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10 Questions That Skeptics Ask

How do I know That There is a God

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(1/5) We are about to embark on a new study for the next ten weeks in an attempt to answer 10 questions that skeptics ask. We may extent it to more than 10 but we will begin with 10.

Turn in your Bibles to 1 Peter 3:15, "Öbe ready always to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in youÖ" Now the context is that of maintaining hope and faith in the context of suffering. How you pray for your enemies and forgive those who hurt you or your family? How can you submit gracefully to cruel or unkind people, etc? When asked, you can tell them about how Jesus did these things and how your faith and hope isnít about this world but the one to come.

But from this morning, I hope that you will be able to give an intelligent answer to those who question the foundations of our faith.

  1. How do you know there is a God?
  2. How do you know that the Bible is Godís word and not manís?
  3. Why do Christians believe there is just one way to God?
  4. If God is good then why does evil exist?
  5. Would a good God send anyone to Hell?
  6. Doesnít science support evolution and not divine creation?
  7. Who is Jesus really?
  8. Why are there so many hypocrites in church?
  9. Wonít being good be good enough to get into heaven?
  10. What about all those who never heard about Jesus? What happens to them?

For the last 3 hundred years man has been questioning the existence of God. The philosopher Nietzsche declared over 100 years ago that God is dead and we killed Him. With Darwinís Origin of Species, and the preaching of evolution, man had a reason to conclude that there didnít need to be a God to explain our existence. Communism has taught for the last 100 years that religion that there is no God.

There are 3 basic beliefs about God.

  • There is no God Ė Atheism
  • There is no way to know if there is a God Ė Agnosticism
  • There is a God Ė Theism

Now I am neither a scientist nor a philosopher , just a country preacher and while there is no empirical or scientific way to prove the existence of God, I believe that there are 6 strong reasons to conclude that there is a God and that He is involved in the affairs of men. Are you ready? Letís begin. Turn in your Bibles to several portions of scripture. First, look at Psalm 14:1 which says, "The Fool says, there is no God." A fool here is not one who is stupid but one who chooses to not acknowledge truth. Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork." Then, look at Romans 1:18-20.

  1. The Creation is the first reason to believe that there is a God. We will talk much more about this in a few weeks when we consider evolution or creation. However, when it comes to our existence or the origin of the universe, there can just be one of two ideas.
    1. Matter and Energy are eternal; that is, they have always existed and out of this eternal non-living matter came the life and universe as we know it.
    2. Something or Someone greater than the universe designed and created the universe and gave it life, beauty, order and intelligence.
    3. Those are your two choices. It was either God or gas that has resulted in our being here today. Nearly 15 years ago, Newsweek came out with an article called Science Finds God. In it they stated that 40% of American scientists believe in the existence of God. Though that doesnít mean that they believe in the God of the Bible, but they do believe that someone created this in one way or another. There are several basic reasons why:
      1. The Mathematical Probability of a random explosion resulting in the design and order of life as we know it is so improbable it is hard to describe. One person described it like this. The probability of an evolutionary beginning is like covering the entire state of Texas in silver dollars 3 feet deep. Somewhere in that state of 3 foot deep silver dollars is one gold coin. You have just one chance to go to Texas, and one dip to find that gold coin. Its mathematically impossible that the world began without a creator.
      2. The Law of Cause and Effect. There must be a first cause. We have something; we are something; we exist. But something can not exist by itself. It must be caused. Our cloths, houses, cars, chairs, buildings, etc., are all the effects of a cause. Someone caused them to be. Atheist can not answer the question of first cause. In fact, the idea of a creator-less creation is a direct violation of the 1st and second laws of thermo-dynamics.
        • the first law states that matter does not cause itself. Matter and energy are interchangeable but cannot be created or destroyed by itself. Unless we by-pass a scientific law we cannot conclude that gas always was and resulted in the universe.
        • The second law states that energy or quality of energy in the universe is declining, winding down, or dying. Yet if there was truly a big bang, the universe would be expanding and improving.
      3. The Design, Precision, and Intelligence of the Universe. The orbiting planets, the earth on itís axis, our distance from the sun, the moon, the make-up of our atmosphere, the complexity of a single cell, the make-up of DNA that has more information than the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, the individuality of finger prints, lip prints, birds that navigate by the stars and sparrows that return to the same place on the same day every year, the growing and harvest seasons, the design of the human body, the intelligence of man over the rest of the living creatures and more all point to the fact that someone of greater power and intelligence caused and designed.
  2. Conscience of man is the second reason we believe in a God? (Romans 2:14-15; Eccl. 3:11) Again, three things:
    1. Manís Consciousness of God Ė Every people group in the world believes in a supreme being. Why? Eccl. 3:11 says, "He has put eternity in their hearts." Man has to be taught and encouraged to not believe in God. When the deaf and blind Helen Keller was a small girl and Ann Sullivan was able to communicate with her, she told her about Jesus. Helen signed, "I already know Him, I just didnít know His name."
    2. Manís Consciousness of His own Being. No matter how we try to connect ourselves with other animals, we know that man is a different species. Only man can all three, feel emotions like love and hate, anger and joy; express will and make decisions based on intelligence and desired results; and create, construct, design and care for creation. We have established laws to govern ourselves.
    3. Manís Consciousness of Morality. Every society has a standard of law, fairness, justice, right and wrong. Every child has an unexplained sense of fairness. They all seem to be able to conclude when things donít seem fair; that some things are right and some are wrong. Where did this come from? If there is no God, what would be the standard for morality be? Ourselves? Who is to say that taking a life is wrong? The animal kingdom does it all the time. Do they hold the lion or fox, or hawk or mantis liable for killing? Or the hyenas for stealing? Where did we get the idea that lying, stealing, raping, adultery is wrong? We know that if a doe deer has twins or triplets, there is a good chance there were two or three fathers, yet do we condemn her? And without an absolute standard of morality, who is to say which morality is right or wrong. Why would genocide be wrong if it betters society by eliminating weak or inferior or undesirable members of the race? Yet we condemn Hitler and Stalin, and others, why? Because there is an absolute standard of right and wrong. Thatís why we have governments, courts, and laws. There is a first cause, and there is a lawgiver.
  3. The Covenants; that is the Old and New Testaments. I will deal with this in detail next week. Why this book and not the Koran, or any other religious work? In short for several reasons
    1. This book consists of 66 books and letters, written over 1500 years by over 40 authors, yet they are in complete agreement with a common theme and without error or contradiction. That is an incredible claim and we will go into detail next week.
    2. The over all theme is Jesus Christ.
    3. It is 100% accurate in its prophetic fulfillment
    4. 100% accurate in all its scientific statements
    5. 100% accurate in all its historical facts

