Am I really going to try to tackle one of the most controversial topics in the world? Why not? People always get uncomfortable when it comes to conflicting religions. With that being said, I think it is important that we question and challenge our beliefs. After all, this could make or break what happens to you after you die. Whatever you believe, truly question. Truly ask the hard questions. Why is there a god? Why isn’t there a god? This is your salvation, friend. Question it. Ask the hard questions. Figure out what you want to believe.
Spoiler alert, you’re going to have to place your faith in something. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and yes, even atheism. They all require faith. “But science says…”, my friend, who is to say science is right. Yes, we can scientifically prove that water when heated turns to gas, but there are a lot of things we can’t prove. There’s a lot we don’t know. At one point we believed that earth was the center of the universe. “How can you prove Christianity is right when you’re teaching out of a Bible?” In the same way I can ask you, “how can you prove science is right when you’re teaching it out of a science book?” All I’m saying is you’re placing your faith in something. I encourage you to look into this. Christianity itself is about faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Don’t take my word for it. Research and question your faith.
There are hundreds of articles trying to break down the authenticity of the Bible by using history and science. Read the Bible but if you just want the answers to the hard questions, read this or bombard this website. Although I think looking at the parallelism in history and science with the Bible is effective I want to touch on the questions and topics that I feel are overlooked. Welcome to the reason for God. This is a long article so feel free to skim and read the topics that stand out. Kudos to the champs that decide to read everything.
Science and history line up pretty nicely with the Bible
“So you’re going to use the same science and history that I need to put my faith in to try to convince me to put my faith in your religion?” If science and history is the only way you’ll be convinced, then absolutely. Again I don’t want to spend too much time here but here are a few things I want to point out.
There’s a lot of science that is talked about in the book of Job. Read the Bible and watch how history and science lines up. If you’re stuck on the “God couldn’t have made the world in six days” part, read this.
Other than that, remember Jesus is and was a real guy, just look it up. There’s a reason no one has found His body, He was resurrected. Jesus claimed to be God and claimed to have never sinned. He had everyone watching him and if He sinned, I’m sure people would know. He performed miracles on and in front of several people. Read and compare the gospels (book of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). They are all books on Jesus’s life from their individual perspectives. Again, I’d highly encourage you to look into this. See the similarities in their accounts.
This world is too beautiful for there to not be a Creator
I don’t know about you, but every time I see a gorgeous sunset, every time Mount Rainier looks especially beautiful, every time I see someone’s spiritual gift, I see the reason for a Creator. The possibility for us to be created without a god seems too unreal. What are the odds that the universe lined up exactly right for a planet to form and what are the odds that we evolved from a cell? What are the odds of something to happen without something causing it to happen? What are the odds of a creation without a Creator? I can’t see this earth without a Creator. It’s too beautiful for there not to be. It’s not like flipping a coin. The possibility for everything to line up absolutely perfectly is too unreal. Look at the intentional design in the beauty of our world. My artistic friends, you know there must be a Creator.
“What about poverty? What about natural disasters? What about bad people?” My friend, God made a world but not a perfect one. God didn’t make sin. I’ll handle the “imperfect world argument” a little later but I’ll talk about sin. Everything God created was and is good (Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 25). Sin wasn’t created but it is the taking of God’s creation and twisting it. I’ll give you an example. God created the beautiful gift of marriage. Adultery is the twisting of that. My friend, we are selfish, greedy and bad people because we all have a sinful nature (Romans 3:23). Twisting God’s creation happens when we try to be our own gods. That’s what happens when we think we know better than the all-knowing and all-loving Creator. We’re called to love one another. We’re called to love God with our heart, soul and mind as it’s talked about in Mark 12:30-31. “Treat others the way you want to be treated”, that comes from the Bible. On the topic of natural disasters, they happen because our world is made perfectly imperfect. Genesis 1:1 talks about how God created the heavens and the earth; God intentionally didn’t create heaven on earth.
“But an imperfect world doesn’t ensure that there’s a god”, yeah, you’re right. Keep reading. It doesn’t ensure that God exists, but it doesn’t automatically rule Him out either. That’ll be today’s theme. All I want to do is break down your preconceived reasons for why there isn’t a god. I want to get you thinking.
There is pain.
“If God is real, I wouldn’t be in pain.”, my friend, God has never promised a pain-free life, not on this earth. Life on earth is ridiculously hard. Truly calling Jesus your Lord changes your life completely, but it never said that you would stop feeling pain – we know how Jesus died. The Bible is filled with hurting and broken people.
- Our sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that Jesus promises those who follow Him…Romans 8:18
- When in Heaven, we will feel no pain…Revelation 21:4
- We will face trials and suffering…1 Peter 4:12-19
- Jesus wept…John 11:35
This goes for all pain and all trials. Trust me, I know the pain of bad grades. I know the pain of failed friendships. I know the pain from low self-esteem. To my atheist, to my Jehovah’s witness, to my Muslim…my Christian friends also know the pain of losing someone. My Christian friends know the pain of heartbreak and the pain from doing everything right but getting the wrong outcome. The Christian still feels as much pain as you do, but our hope is in Jesus.
