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## How do we know that God exists?

One proof that God exists is the universe. There are only two possible explanations for the universe: (1) It came into being by chance, or (2) It came into being by intelligent design; that is, God created it.

What is the characteristic of something that comes into being by chance? Disorder. What is the characteristic of something that is the result of intelligent design? Order.

For example, suppose I wish to set up 500 chairs in a gymnasium for a meeting. The chairs are stacked on one side of the gym. I decide just to throw them across the floor and leave it to chance that they will be arranged properly. If I throw 500 chairs across the gym floor, what do I get? I get a jumbled mass of chairs—total disorder.

If I come into a gym and find 500 chairs perfectly lined up in rows, one row behind another in a precise pattern, I can be quite sure that this was not the result of chance. Someone with intelligence placed these chairs in a precise pattern according to a definite design.

If the universe came into being by chance, what would we expect? We would expect disorder. But when we look out into the universe with powerful telescopes, what do we find? We find billions of stars and planets operating in precise patterns.

In the town hall in Copenhagen, Denmark, stands the world's most complicated clock. It took 40 years to build and it cost over a million dollars. It has fifteen thousand parts and computes the time of day, the days of the week, the months, the years, and the movements of the planets for 2,500 years!

This amazing clock is probably the most accurate clock ever constructed, but it is not perfectly accurate. It loses of a second every 300 years! Like all clocks it has to be regulated by the universe itself. The universe with its billions of moving parts is so accurate that all time on earth is measured by it. Can we say that this all came about by chance?

Now let us take the most powerful microscopes and look into the micro-world, which is invisible to the human eye. Take a thin slice of wood and put it under a powerful microscope. We find that its structure is regular and orderly. Look at a leaf, a blade of grass, or a tiny flower. Each is flawless and finely fashioned.

Put a snowflake under a powerful microscope and it glistens like beautiful jewelry. Even more wonderful, no two snowflakes are exactly alike; each is different, yet all follow the same general pattern. Can it be said that all these things came into existence by chance? Surely not.

How did the universe come into existence? God created it! The very first sentence in the Bible says: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). The Bible also tells us how God created the universe:

"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth…. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:6,9).

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## Has God revealed Himself to us?

Yes, He has. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us in a way that we can understand—He has revealed Himself in writings. This is one of the ways we as human beings communicate with one another.

If God has chosen to reveal Himself through writings, then there must be one book in the world which is inspired by God. If there is such a book, it must claim to be written by God, and there must be proofs that indeed it was written by God.

Is there such a book? Yes! The Bible is the only book that is inspired by God. "Thus says the Lord" is mentioned at least 500 times in the first five books of the Bible. Other books in the Old Testament repeat this phrase about 700 times. In addition there are hundreds of places in the New Testament where this phrase or its equivalent is used.

One proof that the Bible is God's Word is fulfilled prophecy. Only God knows the future. Over half of the Bible is prophecy, and hundreds of these prophecies have been fulfilled exactly as God said. Concerning the coming of Christ, there are many specific prophecies which were literally fulfilled at His first coming. Some refer to His Second Coming, and they will be fulfilled in the future.

Who wrote the Bible? God Himself is the true Author of the Bible, but He used many men to write it. There are 66 books in the Bible, and God used about 40 different men to write these books. They were written over a period of about 1600 years.

For the most part, these men did not know each other, and yet the 66 books do not contradict each other but all fit together to form this wonderful book—the Word of God. The Bible says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…" (2 Timothy 3:16).

God's written revelation to man was completed with the last book in the Bible, the Book of Revelation. There are no writings since that time that are inspired of God. There is a solemn warning in the Bible against taking anything away from the Word of God or adding anything to it.

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## Does God speak to us today?

Yes, He does! God speaks to us through His Word. The Bible is a living book. It can change your life.