No other book in the world can make these claims, not the Koran, not the book of Mormon, no other book. If there is a God and He wanted to reveal Himself and His laws and ways to man, how would He do it? I suggest He would put it in writing that could be translated into every language in the world.

  1. The Christ (John 1:1-3; 14-18) Another possible way that a God might reveal Himself to His creation might be to come and live among them; Immanuel, God with us. The issue of God must come down to the one who claimed to be God. That Jesus was a real person is a factual matter of history. That He has impacted all of history can not be denied. Time is divided into two eras based on his birth. He was crucified by Pilate and His grave ended up empty and every person who grapples with the existence of God must decide who Jesus is/was; a religious man, or God the Son? Everyone must decide if Jesus were one of 4 things
    1. Legend
    2. Lunatic
    3. Liar
    4. Lord Ė

But your conclusion must include the empty tomb, if it were emptied by man than Jesus was not God, but if He rose from the dead, the He was who He claimed to be God in the flesh. But no one has ever been able to prove or discover that the tomb is empty for any other reason than Jesus rose from the dead. And if He is God, then he indeed died for our sins and having risen He is able to save anyone who believes and receives Him.

  1. The Conflict Ė If there is no God why do Atheists and Marxists and others fight so hard against Him? If Marx is right and religion is the opiate of the masses and religious people make good citizens why do they want to imprison, injure, and kill, and destroy all connection with religious heritage? Why are Atheists intolerant of people of faith? They say it is because it is unreasonable for people to believe in God. Many people in Russia held onto faith in God despite 70 years of indoctrination against Him because they said, "We knew he must exist, or the government would not have fought so hard against Him." Again, every people group in the world holds to a higher power. Why fight so hard against something that doesnít exist?
  2. The Changed Lives Ė Every changed life of every follower of Jesus Christ is at least a clue to the existence of God. Who could change serial killers into preachers? Persecutors into church planters? 11 scared men and use them to turn the world upside down and eventually die for one they claim rose from the dead? Would you die for an illusion or a lie? Would cause literally hundreds of thousands of people over the years to lay down their lives rather than say Jesus is not Lord? Harry Ironside was once the pastor of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. Once when he was traveling he was recognized by an atheist and challenged to debate the existence of God. Ironside said he would agree to the debate under one condition. He would bring one hundred people who had their marriages saved, overcame alcohol addiction, and home restored by faith in Jesus, and the atheist would also produce 100 people whose faith in no God had the same results. The debate never took place.

There you have it. 6 strong reasons to believe in God:

  • Creation
  • Conscience
  • Covenants
  • Christ
  • Conflict
  • Changed Lives

Put all the clues and evidence together and the conclusion should be that there is a God and He has revealed Himself to us in His Son Jesus Christ. Belief demands faith, placing oneís trust and obedience in this God. Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please God.

I have two things I hope will happen now.

  • that you will have confidence to share your faith with those who donít believe.
  • That if you have never placed your faith in this Jesus you will now.

Part 2: How Do I Know That the Bible is Godís Word

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman