How Can You Be Sure If God Actually Exists?
This is the greatest and most profound question that any human being can ask. It is also essential for every believer to have an answer when someone asks them this question. How would you respond if someone asked you, “How do you know that God exists? Hasn’t mankind simply made up the idea of God, just to make themselves feel better about the questions they can’t answer?” By having an answer to this question, and being able to give reasonable evidence for the existence of God, you will be enabled to powerfully share with those who don’t believe. Being able to share this evidence, you are giving an unbeliever a reason for the hope that is within you (1 Peter 3:15).
Let me give you several ways to respond to this question.
1. The proof that God exists is revealed by the creation all around us.
The masterpiece of creation that we see all around us demands a master craftsman and creator. The incredible design we see in the human body, or the diverse types of animals that God has created, or the ecosystems on land or sea, and all the different habitats that support these reveal a master designer. Just take a flower petal and put it under a microscope, and your eyes will be amazed at the detail and design. Then take another, and another, and you will see they are each different from the others. This awesome detail and wisdom to create what we see all around us, demands an intelligent designer with an incredible imagination.
When I talk to people about whether they believe in God or not, I usually always first move to this line of reasoning. Why? Because it is the easiest argument to make for the existence of God, and you have the most evidence that is all around them. When I ask a person if they believe in God and they say, “No way, we are the product of evolution, there is no such thing as God.” I usually respond by pointing to the nearest building and ask, “If I told you that lumber flew out of the lumber yard down the street and just built that building by itself, with all of the most beautiful architecture and detail, would you believe me?” The person usually starts laughing and says, “No I wouldn’t believe that.” I then ask them why. They usually respond, “Because someone built it.” I then say, “You are right! The obvious design, detail, and structure demand an intelligent architect, building contractor, and lots of skilled workers. This is why I believe in God, because of the design and skill of all the natural creation that you see all around you.” Then I add, “If you see all the creative design around you, why wouldn’t you believe there was a creative divine architect and master builder of the universe, the earth, and the human body?” This is why David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard” (Ps. 19:1-3). This means that God is testifying to every heart in every language every day the fact that He has gloriously created all things. So that then only a fool would ever say, “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1).
So, when you use this rationale, that the design in all of creation demands a designer, you are appealing to the most obvious evidence someone can consider. Now, it is very interesting that one of the least religious founders of our country, Thomas Jefferson, made this point in a letter he wrote to John Adams in 1823, about why he believed in God. Jefferson used the design of creation as an undeniable proof of God’s existence. Jefferson wrote, “I hold without appeal to revelation,” which means without appealing to the revelation of Scripture, “I hold without appeal to revelation, that when we take a view of the universe in its parts, general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and to feel the conviction of design, consummate skill, indefinite power in every atom of its composition… it is impossible, I say for the human mind not to believe that there is… a fabricator of all things.” So, Jefferson came to the conclusion that it was impossible not to believe that there is a God, just from looking at the design of the creation that was all around him. Now consider, when Jefferson wrote these words in 1823, that was a long time ago. Scientific understanding has greatly increased since then, which has only revealed more proof of the great Designer’s power and ability to create all things. This knowledge should demand that we believe in our awesome Creator!
2. The proof that God exists is revealed by simple logic.
The second proof that I give to people who question the existence of God is the logic of cause-and-effect. The example I just explained in my first point is the logic of cause-and-effect. In other words, if you can’t create a solar system, a star, an ocean, or even a simple flower, then a person must conclude that someone beyond our imagination did create it. Reasoning with cause-and-effect concepts are basic to all reasoning and used in many entrance exams for jobs that require sharp reasoning skills. These exams reveal if a person has the ability and qualifications for the job. Problem solving, critical thinking, and analytical reasoning skills are sought by employers for any managerial position.
Therefore, ask the person who questions the existence of God this question. “If I took a stick of dynamite and threw it into a lumber yard, what do you think would be the effect? Will the cause bring about the desired effect of a great skyscraper or an ornate building? The answer is obviously no. Why? Because we logically conclude that the effect of a big bang in a lumber yard would only bring a big mess. There are many such cause-and-effect examples that can be used to make this point that we need a master craftsman to create something masterful. This is just simple logic, and we all use this logic every day in our decision making.
