #11: “Remove religious exemption for delusion from the DSM” (p. 213). The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In other words, Dr. Boghossian suggests that faith-based belief systems should be classified as the side effects of a mental disorder. In his own words: “In the long term, once these treatments and this body of research is refined, results could then be used to inform public health policies designed to contain and ultimately eradicate faith” (p. 214).

When such sentiments dominate the attitudes of those who seek to shape society, they have an impact.

A 2019 report by LifeWay Research noted that two-thirds of churchgoing teenagers stop attending church between the ages of 18 and 22 (“Most Teenagers Drop Out of Church as Young Adults,” LifeWayResearch.com, January 15, 2019).

In a National Study of Youth and Religion report, researchers Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton found that of teenagers who abandon their faith, almost one-third do so due to intellectual skepticism and disbelief. The reasons given by teenagers included statements such as…

  • “It didn’t make sense anymore.”
  • [and] “I think scientifically and there is no proof.”

(Melinda Lundquist Denton and Christian Smith, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, p. 89)

The phenomenon is not limited to children. In 2016 the Pew Research Center reported on their survey results concerning Americans who left a particular faith after once identifying with it. “Unbelief” dominated the reasons why.

About half… who were raised in a religion (49%) indicate that a lack of belief led them to move away from religion. This includes many respondents who mention “science” as the reason they do not believe in religious teachings, including one who said “I’m a scientist now, and I don’t believe in miracles.” Others reference “common sense,” “logic” or a “lack of evidence”—or simply say they do not believe in God (“Why America’s ‘Nones’ Left Religion Behind,” PewResearch.org, August 24, 2016).

But you don’t need a degree in philosophy or advanced religious training to be firm in your belief that God, your Creator, lives and is active in the world. King David, the warrior poet of ancient Israel, wrote in Psalm 14, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (v. 1). In fact, he felt so strongly about it, he said it again in Psalm 53.

If it is foolish to conclude that there is no God, then the evidence that He exists must be all around us, waiting to be noted and considered. And it is.

For the rest of our program, we’re going to ignore the pretensions of professors and the foolishness of philosophers and—simply—step outside… for a straightforward, common sense view of the world. We’ll find that God is there, waiting for us to discover Him.

Before we do that, let me pause to give you an opportunity to request today’s free resource, The Real God: Proofs and Promises.

When your children or grandchildren come home from school questioning God’s existence—filled with the crafty, false arguments of an increasingly secular world—you don’t need to be left speechless, mind racing, desperately searching for a way to pull them back from the edge of unbelief where so many like them have jumped off.

Answer with the quiet but powerful confidence of someone who knows why only the fool says that there is no God. This free booklet will equip you with seven simple, easily understood reasons you can KNOW God exists. …Meaningful enough to strengthen your own faith, and simple enough to explain to others.

Don’t let your children become another statistic. Request a copy of The Real God: Proofs and Promises.

Intricate Design Reveals God’s Hand

We’re looking at the evidence for God that is accessible right in our own backyards. Now, I know some of you don’t have a backyard. My family and I lived for 11 years in an apartment with no “yard” at all! But, even then, we could find our way to a park or picnic area. Hopefully all of you can, too.

Whether in a safe, outdoor area close to your home, or your own backyard, you have quite an observatory from which to discover that the God of Creation is very real. I hope you’ll consider doing this in real life soon, but for now imagine with me for a moment… Imagine stepping outside and looking about you… There is grass beneath your feet, a tree or plant here or there, and a blue sky with the occasional cloud overhead. The sun is shining, and birds are on their way to who knows where.

You don’t need a graduate degree, let alone training in a seminary, to know that God exists. If you are outside, you have evidence enough within the reach of your hands and eyes.

Since we’re in the backyard, let’s consider a tree. Trees are remarkable examples of design, with systems able to draw vast amounts of water from the ground into the highest leaves, without pump or motor. Stomata on the leaves open or close as needed to regulate the tree’s interaction with its environment, bringing in carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, policing the exchange of water vapor, and producing energy for the tree’s growth.

Perhaps the most outstanding thing about the tree in your backyard is its ability to reproduce itself and create more trees capable of doing everything it can do.

