Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Powerful reasons to Believe in the Creator

by Mark E. Larson
www.cvillechurch.com


Have You Examined the Evidence?


“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’" (Ps. 14:1a). If you do not believe in God, you may not consider yourself to be a fool. Yet, denying the existence of God without examining the evidences for or against such a belief is indeed very foolish!


Do you consider yourself to be an “open-minded” individual? Too often, we let prejudices and preconceived opinions stand in the way of learning the truth. Before anyone dismisses God, any possible evidence for God deserves a fair hearing. Then if after hearing, that person is honest, he will follow the truth wherever it may lead him.

If, after weighing the evidence, you should discover that there is a God to whom we are accountable; will you then believe? “Evidence what evidence!?!” Many are surprised to learn that belief in God is actually based on evidence. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1, NKJV). Consider the many powerful reasons God the Creator has provided that we may believe in Him and worship Him as Lord.

Only God Could Be the Adequate Cause of the Universe.


The Law of Cause and Effect: Every material effect must have an adequate cause that existed before the effect. How did this universe come into existence? What could have been a powerful enough cause to have brought such an effect as this grand universe?


The Big Bang Theory proposes that “the universe originated 20 billion years ago from the cataclysmic explosion of a small mass of matter at extremely high density and temperature” (via answers.com). This theory asks us to believe the unbelievable. The “Big Bang”, as it is called, would have lacked sufficient power to cause the universe into existence. Such a theory begs the question: “What caused the Big Bang?” There is no escaping the perpetual, never-ending question: “But what caused that? But what caused that? But what caused that? Etc.

Only the Eternal, all powerful and all wise God is an adequate cause for the universe: God, who is Eternal, who has always been existence and is not an effect of any cause, is the only one who could have brought this universe into existence. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable” (Isa. 40:28). Only the one and true God, who was not created or caused by something or someone else, could have created all things (Jer. 10:10a, 12). Only the all powerful God could be that great first cause of the universe to have brought it into existence. “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee” (Jer. 32:17, NASB).

Life is too Complex to Come from Non-Life.


The doctrine of Autogenesis (life began from non-life): Autogenesis is the field in natural science that studies how life on earth began by the spontaneous generation of nonliving matter. “Chemical evolution” teaches that complex life forms (e.g., fish, animals, humans) evolved from nonliving “primordial pond soup” which contained just the right chemical ingredients. Yet, there is not one documented case of nonlife producing complex life forms. Similarly, the “Big Bang theory” also asserts that all life ultimately came from a big explosion of lifeless matter that gave birth to our universe.


Why Biogenesis (life began from life) best explains the origin of life: Every living organism has genetic codes of information that enable it to live and function (e.g., DNA). These codes demonstrate that each living organism is very complex and each has a certain level of design according to a specific plan and purpose. Who or what gave them these genetic codes?

We can recognize that many non-living things, like the car or the telephone, required man (a living organism) to design, invent, or create it. The first television set did not suddenly appear without the purposeful design and labor of men. The computer and the software to go with it required many successful codes written by man so it could operate successfully. Even the more simple inventions like the compass or a pair of scissors required a designer or inventor. Non-life can certainly come from life, yet when has non-life ever been able to produce life? Only in science-fiction novels and movies has this occurred! Non-life (e.g., a “Big Bang” or “primordial pond scum”) giving birth to life is as ridiculous as the living choosing to worship the non-living: “But they are altogether stupid and foolish In their discipline of delusion — their idol is wood!” (Jer. 10:8).


Only life can produce life. Therefore, the origin of life points to only one source of life, the true and living God, our Creator: “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:24-25).

Life is too Complex to Have Happened by Mere Chance.


The theories of man greatly depend on next to impossible odds: Scientists teach that complex life developed from just the right combination of amino acids and enzymes that just happen to meet. By incredible, if not impossible, odds, life as we know it ultimately evolved from this organic “primordial pond soup.” Fred Hoyle in his book The Intelligent Universe described just how very unlikely this could have occurred, using a fitting analogy: “A junkyard contains all the bits and pieces of a Boeing 747, dismembered and in disarray. A whirlwind happens to blow through the yard. What is the chance that after its passage a fully assembled 747, ready to fly, will be found standing there? So small as to be negligible, even if a tornado were to blow through enough junkyards to fill the whole universe.” (p. 19).