In addition, the Bible uses cause-and-effect reasoning many times. Let me give you just one example. I believe it is well established that we are commanded many places in Scripture to abstain from drunkenness. In addition, the Bible uses cause-and-effect arguments to keep us from ever thinking that we will have no consequences from disobedience to God’s command. How does God keep us from such an error? He uses cause-and-effect reasoning. In Proverbs 23:29-30 God declared, “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine.” This is simple cause-and-effect reasoning. Who is going to have trouble, conflicts, and difficulties in their life? It will be the person who lingers long at the wine bottle. Have you ever seen this cause-and-effect result in any of your friends? I’m sure you have.
Never let someone forget that what they see with their eyes all around them in creation, is the effect of a powerful, intelligent, and knowledgeable Creator. He is the One that caused the world and the universe to come into existence. He caused all plant and animal life, and human life to begin. There can be no other logical answer to the evidence we see.
3. The proof that God exists is revealed by the prophetic scriptures.
Third, I believe in the existence of a sovereign God because of what is revealed in the prophetic Scriptures. I think we can all agree that no man knows the future. Only God can tell me what the future holds, because He exists outside of our time domain. He alone can tell us what’s going to happen before it does. So, when people say, “I don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God, or that God exists,” always turn them to the prophetic element in Scripture. But this means that you must be able to show someone specific prophecies in the Bible, and be able to explain when this prediction was made and how it was fulfilled. Prophecy is about a quarter to one half of the Bible, so it is very important that you understand this fact. If you want to study some of the greatest prophecies in the Bible, go to my podcast and listen to my eight-part audio series on “The Greatest Prophecies in the Bible.” Go to: https://calvarychapelag.libsyn.com/biblestudies/category/Greatest+Prophecies+in+the+Bible Or if you want to watch these on video go to: https://www.youtube.com/user/calvarychapelag/search?query=greatest%20prophesies%20in%20the%20Bible
However, when you only have a few minutes to explain why prophecy is so important, ask them these questions. “Do you know what is going to happen tomorrow?” When they answer, “No,” tell them, “Neither do I.” Then explain to them that the Bible records God’s predictions hundreds of years, and even thousands of years, before they happened. These predictions are made over what is going to happen with individual people, nations, events, and most importantly, the first and Second Coming of Christ.
Some respond and say, “Oh the Bible just gives vague predictions that anyone can interpret any way they want.” This is simply not true. When the God of the Bible declares that specific nations, which He names, will be destroyed, that is pretty easy to check out. All you have to do is search the internet, and examine the time frame the prediction was made and see what happened. God predicted that He would bring the Babylonians to take the Israelites captive into Babylon because of the sins of the people (Is. 39:5-7; Jer. 20:4). The Lord also predicted that Babylon would be destroyed (Jer. 25:11-12; Is. 48:14). In addition, God predicted that He would bring His people back again to the land of Israel after their seventy-year captivity in Babylon (Jer. 29:10-13). Did these things take place in history? Yes! Because only God knows the future. Later during the ministry of Christ, Jesus also predicted that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed again, and the Jews would be scattered into all nations once more (Luke 21:24). But the Bible again predicts that the Jews will be brought back to their land again before the Second Coming of Christ (Eze. 37:1-10; Eze. 37:21-28). This prophecy of the Jewish people’s return was fulfilled when the modern state of Israel became a nation again in 1948. Is this specific enough for you to believe? God said it, and it came to pass.