Oak trees come from acorns… Consider the miracle of design and technology that an acorn represents. Packed within it is an abundance of bioengineering and nanotechnology that, when exposed to soil, sun, and water, can assemble materials, build structures, and organize systems to produce a towering oak tree—all automatically! Or, perhaps you have fruit trees in your backyard—consider the apple seed. This contains the same sort of technology as the acorn, though in a much smaller package. Yet, again, exposed the same basic materials, this seed NOT ONLY becomes one brand new apple tree… That tree produces apples, each with five seeds capable of becoming their own trees.

If any scientist or engineer on earth were to design something capable of producing—on its own—autonomous, complex, reproductive, nanotechnology-infused structures that need little but water, soil, and sun to run themselves… we would hail the designer of that technology the greatest inventor in human history! The design we see in life demands a Designer!

Don’t let the many words of atheist scientists and philosophers overrule your common sense. Even Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the DNA molecule’s amazing structure, once wrote, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved” (Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit, p. 138).

Why must they force themselves to ignore design? Because even the evidence available in our backyard tells us that it WAS designed, and that God, the Designer, exists.

Your backyard offers more wonders than grass and trees! But before we go further, I’d like to give you another opportunity to request this week’s free booklet, The Real God: Proofs and Promises. In it, Dr. Douglas Winnail answers such questions as

  • How can we know that God exists?
  • Why is God so unreal to most people today?
  • How are many Christians today sabotaging their own faith?
  • How is Bible prophecy being fulfilled by today’s anti-God attitudes?

This free resource is written in plain language to explain in straightforward fashion why you, or anyone, should believe in God. Furthermore, it explains how you can trust His promises.

So, call the number on your screen or click the link in the description to order your own free copy.

Next, we’ll examine one of the greatest proofs of all, but before we do, be sure to click the “like” button and subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss another Tomorrow’s World video.

The Universal Source of Law, Life, and Love

We’re looking at how we can come to know God exists while venturing no further than our backyard—or, perhaps, a local park or picnic area. Let’s continue our imaginary stroll, and let’s assume that time has passed, and we now look up at a cloudless nighttime sky.

Without clouds or light-pollution, some estimate that you can see around 2,000 stars in the sky—glittering like diamonds atop black velvet. Of course, there are far more stars than you can see. In a 2017 article at Space.com, Dr. David Kornreich of Ithaca College in New York State estimated the number of stars in the observable universe at one septillion (“How Many Stars Are In The Universe?” Space.com, May 18, 2017).

That is a “1” followed by 24 zeros—an unimaginably large number of stars, filling the observable universe that extends 13.8 billion light years in every direction.

As you look up, ask yourself: Where did it all come from?

Of course, we are not all blessed with a pristine night sky, and we may see far fewer stars. But the question still applies. In fact, it applies to the soil and grass beneath you, the tree just a bit away… even the wood, stone, and brick that make up your home. Even you.

Where did ALL of this come from?

According to science, it hasn’t always been there. The “Big Bang” is now taken for granted by cosmologists and physicists, as uncomfortable as it makes many of them. At an event honoring the late Stephen Hawking, multiple theories concerning the universe’s origin were considered, and cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin put them all into context: “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning” (“Why physicists can’t avoid a creation event,” NewScientist.com, January 11, 2012).

But the idea that ALL of this could have come from absolutely nothing violates common sense. As Julie Andrews famously sang in “The Sound of Music”: “Nothing comes from nothing—nothing ever could.”

The only thing “nothing” ever produces is more “nothing”! There MUST be something that caused the natural world! And the origin of the natural world must logically transcend the natural—it must be supernatural.

The Bible tells us that “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). It is no accident that the stars move us to conclude that they must have a Creator. They do so by the design of the One who created them—and us.

In The Real God: Proofs and Promises, Dr. Douglas Winnail discusses how “Creation Demands a Creator” (Douglas Winnail, the Real God: Proofs and Promises, p. 9). When you are standing in your backyard, meditating on God’s existence, one of the greatest proofs is the existence of a backyard at all.

And if we watch the stars long enough, we’ll see that the cosmos moves in a beautiful, orderly way. The stars that make up our night sky burn brightly according to precise laws of gravity and nuclear physics that govern how atoms are pressed together to make new atoms, releasing exact amounts of heat and light into the universe.

Those stars, the wind you feel on your skin as you stand gazing at them, the trees, rocks, grass, and soil around you—even you!—are all made of matter: collections of atoms and molecules arranged and rearranged according to the laws of chemistry and physics.

