Six Compelling Reasons to Believe in God
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could just point to six compelling reasons why one ought to believe in God? .Today many in a sense worship science, and insist that if you can’t empirically prove something scientifically, then they won’t accept it. But the fact is, we all accept things in our daily life that we have never “proven”. For example, the way we depend on the regularity of “natural laws”, so that when we set our alarm clocks, we are quite sure the sun will come up the next morning, and we’ll be off to work.
Or the way we make a moral judgement when we feel something is “right” or “wrong”. You don’t “prove” the rightness or wrongness of somethings – you make a judgement about an action, or the lack of one that should have been there. But that is not something that is subject to the scientific method. Although one cannot “scientifically” prove without a doubt that God exists, there are good “reasons to believe” that an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator God exists, and that He is a personal God that loves and sustains His creation, and has a plan for it and us. Here are just six of the most compelling reasons to believe:
One: The Fine-Tuning of the Universe
According to Tim Keller in his book “The Reason for God”, it’s as if God had rolled a “Cosmic Welcome Mat” for the earth to begin and prosper. According to Francis Collins, a well-respected scientist who led work to map the human genome, there are no less than 15 cosmological constants that are set to exactly the right value to allow complex life to form in the universe:
- The gravitational constant
- Various constants having to do with the strong and weak nuclear forces
If ANY of these values had been off by a tiny margin, no life could have developed at all in the universe. Matter would not have coalesced, and there would have been no galaxies, no stars, no planets, and no people.
Fine tuning appears to have happened not only at a cosmological level, but also within our solar system, and even within the early system we live in. For example…
The Earth is perfectly sized to sustain complex life. The Earth’s size and corresponding gravity holds 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.3 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.
And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.4
>> Watch a Video on the “Fine tuning of the Universe”, how our universe and its law are fine tuned to support life (6.26 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpIiIaC4kRA
What does the Bible have to say about creation?
- Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
Other amazing aspects of the earth, and of the human creature (and other life forms, for that matter), testify to a “master engineer” or designer of all life. The amazing properties of water, for example. And the complexity of the human brain, and the design of the human eye, to name a few examples.
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.
- 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.
The human brain…simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of your keyboard. Your brain holds and processes all your emotions, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.
The human brain processes more than a million messages a second. Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant. This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world. The brain functions differently than other organs. There is an intelligence to it, the ability to reason, to produce feelings, to dream and plan, to take action, and relate to other people.
The eye…can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages — simultaneously.8 Evolution focuses on mutations and changes from and within existing organisms. Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain — the start of living organisms from nonliving matter.
What Does the Bible have to say about this?
- Psalm 139: 14: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”
- Psalm 139:16 “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them”
Additional study material to read: A review on “Darwin’s Black Box”, by Michael Behe – http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/darwinbx.html. Also read the book!
Two: That Mysterious Big Bang that Got it All Started
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.”
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, “the universe was about a hundred thousand million degrees Centigrade…and the universe was filled with light.”1
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. Science can only explain down to the very split second after the vent – not before. Before the universe is an unknown to science, since there was no space, time, or matter before the initial singularity.
Most scientists are secular humanists, and materialists – believe that only natural processes, and the laws of science (cause and effect, gravity, et.) can be used to explain things. They do not allow for the “supernatural” to be an explanation. Yet people will tell you that miracles happen every day. And by the way, these same laws of physics were also put into place at the “big bang”. Consider the creation event as the biggest, grandest, first miracle.
>> Watch a video on the “Big Bang”: https://youtu.be/wNDGgL73ihY
The video says that before the initial creation event, we can’t know what happened, and we may never know, since our tools to investigate this area “break down”. But the video does point out that there are multiple lines of evidence for an initial singularity, “big bang” or creation event:
- Einstein’s General Theory of Relatively – mathematical evidence demands a beginning
- Astronomical evidence – the “red shift” of stars zooming away from a central point
- The detection of “background radiation” left over from the beginning event, detected by the COBE satellites: http://lambda.gsfc.nasa.gov/product/cobe/; Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_Background_Explorer
Yet the video suggests some other reasons for what may have started the initial event – that it could have started “naturally”, or that maybe there were “multiple universes”.
The Bible teaches, and Christians believe, that God was the “First Cause”. That He was the source of the big bang, or creation event, and caused everything else (including the law of cause and effect). The question “What caused God” is the wrong question, since He is by definition not contingent on anything else – all things are contingent on Him. He is eternal, without a beginning, and the First Cause, the Sustainer of all things. Only things which have a beginning need a cause. This is called the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God:
- All things which have a beginning need a cause
- The universe had a beginning
- Therefore, the universe had a cause
We call this “First Cause” God. What does the Bible say about the creation event?
- Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
- Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork”.
- 1 Chron 16:26: “For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.”
- Psalm 8:3 “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained, what is man, that thou art mindful of him?”