Do you realize that the Quran, the Hindu Gitas, the Book of Mormon, or any other religious book does not have any prophecies within it? Why? Because all it would take is for one prediction to not come to pass, and it would be seen that the guru or Muhamad was a false prophet. Consider the challenge that God gave to all false gods in Isaiah 41:21-23. He challenges these false gods to, “‘Present your case,’ says the LORD. ‘Bring forth your strong reasons,’ says the King of Jacob. ‘Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; yes, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and see it together.’” God is asking the idols to come down off the shelf they are sitting on, and do something good or evil. In other words, God is saying, “show us that you are more than just a piece of wood or stone.” But the ultimate challenge God makes to these false gods is to “declare to us things to come,” or in other words to predict the future, and then we will know that you are a god. Prophecy is the ultimate proof that the author of the Bible is the only true and living God in Heaven. Therefore, if you understand the prophetic Scriptures, you will become thoroughly established in your faith, and you will have a very powerful argument for why someone should believe in the God of the Bible! Please, make a study of the prophesies in the Bible, and you will see what I mean.
4. The proof that God exists is revealed by the fact that He came to this earth.
God didn’t just tell you in a book that He exists. No, He did much more than that to prove His existence. He came to this earth to reveal Himself as God in the flesh of a man, Jesus Christ. God wanted every single person on this earth to be absolutely sure that there was a God in Heaven, so the Son of God came here to prove it.
However, many today think that Jesus was just a myth, and that He didn’t really live on this earth and do the miracles taught in the Bible. So, I usually ask people, “Do you believe that Jesus was a real person in history?” This is an important question because people will sometimes say, “Well I don’t know; I’ve never seen Him.” I then reply, “Did you ever see Abraham Lincoln? Have you ever seen George Washington? Did you meet the Roman emperor Caesar Nero? The answer is, of course not. If a person has never seen these people, how do they know that they actually existed?” People respond, “by reading history books.” Then I explain to them that Josephus, a first century Jewish historian, referred to Jesus Christ in his writings. He was not a believer in Jesus, but confirmed His existence. Also, Tacitus the first century Roman historian referred to the man Jesus and the miracles He did. Tacitus was also not a believer in Jesus, so he had no reason to lie about this fact. So, it is pretty clear that Jesus was a real historical figure. The most important proof that Jesus was, and is God, is based on the claims that He made referring to Himself as the great I AM (John 8:24; John 8:58). The miracles He did and His resurrection from the dead are the ultimate proof that He is God (John 14:11; John 2:19-21).
5. Personal proof
If you want personal proof that God exists all you must do is obey God’s Word. If you believe and obey Him, He will change your life. Jesus said, “If you will do My will, you will know if I speak of myself, or this is in fact, the Word of God” (John 7:17). If you receive Christ into your life and then begin to obey and follow Him you will begin to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. The Holy Spirit will convict you, encourage you, and empower you to follow Jesus. This will be the personal proof that you abide in Him, and He abides in you (1 John 3:24).
III. Why Do People Reject the Evidence I have just shared?
A. Intellectual pride
The desire to be independent from God causes an intellectual arrogance within man, because he must attempt to explain his life, his decisions, and his very existence by himself. Paul explains this by saying, “they knew God, but did not glorify Him as God.” This resulted in futile thoughts and the profession of wisdom, which God declared to be foolishness (Rom. 1:21-22). Don’t let your pride, or the fear of what others will say about you, keep you from being honest with yourself concerning the evidence you have just read.
B. Moral disobedience
Many others will not believe the evidence that God exists, because they simply don’t want to believe it. To believe that God exists, means that a person must deal with what God has declared about their immoral lifestyle. People know in their conscience that they would have to change many things that are contrary to God’s Word. Therefore, the choice is made to reject the evidence in favor of their own lifestyle. Consequently, faith in the evidence of God’s existence basically comes down to a choice. See: (1 Kings 18:21) (Luke 18:18-23).
Must I See God to Believe He Exists?
Jesus didn’t think it was necessary to see God to believe He existed. Jesus believed that there was enough evidence right in front of each man to cause him to believe. He said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The evidence is all around you! Put your faith in the proof that has revealed the God who is! One day all those who have chosen not to believe and follow Jesus will stand before Him, and He will say to them, “You are without excuse.” This is what Paul explained in his epistle to the Romans when he declared, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).