You are in the world. Maybe you are entering the workforce or the world of academia. Maybe you are already pursuing your goals. Maybe you are trying to decide your life’s work will be. Maybe your family is struggling. We can never be completely prepared for the unknown world you enter. It is, by its very nature, uncharted territory. It is not the same experience your family had. It is not the same experience your peers will have. It is exclusively yours.
We all hope to find some guidelines to help govern our decision making process. This subconscious paradigm is our worldview. Our worldview is the sense though which we see the world. The foundation of our goals and values. There are several worldview options. You can choose to employ a secular worldview where the here and now is all there is. Your life will be centered on physical comfort and success you can achieve. But your achievements will never be enough. You can choose to pursue a variety of religions. But you will always wonder which one is correct. If it is true, by the very definition of truth, all other options must be false.
These guidelines which stem from our worldview are important. As you begin to build your own worldview to govern your life, you must decide if you will be governed by things secular or things spiritual . We all must face the question “Is there a God?”. We will all live with our own answers and we will be judged by the reality of that question whether we answer it correctly or not. Secondly, we all must face the question of standards. What will my moral compass be? Finally, will you live in excellence, settle for average, or complete apathy? You will choose to lean toward one extreme or another. You will choose to excel or exist. You are choosing your life. We must answer the big questions.
Is there a God?
God’s existence is the question. It shapes everything else about your world view. I believe God exists. I hope that you do as well. Here are some of the reasons why I believe that God exists. I hope that you will study them. I hope that you will examine them. I hope that you will make a decision. Don’t just believe what you have been taught. That isn’t faith. Examine the information, make a decision, and live according to the facts.
Everyone believes something is wrong. Everyone believes that they have some actions demand punishment. Why? If there is no Lawgiver who stands above us all, then there can be no law which stands to judge us all. Examine this reasoning:
1.If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2.Objective moral values do exist.
3.Therefore, God exists.
Atheists claim that real moral values do not exist outside the “herd instinct”. This does not explain why the most morally valued are those who sacrifice themselves for a few, for the helpless, and for the undeserving. This doesn’t explain why we impose our morals onto others who would choose to commit genocide and harm others for their own personal gain. The value of the “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:12) is derived from the character of God not personal values which are selfish.
The Bible presents God as the moral lawgiver. God expects us to “study to show yourself approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15). Revelation 20:12 tells us that all mankind will be judged by God, not by popular opinion or the valuelessness and meaninglessness of moral relativism. There is a such thing as “evil” and there is a such a thing as “good”. These things are real. God is the only reason for this reality.
The Sufficient Reason
Every event has a sufficient cause. What caused the universe? What caused you? What accounts for the design of things large and small? What caused the intelligence within a cell? What caused the amazing beauty of a star? What caused the functionality of an eye?
Surely, we look around and conclude that there is a reason for everything. Isn’t God the only sufficient cause? The existence of intelligent life (you) depends upon a perfect (not an overstatement) set of initial conditions. The fine-tuning required is incomprehensible and incalculable. William Lane Craig reports the following in the book Why I am a Christian on page 73: “Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the ‘Big Bang’ had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball (Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, 123). British Physicist P.C.W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for later star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by a thousand billion zeroes, at least (Other Worlds 1980). Someone has been in control. Or else we would not be here.
The famous example of the teleological argument is William Paley’s “Watchmaker Argument”. Perhaps we could update it to the “Smartphone Argument”. If you were walking through an abandoned field and found a smart phone, would you conclude that lightning had struck a dense ball of matter which yielded a functional smartphone? Would you conclude that the nonorganic materials had become a functioning smartphone? Furthermore, would you ever conclude that, if left to natural processes, the phone could become a self reflective, thinking, and responsible individual?
God makes sense. Hebrews 3:4 says, “For every house is builded by someone; but he that built all things is God.” In other words, “if something is there, there must have been someone who put it there and that individual must be able to account for the characteristics of that thing”. Again the evidence of God is proclaimed in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shouted his handiwork.” The most sensible option is that there is an eternal God who spoke the universe into existence–Genesis 1:1.
There is a Book
There is a book which is different from every other book which has ever been written, and there must be an explanation for its character and its existence. The Bible describes itself as inspired (2 Timothy 3:16). The fact that the Bible is different is seen in the manuscript evidence which is at hand. Classical authors are often represented by as little as one surviving manuscript. However, the Biblical manuscript evidence is massive. There are over 5000 manuscripts with some of the oldest being dated in the 2nd century. The texts are written so close to the time of the events that there is not sufficient time for “legends” to develop around the event. The records have all the marks of historical reliability. The result of this is a reliable text and also a question of why. Why would individuals copy and preserve the text to this immense degree?
One of the ways in which we can see the hand of God in the Bible is to study the prophecies made in the Bible and see if they have been fulfilled. One that stands out would be the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 24 which occurred in the year 70 just as it was described in the Bible. We can study the Messianic prophecies which are remarkable and foretell the life of Jesus as the Christ (Psalm 22; Isaiah 52-53; Daniel 7; etc.).
When we survey the wondrous evidence of Biblical prophecies which have already been fulfilled, it is hard not to acknowledge that someone must have known what was going to happen before it happened. Furthermore, it begs the question of why would someone prove his character in this way? The most reasonable answer is that there is a God in Heaven who wants us to acknowledge him and has proven his existence and character by displaying his knowledge of the future before it happens. I believe in God because he has revealed himself to us in his book–the Bible.
Looking at the evidence, I believe that there is a God and the Bible is his Book. These two concepts put my life’s direction, decision making, values, goals, into the safe boundaries of God’s directives. His Book is not a burden to keep, but a blessing to shape turn a life into the best life it can be. This is what we would expect from the God of Heaven who has revealed himself to us as our Father. His rules are for our own good.
Think about the ridiculousness of trying to live outside God’s rules. God is our designer and creator. He knows what is best for us. He knows what is bad for us. He knows how we can excel. He cares for us and gave us evidence for his existence in his Book the Bible. But the Bible isn’t just about God. It is also about how we can live Godly. How we can live abundantly. How we can live forever with Him. Why would we choose any other life.