Welcome to Lesson 1. After you finish reading the lesson, please scroll down to complete and submit the quiz. Your quiz will be graded by a member of the church who will then email the results to you. Thank you for allowing us to study the Bible with you.
Does God Exist?
“Is there a God?” This is one of the most important questions we could ever ask. The answer to this question leads to the answer to other important questions, such as “What is the meaning of life?” and “What happens after we die?” Whether or not there is a God changes the answers to these most important questions.
The Bible opens with “In the beginning God…,” (Genesis 1:1) so, we ask, “Does God exist? How can I be sure? What is the evidence?”
The Bible declares there is a God:
- Psalm 19:1 says “the heavens declare the Glory of God.”
- Psalm 8:1 says “God has set His glory above the Heavens.”
Later in the lesson we will see 3 Proofs That God Exists. But for now, let’s examine the two main ideas of how humans came into existence. By thinking about how humans came into existence, we can see if Creation by a Creator or Evolution without God makes more sense logically and based upon the evidence.
Creation or Evolution
There are really only two ways in which man has come into existence. Mankind is here today either by Creation or by The General Theory of Evolution.
Creation clearly involves a miracle. Creation would be someone causing everything to come into existence. It takes a Creator; it takes someone to do the creating. We call that being, that Creator, God. But, science deals in understanding the laws of nature, not in explaining miracles. The scientific method cannot test a miracle, and so some scientists may simply dismiss any kind of miraculous or supernatural action whatsoever. Creation takes a Creator, and by a miracle you and I exist today.
Creation implies a Creator and therefore Creation automatically implies a God.
The General Theory of Evolution
But, now, let us talk a moment about the “Theory of Evolution.” It states that the small changes, or micro-evolution, that we can scientifically observe and cannot dispute, have no limits. Given enough time, those small changes may cause one thing to become something totally different.
For example, a dog may begin growing longer hair to adapt to a colder environment, or two different types of dogs may be bred together to create a new hybrid breed. Those small changes are called micro-evolution.
However, The General Theory of Evolution states that, since there are no limits, over long periods of time the dog will not only grow longer hair, but other things such as wings to become a bird, or bark to become a tree. Or, the theory might propose the idea that the breeding between two dogs will eventually produce something that is not a dog.
Also, since there would have been no God, The General Theory of Evolution says that life started from non-living matter without miracles and all plant and animal life came from the original life that came from non-living matter.
As for humans, it states at some point we were not humans, and yet today we are human. According to the General Theory of Evolution, all things changed through natural causes, and over long periods of time we have “evolved” into what we are today.
If evolution is true, then there are two possibilities of how humans came to exist.
On one hand, some evolutionists believe in something called “Birth.” On the other hand, some evolutionists believe in something called “Transformation.” Evolution implies both of these, or either.
The idea of “Birth” means millions and millions of years ago there were two non-human beings. We will simply refer to them as apes. The point is, these two beings were definitely not human.
And these two non-humans, these two apes, came together in a sexual fashion, and they reproduced a living human being. Something, such as an animal from the ape family, producing offspring that is not the same, such as a human, would take a miracle. Why? Because science does not observe that in nature, it cannot reproduce it, and it violates the normal, natural course of reproduction. Overriding the natural law would take a supernatural event, known as a miracle.
We must pause for just a moment here to discuss this thought.
The Law of Excluded Middle
The Law of Excluded Middle... means that a statement is either true or false. That’s why it’s called the law of excluded middle, because it excludes a middle ground between truth and falsity. While the Law of Non-contradiction tells us that no statement can be both true and false, the law of excluded middle tells us they must all be one or the other.
The Evolutionist needs to explain this: Were these two apes that produced a human offspring human or not? Of course the answer is that they were not human.There is a law called the “Law of Excluded Middle,” and we all live by it. It says this: A “thing” either is or it is not. So a thing either is human or it is not human. Everything that has ever existed in this world either was or was not human.
And so, you have a miracle! Two non-human beings, we’ll call them apes, sexually created a beautiful human child. We do not observe this, nor can we recreate it. And so, according to true science, we should then reject this idea of “birth,” the idea that two non-human beings, two apes, gave birth to a human baby.
But remember, we mentioned a second idea in evolution? On the one hand some evolutionists believe in “Birth.” On the other hand, some evolutionists believe in something called “Transformation.”
