ANSWERING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS OF SCRIPTURE
How Can I Know God Exists?
INTRODUCTION: In looking at the tough questions of Scripture – Our first question, “How can I know God exists”, is an appropriate place to start. Every other question we will deal with or could deal with concerning Scripture is moot if there is no God. In fact the very Bible you and I have, without God, is immediately transformed from a divine inspiration, and into a series of ramblings and short stories. All that we have rests on the existence of God. I would like to look at four areas that reveal to us that God truly exists.
Imagine a family of mice who lived all their lives in a large piano. To them in their piano-world came the music of the instrument, filling all the dark spaces with sound and harmony. At first the mice were impressed by it. They drew comfort and wonder from the thought that there was Someone who made the mice—though invisible to them—above, yet close to them. They loved to think of the Great Player whom they could not see.
Then one day a daring mouse climbed up part of the piano and returned very thoughtful. He had found out how the music was made. Wires were the secret; tightly stretched wires of graduated lengths that trembled and vibrated. They must revise all their old beliefs: none but the most conservative could any longer believe in the Unseen Player.
Later, another explorer carried the explanation further. Hammers were now the secret, numbers of hammers dancing and leaping on the wires. This was a more complicated theory, but it all went to show that they lived in a purely mechanical and mathematical world. The Unseen Player came to be thought of as a myth.
But the pianist continued to play.
Reprinted from the LONDON OBSERVER
I OUR CONSCIENCE TELLS US GOD EXISTS
A CONSCIENCE: an internal witness of right and wrong that has been affected by sin and the fall.
ILLUSTRATION: On Thanksgiving Day, 1713, the governor of Connecticut and the Kings commissioners were just preparing to dine when it was announced that the bear prepared for the occasion had been “shot on ye Lord’s Day.” At the dismal news none would touch a morsel of the roast bear, until it was decided that the Indian who shot the animal should be whipped and made to restore the price paid for the meat. Then, having inflicted a “just and righteous sentence on ye sinful heathen,” the company fell upon the roast bear with clear conscience and left nothing but the bones.
B Our Conscience Is Neither Perfect Nor Infallible!
1 Our Conscience can be wounded by others
1 Cor. 8:12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
2 Our conscience can be rendered ineffective
1 Tim. 4:2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
3 Our Conscience can be defiled
Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
C The Desire For Our Conscience
1 Everybody desires a clean conscience
Hebrews 9:9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.
2 People are ALWAYS cleaning their conscience
Hebrews 10:2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.
3 Two Reasons For A Clear Conscience
a A clear conscience is a means to bring us closer to God
Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
b Our conscience convicts us of our sinfulness
Romans 2:14-16 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
OUR CONSCIENCE COULD NEVER BRINGS US TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
Romans 3:10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
The best our conscience can do is bring us to realize our guilt, distance from God, and judgment by God.
OUR CONSCIENCE REVEALS GOD TO US IN A NEGATIVE SENSE.
II NATURE TELLS US GOD EXISTS
Psalm 19:1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
A God reveals himself through his world, through nature. (verses 1-3)
1 Heaven declares God both day and night
2 Words are not needed to declare that there is a God
B Natural revelation reaches every place on earth. (verses 4-5)
1 It reaches every person.
2 Natural revelation is dominating and powerful. (Verse 5)
a It cannot be ignored.
b You have to respond to it.
Romans 1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For 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.
3 Nobody escapes the sun. (Verse 6)
a Even if you are blind and cannot see it, you still feel the heat.
b Although it has no voice (vs 3), people still experience it.
ILLUSTRATION: The story is told of a Mayan king who worshipped the sun until he realized that the sun couldn’t be god because it was sometimes hidden by the clouds. It made him wonder who was god.
4 The heavens declare the Glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands
a This is present tense for us.
b We can receive natural revelation fresh, daily.
C The Affect of Natural Revelation
1 An Appreciation for what God has made -- observation of a designer
2 A Study of what God has made – evidence of a designer
This material outlined from the work of J. Hampton Keathley, IV
ILLUSTRATION: Snowflakes have six sides – all snowflakes have six sides. All are hexagonal in shape, yet no two are alike. And ice – what a neat design. Just think what would happen to all the fish if ice sank?
NATURE REVEALS GOD TO US IN A GENERAL SENSE, BRINGING US TO QUESTION, “WHO IS GOD?”
III THE BIBLE TELLS US GOD EXISTS
A From its opening – The Bible focuses on the person Of God
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
B The Bible is Reliable
Psalm 119:160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
1 The Bible and Science – Understanding that the Bible is not a scientific book, yet is consistent with science
a The number and uniqueness of stars
Genesis 22:17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,
1 Cor. 15:41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
b The suspension of the earth
Job 26:7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.
c The shape of the Earth
Isaiah 40:22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
d The Rotation of the Earth
Amos 5:8 (he who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns blackness into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land-- the LORD is his name--
e Water and Weather cycles
Job 36:27-29 "He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; 28the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. 29Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?
Eccles. 1:7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
Job 26:8 He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
2 The Bible and Prophecy – True Prophecy comes from God
a The Birth of Christ
Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
Luke 2:1-7 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
1) Predicted 800 years before it occurred
b Crucifixion of Jesus
Psalm 22:14-18 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. 15My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. 17I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. 18They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
Matthew 27:35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
1) Over 1,000 years before it happened
2) Crucifixion was not even though of as a means of punishment – came with the Romans!
In the last 100 years (and especially in the last ten) scientists discovered many proofs that confirm the Bible’s accuracy. Since these proofs support the accuracy of the text we can understand scientifically, it makes sense to trust the Bible’s text that we can not yet understand.
We have over 3,000 occurrences in the Old Testament alone ascribing God as the author and making reference to Him.
THE BIBLE REVEALS TO US WHAT GOD WANTS US TO KNOW ABOUT HIM
IV JESUS REVEALS GOD TO US
A Jesus Makes God Knowable To Us
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
B Jesus Makes God’s Work Visible To Us
John 5:19-20 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.
C JESUS PROVIDES THE WAY TO KNOW GOD PERSONALLY
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Now the question is what are you going to do with God, now knowing that He does indeed exist.
Your conscience tells you he exists.
Creation tells you He exists.
The Bible tells you He exists.
Jesus tells you He exists.
And since he exists, wouldn’t it be nice to know what God expects of you? The same Bible that reveals His existence ALSO reveals his desire and plan for you!
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