THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 1-20-02
LESSON TITLE: EXAMINING GOD: "IS THERE A GOD?"
Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for The Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week. And I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.
As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible's handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let's begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
We want to begin our songs of praise this morning by singing a hymn which reminds us of who Christ is and all He has done for us. How wonderful it is to reflect on the great sacrifice our Jesus made for us. So, at this time won't you join in with the congregation as we together sing, "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross."
(SONG # 1)
In the first verse of the Bible, Moses emphatically introduces us to the God of all creation as he proclaimed, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In this important statement we are not only introduced to the creator of all, but here we also see the origin of all things.
In fact, Moses answers many questions for us as he uses the same proofs that many of our scientists would use today. First he clarifies the "time" this event happened," by stating in the beginning." He then answers the, "Who" of the matter, when He says God. Next, he tells us what God did in the verb, "Created." And finally he confirms for us what God created by saying, "the heavens and the earth."
However, Moses is not alone in this thought, notice what the Psalmist so elegantly wrote in chapter 90, verses 1 & 2, of his book. There it says, "LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."
Furthermore, remember what John said in John 1:1-4. There we read, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."
Finally, notice what Paul said in Ephesians 3:8-9, concerning his ministry for God. The Bible says, "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;"
The fact is the Bible and it's inspired authors readily confirm the fact there is a God and that He is the creator and giver of all. But still, many today reject God and choose not to obey Him or follow His will!
Because of this fact, today we want to begin a series of study concerning God. We want to look at the many things which pertain to God in helping us to understand, not only who he is, but what He is all about.
So, this morning we will begin our new series of study which will help us to know more about this God we serve. This new topic of study will be entitled, "Examining God," and our specific lesson today will answer the question, "Is There A God?" So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn, "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind!"
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Thank you for continuing with us this morning. And now we want to look at our study of the morning as we begin to focus on probably the most important thing that we can as those who love God or believe in God and that is the study of God Himself. In fact, in the several years I've been working with the program, about three, I don't know that we've just had a specific study at looking at who God is and what He's all about. So this morning we want to begin with "Is there a God?", as we begin to examine God. That's the topic of study we're looking at.
As we've already looked at this morning, we see that the Bible itself obviously gives us a lot of information about this God that actually is our creator. This God that is the giver of all, who has done so much for us in the past and still today does so much and promises so many things also in our future if we prove to be faithful. But again, the reason we need a study like this, the reason we need to know more about God and who He is and is there a God is again because so many today reject God, and even though some claim to believe and know there is a God and some claim even to be followers of God in their lives and the way that they act and the things that they say, they really show that their belief is wrong. It's something that's really not existent at all because they are really not showing forth God in their actions. The Bible tells us if we love God then we do what He says and we follow His will. So we want to understand more about then and this God. Is there a God? When so many of the world say there is no God, when there are concepts like evolution, theories that are presented often that somehow the world just evolved from nothing, the question again is "Is there a God?" As we look at the Bible we see that yes, there is a God. In fact, in the very beginning as the creation took place, we have recorded for us the only place in the world, the only place that we can know exactly what is found is again in the word of God. How did we come into existence? How did the world come into existence? What about the universe? The stars? The moon? The animals? All that we see and are a part of today? The Bible gives us that answer and it tells us that there is a greater being that did all of these things. It tells us also in the chapters there in the very beginning such as chapter 1 of Genesis and chapter 2 that not only was there the world created in animals and those things, the vegetation and the plants, but also man was created by God. Someone that could follow Him and do His will and praise and glorify Him as obviously you and I know that is our purpose as we are here on the earth.
But as we continue on, we know that even Adam, the first man and Eve, the first woman, understood who God was as they were placed in the Garden and given so much there and blessed with so many things. And we know they knew who God was because after sinning and eating of the forbidden fruit, the only law that God had given them of not to eat of a certain fruit, that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and when they ate of it if you'll remember they immediately knew right from wrong. They realized they were naked and even hid from God. And why? If you actually notice there in the text in verse 10 of chapter 3, it actually says that Adam told God, "I hid when I heard your voice because I was afraid." You see, Adam knew who God was and he respected God because He knew that God was the creator.
