What About God?
Some people say, “There can’t be a God because I can’t see Him.” There are many things in everyday life we cannot see, yet we know they are there.
We cannot see the wind. We know it is there because we can see it blowing the clothes on the line and the leaves in the trees. We cannot see electricity. We know it is there when we switch on the light. We cannot see air. We know it is there because we couldn’t live for a minute without it. We cannot see love. We know it is there in those who care for us. We cannot see God. We know He is there because of the wonderful world all around us. It is full of beauty and color and amazing designs, from the tiniest insect to the vast, unending universe.
Things do not happen by chance. With a book, the words don’t fly through the air and happen to land in the right order. Someone has to put it all together to make sense. So a book must have an author; someone to write it. A painting must have an artist; someone to paint it. A building must have an architect; someone to plan it. This is true also with our world. It did not all happen by chance. Someone planned it, put it together. This great Designer, Architect, Creator, we call God.
- Who made God?
- What is God like?
- How did it all begin?
- Why is the world in such a mess?
- What has God done about it?
- How can I know that I’m forgiven?
Who made God?
God is the name we give to the great and wonderful Creator: the One who made the whole universe, the One who alone gives life.
We live in time, so we have a beginning and an end, our births and our deaths. Because we are like this, we think that God must be like this, too. But He is different. The Bible tells us God has no beginning and no end. He is not limited by time ---hours, days, weeks, months, and years ---as we are. If someone had made God, then that someone would have to be greater than God. But God is all-powerful, almighty. Who made God? Answer: No one. Think of space. It has no beginning and no end. God is eternal: He has no beginning and no end. He is far greater than our little minds can ever take in.
We live in a world of change. Fashions change, politicians rise and fall, heroes of sport and the music world are at the top one year and are forgotten the next. We change, too ---our friendships, our habits, our bodies.
God never changes. His love and care never change. He doesn’t love us one day and ignore us the next. He is the only one we can trust who will never let us down.
No one made God. He has always been there. He never changes. He never grows old or weak.
What is God like?
By studying a book or a piece of music, you can discover something about the person who wrote it.
By looking at creation and the world in which we live, we can learn something of the Creator. We can see that the Creator loves beauty and color. We can detect His care for the tiniest detail. He is a master engineer and architect. The working of the human body is a masterpiece of design and function.
The size and power of the mountains and seas and the vast distances of space all tell us something about the almighty power of this Creator God.
But what is God like? To know Him for ourselves, we have to wait for Him to reveal Himself to us. We can discover what He is like in the Bible. He tells us that “God is spirit” (John 4:24). But what does that mean?
We have bodies for living here on Earth. A fish has a body for living in the sea. God lives in heaven, so He is Spirit.
This does not mean that God is an eerie ghost. He has a will and a mind. He is able to be everywhere, see everything, know all that is going on. He is able to love us, guide us, and protect us. He is far too wonderful for us to understand fully.
So He decided to come in person to our earth and show us what He is like in a way we can understand. He came as a baby. His mother was a country girl named Mary.
He was born as we were – and yet His birth was different because God was His Father. Jesus was fully human – and yet He was also God, living among us.
Because He is human, He knows the sort of problems we face. Because He is God, He is able to help us. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
How did it all begin?
Scientists tell us that it took millions of years for our earth to be as it is today. They can work out the age of the rocks fairly accurately. But when we turn to the Bible and to the first book, Genesis, we are told that the world was made in six days. Isn’t this all a glaring contradiction in terms?
We must remember that the Bible is not a book on science, and it is not written in scientific language. In fact, the Hebrew word for day can mean not only twenty-four hours, but also an age or period of time. So when we read Genesis (Chapter 1) we can see the story of creation in a new way. We can see not just how it happened, but why it happened.
Behind all the activity in creation we see God slowly but surely working out His plan for all living things. But what was His purpose and why are we here?
We have been made in God’s likeness. This does not mean God has a huge human body. It means that, like God, we are able to love and choose, to think and make rational decisions. We have a mind and a will. We have been made to have a special relationship with him; to know Him and love Him, to belong to Him and be His children.
We have been made to worship God. Even the most primitive man has this inbuilt desire to worship a god.
