“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1 v 1
Ok, ok, apparently the above does not constitute a proper blog post; I’m as surprised as you are. The existence of God has been a question that has haunted the human race for its entire existence. Reasons for and against God’s existence are made using philosophy, logic, science, metaphysics and psychology. And if that wasn’t bad enough there’s debate about who exactly God is - whether there are many or one, whether he is aloof or impersonal, whether we should worship him or not, etc, etc.
So it’s a bold statement on my part to suggest that an entire, complete and flawless argument for the existence of God lies in Genesis 1 v 1. But I wonder if you ever thought why the Bible starts with Creation. Why isn’t the first chapter a long exegesis on the evidence for God? Why doesn’t the first chapter provide us with irrevocable proof of his existence?
Well, the point is, it does. Right there in the text: “God created” That was enough. Why? God’s existence was deemed so self evident that no other explanation needed to be given. God exists and there never was a time when he didn’t exist and there will never be a time when he won’t. And at some point he decided to create the universe we live in. And he created man as homo religious – a being made to have a relationship with God, to know God and to be with him.
But when we approach the question of God’s existence we always approach it the wrong way. It is not what man says he thinks of God’s existence that it important for man is flawed creature. It is what God says man thinks about God’s existence that is of importance.
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”
Romans 1 v 18 - 19
God exists because God has revealed his existence to us and continues to reveal his existence to us. Even someone who has never read the Bible knows that God exists and that God sets his wrath against all wickedness. And God hasn’t half revealed the truth, no, the truth is plain to man. It is obvious to all of mankind that God exists and that he is angry with sinfulness.
Why then are there atheists? Other religions?
If you look at the above verses you see the reason why: “who suppress the truth by their wickedness”. This statement is highly logical – man knows God exists, man knows that God is angry against his wickedness, man knows that he does wicked things, man knows God is angry with him, man doesn’t want to know that, man suppresses the truth.
How is God’s existence revealed?
“For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Romans 1 v 20
It is ironic in a way; atheists often talk about the burden of proof falling on Christians to prove God’s existence. Yet when the entire universe is presented to them as proof they reject it! Let me be clear on this: the only logical and rational response when faced with the complexity, extent, beauty and rationality of the universe is to conclude that God created it. The sheer order and structure, the magnificence of the world we live on, the diversity of life, the infinite reaches of space, the heights of the mountains and depths of the sea all these all point towards a rational, infinite, glorious, complex and magnificent God.
It is so obvious that this is the case that God, through Paul, says that men are without excuse. To repeat, the only logical conclusion when faced with the evidence of the universe is that God created it.
And we see this logical conclusion present itself all the time. If you listen to any scientist for long enough on a nature program and they are practically guaranteed to say: “Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful”. In other words they are creating a deity out of nature. When faced with creation their rational minds settle on the only rational response: God made it. Only because their rational minds are also sinful minds they cannot bring themselves to acknowledge God’s existence and create a false god out of nature.
Naturally, this is entirely predicted:
“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
Romans 1 v 25
When Dawkins bangs on about atheism and evolution, ‘Mother Nature’ and the false god of Science he is actually giving evidence to the truth of the Bible. Its inherent truthfulness is shown through Dawkins’ words. For as Paul says:
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”
Romans 1 v 21 – 23
Doesn’t that just sum up the world we live in today? Men who claim to be wise but because their thinking doesn’t include God they are fools. Men who never thanked God for the wondrous creation he gave us, men who never gave God the glory he deserved despite knowing full well of his existence. Men who have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images of themselves.
God exists. And your opinion on the matter is never going to change that. God’s existence is proclaimed by the creation we live in and are part of. Indeed, your own existence is proclaiming God’s existence.
And you know that. You are without excuse. You know God exists. Many of you deny what you know and are atheists. Some of you deny the character of God proclaimed in creation and you follow Islam, Hinduism, Deism, Buddhism or a whole host of false gods.
If you do fall into those two categories then I’m afraid I have a warning for you:
“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
Romans 1 v 28 - 32
The consequences of denying God’s existence and refusing to give to him the glory he deserves are severe. We are all given over to a depraved mind and do what ought not to be done. And as Paul says: “God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death” Death meaning not just physical death but eternal death in Hell. Death is the consequence for our rejection of God.
But there is hope for as Paul writes:
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith.”
Romans 1 v 16
The gospel of God, literally, the good news, reveals to us something more: the way to salvation. The only way to salvation – Christ Jesus and his death on the cross for the sins of the world. So that all who believe might not perish but have eternal life.