The Big Bang Theory also relies on unbelievable odds. Dr. Robin Collins states, in Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for a Creator: “Over the past thirty years or so, scientists have discovered that just about everything about the basic structure of the universe is balanced on a razor’s edge. Over 35 different characteristics of the universe and its physical laws must be precisely fine-tuned for physical life to be possible.” What this means is that a random explosion, such as the Big Bang, to produce a universe with conditions necessary for life would depend on incredible, if not impossible, odds (Estimated by many to be one out of 10124!). This is greater odds than a blind person finding one grain of sand with a special code hidden in all the beaches of the earth!
Only an intelligent Creator could have made this world possible! Great power, intelligence, and wisdom were required to create and design our world and universe.


“Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.” (Ps. 148:5). The living cell is more complex than the most brilliant machine ever invented by man, comprised of more than 200,000 chains of amino acids. Even the most basic living organisms, such as bacteria, function by molecular engines more complex than man’s greatest inventions. The saying is true: Believing in the Big Bang theory is like believing that an explosion in a print shop will produce a set of encyclopedias! Highly complex systems cannot occur by mere chance. Only an all wise God could be the great first cause of this amazing and complex universe: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Rom. 11:33).


The Creation is a witness to the existence of God the Creator: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Ps. 19:1). “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20). The complexity and amazing abilities of the creatures of the earth testify that there is Creator that made all living organisms:

aBirds have a complex respiratory system that provides a continuous flow of oxygen through their lungs. They do not depend on a diaphragm pushing air in and out of their lungs to breathe. Therefore, they can survive in thin air for long periods of time.


aThe electric eel generates electricity through thousands of disk shaped electrogenic cells, equivalent to a 500 volt battery. The reason the eel does not shock itself is his skin has a higher electrical resistance than a fish does.


aDolphins have two hemispheres in their brain. When dolphins sleep, one hemisphere continues to function while the other sleeps to protect themselves from predators.


aGeckos climb walls and ceilings, yet have no suction cups, no glue, and no Velcro-like structures on their feet. It is the structures of their hairs that contribute to their ability to climb. A set of toe hairs the size of a dime can lift 45 pounds.


aGray seals can put off the digestion of food, which uses up oxygen, for hours enabling the seals to swim deep into the ocean and hunt for up to twenty minutes before they run out of breath. Digestion will not start until they have returned to land and have stopped hunting --perhaps hours after having swallowed their prey.


aRattlesnakes have a sensor in their cheeks which picks up infrared radiation or heat radiation given off by warm-blooded animals. In darkness, a rattlesnake can see its prey because it can see the heat radiation coming from the animal.


aThe ground squirrel, when confronted by rattlesnakes, moves his tail up and down in a wild erratic motion called flagging. The tail heats up giving off larger and larger amounts of infrared radiation. This flooding of the rattlesnake's infrared sensor is so complete that the snake will usually give up and crawl away.

aIf a gopher snake that does not have the infrared sensing ability approaches the squirrel, the squirrel's tail does not heat up. Only when the squirrel is endangered by snakes with infrared ability does the tail heat up to disrupt the infrared signals.


The amazing complexity to the human body is evidence of the Creator: By looking to ourselves and our amazing bodies in what they can do, we have reason to believe that an incredible Designer made each one of us!


Every living cell of the body has one trillion bits of informational data in it. This is comparable to the amount of information in ten thousand encyclopedia books! The body has about three trillion nerve cells that are all integrated by the brain. The brain has thirty billion working components. Everyday, the heart beats 100,000 times and pumps 2,000 gallons of life saving blood. The kidneys have 40 miles of tubing which cleans 500 gallons of blood a day. There are approximately 131 million photoreceptors in the eyes enabling us to see. There are about 24,000 hair-like cells in the inner ear that respond to sound and transform the sound into nerve impulses. Our body has 639 muscles that work together. The bone cells of the body are very unique and also amazing. There is no other material on earth (e.g., wood, steel, aluminum) that can do as good a job as our bones do for us. Our bones only account for one fifth of our body weight, yet they support the entire frame of the body. Shall I go on? It is no wonder why the Psalmist gave thanks to God saying: “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well” (Ps. 139:13-14).

Note: The above examples were taken from “Does God Exist?” journal: http://www.doesgodexist.com/

The Origin of Life Occurred instantaneously, not gradually.


Evolutionists teach that all life came into existence in an extremely slow and gradually way: Evolution teaches that all life came into existence by means of lifeless matter and that over billions of years, natural forces acted upon that matter, in such a way, to give origin to living organisms that have evolved into plants, animals, and mankind. Yet, is it even possible for life to come about in a gradual way?

Instantaneous creation is seen in the six days of Creation: The biblical account of Creation makes it clear that God created all things instantly by the power of His word. “Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light” (Gen. 1:3; cf. 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26; 2:7, 22). “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host… For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps. 33:6, 9; cf. Heb. 11:3). “The Word” (i.e., Jesus) was the powerful agent that God used to create the world! (John 1:1-3).

