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Is God Real?

 

Where did the universe come from?

 

First, let’s look at science. We can see scientific evidence for the existence of God through the origin of the universe. The world around us had to have a cause. Why?

1. We know that anything that begins to exist must have a cause for its beginning—a cause outside of itself.

2. We also know from science that the universe began to exist at some point in time.

  • Scientists have found that the universe is continually expanding from a singular point, similar to a balloon. If we were to go backwards in time, the universe would shrink, similar to a balloon losing air. Since the universe could not shrink for an infinite amount of time, the universe had to have a beginning at some point in the past.

  • Video: How Did the Universe Begin? — Science and God | PragerU

3. Thus, we can conclude that the universe must have had a cause outside of itself.

If you see a painting, do you ever question whether or not there was a painter? Every time you read a book or visit an art museum, you assume that someone had to create the art or write the book. If no one had created it, it would not exist.

 

Just as the existence of a painting is proof that there was a painter, so the existence of the universe is proof that there was a universe creator.

 

The world we live in is designed so perfectly for humans to live in. For example, if the earth were just minutely closer or further away from the sun, the earth would be either too cold or too hot to support life. This is just one example of many other fine-tuned details in the universe, showing the careful planning and design of a Creator.

 

Where do “good” and “bad” come from?

 

Let’s look at some philosophical evidence. We can also see evidence for God in the existence of right and wrong. As humans, we intuitively know that some things are right and some things are wrong. Where did this idea come from? First, let’s define a term:

 

Objective morality: The idea that there are laws of right and wrong that reach throughout time into all governments and cultures.

 

A moral law is objective if it transcends all time, governments, and cultures. If such objective moral laws exist in the world, this would indicate that there must be a moral lawgiver which transcends all time, governments, and cultures. Without a lawgiver, where could our knowledge of “right” and “wrong” come from? This morality couldn’t be objective if it was tied to a particular government, culture, or time period.

 

We can conclude: If objective moral laws exist, then a moral Lawgiver (God) must exist.

 

Now, let’s decide whether these moral laws do, in fact, exist. If we can find even one example, then some kind of objective morality exists. We’ll look at just one example.

 

Example: Is it always wrong to torture a child just for the fun of it?

  1. Was it wrong 2000 years ago?

  2. Will it still be wrong 2000 years from now?

  3. Is it still wrong even if a government makes it legal?

  4. Is it still wrong even if it becomes culturally acceptable?

 

If the answer to all of these questions is “yes,” then this is one example of an objective moral law. It will always be wrong to torture a child for fun, because standards of right and wrong are not tied to government or culture or time. Instead, they have been put in place by a transcendent moral Lawgiver—God.

 

Video: The Moral Argument - YouTube

 

Which God is the True God?

 

How can we know for sure that the God of Christianity is the one true God?

Unlike all other world religions, Christianity stands or falls on one testable historical event: The resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is false (1 Corinthians 15:14). But, if Jesus did rise from the dead, then He proved that He is God and His teachings are true. So, what does the evidence support?

 

1. Jesus Died on the Cross

It is well-established that Jesus was crucified. Multiple New Testament writers, ancient extra-biblical Christian writers, and ancient non-Christian writers wrote about Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus was pronounced dead by expert Roman centurions. History never reports anyone surviving a full Roman crucifixion. When Jesus’ heart was pierced with a spear, blood and water flowed from his side—modern medicine recognizes this as evidence of death. If Jesus had just passed out, he would have been too weak to escape the tomb or convince anyone that he had risen from the dead. The evidence indicates that Jesus truly died on the cross.

 

2. The Tomb was Empty

a. In Jesus’ day, a woman’s testimony was considered worthless. Thus, if Jesus’ followers were making up the resurrection story, it would have been counterproductive to have women discover the empty tomb. Yet, all four Gospel writers record that the first witnesses of the empty tomb were women (Matt. 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-11, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18).

 

b. The religious leaders of the day tried to explain away the empty tomb. They paid the soldiers who had been guarding the tomb to say that the disciples had stolen the body. If the tomb was not empty, the religious leaders would not have needed to explain the empty tomb.

 

c. Christianity spread rapidly in Jerusalem, where the people could have gone and seen for themselves that the tomb was empty.

 

3. Enemy Eyewitnesses

After the resurrection, multiple enemies of Christianity said they had seen the risen Jesus—for example, James (the half-brother of Jesus) and Saul (who became the Apostle Paul). These eyewitnesses converted to Christianity and preached it until they died as martyrs for proclaiming Christ.

 

4. No one dies for a known lie

Jesus’ disciples said that they had seen the risen Jesus and they were willing to die as martyrs for this claim. If the disciples had stolen the body or if they were lying about having seen the risen Jesus, they would have known it was a lie, and no one dies for a known lie. Yet, even as the disciples were brutally tortured and/or executed, none of them recanted. They sealed their testimony with their own blood. (Also note that if they had merely hallucinated visions of Jesus, the tomb wouldn’t have been empty.)

 

Video: What is the Evidence Jesus Rose from the Dead? | Sean McDowell

 

Why does it matter?

 

By rising from the dead, Jesus proved that He is God and that His teachings are true. Jesus taught that Heaven and Hell are literal places and that no one is good but God.

 

Have you ever lied? Used God’s name in vain? Stolen? Jesus said if you’ve looked with lust, you’re guilty of adultery and if you’ve hated someone, you’re guilty of murder. The Bible tells us that all have sinned, and if we claim to be sinless, we’re deceiving ourselves (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-9). If you’ve broken the law, a judge won’t let you off for being sorry or for having done good works. The penalty must be paid. Because God is a good judge, He must punish all liars, blasphemers, thieves, adulterers, and murderers in Hell.

 

But, because God loved us so much, He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (John 3:16). Then, Jesus rose from the dead, and He offers us eternal life as a free gift. Now, God can justly dismiss our case. If you turn from your sin and trust Jesus as your Savior, you will be saved.

 

Video: The Gospel of Jesus Christ (Good News!)

 

For those who have been saved by God’s grace, we know Jesus exists because we’ve experienced a relationship with Him. Just as no one can convince you that your human friends don’t exist because you have experienced a relationship with them, the same is true of a relationship with Jesus. When you entrust yourself to Jesus Christ, His Spirit will come to live in your heart—for now and for eternity!

 

Want to learn more?

 

Short Videos

Does God Exist? 5 Quick Arguments. | Sean McDowell

Are All Religions True? | Sean McDowell

Trilemma, who is Jesus? (Lord, Liar, Lunatic?) - YouTube

 

Books for Kids:

 

"Cold Case Christianity for Kids" by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace

J. Warner Wallace is a cold case detective who uses the same techniques that he uses in investigating cold cases to investigate the truth of Christianity.

 

Books for Teenagers and Adults:

 

"More than a Carpenter" by Josh and Sean McDowell

Prefer a video? The Evidence for the Resurrection with Dr. Josh McDowell (Jan. 27, 2019) - YouTube

 

"Cold Case Christianity" by J. Warner Wallace

J. Warner Wallace is a cold case detective who uses the same techniques that he uses in investigating cold cases to investigate the truth of Christianity.

Prefer a video? Cold Case Christianity - J. Warner Wallace - YouTube

 

Questions? Contact us: waycrosschurch@gmail.com

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