How Do I Know If God Really Exists?
In the beginning God… Genesis 1:1
“The real issue in the moral, ethical, and philosophical world today is the question of final reality,” so wrote Francis Schaeffer, shortly before his death in 1984. He continued, “The Christian believes final reality is the infinite, personal God of moral absolutes who truly is there. The humanist believes it is impersonal material or energy which has existed in some form forever, and is shaped into its present form by pure chance. On this basis, man makes himself the measure of all things.”
Ultimately, the question which confronts every person is a simple one: “Does God exist, or is there no God?” Schaeffer argued that if there is no God, then obviously, our world is merely a matter of chance, and my life is the result of certain forces which are going to push me one way or the other, in which case I have to determine what is best for me. I become the measure of my life and the final arbiter of right and wrong. If, on the other hand, there is a God who is behind our world and the forces in it, then I had better find out something about Him, and even more important, what my relationship to Him should be. Based on what I have just said, on which side of that tremendously important question do you find yourself? Everyone falls into one of three categories:
Category #1: Those who do not really believe in a personal God – and there are millions of people in this category: the successful businessman and financier who worships money along with the pagan who lights incense and offers flowers to a god made with human hands. Their god is impersonal, not a spiritual being.
Category #2: People who believe in the existence of a personal God, no less than the God of the Bible, but who live as though there were no God at all.
Category #3: The individual who believes in the God who is there, the God of the Bible, and accepts what He says about our lives and lives accordingly.
If, of course, there is a God who is there, a God who has told us about Himself and what He expects of us, to ignore this, or to live as though there were no revelation, would be the greatest mistake a person could make. Some 1,900 years ago these words were written, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
In one bold assertion, the writer of Hebrews tells us that in ancient days, God spoke through the prophets men such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah and Elisha–who received supernatural guidance about their world and things to come. But then God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who was an image, a picture of the Father, who so loved us that He gave His life that we might have everlasting life.
If the record which I have just shared with you is true, the question of final reality is a simple one: I can accept the fact that there is a God who has revealed Himself, a God of love and compassion, one who has given His Son as the sacrifice for my sins and shortcomings, but whose forgiveness must be received and accepted by myself. That understanding changes the entire focus of existence.
Resource reading: Hebrews 1:1-4