The Apostle's Creed begins by saying, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth." Everything about Christianity begins with belief in God. Without this foundational belief, no other beliefs are possible, especially pertaining to God sending His Son. Without God, there is no Son of God.
This is why being sure of God's existence is the foundation of Christianity. In this article, I will present the clear evidence of God's existence and how logically we can move from this surety to surety about Jesus Christ.
1. The Universe cannot exist without a Creator
The first fact that proves God's existence is the existence of the universe. No rational person doubts that the universe exists, so how and why did it get here? In biblical language, the Scripture starts with, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen 1:1). This statement declares that the universe has a beginning. It started at some point that we call time.
Outside of the Bible, how do we know that the universe has a beginning? Science affirms that the universe began by discovering that the universe is ever expanding. Why is an ever expanding universe important? Because, as you work backwards from expansion, there must be a place and time called the beginning. In scientific terms, the beginning is called the big bang. Scientists can investigate what happened at the first point of time, but there is no explanation outside of an Agent producing the first action within time. In other words, creation was made and you cannot have "nothing" making "something." That means the universe was created! You can call the universe "creation."
The Bible, along with science, affirms an expanding universe, thus logically a Creator: "Thus says God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes out of it, who gives breath to the people on it,
and spirit to those who walk in it" (Is. 42:5). The imagery beautifully portrays the expansion of the universe with the language that God "stretched them out." It's a picture of a tent maker who stretches out the tent to be inhabited. The tent, at first, is wrapped tightly with ropes, and then the maker unties the ropes and expands the tent.
Science affirms that the universe is expanding at the speed of light, and interestingly the first act of creation, according to the Bible, is God making light, "God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light" (Gen 1:3). This is not the creation of the sun, for that did not come about until the fourth day of creation.
Prior to the discovery of the expanding universe and the logical conclusion of the big bang, atheists in times past argued that the universe was eternal, and thus no one or no agent or no being needed to make it. If it has always been here, they argued, then no Creator is necessary to explain the universe's existence. But the big bang proved that something had to precede the first action of creation. Otherwise, the conclusion is that "nothing" made the universe. Logic demands that something, even greater than the universe, must exist to cause the universe to exist. And the cause of the universe must be uncreated, outside of time and beyond matter. This is the biblical description of God—uncreated, eternal and invisible.
No wonder the Bible says, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Ps. 53:1). A person has to intentionally fail to use his mind and logic in order to come up with the ludicrous conclusion that God does not exist. If God does not exist, how does one explain the fact that the universe exists, unless a person wants to deny the existence of the universe?
The Apostle Paul puts it this way, "The invisible things about Him—His eternal power and deity—have been clearly seen since the creation of the world and are understood by the things that are made, so that they are without excuse" (Rom 1:20). Paul is saying the fact that the "creation" exists means the "Creator" exists. You cannot have one without the other.
Why do atheists insist on trying to undermine the beginning of the universe? They do so because they know logically that would mean a Creator has to exist. They get it, but instead of accepting the logic of the beginning, they deny there is any beginning or conclude that the universe came from nothing. This of course, makes no sense.
2. We are made to think of our Creator.
The second proof of God's existence is our ability to consider God. I call this a God-consciousness. This God-consciousness is universal. It is inside of every human being. The Bible explains why we think of God at all. It says, "Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being" (Gen 2:7). The description is beautiful. God took something of Himself (Bible use the pronoun Him to refer to Himself1) and puts it into humans. By doing so, humankind is made in the image of God. He and she has something inside of them from God. This is God's connection to humankind.
It's similar to Google's iCloud. All your data is stored and reserved in a much bigger computer. All computer devices connected to iCloud are connected to something beyond their own computers. There is a connection from each computer to a much larger computer "in the cloud." Do you get the biblical imagery?
God put a connection of Himself into human beings, so they would be able to think about Him. The fact we can contemplate God's existence at all is proof that He exists and wants to be connected with us.