The Genesis record indicates that God chose to create everything in only six consecutive days. “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Gen. 2:1-2). “Theistic evolutionists” have no right to regard these six days as being merely figurative. The Bible leaves no room to insert billions of years between each day as some try to do today. Time and again, the emphasis is made after each phrase of the Creation: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day… a second day… a third day… a fourth day… a fifth day… the sixth day” (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). Clearly, each day was a twenty-four hour period, not a time span of billions of billions of years!


The “Irreducible Complexity” of life demands that life began instantaneously:
Irreducible Complexity: “A single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function of the system, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.” - Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box, p. 39. Every machine, such as a clock, computer, car, or even a mousetrap, must have in place a certain minimum number of parts for it to function properly. If just one part below this minimum is taken away, the machine will cease to function correctly. Similarly, the living cell or living organism ceases to function if each is below the minimum number of parts (e.g., organs, cells /organelles, protein, amino acids). The components of a living cell cannot come together in a piecemeal fashion.


Instantaneous creation was absolutely essential for life to exist: Mankind would never have gotten started, if each body part and organ gradually developed one by one, as evolution suggests. The heart, for example, could not evolve separately and live independently without the rest of the body for protection from the environment. The human body could not function or live without each supportive organ in place simultaneously (e.g., brain, heart, kidney, lungs, stomach, etc.). The first man and woman were purposefully designed with every essential body part in place from the start in order to live and exist (Gen. 1:27). The same is true for every living creature that God made (Gen. 1:20-25). Life itself depends on instantaneous creation!


The science of Ecology is evidence for instantaneous creation: Ecology has demonstrated the interdependency of different species of living organisms. Animals, birds, fish, insects, and other organisms greatly depend on each other for their survival. Ecology also has proven how essential the proper habitat for each living organism in order to exist - an environment or ecosystem that provides a suitable climate, needed vegetation, as well as supportive creatures for their food and ecological service. Known as biodiversity, all creatures work together for the ultimate good for planet earth. These truths all point to an instantaneous creation, rather than a gradual process of evolution. It is no wonder then why God choose to create the creatures of the sky, sea, and land, instantly over the course of two days (Gen. 1:20-25) and why water, the proper climate, and vegetation was prepared beforehand for their survival (Gen. 1:6-19).


The Wisdom of God’s Powerful and Indestructible Word


The Bible itself is a powerful reason to believe in the Creator: Just as God, who is all powerful and wise, created the universe, so did God cause the Bible to be written. Only God is qualified and able to create a perfect moral code for mankind to live by: “For Thy righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, Thou who hast done great things; O God, who is like Thee?” (Ps. 71:19). Only our Creator could provide for us instructions for life: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, KJV).


The Bible is set apart from all other ancient or modern “Scriptures” (e.g., Shruti – Hinduism; Tipitaka – Buddhism; Ching - Confucianism, the Koran – Islam, etc.):
Only the Bible contains numerous fulfilled prophecies, approximately 2,000! The Scripture itself makes it clear that fulfilled prophecy is one of the evidences that the words come from God. "When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken…” (Deut 18:22a, NASB; cf. Jer. 28:9). The prophecies fulfilled from the Bible are not vague, but contain specific details. Historical events, such as the fall of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and other nations are detailed by the prophets, especially in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Descriptive accounts of the coming Messiah and the kind of death He would experience are foretold (Gen 3:15; 49:10; Ps. 22; Isa. 9:6; 52-53; Dan. 7:13-14; 9:25; Micah 5:2; Zech. 13:7). No other ancient scriptures of the world provide proven prophecies. Only the Eternal Creator who existed before the world began could predict the future! (Ps. 90:1-2; Rev. 1:8).


Only the Bible contains a multitude of scientific facts before scientists discovered these for themselves. Facts such as the rotundity of the earth (Isa. 40:22), the suspension of the earth (Job 26:7), the moon being a witness of the light of the sun (Ps. 89:36-37), and the formation of static electricity or thunderstorms (Jer. 10:13). It has been estimated of approximately forty different descriptions of physical science in the book of Job before they were established in science! Only the Creator who created all things could know these scientific facts as provided in the Bible.