- Psalm 89:11 “The heavens are thine, the earth is thine; as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them.”
- Psalm 102:25 “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands”.
>> Watch: Ben Stein Interviews Richard Dawkins on the existence of God: https://youtu.be/GlZtEjtlirc
Even if there was a First Cause, critics assert that we can know nothing about the character of God based on this. But is that true? On the contrary, here is what we can conclude:
- Since the First Cause created the universe of space and time, He Himself must transcend the dimensions of space and time. We can thus conclude that He must be timeless and eternal. We can also conclude that He is immaterial, since He transcends space. What does the Bible say?
- God is Eternal: 1 Tim 1:17; Isa 43:13 and 57:15; Psalm 90:2, 41:13, 102: 12, 27
- God is a Spirit: John 4:24; 1 Tim 1:17; Col 1:15
- To have created the universe, in all of its incredible vastness, out of nothing, the First Cause must be incredibly powerful.
- 56 times the Bible declares God is “Almighty” – ex: Rev 19:6; Psalm 147:5; Matt 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37; Gen 18:14
- To have created the universe with such intricate design, perfect and fine-tuned for the existence of complex life on earth, the First Cause must be incredibly intelligent.
- He knows all things past (Isa 41:22), present (Heb 4:13), and future (Isa 46:10)
- His understanding has no limit: Psalm 147:5
- His knowledge is infinite: Psalm 33:13-15; 139:11-12; 147:5; Isa 40:14; Heb 4:13
- To have made an unending series of design choices requires that the First Cause be personal – for an inanimate, impersonal thing cannot make choices. God’s personality is also evidenced by the fact that He created personal human beings.
- He hears: Ex 2:24
- He sees: Gen 1:4
- Knows: 2 Tim 2:19; Jer 29:11
- He has a will: 1 John 2:17
- Communicates: Ex: 3:13-14)
- Plans (Ephes 1:11)
- Demonstrates emotion: (Gen 6:6)
- Read Psalm 94: 9
All of the above characteristics agree with the Bible’s teaching about the characteristics of the Almighty Creator.
Three: The Regularity in the “Laws of Nature”
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn’t change — on earth or in galaxies far from us. How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?
“The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn’t have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence.”
Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, “Why nature is mathematical is a mystery…The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle.”
What does the Bible say about the origin of these laws?
- Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God …”
- John 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
- Gen 1:3 “Then God said ‘Let there be light, and there was light”.
- 2 Cor 4:6 “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
- Heb 1:3: “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power..”
- Col 1:16 “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Four: The Amazing Program Code of Life: DNA
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. 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. Where there is a program, there must have been a Programmer.
Five: The Existence of a “Moral Law” We All Live By
All human beings, whether they admit or not, live by an innately understood “Moral Law”. We usually refer to this as our conscience, and when we are about to do something wrong that violates our conscience, we refrain. Not only that, if we see someone else doing something we feel wrong, we normally let them know about it – “you shouldn’t do that!”. In like manner, when we – or someone we observe does something admirable, we applaud them: “Well done”, we say.
But where did we get this sense of “right and wrong” to judge our actions, or the actions of others by? We are acting in accord with “standards” that are external to us – “moral measuring rods”, if you like.
In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis argued that “conscience reveals to us a moral law whose source cannot be found in the natural world, thus pointing to a supernatural Lawgiver.” Lewis argued that accepting the validity of human reason as a given must include accepting the validity of practical reason, which could not be valid without reference to a higher cosmic moral order which could not exist without a God to create and/or establish it. (Wikipedia).
Six: Jesus. He Made Claims and Did Things No Man Ever Did
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.”14 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.”15
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.
- Finally, He is the only one to have risen from the dead
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.
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 God views us as sinners, worthy of his punishment, his love for us ruled and God 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. By and large, all other world religions are “works based”, with you reaching out to God, and hoping for acceptance based on your works.
- This is the case with Islam, where Allah is going to weigh your works on a scale when you leave this life, whether good or bad. You have no assurance of salvation.
- This is also true of Buddhism, where your diligence in following the Nobel Truths and 8 Fold Path may (or may not) eventually get you to Nirvana (after an untold number of re-births)
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.”17 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.” (John 3:16)
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 fine-tuning of the universe, the solar systems, and even nature itself; that mysterious “big bang” that got everything started; the amazing properties of water, and the human brain; DNA, the program code of all living things; and the “moral law” or compass we all live by. Finally, consider Jesus, who said things no other “holy man” ever said, and did things that were inexplicable unless He was “God in the flesh”.
As C.S Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity”:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”
Based on an article by Marilyn Adamson, from EveryStudent.com
“Answering the Objections of Atheists, Agnostics & Skeptics” – Ron Rhodes
“The Reason for God”, Tim Keller
“Mere Christianity”, C.S. Lewis