We have been made with very great creative skills in music, art, science, medicine, and engineering. It is in our very nature to invent and explore. Where we see all these skills being creatively used, we see God at work, whether He is acknowledged or not. He is not only the giver of life in all its variety and richness. He is the very source of life.
Why is the world in such a mess?
What we do affects others. Kindness brings happiness to other people, while selfishness will result in misery and pain. The Bible wisely says that whatever we sow we will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
My own self-centered nature does not only affect my life, it will also have an effect upon all I come into contact with.
Sin spoils. Sin is like an ugly blot on a clean page. Being selfish, lazy, and thoughtless, telling lies and dirty stories will not only slowly ruin your own character, it will also poison other people’s. So often we just do not realize how much what we say, think, and do affects others.
A drunken father will bring untold unhappiness into his home and seriously damage the lives of his family. A selfish “I’m always right” attitude will quickly destroy the happiness of a friendship or marriage.
Sin spreads. Sin is like weeds in a garden; if not rooted out they will soon overrun it. Small acts of dishonesty can so soon spread into attitudes and habits we cannot break.
That first drug fix will almost without our realizing become a prison we cannot escape from. One harsh word, if not followed by an apology and forgiveness, can make a relationship sour and strained.
Sin separates. Worst of all, sin separates us from God. Sin is like a thick cloud which blots out the sun. This is why God seems to be miles away. He is very near, all around us, but sin acts like a great barrier between us and God.
See that car –a good engine, plenty of gasoline, but it won’t start. Why not? Dirt in the spark plugs.
Sin acts like this between us and God. He is pure and holy. He hates sin, but loves us. Our sin blocks the way to Him. God longs to make Himself known to us, but He cannot, because sin gets in the way.
What has God done about it?
What can we do about it? Answer: Nothing! We cannot remove the barrier ourselves. We cannot get through to God alone. The Bible uses some vivid pictures to describe our situation. We are chained up in a deep dungeon with no way out. We are sinking in thick mud – the more we struggle, the worse it becomes. We are lost, like someone aimlessly wandering around in a maze getting farther and farther from the way out. We are drowning and we do not know how to swim.
Being sincere, even being religious and doing religious things, is no help either. What is the answer? We need rescuing. We need someone to unlock the dungeon, someone to lift us out of the mud, someone to find us and take us home, someone to rescue us from drowning. Showing us what to do is no use. Telling us what to do is no better. We need a Rescuer!
God is His love has not left us to struggle hopelessly. He has done something about it. He has sent someone to rescue us, and His name is Jesus. The name means “Savior” or “Rescuer”. As the Bible explains it: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Here is the proof that God does love us, and He does care. He came Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He came to seek and save the lost. He did not come just to show us what God is like. Nor did He come just to teach and live a perfect life. He came to save us, and this meant losing His own life to rescue us.
How can I know that I’m forgiven?
Is it really possible to know that every sin, every bad thought, every rotten action, every thoughtless word, every bit of selfishness I have ever done can be forgiven and blotted out?
God accepts us as we are because, and only because of what Jesus has done -- not for anything we can ever do. We can never get through to God on our own. The cross alone bridges the gap between us and God. The way back to God is wide open to all who stop trusting in their own goodness and who put their whole trust in Jesus.
The cross tells us that God will forgive all our sins for Jesus’ sake. In that lonely, painful death Jesus took the full death penalty that our sins rightly deserved. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, understood this as he wrote: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Another disciple, John, also could confidently write: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Paul could see that the whole judgment of sin had been taken by Jesus: “There is no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
All who trust in Jesus will not have to face the judgment of God for their sins. The judgment is over. Jesus took it for us on the cross. This was what He meant when He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The debt of human sin is paid.
The cross tells us that the enormous debt of our sin has been fully paid by Jesus Christ once and for all. When we accept Jesus into our lives, we receive God’s forgiveness. Every sin is blotted out. God promises not only to forgive all our sin, but to forget it as well, as though it never happened. John, one of Jesus’ followers, wrote: “The blood of Jesus, God’s son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
(Extracts taken from What’s the Point? By Norman Warren, published by Lion @ Norman Warren. Used with permission of Lion Hudson pic.)