Moses is another man that we're very familiar with in the scripture because Moses was a man who was a friend of God. He knew God face to face. He was one that not like us maybe speaks to God through prayer, but he was one who actually spoke with God one on one. He could hear the voice of God at the same time that he spoke to God. Even at one time, God allowed him to see His glory as He passed by, as He had hid Moses there in the cleft of the rock. If you'll notice there though in Exodus chapter 3 when he was actually trying to make excuses as to why he should not go. In verses 13 through 15, we see there that when he said, "Lord, who will I tell them has sent me when I come to those Hebrews who are living there as slaves in Egypt?" If you'll remember there, there were several ideas that he presented them. He said in verse 14, "Tell them that I am who I am. Tell them that the one who is the father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Tell them that I am has sent you." And over and over and over we can see this presented as He continues on in this text to lay out clearly that He is the God of mankind. He is the God of creation. He's not just a God that is up there that we can never know or that we can never have any kind of a relationship with. He is a God that deals with man as today He still deals with us.
So yes, there is a God. Adam knew it, respected it. Moses knew it. And we can continue on looking at men again like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We can look at the Judges, the Kings that later were there in the great land of Canaan that eventually was the promised land. We could go on and on through the New Testament considering those who have acknowledge in scripture that yes, there is a God, and we could confirm that this was the God spoken of, the (inaudible) of the Old Testament, the all-existent one, the all-powerful, the eternal being which this concept God encompasses throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. The alone existent God and in all these things again we are reminded that we need to ask, "Is there a God?" Well, you know if someone doesn't believe in God, then they're probably not going to believe in His word. So we don't want to spend all of our time this morning looking at the Bible because when we talk about the Bible then we clearly realize and we clearly see that many are going to say, "Well, I don't believe in God anyway, so why would I believe in His word?"
What are some other reasons? What are some logical things that we can consider that might actually say to us that there is a God beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is more reasonable to believe there is a God really than to believe any other concept or theory that might be presented.
I think one idea that we might begin with that we believe in God because there is a universal proof. A universal type concept because when we look at all of mankind throughout all of the world. No matter where you might go, there is always a desire to follow a God. Maybe it's not the God that you and I know because we have been given the blessed opportunity to have our own copy of the Bible and read about Him and know who our God is, but to have the desire to follow a God. I know when I was a missionary, I was able to see and to even at times meet those who were just fresh out of the bush, it would seem, but also there are bushmen who still exist in some of the countries I worked in who still wear the loin cloths and live out in very remote type situations and haven't seen much of modern civilization. In those types of situations, even those individuals worship something higher. They understand there is a higher being. Some worship maybe an animal or a crocodile. Some worship maybe the sun or the different elements. But again, there is a desire there. There is a desire there that there is something greater and bigger that must be worshipped, that must be followed. Something had to have placed us here. Why is it? Why is it that a man out there in the Kalahari Desert there in the middle of Botswana, Africa, why is it that a man out somewhere out in the middle of Australia, or maybe in South America, someone who might be in very remote situations, why is it that they have a desire to follow something higher and greater? Well, I will tell you why. Because God made us. And as we read there in again Genesis 1 and then again in chapter 2, we have again confirmed for us that God made us in His own image, in His own likeness. Why do we desire to follow a higher being? Because we're created by a higher being and that desire is placed within us. Another great proof would be to worship a higher being. Not only is there the knowledge through the evidence that we see that there is a higher being because of people wanting to follow Him but they desire to worship in some form. There are many different rituals that we can find throughout the world, different cultures performing different types of rituals towards gods and such. Why again? Because again that which God has placed in us, to know Him, to follow Him, to do His will, to accept the challenge of being a follower that He has really created us to be.
Another idea that we might look at briefly is found also in the proof that man is so complex. I want you to think for just a moment and maybe even talk to someone who is a nurse or a doctor. Think for a moment about when we might cut our finger or hurt our arm or break an arm or a leg, how that it can heal. Imagine the complexity of the human body. You know there is so much discussion today about DNA and how that people are even considering humans and such and so on and so forth. Well again, when you consider the complexity of man and you consider how difficult it is for these scientists even and those who have such vast knowledge as we would consider it, to be able to do such. They realize the great power there is and the great power there had to have been to create such a being as man, to create such an individual and a body, a system that could work together harmoniously and live for a hundred years to accomplish the things that God has created us for. So again another great proof is the complexity of the human body, the complexity of the things that we see around us.
Another would be the great design and form that we find in the nature around us. We don't see chaos in nature. We don't see that a tree somehow bears maybe a vine all of a sudden and then fruits come out of that vine and chaotically nature is unable to control itself. But we find that an apple tree produces an apple and the seeds that are used again produce other apples just like the ones that were placed before unless somehow they are altered by mankind.