The idea of “Transformation” says millions of years ago there was a non-human being, a creature. We will call it an ape. One thing is for sure, it was not human.
This ape was just walking around when all of a sudden “Presto”, it automatically just became a human being.
In one moment it went from being a non-human, an ape, to being a human. If this were true, it would be a miracle also. We do not observe that in nature, nor can we recreate it. And so, science should completely reject that idea as well.
We said earlier, that humans are all here in one of two ways, either by Creation or Evolution.
Creation implies a God. Evolution occurs either by birth or by transformation. But, since we’ve already seen that a natural human evolution cannot occur by Birth, and we have seen that a natural human evolution cannot occur by Transformation, then we can conclude that humans did not arrive by evolution. We did not get here by evolution!
Since we did not get here by evolution that only leaves Creation, and Creation implies a Creator.
Therefore, the only conclusion we can reach is that we are here today because of our Creator, God.
Monkeys: Our Relatives?
We are not one level above a monkey. We are one step removed from the Almighty God.
So why do some believe in the General Theory of Evolution in order to explain how humans arrived? One reason is because the evidence is interpreted incorrectly. The evidence is there. The difference arises from how the evidence is interpreted.
For instance, pretend you came into a room and I was already in the room and there was a candle burning on the table. This is all the evidence you have. You don’t know how long it’s been burning, but you see that it is indeed, already burning.
In order to determine how long it has been burning you might run some tests on this candle. You might measure the wax at the foot of the candle that has melted. You might observe its rate of decrease over a short period of time. Then you might do all of your calculations. Then you might say, “I know for a fact this candle has been burning at the rate of one inch per hour and we have gathered five inches of wax. Therefore, I conclude that this candle has been burning for a total of five hours exactly.”
You might even convince the world the candle has been here for five hours exactly.
But, since this is my candle, and since I was in the room before you, it is possible that five minutes before you came into the room I took a torch or large flame and melted the candle down to the size it is now.
Yes, it may “appear” to have been burning for five hours, but in truth it has really only been burning for five minutes.
So what are we saying? Here we have a piece of evidence. But there are two different ways to interpret the evidence.
When it comes to interpreting the scientific evidence of the Earth, the evidence is there. The question is, “How will we interpret it?”
Consider the Grand Canyon for instance. There are people who have taken measurements and have done calculations, and have determined that it would take millions of years for the Colorado River to create such a huge canyon. But, what if some time ago in the past, not millions of years ago, but just a couple thousand years ago, there was a giant flood that completely washed the whole land mass out, and it left behind that little river. The evidence is there. How do we interpret the evidence? What can we know for sure? Can we know for sure the Colorado River did ALL of the eroding without any help from any floods?
Your interpretation of the evidence will determine what you believe. Do you believe you are a human that arrived through natural evolution and you are just a step above a monkey? Or do you believe God is the creator of all life?
You need to answer that question! Why? Because your view of your origin will determine your whole worldview. If there is a Creator, then there is a purpose to life and someone to whom we will answer. If there is no Creator then we are an accident of nature. An accident, by definition, has no purpose. If we are just the product of an accident, then it doesn’t matter what we do, or to whom we do it, because there is no purpose to anything. And if we are an accident of nature, there is no one to answer to.
We have seen that God exists because humans could not arrive by the General Theory of Evolution. We have a Creator!
God Exists: Cause and Effect
When a person is out in the sun too long they may get a sunburn. When a person eats bad food the effect is often sickness. An effect has an anterior and adequate cause to explain it. The cause is anterior because it came before the effect. Staying out in the sun too long came before getting a sunburn. The cause is adequate because it is enough to explain the effect. Eating one piece of candy may not be an adequate cause for an illness, but eating an entire bag of candy may be enough cause for a bad stomachache.
And so we humans are here. This Earth and universe are here. That is the effect. So, we must ask the question, how did it and we get here. What is the cause of the universe?
There are only 3 options to explain the universe: 1. The universe has always existed and will always exist. 2. The universe created itself from nothing. 3. Something or someone came before the universe and created it.
The simple facts of science prove that the universe is not eternal. The Second Law of Thermodynamics shows that all things are winding down. That is, everything is slowly coming to an end, just like a clock winding down. You wind it up, and it ticks, and ticks, and ticks away, until slowly it starts to wind down. Science has proven by the Second Law of Thermodynamics that, indeed, the universe is not eternal.
