Summary: This sermon is similar to my sermon "He exists", but it has only 5 arguments for God’s existence. It includes a section on the importance of defending the faith and why just because we can’t see God doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. I personally believe thi
One day after school back in year 10, I was talking to one of my friends. I made some remark that on Saturday I was going to church. He looked down, nodded, and then in a rather frustrated voice asked me “Do you really believe in all that stuff?” If someone were to ask you that question, how would you respond? As Christians it is important that we are able to give evidence for what we believe in. The branch of theology that deals with the defence of, and the evidence for the faith is known as apologetics. There are two broad branches of apologetics. The first branch deals with providing evidence for the faith while the second branch deals with the defence of the faith (e.g. explaining why evil exists). Today we are going to look at the first branch of apologetics, more specifically the evidence for God’s existence.
Some people say of God “I won’t believe him until I see him”. Is it rational to believe in God when we cannot detect him with the five senses? The answer is yes. Do you realise that there are many scientific realities that we cannot detect with our five senses? For example take gravity. Can you see gravity? Can you hear gravity? Can you smell gravity? Can you taste gravity? Can you feel gravity? Well how do you know gravity exists? The answer is you can detect it indirectly. For example you take an object, drop it, and it falls towards the Earth. You can’t detect the gravitational fields of the object and the Earth with the five senses, but you can indirectly detect gravity by observing the effects of gravitational fields. The same goes with God. We cannot see God, nor can we smell, taste, hear or touch him. So what reason do we have for believing he exists? The answer is we have indirect evidence for his existence. With this in mind, let us turn to the evidence that God exists. We can’t even consider all the major arguments here – there is simply not enough time. However we will consider 5 of them.
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.