In my younger years I really didn't know whether or not there was a God. I operated under the idea that if I lived like there was a God and after death I discovered in one way or another there wasn't, well, no great loss. I figured if I lived like there was no God and I discovered in one way or another after death there was, then I could be in deep trouble.
I found that approach to be the most logical and reasonable.
I would even apply my reasoning to others who engaged me in religious discussions. I would ask them to prove there was actually a God. To a person they would tell me that I had to merely accept there was indeed a God. I had to take it on "faith" that God existed. Some would even quote the biblical verse Hebrews 11:1 as proof, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, (KJV)" Their contention was one just had to blindly accept the existence of God. It was not all that much different than what I believed. It was just a different way of expressing the same thing.
I have no idea how many times I heard or read that verse and those following and missed two very important words that told me I did not have to blindly accept the existence of God. One was "substance" and the other was "evidence." What it actually said was faith, or belief, comes NOT from blindly accepting but from substance - physical material from which something is made or which has discrete existence - and evidence - something that furnishes proof.
Hebrews 11:1 doesn't say we just have to accept. It says we can know beyond a shadow of doubt whether or not God exists.
Some 40 years ago I met a man named John Clayton. John was an Earth Science professor at an Indiana university who was born to devout practicing atheist parents and he spent a good part of his life seeking to prove God did not exist. John was the one who proved to me beyond all doubt that God does indeed exist.
I know of no one better able to discuss the question "Is There A God?" from an earth science standpoint than John Clayton
The Bible makes no attempt to prove God exists, it simply treats His existence as fact. The Bible by itself is evidence of the existence of God. It is not one book, it is a collection of books. 66 books written over about a 1500 year period by some 40 different authors from a wide range of backgrounds and education on a single subject - God and His relationship to man - with all the books being in harmony with each other.
This alone is evidence because no other equally harmonious collection of books on a single subject exists or will ever exist. You can go to the world's busiest airport and select just 5 people at random, unknown to each other, and have them write a book on any single subject you chose and collect those books a year later. They will be riddled with major differences. And that is just with 5 authors, not 40. It is impossible to duplicate the Bible's construction.
The Bible claims it is inspired by God.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
If these verses are true we should be able to find absolute evidence of that inspiration in the pages of the Bible. If there is not evidence of inspiration then the Bible is unreliable and there is no God.
But first let's define "evidence...
1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.
3. Law. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.
Let’s examine a few evidences of God’s inspiration found within His Word
Genesis 1:9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.
This verse says the waters were gathered into one place and the dry land appeared during the creation. One place was water and the other was dry land. All the water was together and all the land was together. Pretty much any grade school geology student will tell you there are a lot of land masses and numerous seas. We know this is true today because we have satellite imagery and we have earth globes that agree with the imagery. The imagery of continents and seas all over the globe does not appear to match the one part water and one part land of Genesis 1:9.
But when we look at a globe today we can see the land masses can all be scrunched together. Push the African continent across the Atlantic and it will fit alongside North & South America. A little studying of the globe will show that the land masses fit together somewhat like the pieces of a jig-saw puzzle. This shows that at one time the land was one mass and the seas therefore would have had to have been one as well.
The book of Genesis was written some 4,000 years ago, long before satellites and sophisticated mapping of today show that at one time all earth was one land mass.
How did the author of Genesis know the earth was once one land mass long before scientists developed the theory of Plate Tectonics? The only reasonable and logical answer is that Someone told him. That Someone, that inspiration, we call God.
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Scientists and astronomers spend a lot of time today listening to stars and the sounds they make. Some even refer to this as "music." Job is considered by some to be the oldest book in the Bible predating even Genesis. No one really knows for sure when Job was written but one thing is for sure, it was written thousands of years before scientists and astronomers discovered stars sing. How could the author of Job know that? The answer is obvious, Someone told him and that Someone, the inspiration, is who we call God.
Job 38:16 “Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?
How did the author of Job know there were springs in the sea? Without SCUBA or some other equipment that allowed for underwater exploration there was no way a desert dweller could discover this for himself. How did he know? Someone who knew told him. That Someone, that inspirer, is who we call God.
Psalm 8:6-9 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen — Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.
Seafarers today use ocean currents to help them save fuel and in many cases, time. Some will go out of their way to get in a current that will help them save fuel on their voyage. These currents are in effect, paths of the sea. How did the author know there were paths in the sea long before their existence became accepted knowledge? Someone told him. That Someone, that inspirer, is who we call God.
Luke 17:30-36 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left.
When we examine this passage Jesus is talking about a single event and says it will occur in the daytime - "in that day." Then he says that event will occur at night - "in that night." Which is it, day or night? Actually, both. No matter when it occurs it will be day somewhere and night somewhere. Both day and night occur at the same time. This fact was accepted around the 1500s. Yet the author knew this 1500 years before it was universally accepted. How did he know? Someone told him. That Someone is who we call God.
1 Corinthians 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
Here the Bible says no two stars are alike. So far, astronomers and scientists with the most modern equipment have not been able to find a unique pair of identical stars. When we look up at the star filled sky we see group differences in stars with many sharing the same magnitude. How did the author know nearly 2000 years ago. long before telescopes. that this is not true and each star is a unique individual? Someone told him. And that Someone is who we call God.
Romans 1:20 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,
Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
The two passages above make the claim that all visible things are made up of unseen things. In this day and age the existence of atoms and how things are made of atoms is widely studied and accepted. Nearly 2000 years ago not so. How did the author of Romans know this? The only answer can be that Someone told him. That Someone, that inspirer is who we call God.
There are many more verses in the Bible that show the inspiration of God. If we had just a couple of examples we could say the authors hit it by chance. While the Bible is not a scientific work, it's scientific statements, expressed thousands of years before modern acceptance, have proven to be true today. There are just too many examples to have it be a matter of chance.
When any reasonable person examines the evidence the only logical conclusion one can make is that God does indeed exist. The next logical question is, "What does that God expect from me, if anything?" If that God expects something from us and we don't deliver, what penalties, if any, can we expect? If that God expects something from us, and we deliver, what reward, if any, can we expect?
Here's what God expects from us...
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