God gives humans the freedom to deny the divine connection. That is what atheists do: they say that God does not exist. But God does not give them the freedom to not think about Him or have a consciousness of Him. They cannot help it. Even atheists think about God, they just don't want to think He exist.
Anthropologists have often concluded that humans appeared hard-wired to believe in God. It's as if they cannot help it. It is difficult to be an atheist. One has to try very hard to deny the inner consciousness of God.
Animals, on the other hand, do not think of God at all. They are not atheists; they are "non-theists." That is, they do not think one way or other about God. They neither say "yea" or "nay" to God. They don't contemplate God at all. The Bible gives us the reason: Animals were not made in God's image. God did not breathe into animals the breath of Himself. He did not put a divine connection inside of animals.
What is the chance that every animal on the planet are "non-theists"; yet humans are theists by nature?
The reason we can believe in God is because we alone have the power to speak words. We can communicate intelligently. This should not surprise us, because being made in God's image means we should, to a certain degree, be able to imitate God. The most important fact of creation is that our Creator made everything by speaking words. "And God said." Then after making us, we have the ability to speak words like the Creator. The first thing Adam does, according to the Bible, is name the animals. This involves logic and speech. It is the ability to speak words that creates within us the consciousness of God.
We are the only creatures on the earth that talk. This is another connection we have from God and also contributes to our God-awareness.
3. The creation is a moral universe, thus confirming a moral God.
The third proof of God's existence is the fact that He made a moral universe. Morality is divine. Morality is unchanging. There is a right and wrong; good and evil. C.S. Lewis, who was an atheist turned Christian, argued that a moral universe proves a moral God. As an atheist, he had wondered how he got the concept of good and evil. There could only be one logical explanation: The universe is moral. Not only does morality prove God's existence, but it reveals the kind of God He is.
I suppose the greatest failure of atheism is a denial of morality. You see, if there is no God, there is no right and wrong, good and evil. The only ethical system for atheists are those that are created by society. For an atheist, it is only wrong to kill if society makes it illegal.2 For them, it's not wrong simply because it is intrinsically wrong. It is wrong because society says it's wrong.
For atheists, ethics keep evolving; however, morality does not. Right is always right. But the trouble with atheism is there is no outside, verifiable right and wrong, since they deny God and, with Him, divine morality. They become their own gods to create an ethical system by which others must follow. There is great evil that comes from this system. For example, the Nazis gave orders calling for the "final solution." This law gave officials legal authority to kill the people in the concentration camps. Now was this law evil? Was killing people in the camps evil?
Atheists cannot really logically answer in the affirmative, because they deny the God who makes a moral universe. But those of us who affirm God's existence confess that morality exists first with God and then He makes it known to us through our conscience. Thus, the holocaust was evil.
The conscience connects us to God's justice. We are the only creatures with a conscience. This inspires us to act in very noble ways, something beyond the scope of animals.
For example, we can choose to care for a disable person, simply because it is right. Although logically there is no reason, outside of morality, to protect and take care for disable people, we do it because of our conscience. This is only one example of our conscience leading us to nobility.
Our conscience is proof that God, along with giving us a God-consciousness, also gives us a moral compass by which we are accountable to Him to live our lives properly. We feel guilt when we do wrong. Even if the wrong is not illegal, we still feel guilt, because the conscience is accountable to the Creator, not to government or society.
So the existence of the conscience and its accountability to unchanging morality is another proof of God's existence.
4. The Creator gave us a consciousness of eternal existence.
The fourth proof of God's existence is our consciousness of eternal existence. What I mean is this: We do not have the ability to imagine ourselves not existing. We can imagine our death and even our funeral, but in doing so, we are always on the outside looking in on our death or funeral. We can't imagine not existing forever.
Solomon recognized this and he explained why, "[God] has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Eccl. 3:11). It was his theological and poetical way to describe the human soul that cannot die. He is basically saying that God made us believe in eternity, because He put eternity in our hearts. Because we are made in God's image, we cannot help but think in terms of eternity. Since God is eternal, it is logical that humans would have the element of eternity in their souls.