I might also give the example of maybe a car engine. Think about if you were to take a car engine apart and you were just to throw it up in the air and it were to fall down. Would it fall down in place in all one unit so that it might work? What about a jet airplane? Imagine taking all of the rivets out and the engine and the wiring, the miles and miles of wiring, and all those things in a massive jet airliner and then you just take it all apart and you throw it up in the air and bam, it falls down and it's all in one piece. That's what evolutionists ask us to believe rather than God. They ask us to believe that somehow out of nothing, somehow out of nothing that everything come about and that not only did it come out of nothing but today it continues to exist and grow still out of something that is of a less and really an inferior type form. Well we'll get to that a little bit more in just a moment as we again understand the great historical argument, the historical argument of really how history shows us the great knowledge that we have learned through scientific evidences once again of how again complex that not only man is, not only how complex the world and really the things that the world has shown us and the creation that God has made but also the complexity of the solar system. Think about the sun. The great power the sun has and how that as you know we have been told many times by our scientists that the earth has to be just in the right location, any degrees one way or the other further away or closer could really just destroy life as we know it on the earth, but yet the earth orbits properly and even the moon orbits the earth for it specific reasons and all of these things again have supposedly fallen together and continue to stay in that place so that we might exist. Well, does that make sense? Well certainly not. Much more does it make sense when we say, "Yes, there is a higher being that had the power to do it and He set these things in order because of His vast power and knowledge," rather than to again say, "It just somehow happened." Surely, you don't expect me to believe that when I find design in something that I can't tell that there was a designer. When you look at the coat that I'm wearing you can tell that someone designed it. It didn't just happen. It didn't just fall into place. When you look at the watch on my arm. It didn't just somehow come into existence. Someone had to have designed it. Something greater. Something higher. Something that actually brought it into existence.
Another idea that I might bring forward as we again are getting nearer in our time to being up is the idea again that really things in life go down rather than up. Think about that for a moment. When you light a fire, it might begin to blaze and go up but then what eventually happens? It begins to decline and go down. Then again, what about something that you would buy. We used a car earlier. You might buy a car. From the moment you buy it, it becomes older every day and it becomes worthless as far as financially, doesn't it? And on down the road, it just gets older and older. Does it make sense really that something older creates something greater and newer? Or do we find actually that something superior in our day and time is that which makes something that is inferior. In other words, if you've got a superior human who makes a watch, he's made something that is really inferior to him in its creation, but yet its something that is really a technological great advance, really in its own kind. But still its inferior to the great mind and the assets of that human being. Well again, see it makes sense to understand that the form of nature is the fact that the greater really comes first and then that which comes out is a bit inferior. Now, evolutionists again would encourage us and tell us to not only believe that everything come out of some big bang or something, but actually when it came out now greater and higher forms come out of lesser forms. Does that make sense? Well again, I would submit to you that actually it does not. What about the fact also that the world and the universe are in constant change. Yes, we have some things that we might say evolved to a certain extent, but there are changes. There again is always a cause and effect type principle. When I find that there is a cause that is taking place, something had to have caused it. I know I often say that I got my wife mad and the effect was that she was mad at me. Well, there had to have been a cause. I had to have done something or said something. Well, it's the same in the universe. When we see that there was an effect, that something came about that was so magnificent that can't be explained, something had to do it. Something had to make it. Again, I submit to you that as the Bible says, it is God.
I don't know about you but I'm not from a monkey. I don't profess to be from a monkey. I know one thing I've always wondered about evolutionists and those that present such a theory is the concept of where are the half monkeys and half humans? Because really evolution presents the fact that there has to be that middle ground, that middle stage. Look at how clearly mankind has been defined now for thousands of years now. You don't find those forms. Where is maybe that human walking around with that tail on his back because he is part of a monkey? Well, I want you to really seriously think about the evidence.
Think about God and how wonderful it is to know that there is a higher being, to know that He gave us a word that has stood the test of time, that has proven itself, that throughout hundreds of years has shown itself to be worthy and trustworthy and followable. I hope that you and I will always follow it because we know that truly there is a God and we believe that there is a God. Let's take that knowledge and tell our friends and neighbors and allow everyone to know who that God is and what He is all about so they might also follow in Him. Finally, remembering that salvation can only be found in God. Not in evolution. Not in a manmade idea. Know God because He can save you. He can keep you from having a life that really is only here and now. He can give you a life that will be for an eternity that will last forever there in heaven with Him. Choose to follow God. Choose to know God.
(SONG # 3 - "There's A Fountain Free!")
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these materials are also available on our web sight:
That address is: www.thelivingwordprogram.com
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
As God's Children may we all do our part to make sure that the entire world - not only knows there is a God, but that they also know who He is and what He has done for all mankind!