The sights you see are focused through the lens of your eyes according to the laws of optics. The trees and grass are cared for by laws governing how environmental water is cycled endlessly though the ground and atmosphere. The cool wind brushing your cheek exchanges heat with your skin, according to laws of thermodynamics.

In your backyard, you aren’t merely surrounded by matter—you are surrounded by laws that govern the world and everything in it. From the smallest particles to the largest structures of the universe, reality is organized and governed by elegant, orderly, mathematical laws.

These, too, attest to a Creator. There is no reason that reality must be orderly or comprehensible. In fact, as Albert Einstein wrote, “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility… The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle” (Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, p. 462). Where do the understandable laws of the universe come from? Why does reality obey a set of commands?

Laws demand a Lawgiver! Isaiah 33:22 declares that “the LORD is our Lawgiver” and in Jeremiah 33:25, God declares that He has “appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth….”

We have one more piece of evidence to discuss before we leave your backyard, and it may be the most crucial.

But before we do that, I want to pause one more time so you can request today’s free resource, and as I do, I’d like you to consider that proving God’s existence benefits more than the unbeliever. You may already believe God exists, and if so, I commend you for that. But we often take for granted that we will always believe God exists, and yet our futures are uncertain. Many have been shaken by tragedies, such as the loss of a child, diagnoses of fatal illnesses or chronic pain, or other, unfathomable circumstances, which defy explanation.

Such times can cause even the most faithful heart to skip a beat—and plant a seed of doubt.

Prepare for those times now. The Real God: Proofs and Promises, is designed to help fortify your faith before such times arrive, and to help ensure that your belief in the real and living God will carry you through them.

And when tragedy touches the lives of those you love, this free booklet will help you act as the support they need to sustain their faith.

This isn’t a complicated book. It is short, simple, and designed to bolster your belief in the very real God of the Bible. Order your free copy before a time comes when you’ll wish you had.

God’s Way of Life: A Provable Theory

Welcome back. I hope today’s program has highlighted that the question of whether there is a great God who exists and who created the world is not just an academic question for philosophers and theologians—nor is the conclusion inaccessible to the rest of us. The Creator can be found and seen at work as close as your own backyard. Don’t let the sophisticated and oh-so-impressive sounding words of the secular intellects shake your conviction in God’s existence. In so many ways, many of them represent the perfect example of those whom the Apostle Paul ridiculed in the first chapter of his letter to the Christians in Rome:

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. Professing to be wise, they became fools… (Romans 1:18–22; can cut vv. 18–19 (in italics) for time.)

And, before we conclude this imaginary trip to your backyard, I would ask you to consider one more proof, and this one is more personal. After all—at the very center of this experience in your backyard has been YOU. Before we walk back into your house, take the time to consider your own life, and look at the choices you have made and their consequences over the years. What turned out well? What didn’t? What choices do you regret, and what choices have resulted in blessings for you and your family that continue today?

In the free resource we are offering today, containing seven proofs of God’s existence, author Dr. Douglas Winnail includes a sort of proof that is often unconsidered. The God of the Bible gives us a way of life that works.

If you examine your life in the light of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the commandments of God that are given in your Bible, you will see that they ring true. Look at your past history and compare it to the wisdom found within the pages of the book we call “God’s word.” You’ll find that many aspects of your life you did not understand will begin to make sense. And if you begin to turn to that God in your life, today, and commit to obeying what you read in that book, you will find that the truth of God’s existence becomes more than an academic or theoretical consideration. You will find that trusting the God of the Bible and ordering your life according to His desires and purpose for you may provide you with the greatest proof of all that He does, indeed, exist.

We here at Tomorrow’s World are happy to help you do that in whatever way we can.

Please don’t forget to request today’s f\ree resource, The Real God: Proofs and Promises—and don’t forget to come back! We invite you to join us every week on Tomorrow’s World, and online any time. In these stressful and trying days in which we live, you need the solid guidance that comes from your Bible. Gerald Weston, Richard Ames, and I, along with guest presenter Rod McNair will be right here, ready to share with you the teachings of Jesus Christ, the good news of the coming Kingdom of God, and the exciting end-time prophecies and their meaning. Until we see you here again, take care!

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