As much as atheists try unsuccessful to shake off the consciousness of God, they also try to shake off the consciousness of eternity, but even they cannot imagine themselves not existing.
It was this truth that helped convinced my father to believe in God. He was a proud atheist. He made fun of my faith in Christ. He scoffed at the notion of eternity. He said to me, "Tommy, when we die, we are dead like a dog. That's it!"
I countered, "But, Dad, God made it so that you cannot even imagine this. Think about it! Can you imagine yourself not existing?"
He thought for a moment. I remember seeing him grin. He said, "That is something strange, isn't it, that we cannot imagine ourselves not existing?"
"Dad, the reason for that is that you are an eternal soul made in God's image. By making you like Him, He made you to think in terms of eternity so you will realize that you will be accountable to Him in the end."
Eventually, my dad gave up atheism and accepted Christ as his Savior.
Eternal life is at the heart of the seed-plot of the Bible. God put Adam and Eve in the garden and told them that they could live forever if they continued to eat of the tree of life, but that they would die if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The plot thickens as the first couple rejects the tree of life in favor of the knowledge of good and evil. They, along with us, were driven from the tree of life. However, God, through the prophets, promised us one day that we would have a chance to eat of the tree of life again.
Even though the human race was driven away from the tree of life, their desire for eternal life has not disappeared. Not only do humans desire to live forever, they cannot imagine anything else.
It is this fourth proof that brings both joy and fear. You see, this world brings both pleasure and pain. Pleasure when we do right and pain when we do wrong. Knowing that we will live forever brings such a desire to make peace with the Creator. We don't want to have pain forever. Yet, we know that we have failed, and we are also fearful of being judged for this failure. So naturally, humans have a desire to make God happy resulting in a pleasurable eternal existence. It is this desire for eternal joy and peace that leads us to logically reach out to our Creator.
God Must Reveal Himself
At this point, some doubters will say to me, "You said many things that are logical, and that is why I cannot say categorically that there is no God. But I'm an agnostic, because even if there is a God, I doubt we can know this Being."
I have heard this argument before, but it makes no logical sense. Let me explain.
Why would a Creator go through the trouble of making a huge universe, with billions of galaxies containing billions of stars, so that the proper elements of life can exist on our side of the universe to form life? Then the Creator goes through the extent of putting a God-consciousness in us to make us aware of God's existence. Then the Being giving us a conscience to feel responsibility to the Creator. Then He puts eternity in our hearts so that we cannot help but believe we will live forever. Considering all this, why would a Creator leave us alone and remain unknowable?
It is clear that since the Creator went through all this, then He intends for us to find Him. Paul said it this way to the intellectual Athenians, "God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:27).
It is, therefore, logical to think that God would provide a way for us to reach Him.
This is where we come to the subject of religion. Religion is the system by which people try to connect with God and ultimately make peace with Him. It's that simple.
The trouble is that if humankind starts the system, it is doomed for failure. Instead, God would have to set up the religion for humans to find Him. It is logical that if God established creation, gave us a God-consciousness, a moral conscience, and a consciousness of eternity, that He intends to establish a religion that humans could find Him and be reconciled to Him.
Agnostics would argue that it is impossible to know which, if any religion, is true. However, logic convinces me that God must establish the true religion, otherwise, He failed to provide a pathway for us to reach Him. It's illogical for the Creator to go through all this extent, only to fail at this point in providing us a pathway to Himself.
There are three possible pathways to the Deity: pantheism, polytheism and monotheism.
Which basic pathway is right? Pantheism sees the universe as God. For this pathway to be true, then the universe would have to be eternal. But we have seen through observable science that the universe is not eternal. It has a beginning and will one day have an end. Thus, pantheism is a false pathway to God.
Polytheism is a belief that multiple gods created the universe. Even though this could be true, the universe is one. In fact, the word "uni-means one." There is only one universe and the entire universe is subject to the same laws and is connected to the whole. Therefore, it is more likely that only One Being created the one universe.
