Does God Exist? And is the Bible True?
Has there ever been a time in your life when you looked out into the universe and wondered, “Is there really a God out there?” In April 2001, through a series of strange circumstances, a certain man found himself speaking at an atheist convention. The audience of 250 was reasonably polite until he made the statement that the Bible was filled with scientific and medical facts, written several thousands of years before man discovered them. The reaction was one of immediate and unified mockery.
Their response was understandable. That the Bible is of divine origin is not a pleasant thought for a professing atheist. This, however, is not all bad news for the unbeliever. If the Bible proves itself to be the word of the One who created all things, it would make sense to search its pages. After all, time will take each of us to the grave, and if there is one chance in one million that the Bible’s promise of immortality and the threat of damnation are true, we owe it to our good sense to at least look into it.
The Bible does not attempt to defend its inspiration. The opening words of Genesis include, “God said.” These words are repeated nine times in the first chapter. The phrase “The Lord spoke,” is used 560 times in the first five books of the Bible and at least 3,800 times in the Old Testament. Other religions have what they consider their sacred writings, but the elements of proven prophecy is absent in them. Neither do any other books in any of the world’s religions contain scientific truth. In fact, they contain statements that are clearly unscientific.
Many years ago at the end of a child’s care function, the teacher told about one hundred children to line up for some candy. There was an immediate rush, and the line sorted itself into what he saw as being a line of greed from the bigger, selfish children who were at the front to the timid, younger ones at the back. He then did something that drove a point home. He told the children to turn about-face, and then told them to stay in position. He went to the other end of the line and gave candy to the smaller, timid children first.
We live in a world where the rich get richer and the poor are oppressed. Those who do not believe in the existence of God should know that this is what the Bible says. We are informed by the Bible that God has gone to the other end of the line with the message of everlasting life.
The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness. Or, as it is written, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent…But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Cor. 1:18,19,27-29).
The man speaking to that group of atheists had the following questions: “Do you believe that the following Biblical accounts actually happened? Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, Jonah and the great fish, Joshua and the walls of Jericho, Samson and his long hair, Moses and the Red Sea, and Daniel in the Lions’ den.” If you are an atheist, of course you don’t believe these things. To believe in such fantastic stories would mean that you surrender your point of view. Who in his right mind would ever do that? The answer is simply that those belive who understand by faith that God has chosen foolish, weak, base, and despised things to confound those who think they are wise.
Imagine that you are looking at a luxury liner moving through calm waters. To your amazement, about a dozen people jump off the ship and cling to a lifeboat. You watch as the rest of the passengers stand on the ship and laugh at them. You can understand their reaction. What those few people did was foolish. It made no sense. Suddenly the ship hits an unseen iceberg and sinks, taking with it all who stayed on board. Now you see that those who seemed like fools were wise, but those who stayed on the ship, seemingly wise, were fools. We have in the Bible a command to jump off the luxury liner of this world. Before one laughs at seemingly unwise Christians, he should ask himself if there is any proof that the Bible’s claims are true.
Following are some examples that show the Bible is true:
—At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or giant (1500 b.c.) the Bible spoke of the earth’s free float in space: “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). Science did not discover that the earth hangs upon nothing until 1650.
—The Scriptures speak of an invisible structure. Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of things that we cannot see: invisible atoms. Hebrews 11:3, written two thousand years ago, tells us that the “things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
—The Bible reveals that the earth is round. “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isa. 40:22). The Hebrew word for “circle” suggests circuit or compass. That is, it indicates something spherical, rounded, or arched, not something that is flat or square. Isaiah wrote sometime between 740 and 680 b.c. That is at least three hundred years before it was suggested that the earth might be a sphere. It was another two thousand years, at a time when science still believed that the earth was flat, that the Scriptures inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world.
—The Bible and ship dimensions: In Genesis 6, God gave Noah the dimensions of the 1.5 million cubic foot ark he was to build. In 1609, in Holland, a ship was built after the same pattern, revolutionizing shipbuilding. By 1900, every large ship on the high sea was inclined toward the proportions of the ark (verified by “Lloyd’s Register of Shipping” in the World Almanac).
—The Bible and the water cycle: The Scriptures inform us, “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again” (Eccles. 1:7). This statement alone may not seem profound. But when considered with other Biblical passages, it becomes more remarkable. For example, the Mississippi River dumps approximately 518 billion gallons of water every twenty-four hours into the Gulf of Mexico. Where does all the water go? And that’s just one of the thousands of rivers. The answer lies in the water cycles, so well brought out in the Bible. Ecclesiastes 11:3 states that “If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.” Look at the Bible’s concise words in Amos 9:6: “He that called for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth.” The idea of a complete water cycle was not fully understood by science until the seventeenth century, and more than two thousand years prior to the discoveries of scientists and others, the Scripture clearly spoke of a water cycle.
—The Bible on using the earth’s resources: Three different places in the Bible (Isa. 51:6; Ps. 102:25; and Heb. 1:11) indicate that the earth is wearing out. This is what the second law of thermodynamics states, that all physical processes, every ordered system, over time tends to become disorderly. Everything is running down and wearing out; energy is becoming less and less available for use. The earth is truly “wax[ing] old.” This was not discovered by science until recently, but the Bible states it in concise terms.
When I went to school, I remember the upper-grade teacher in science class telling us that in a few million years, the time would come when the sun would finally be all burned up. He said that when the sun goes out, light will rapidly diminish, also, because there will be no more sun. The animals and humans, plants or anything that lives will die. Nature will destroy itself. Then he said, “But man will destroy himself long before nature does.” It could be added that God will probably destroy the earth before man destroys himself. Then again, man may be instrumental in bringing about the end of the world!
—The Bible in the laws of hygiene: In 1845, a young doctor was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals. As many as 30 percent died after giving birth. He noted that doctors would examine the bodies of patients who died, then without washing their hands, go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers. This was the normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was not known. He insisted that doctors wash their hands before each examination, and the death rate immediately dropped. Look at the specific instructions God gave several thousands of years ago to His people when they would encounter disease: “And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean” (Lev. 15:13). Until recent years, doctors washed their hands in a bowl of water, leaving invisible germs on their hands. However, the Bible says specifically to wash under “running water.”
—The big bang theory and Genesis: Try to think of any explosion that has produced order. Does a terrorist bomb create harmony? The big bang theory suggests that perhaps something on the order of a tornado could go through a scrap yard, and a new airplane would appear. Or the tornado could go through the woods, and a nice new barn would appear. None of the above scenarios would be possible; neither is the big bang theory possible.
So how did it all begin? Why is there not just one big void of blackness with nothing in it? It is easy to believe that God created the world and the universe. But where did God begin? The Bible supports the thought that God has always been, He never had a start, and He will never have an ending.
The fact that God never began totally defies our comprehension. In life as we know it, all things have a beginning, and all things have an end. We must accept in faith that God has always existed. Eternity also is incomprehensible, but we do believe that God and the souls He created are eternal, without end.
From Messenger of Truth, Vol. 111, No. 08, April 17, 2013