If the universe is not eternal, then it must have had a beginning. So, it either created itself out of nothing or Something/Someone created the Universe.
A simple fact of life is this, from nothing comes nothing. It is a fact as true as the Law of Gravity itself.
What if I came to you and you were holding nothing in your hands. Then I said to you, “Now, place that ‘nothing’ on your table, and let’s just watch that nothing create itself into something.” It never would become anything. Why? Because, nothing produces nothing. And so, if before the universe there was nothing, then today there would still be nothing!
Since the universe is not eternal, and if nothing came before the universe, then we would still have nothing. Then that only leaves us with one other option. Something/Someone created the Universe. The universe is not eternal. The universe did not create itself. There is a Creator!
That Creator had to be greater than the universe in order to create it, and the Creator had to come before the universe in order to create it. Therefore, the only real anterior and adequate cause for the effect of the universe is an eternal, supernatural Creator we call God.
God Exists: Design
When we look around us, we see that there seems to be a design for a purpose. Things work in such a way to support life. Have you ever thought, “Why do I breathe?” or, “Why does my body naturally expel waste?”
It is rather simple. This is how we have been designed.
God has designed us. The Psalmist wrote that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) God created us. He designed all things to work the way they do.
We will consider only one of God’s designs to prove indeed we were the product of design, not millions of years of evolution.
If you have ever had an arm or hand amputated (removed, cut away) then you will know that the design of the hand is unique.
Today, medical doctors and prosthetic manufacturers are doing a good job of designing ‘replacement’ limbs for those who have, unfortunately, lost an arm or leg.
Doctors and medical teams have created some wonderful robotic hands that have five fingers, like a natural hand. Robotic hands have been created with functioning fingers that work separately.
Today, you can get hands that doctors have created which will allow you to lift your coffee to your lips and drink it. You can get hands that will afford you the ability to lift a book and read from it. These doctors’ designs are really incredible. And yet, these designs are nothing compared to a real hand.
God created a hand that has fingerprints which grow back once they have been cut or scraped. Our fingers can not only lift your coffee cup, but can allow you to tell if the coffee is too hot to drink. God created hands that can lift the heaviest books, and yet fingers so nimble they can turn those pages ever so softly.
Would it not be amazing to hear doctors talk about how great their creation of fake/prosthetic hands are, and yet hear them claim that the real hands were just a matter of ‘chance,’ an accident of nature, not a design? Yet we know the truth, God created the original. They are simply trying to copy God’s design
God Exists: Right and Wrong
When Adolf Hitler killed nearly 6 million Jewish people during the time of World War II, did he do anything wrong?
If you live in a house with your little sister, and your next door neighbor decides one day that he will break into your home, beat and rape your little sister, and kills you and your family in the process, has he done anything wrong?
If the answer to those questions are ‘yes’, then you must entertain the idea that there is a God.
If there is a “Right” or “Wrong” then there must be someone who decides what right is and what wrong is. Some have tried to say that right and wrong are really determined by the laws of the land. And yet, if the laws of the land determine right and wrong, then really, Adolf Hitler did nothing wrong in the killing of the Jews. If the law of the land is what determines right or wrong, then the rape and murder of innocent children, in some societies throughout the world, would not be wrong.
If each person is his own law, if law is determined only by men, then, my opinion is as good as any other man’s opinion. And my laws, for me, are as good as the government’s laws for me. They might think it is wrong for me to take your possessions, but I might think it is right.
The fact is, if man is responsible for determining what is right and what is wrong, then in reality, there is no right and wrong. Right and wrong becomes dependent only on what each individual ‘thinks’ is right or wrong.
And yet, we all know that there is right and wrong. We know that it is wrong for my next door neighbor to come and take my possessions, beat and rape my little sister, kill me and my family in the process. It is wrong!
The world agrees that, indeed, there is a higher power that determines right and wrong. That is why the Allied Powers had the right to punish those of the Nazi party for the crimes they had committed against the innocent people in their own land. The German government had no law against what Adolf Hitler had done. The rest of the world understood that there is a moral law, higher than the law of the government, and they punished the Nazi officers accordingly.
NOTE: This lesson was written and developed by Truth for the World and is used here by permission.