Only the Bible has been proven to be true, time and again by archeological discoveries. Unlike the Koran and other ancient writings, archelogical findings have supported the statements of the Bible. Dr. Nelson Glueck, the most renowned archeologist of this century and the last, wrote in his book, Rivers in the Desert, this amazing statement. "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries" (Dr. Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert [New York, Grove, 1960], p. 31).
Incredible discoveries have been made to support biblical claims: The cities of Erech, Accad, Nineveh, and Calah have been found (Gen. 10:10). Round balls of brimstone or nearly pure forms of sulfur were discovered near the Dead Sea confirming that Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed by fiery brimstone (Gen. 18:16- 19:29). Even Solomon’s great wealth has been confirmed, in part, by the discovery of the remains of enormous horse stables in a king’s garrison in Megiddo, in northern Palestine (1 Kings 4:26). Hundreds of thousands archeological discoveries have proven the Bible to be authentic providing further evidence to believe that the Genesis account of Creation is trustworthy.


Only the Bible demonstrates an amazing unity and harmony of all of its writings, from Genesis to Revelation, sixty-six books in all, over the course of 1,600 years, in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, in different countries, written by scholars and laymen from all walks of life. The Bible contains no proven contradictions. The Bible stands for truth, free of all error. Only the wise Creator could be responsible for the writing of this book!


The enduring word of God: Throughout the centuries, the enemies of God have attacked the Scriptures of God. Kings, priests, emperors, heathen, and barbarians have made efforts to destroy God’s word. Religions such as Islam have attempted to obliterate the Bible, others such as Catholicism worked hard to diminish its influence upon the people. God’s servants have been persecuted, even put to death for its teachings. Yet, despite man’s efforts, it cannot be destroyed. Even today, the Bible is the best-selling and the most widely distributed book in the world. The Bible lives on forever! “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. For, ‘All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord abides forever. And this is the word which was preached to you” (1 Pet. 1:23-25). Only the all-powerful Creator could provide such protection for the Bible, which would have otherwise perished long ago.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


Jesus was proven to be the Son of God by His resurrection: Further evidence to believe in God the Creator, is to look to the historical evidence of the resurrection of Jesus who claimed to be God’s Son. Our belief and understanding of history depends upon credible witnesses who saw the actual events take place. In the case of Jesus, there are also reliable witnesses that saw the raised Jesus as a record of ancient history.


At the heart of every gospel sermon of the apostles of Jesus is their eyewitness testimony of the raised Christ (Acts 2:32; 3:14-15; 5:30-32; 10:39-43; 13:27-31). Through a cross-examination, we learn that the apostles offer credible, trustworthy testimony. First, they were present for the event. Having spent three years with Jesus, they would know the facts about Jesus (1 John 1:1-3). Secondly, their character as witnesses is credible, having no ulterior motives to lie about the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:30-32). All the apostles died martyrs deaths except for John. They did not die for a lie! Third, their writings are historically accurate. The New Testament surpasses all other records of antiquity in detailed accuracy (e.g., Luke 1:1-4; 3:1-2). Finally, there was agreement between numerous witnesses in addition to the apostles (1 Cor. 15:1-8). Even non-bible sources of testimony from ancient historians agree with their testimony (e.g., Cornelius Tacitus, Suetonius, Plinius Secundus, Flavius Josephus).


Proof that Jesus rose from the dead is found by answering the question: Who moved the stone from the entrance of the securely sealed tomb of Jesus? (Mat. 27:57-60). The Jewish leaders did not, for they tried to prevent the resurrection (Mat. 27:62-64). The Romans did not who would be punished to death for their failure on the job (e.g., Acts 16:27). The disciples did not, despite being falsely accused (Mat. 28:11-15). Who can believe that the disciples got past a Roman guard to steal the body of Jesus!?! Only God could have moved the stone! (Mat. 28:1-2). God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 13:30) which proved to the world that Jesus was God’s Son (Rom. 1:3-4).


Jesus’ belief in the Creation: If we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, then what He believes about the Creation will be of great importance to us. Jesus often quoted from Genesis as a true record of history (Mat. 19:4-6; 23:35; 24:37ff.). Jesus’ representatives or the apostles and servants of Christ also frequently quoted from Genesis. In fact, every New Testament writer has made allusions to Genesis or has quoted from it. Many people try to explain away the record of creation by calling it an allegory or myth. This is impossible to do without denying Jesus and the writings of His apostles!


Through Jesus, all things were Created: Again, if we accept Jesus as Lord, believing in Him to be the Son of God, we have further cause to believe in the Creator. For it was through Jesus Christ that the Universe was made and by Him the Universe supported: “And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col 1:15-17; cf. Heb. 1:2-3).


Powerful Reasons for the Creator Should Cause Us to Worship God!


“For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it; and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Ps. 95:3-6).

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