I know God exists because there is pain in this world. I know that Jesus loves me because I hurt and because I mourn. Without pain, there isn’t a reason for God. Don’t lose sight of the definition of “Lord”. There would be no purpose in calling Jesus our Lord if we didn’t see Him as all-knowing and all-loving even when He doesn’t make sense. In the joy and in the pain, He is just as all-loving. He is just as all-knowing. There is a reason why a majority of our parents didn’t force us to wear bubble-wrap even though they didn’t want us to feel pain. There is a reason to this pain.
“Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.” Psalm 147:5
We seek something higher
Truthfully, this could still be under the last bold statement, but it doesn’t hurt to break things up. In terms of pain, if we never felt it, there would be no desire to seek something greater than ourselves. There would be no reason to seek a Heaven where there is no hurt and no pain. I know there’s a God because despite if you believe Him or not, you know there is something greater than this life. You know there’s more to life. You know there must be something to live for. There must be a reason why we breathe, why we love, why we have dreams.
We seek something greater and higher because we cannot be fulfilled by earthly things as 1 John 2:15-17 warns us of that. We desire love. We desire happiness. We desire wealth. We try to find that in our family. We try to find that in our careers. We try to find that in our earnings and by the type of car we own. My friend, you won’t find that if you seek something earthly. Just look, just research the happiness level of some of the richest people in the world. Look at the depression and suicide rates.
You can’t put your worth, happiness, satisfaction, etc. in earthly things because it is imperfect. You can’t be fulfilled by something that is temporary. You know that. Things break, accidents happen, and sometimes you and the people around you are jerks. Jesus is perfect as Matthew 5:48 talks about. Putting your worth in something perfect, something unearthly, something greater is so much better. Putting your worth in the perfect God means you acknowledge that He doesn’t fail. He is all-knowing. He is all-loving. He is all-powerful. There is a reason for joy. There is a reason for pain. There is a reason for teaching. You know there is something beyond this life. Christian or not, He loves you and me equally.
Allow yourself to feel the pain you’re feeling. Acknowledge those emotions, but also know that Jesus is better. Know that your pain is temporary while Jesus is forever. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
This terrible world is run by humans.
To piggy-back off of my last point, I know there is a God because our world is so imperfect. Spoiler alert, the Bible is basically about how God tells people how to rule and how to live, people not listening and screwing up, God explaining how He is all-knowing and all-loving and then telling people to listen and then that on repeat. It’s the same story even after Jesus died and rose again. Jesus, died on the cross and John 3:16 talks about how salvation is by faith alone and not works, yet, look at the religions that tell us that we need good works to get into heaven. My friend, it’s the same story. God is clear on salvation, yet we try to change it because we think we know better. You are not saved by your works. “Good people” don’t go to heaven, people who call Jesus their Lord do. Let me say it again because I love you. Faith in Christ alone earns salvation. It’s not faith plus good works or faith plus fill in the blank. Look at Revelation 22:18-19. Don’t let your religion tell you that you can’t drink coffee or you have to pray a certain amount of times a day to earn your salvation. It’s faith alone in Christ alone. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
I know this Jesus is real because trying to run and live in a world where we make our own rules isn’t working. You don’t need to be a history major to notice where we really screwed up in history. God never said the Holocaust was okay. God never said racism was okay. God never said being sinful was okay. My friend, one of the reasons I know there’s a God is because even after all these years, we still live in such an imperfect world. Our world is screwed up because we’re trying to follow other humans who think they know better. He is all-knowing. My friend, read the Bible. Even if you’re not convinced that it’s accurate, at least read it to learn about morality. I bet you a lot of your morals directly correlate with the Bible.
“If God is real, why didn’t he make the world perfect?” He is all-powerful so He could have. He could have created a perfect world, but that would take away our free will. He could have created a perfect world but we wouldn’t choose to seek and love something greater. Christianity is all about faith alone in Christ alone. If everything was perfect, we wouldn’t need Him. We wouldn’t have the desire to see if there is something more to this life. I know this earthly life can suck a lot of the time, but it is nothing in comparison to the home God created for His Christ-followers. He made the world perfectly imperfect because He’s smart.
There are some really nasty stories in the Bible
I am not going to shy away from the bad stories in the Bible. There is murder, incest, rape, adultery and other disturbing stories that even pastors shy away from when preaching. I get it. I mean would you rather read about Jesus feeding the five thousand or David’s downfall? Firstly, look into the context of some of these stories and topics. The one that stands out to me is slavery in the Bible. Slavery in the Bible was different compared to the one we Americans think of. And if you’re thinking about the specific slavery that is talked about in Exodus, God freed those slaves.