This means that monotheism would be the proper pathway to God. This helps us in our search since there are only three major religions that are monotheistic: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three could not be true, because they contradict themselves at very important points.
Of the three monotheistic religions, only one teaches that the One God is revealed in Three Persons: Christianity. The other two agree that God is One and is revealed as One Person.
However, as I contemplate the universe, is it possible that the Creator put His fingerprints on the universe so we can know what kind of God He is? The answer is yes. The universe, though it is one, is also three-dimensional.
There are three elements that make up the universe: time, space and matter (energy plus mass). They exist together to form the universe. Not only is the universe made of these three trinitarian elements, each of the elements are made of three:
Time is made of past, present and future.
Space is made of height, depth and width.
Matter is made of solid, liquid and gas.
This is no coincidence. It seems that the Creator put His trinitarian fingerprints on the universe so that humans would know the true religion.
Any ancient human could have seen these three in one if they gave it much thought.
But now, through the invention of the microscope, we have discovered that even the building blocks of the universe, the atom, is made of three components: protons, electrons and neutrons. It's as if the Creator put His signature on the creation so humans could find the true religion.
Only Christianity has revealed the true nature of God—one God in three Persons. God establish Christianity and gave us a revelation of His true Nature.
Christianity also claims that is the fulfillment of the oldest monotheistic religion: Judaism. In Judaism, there was hope and expectation that the Messiah would come to set the world right. Christianity says that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, and through Him the full revelation of the Triune God was revealed.
The success of Christianity also speaks of its truthfulness. The reason why Christianity is by far the largest religion is because it works.
For example: There are two competing economic systems: capitalism and socialism. Capitalism is the largest and most popular economic system. Why? Because it works. Socialism has proven to ultimately be a failure. (By the way, the Bible affirms capitalism.) So capitalism succeeds because it works to create the most wealth for people.
Christianity succeeds, also, because it provides the best way for humans to connect with God successfully. I am a Christian, because it works for me. I truly have found God, or better said, He found me.
Jesus did not want us to accept Him by blind faith, because He said, "If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own" (John 7:17). Jesus is saying that belief in Him and in His teachings will be proven true by its success. Success defined is the ability to connect with God, in addition to making people better. When people truly submit to the Lordship of Christ and follow His teachings, then they make the world around them better.
How can anyone truly argue against the success of Christianity? It is the foundation of Western civilization and is spreading to effect positive changes in the rest of the world.
Someone might argue, "Islam has been pretty successful in terms of growth." True, but Jesus explained that false prophets would come after Him to deceive humanity, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves" (Matt. 7:15). Muhammad distorted the true teaching of Christianity, first and foremost by denying that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and thus denying the Trinity. From this distortion came other distorted moral assumptions. While Islam has grown, it is clear from our moral compass that there is something inherently distorted in Islam. This would explain the Muslim terrorist movement. It is evil.
Islam is partially true in terms of monotheism, but its rejection of Jesus as the Son of God brings deception to others.
An aircraft has the famous black box that sounds a ping. If the aircraft goes down, the ping continues to sound. It continues to ping because it is made to be found.
God put a ping in you! In your life, you might have crashed. As much as you might try to deafen the ping sound, you can still hear it. You may barely hear it, because you have tried to ignore it. Some people may have convinced you that there is no God, but the ping continues to sound. It sounds because you are made to be found!
There is a reason you are reading this article. It could be God's way to bring you to Himself. Christianity is the true faith! If you will open your heart to the message of the good news about Jesus Christ, you will feel the hand of God bringing you closer to Him. You can find forgiveness of your sins and purpose for your life. Come to Him now!
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:13).
1 The masculine pronoun used for God is not meant to convey male, rather it is the generic name for all humans. It is to signify that God is a Person, not an It.
2 Abortion is a good example of a law that is morally evil though legally permissible in many countries.
Tom Brown is the founder and pastor of Word of Life Church in El Paso, Texas. He and his wife, Sonia, host a weekly television program, The Bondage Breaker, available online.