1 Peter 3:15 to “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
¨ I want to begin giving you some points of contact you can use to in discussing with people who claim there is no God.
¨ Paul says that we have a starting point in sharing the Gospel with people because God has already make Himself known to all people. They may have rejected Him but God has made Himself known to them.
¨ Paul says in Romans 1:20—“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
¨ Paul speaking to the Greek philosophers in Athens at Mars Hill about their “UNKNOWN GOD” statue. Paul tells them he knows who that God is. Acts 17:22-29.
¨ Hopefully this might give you an opportunity to lay a foundation for sharing Christ with your unbelieving friends and acquaintances and bring encouragement to you as well.
1) People have a sense of unsatisfied longing.
¨ All of us have an inner desire for God that can be compared with one’s desire for food.
¨ There is a “divine dissatisfaction” in the human experience that prompts us to ask whether there is anything that may satisfy the desires of the human heart.
¨ People will try and fill this void with every pleasure they can imagine but they will still remain unfulfilled.
¨ Since you hunger, there must be something that can fill that void.
¨ Even if you starve to death, there still must be something that was meant to fill that void.
¨ Since there is a desire, there must be something that fills that void.
¨ Voltaire said there is a God shaped void in every man.
¨ C.S. Lewis says that “A man may love a woman and not win her; but it would be very odd if the phenomenon called ‘falling in love’ occurred in a sexless world.”
¨ Same can be said with the void in the human heart, there must be something that can fill it. This is only a beginning but it does seem to point toward our creator, God.
2) Human rationality helps us point toward the existence of God.
¨ Why does our world have such an order to it? Why do we have the rationality to discover it?
¨ Why do abstract structures of pure mathematics provide such clues to the understanding of the world?
¨ Suppose the same master creator fashioned both the world and the human mind.
¨ Would one not expect the world would point toward its creator and allow that creation to be capable of understanding the traces of divine order in this world?
¨ There is sufficient reason for God’s existence.
¨ Everything that exists must have some reasonable explanation for its existence.
¨ The world is not static, but dynamic.
¨ How then did the world come into motion?
¨ Unless there is an infinite number of causes, there must be an ultimate origin or source from which all motion is ultimately derived.
¨ We believe that the ultimate source is God.
¨ Also, every finite thing we know of is contingent on other things.
¨ There are causes that explain why things are. A necessary being is that which exists in its own right.
C. S. Lewis said that if there is no intelligence behind the universe, then nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. Thought is merely the byproduct of some atoms within my skull. But if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? And if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course, I can’t trust arguments leading to atheism and therefore have no reason to be an atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I can’t believe in thought; so I can never use thought to disbelieve God.
Citation: C. S. Lewis, Broadcast Talks (London, 1946), p. 37f; quoted in David Noebel, Understanding the Times (Harvest House, 1994), p. 93f; submitted by Aaron Goerner, New Hartford, New York
¨ It cannot NOT exist and therefore it has to be eternal.
¨ God is a necessary Being. The world as we know it mirrors God.
3) Because there is an order to the world, there must be a designer.
¨ There must be a designer to the world because there is an adaptation to an end.
¨ One cannot pretend to have a mind that understands reality if everything is by chance.
¨ One must either deny that life has meaning or admit they were created by a designer.
¨ There is a means to an end relationship.
¨ The odds of the universe just randomly coming together to form life, reason, and rationality is unbelievable.
¨ The delicate and intricate balance in the structuring of our universe must credit a designer.
¨ I will not get into the details of natural sciences but this is at least a beginning point of contact you can use to point toward the existence of God.
4) Human morality leads us to a higher law.
¨ There is a sense of “oughtness” in every man.
¨ There is a sense of moral obligation.
¨ Nobody fulfills this responsibility perfectly but everybody knows they ought to.
¨ There is a law of human nature just as there are laws of nature.
¨ The law of human nature tells what one ought to do and ought not to do.
¨ When people disagree about moral issues, they behave as if there is an underlying agreement about what is right and wrong.
¨ I would highly recommend you read C.S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity.
¨ It is tremendous and he does a great job leading you through some of life’s toughest questions.
¨ Lewis says, “if not one set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would be no sense in preferring civilized morality to savage morality, or Christian morality to Nazi morality. . . The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other.”
¨ Our conscience is one of our best tools for ministry and reaching the lost.
¨ “Oughtness” is not a matter of our own convenience for the behavior we call bad or unfair.
5) People have a feeling of alienation and anxiety.
¨ People don’t feel like they belong.
¨ Anxiety is an all-pervasive problem which revolves around freedom and fate.
¨ To exist means to stand and you and I stand out from the environment.
¨ There is a cause and effect to our world and therefore people feel like its all just fate.
¨ Humans unlike anything else, exist and are able to think back on themselves.
¨ Humans transcend cause and effect.
¨ People feel anxiety by a universe that is not friendly.
¨ One’s existence is always threatened.
¨ Humans have tremendous freedom but people are anxious because one has enormous decisions to make and they are afraid they will make all the wrong decisions.
¨ Our answer is that this human sense of anxiety is ultimately grounded in the absence of the presence of God.
¨ St. Augustine said (paraphrased) that our hearts are restless because they have yet to find a resting place, yet alone to discover that the only resting place that grants true rest is God Himself.
¨ So many are homesick for a place they have never been and a place they do not know where it is located.
6) Finally in proving the existence of God, there is a finitude and death.
¨ Everything that we do on this earth comes to an end but the amazing thing is that society rarely talks about it.
¨ People use more logic and planning gambling in Las Vegas than they do about death and their plan for all of eternity.
¨ They are betting all of eternity without any clue where they are headed.
¨ People are infatuated with youth and cheating death. Death is universal but it is made to sound so unnatural.
Charlie Peace, a criminal in England, on the day he was being taken to his execution, listened to a minister reading from the Word. And when he found out he was reading about heaven and hell, he looked at the preacher and said, “Sir, if I believed what you and the church of God say, and even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that.”
Citation: Ravi Zacharias, “The Lostness of Humankind,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 118.
¨ Anxiety over death is a symptom of the emptiness that comes from being separated from God.
¨ It is precisely this anxiety that is an intimation of the possibility of fulfillment of our sin-broken being.
¨ The sin of fear that assaults human nature may be regarded as God gently knocking at the door of life, reminding us that we are but tenants on a short-term lease.
¨ The fear of death leads only to the assurance of eternal life in Christ.
PERSONALLY—THINGS PEOPLE CANNOT DENY IN YOUR OWN LIFE.
1) Your own testimony—John 9:25—“Whether Jesus is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
2) Your love for others—John 13:35—By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
3) By Your Actions—James 1:22—“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
4) How you forgive—Romans 12:17-22. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”£ says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”£21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
5) By how we die—“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.”