Because of the Fall of Man, human beings are very damaged creatures. We are not headed in a good direction. We are headed away from God and eternal life, not toward God and eternal life. Human beings are confused about the most basic truths – even the reality that there is a great and wise Creator God who loves us and wants to reconcile us to Himself so that we can live with Him forever. Here are five arguments for the existence of a personal God who wants us to be in a right relationship with Him and have meaningful lives that will last beyond this life.
Cause And Effect
The cause is the reason something happens, and the effect is what happens as a result. Everything has a cause. The universe exists and must have a cause. We exist and must have a cause. Something greater than us and greater than the universe must be the First Cause, Himself uncaused. Consider this: The universe exists. The discoveries of modern science indicate that the universe isn’t eternal, but in fact had a point of beginning. The universe isn’t personal. It has no mind, emotion or will. Either we believe that an impersonal, non-intelligent universe always existed or it created itself out of nothing (which is logically inconsistent, since by definition it’s impossible for anything to create itself out of nothing, since nothing can’t produce something); or else, a personal God created the universe. Since there is mind, will, emotion and personality in the universe, in the form of human beings, doesn’t it make more sense to believe that in the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth rather than something came out of nothing, and this something exploded, and that explosion caused increasing levels of order and personality and thought?
The argument from intelligent design is similar to the argument from cause and effect. Human beings know intuitively about design and designers. When we see an object that was made for a specific purpose, we infer that an intelligent designer made it and that it’s not a product of chance. If you were walking on a path in a forest and saw a beautiful watch on the ground that was in working order and keeping accurate time, would you assume that it came together over millions of years by chance processes? Of course not. Since the watch gives evidence of purpose and intelligent design, you would correctly assume that a watchmaker made it. So too, the universe gives evidence of purpose. The universe functions according to laws governed by precise mathematical formulas. The universe exhibits purposeful design, order, regularity, elegance, beauty, complexity and simplicity. Since the universe gives vastly more evidence of purpose and design than a mere watch, it’s logical to conclude that an Intelligent Designer created the universe.
Other evidence of design: Scientists have been discovering fine-tuned parameters for the universe, and if any of these parameters were just a little off, the universe as we know it wouldn’t exist. These include the constants in equations for gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces, and the ratio of proton to electron mass. Scientists have also discovered other fine-tuned parameters for life to exist on Earth. Earth’s distance from the sun; the size, temperature and type of the sun; the Earth’s size, axial tilt, rotation speed – all are necessary to make life possible on Earth. Scientists are also making similar discoveries in the area of biology. In our cells there are complex molecular machines and complex information systems like DNA that show tremendous evidence of design.
There is no excuse for ignorance about God. The universe – from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest galaxies – proclaims there is compelling evidence that God exists: The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge (Psalm 19:1-2). In Romans 1, Rabbi Paul made it clear that God’s existence should be obvious to all human beings because God has made it plain to them. 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 people are without excuse for not believing in God (Romans 1:19-20).
Morality, Ethics, Conscience, And Belief In God
Human beings are inherently moral. I don’t mean that human beings are inherently good, but rather that human beings intuitively have an idea of what is right and what is wrong. Where did this sense of justice come from? Where does our sense of love and beauty come from? Where does man’s conscience come from? There is a universal belief in God or gods in every society among mankind. Even after 70 years of atheistic communism, belief in God in the former Soviet Union couldn’t be stamped out. Where does this intuitive knowledge of God come from?
The answer is that our awareness of Someone greater than us and our conscience – our sense of right and wrong and ethics – come from our Creator, in whose image we were made. God is perfectly moral and gave us an inner sense of morality, a conscience and an intuitive awareness of Himself. Rabbi Paul understood this truth: When the Gentiles, who do not have the Torah, do instinctively the things of the Torah, these, not having the Torah, are a Torah to themselves, in that they show the work of the Torah written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternatively accusing them or else defending them (Romans 2:14-15).
Evidence for God can be seen by historical realities. The history of the Chosen Nation is evidence of the Creator. This one little nation has affected the world more than any other nation. Our prophets and our Bible, and most of all, our Messiah, have changed the course of world history. Little Israel, conquered and scattered among the nations – not once, but twice – and then regathered to our ancient homeland, in fulfillment of detailed prophecies, shows that the God of the Chosen People is real and at work in human history.
God’s fingerprints can also be lifted from the Resurrection of Messiah. Yeshua (Jesus) claimed to be Immanuel, God With Us. He claimed that He would live a perfect life, and then be rejected by the majority of the nation and die a special kind of atoning death; but then He would be resurrected from the dead, overcoming our greatest enemies – Satan, sin and death – so that we could be reconciled to the Creator and live forever.
And there is compelling historical evidence for Yeshua’s resurrection: The empty tomb: Both Jews and Romans admitted that the tomb was empty (Matthew 28:11-15). The graveclothes: They were undisturbed, but no longer contained a body. Yeshua’s post-resurrection appearances: According to eyewitness testimony recorded in the New Testament, the risen Messiah appeared on various occasions to various people in various circumstances, showing there was no way they could all be dreaming or hallucinating together.
He appeared to Mary (John 20:11-18), to the other women (Matthew 28:8-10), to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34), to the two on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), to the Ten (Luke 24:36-43), to all Eleven eight days later (John 20:24-29), to seven by the Lake of the Galilee (John 21:1-23), to 500 at once (1 Corinthians 15:6), to James (1 Corinthians 15:7), and finally to Paul (Acts 9:1-16). These weren’t just mysterious visions or apparitions. Yeshua actually spoke with His followers, and ate bread and fish with some of them. He even allowed Thomas, the most skeptical of the disciples, to touch His scars. If you were part of a jury and heard a reliable eyewitness who testified that he saw a certain man at certain time doing specific things, would you believe him? What if there were two or three reliable eyewitnesses who all said they saw the same thing? What if there were seven, eight, 11, 500 reliable eyewitnesses who all said they saw Yeshua alive again after He died – and those people were willing to die rather than change their story – wouldn’t you believe them? Of course you would!
Augustine observed that the human heart can never rest, until it rests in God. We can never be truly fulfilled or happy until we are in a right relationship with the God who designed us. Is it any wonder there is so much unhappiness, mental illness, despair, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual immorality, so much senseless violence and so many suicides when people believe that we’re the result of a Big Bang that took place some 20 billion years ago; that we evolved from an amino-acid primordial soup; evolved into a simple cell, which learned how to reproduce itself; then we developed into a bacteria, or a one-celled animal, then a slug or a fish, then an amphibian, then a lizard, then a small mammal-like rodent; then we further evolved into monkeys and ape-like men; and then finally into Homo-sapiens; that our lives ultimately mean nothing because when we die we die, because there is no God and no after-life?
Are you happy? Satisfied? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the universe was not the result of chance processes and random activity, but the creation of a God of great wisdom and compassion who loves us and wants to live forever with us? Wouldn’t it be amazing if Yeshua was the risen Messiah and Savior, and His words were true: Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we don’t have to die alone and die forever? That when we died, a loving God existed and we could live forever with Him in a real and wonderful place? If that is at all possible, isn’t it worth thoroughly investigating? The fool says in his heart, “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). And the opposite is true: The wise person says in his heart, “there is a God.” Let’s become wise by knowing that there is a God, the Three-In-One God of Israel, the God of the Bible, who is living, loving and personal, and able to help us live forever with Him – if we end our rebellion against Him and come to Him on His terms and transfer our loyalties to Him. It’s worth it!