Secondly, because the Bible is so raw, I know it’s true. It talks about the gruesome things that happened. Don’t forget that God did not create sin. God hates sin and condemns these people. He is just. He is loving. It would be incredibly easy to leave out the really bad parts of the Bible, but if it didn’t tell the whole truth, we couldn’t trust it. These stories aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Some of them are really bad so that we can trust it and so that we can learn from it. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
We don’t always see miracles
“I would know God is real if he let me win the lottery”, or replace that with whatever your heart desires. Maybe all you want is to get into college. Maybe all you want is for your parents to stay together. Maybe all you want is for your sick relative to get well. I say this lightly, if God did everything you wanted, He wouldn’t be god. You would and that’s not the point of Christianity. I know that a lot of your desires are good desires. I know it seems harmless, but my friend God knows better. His plan is greater. I am sorry for the hard life that you’ve had. Feel those emotions. I get that. I’ve been a Christian for a long time and even I still get angry at God. His plan is greater. He is perfect. He is loving even when I don’t see it. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-8.
Secondly, even if God fulfilled every miracle, we wouldn’t necessarily believe in Him. Be careful about testing God my friend, Matthew 4:7 warns us. But back to my main point, you know Jesus performed many miracles and yet the people who saw it with their own eyes still didn’t believe…look at John 12:37. Look at how many of us don’t believe Jesus is the son of God. “Yeah but if it was me, It’d be different. I’d believe.” Are you sure?
What are the miracles in your life that have happened that you haven’t acknowledged God for? Maybe you did get into your dream school. Maybe you ended up not failing that class. Out of everyone who applied, you got the job. You’re in a wonderful and healthy relationship. You have friends who love you even when you’re a jerk. You live comfortably. Your life took a complete 180 in the best way. My friend, that’s all God.
“I got good grades because I worked hard, not because of God”. Friend, who gave you the ability to work hard? You are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Because of Him, you are a hard worker. Because of Him, you have the gift to do makeup really well. Because of Him, you have the endurance to run a marathon. I say this in the most loving way, you are nothing without God who created you.
“My life is bad. I’ve never seen a miracle happen in my life, only others.” Be careful about the story you try to paint when you compare yourself to others. Be careful about trying to explain someone’s successes and failures. I’ll say it again. Christianity is about faith alone. God doesn’t give more grace to the people who love Him the most. Understand how painful Jesus’s death was and He was made perfect. Understand that He is all-knowing. You aren’t. He is all-loving. He loves us equally. Realize that it is a miracle for us to even be alive. It’s God’s grace that wakes us up every morning. We’re sinners. The wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23). If we got what we truly deserved, we’d be dead by now. It’s a miracle that we’re alive. Don’t overlook the miracles. Don’t overlook a good God just because you don’t have everything you believe you deserve.
We have experienced really painful pasts
“If God is real, why did he just allow this to happen?” I don’t know. I don’t know and I won’t try to even explain it. I’m sorry about your past. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve been through and the same pain you feel 5, 20, 40 years later. I’m sorry. I can’t speak for God. I don’t know why He allowed you to go through this. I won’t speak for you, but I’ll speak for me. Pain believe it or not grows character (Romans 5:3-5) but also God uses everything for good (Romans 8:23). Failed friendships have taught me a lot about realistic expectations for people. Going to school at UW has grown me in more ways than one, but the big one is to not put my worth in my grades. Death has taught me the importance of salvation. There’s something to be said about following Jesus when nothing makes sense. There’s something to be said when the problem-free person talks about how much they love Jesus versus the figure in the Bible, Job who lost everything yet didn’t lose faith. Our testimonies might not make sense. I don’t know why it took so long to get into my engineering program – but it’s a part of my story now. I don’t know why I’ve struggled with abandonment issues throughout my entire life. I do know my past, current and future pain allows me to relate to those around me. It’s inspiring when we have every reason to turn our back on God and on Christianity, but we don’t. It’s inspiring when we don’t understand God, but we continue to follow Him and trust His will. I know I am always inspired by those who follow Jesus even during rock bottom.
God doesn’t always seem good
I know I’ve sprinkled this topic throughout this post but I need to reiterate it one last time. I know there is a God because He doesn’t always make sense. I know there is a God because I don’t always get what I want or what I think is best for the world. As hard as it is for me to wrap my head around it sometimes, He is all-knowing. He is all-loving. And I know that from looking at my past & hearing about others’ past. There is so much I have learned the hard way but the best way. His ways and thoughts are so much higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). His timing is perfect even when I don’t see it. Again, the purpose for God is we follow Him because we declare Him, Lord. Christianity is not about God following us. We follow Him because we understand He is greater.
“For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows all things.” 1 John 3:20b
I love you because you’re one of God’s kids, even if you don’t know it. I say these things because I care about you. I care about your salvation. It’s not my job to convince you, that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. But convinced or stubborn, all I will say is question everything I’ve said. Question everything you believe. You know there is something more to this earthly life. You feel it. You know there must be something we’re here for. Creation comes from a Creator. Yes, I’ve grown up in the church, but I’ve had many doubts. I’ve had many questions. I still have so many doubts and questions, but through it all, through the pain and suffering, through the love and grace, through all the questions and doubt, I see a reason for God. How about you?
Thanks for reading. If you want to talk about this, let’s get coffee sometime. You’re in my prayers.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.