Summary: This sermon is based on my outline "Is there really a God?" which presents 8 arguments for God’s existence.
Throughout the centuries mankind has always had some innate sense that there is a divine being. Today, scientists, philosophers and other academics discuss, debate and ponder over his existence. Is there really a God? Today we are going to look at the evidence that God does in fact exist.
1. THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE
Our first piece of evidence is the very existence of the universe. By the universe, I don’t just mean all the stars, planets and galaxies. I also mean the whole sum of space and time itself.
How can the existence of the universe be evidence for God’s existence?
Well let’s consider the possible explanations of the universes existence. The universe either had a beginning or it did not have a beginning. If the universe had a beginning then that beginning was either caused or uncaused. Finally, if the universes beginning was caused, then that cause was either personal or non-personal in nature. It can be shown that the universe (a) had a beginning, (b) its beginning was caused, and (c) it was caused by a personal being.
A. THE UNIVERSE HAD A BEGGINNING
If the universe has always existed then that means an infinite amount of time has gone by. However this is impossible – you cannot reach infinity. Try counting to infinity – even if you could live forever, it would be impossible. Because you can always just add another number on to your existing number. But if you cannot reach infinity than this means that the amount of time that has elapsed is finite, and therefore the universe had a beginning.
One may ask, “Wouldn’t it therefore also be impossible for God to be eternal?” However a good theory exists to this objection. Originally God was in a timeless state of affairs. Then he spontaneously brought the universe, and consequently space and time, into existence. Therefore God could have existed forever – in the sense that he is eternal but was originally timeless, and not have violated the law of non-infinity. It seems to make sense. After all if God created space and time then wouldn’t it therefore mean that originally he was in a timeless and spaceless reality? Of course this is just one theory concerning Gods eternality and his relationship to time and we won’t know the answer for sure until we get to heaven, however I do think this theory is both philosophically and theologically sound. Now unlike God, time is an essential property of the universe and since an infinite amount of time cannot elapse, the universe must have had a beginning.
B. THE UNIVERSE HAD A CAUSE
Since the universe had a beginning, than it seems that its beginning must have been caused. Something cannot just pop into existence from nothing. If there is absolutely nothing – no matter, no energy, no space, no time and no causes – then there will always be only nothing. Nothing only produces nothing. Therefore the universe must have been brought into existence by some sort of cause. In contrast God does not need a cause since he had NO BEGGINNING. He has always existed and holds within himself his own reason for being. This is certainly mysterious and very hard to understand – but unlike a beginningless universe and a universe without a cause, it is not an impossibility.
C. THE CAUSE OF THE UNIVERSE WAS A PERSONAL BEING
Now we can ask the question “What caused the universe?” Well we really only have 2 choices – it could have been a personal cause (i.e. some personal being) or a non-personal cause (i.e. some condition that exists outside of the universe). Now both would have to be eternal since they are the cause of the 1st event – the beginning of the universe. After all it doesn’t make any sense to say something caused the first cause!
Now it seems that the cause must have been personal. Why? For how else could an eternal cause give rise to a non-eternal universe? If the cause was non-personal – if it was just an eternal condition, then the universe must also be eternal. For if the cause of an effect is present – then the effect is also present. For example, suppose I push down on a cushion. As soon as I touch the cushion it compresses – there is no time waiting. They occur simultaneously. Therefore if a non-personal cause of the universe exists then the universe will also exist. And since the cause is eternal then the universe will also be eternal. Yet we have seen that the universe could not have existed for eternity.
The only way a non-eternal universe could come into existence from an eternal cause is if the universe was brought into existence by the act of some personal being. A non-personal cause can’t choose to bring something into existence. If it exists, then its effect exists. But a personal cause can exist eternally and then spontaneously choose to bring the universe into existence.