Find out for yourself how God speaks to us today. Begin reading the Bible. Start with the Gospel of John. The Bible is not like any other book. When you read the Bible you will discover how beautiful God's Word is. When a verse seems especially meaningful to you, memorize it. Memorize such verses as:

• Romans 3:23
• John 3:36
• Romans 6:23
• John 14:6
• John 3:16,17
• Ephesians 2:8,9
• John 1:11,12
• 1 John 5:11-13

God reveals Himself to those who love Him and have faith in Him. The Bible says,

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

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## God has revealed Himself in a Person.

Suppose I wanted to communicate with a colony of ants and tell them about myself. How could I do it? There is only one way. I would have to become an ant myself so that I could communicate with them in their own language.

Likewise, for God to reveal Himself to us through speaking, and to have fellowship with man, He must become a man. Only then will He be able to speak to us and tell us and show us what He is like.

If God did indeed become a Man to reveal Himself to us, then it means that in this world, among all the people who have ever lived, there is one person who is not only a man, but God as well.

To identify this Person who is both man and God, there must be some qualifications:

1. His coming into the world must be different from ours.

2. He must claim to be God.

3. He must be sinless.

4. He must be able to do things which only God can do.

We shall see that the only person in the history of mankind to fill all these qualifications is Jesus Christ.

### His coming into the world must be different from ours.

The birth of Jesus was foretold over 700 years before He was born. The Bible says,

"Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name, Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).

The word "Immanuel" means "God with us." Matthew, chapter 1, tells us that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. Luke, chapter 1, tells how the angel Gabriel was sent from God to explain this to the virgin Mary. Mary asked how this could be that she would bear a son since she was a pure virgin and had never known a man sexually. The angel said,

"The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy One which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).

One of the titles of the Lord Jesus is "the Word." We use words to express our thoughts to one another. Jesus is called "the Word" because He is the One who perfectly expresses God's thoughts to us. The Bible says,

"In the beginning was the Word [the Lord Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled [lived] among us, and we beheld His glory…" (John 1:1,14).

In these verses the Bible declares three great facts about Jesus Christ:

• His eternity"In the beginning was the Word [the Lord Jesus]"
• His deity"And the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
• His coming into the world as a man"and the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us."

Jesus is called "the God-man." This is a very good name for Him because He is truly God and truly man. He is not half God and half man. He is fully God and fully man. He loved to call Himself "the Son of Man."

The virgin birth of Jesus perfectly expresses how the Son of God came to earth as both God and man. He was "the Son of God" because God was His Father. He was "the Son of Man" because Mary was His mother.

### He must claim to be God.

If he is God, he must declare boldly that he is God. Only then can we know who he is.

As we look back through history, we find that the major religions of the world were founded by men. Did any of these men claim to be God?

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world and has many followers. In Hinduism there is no single idea of God. No one in this religion has ever claimed to be God.

Confucius is the man who founded the religion that bears his name. He wrote several books but he never claimed to be God.

Sakya Muni, the founder of Buddhism did not believe in the existence of God. Since he did not believe in God, he never claimed to be God.

Mohammed founded a religion which has millions of followers worldwide. Mohammed believed in God, but he never claimed to be God himself. He called God "Allah," and he said that he was "the prophet of Allah."

Abraham is the father of the Jewish religion. He was strong in his faith in God, but Abraham would never have dared to call himself God.

If you go through all of history, you will discover that only one person seriously claimed to be God. That person is Jesus Christ. What did Jesus say of Himself? Here are His very words:

"Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me…" (John 14:11).

"I and My Father are one" (John 10:30).

"…he that has seen Me has seen the Father…" (John 14:9).

What was the response of the religious leaders to these statements? They took up stones to kill Him. Why did they do this? They said, "because you, being a man, make yourself to be God." Why was Jesus crucified? For no other reason than that He claimed to be God.

### He must be sinless.

Many people hated Jesus when He was here on earth. The religious leaders hated Him because He claimed to be God. On one occasion, they surrounded Him, trying to trip Him up in His words. In return, Jesus asked them, "Which of you convinces Me of sin?" (John 8:46).

He dared them to point to one sin in His life. They were put to shame because they could not point to a single sin in His life.

Jesus never apologized to anyone. He never had to apologize because He never wronged anyone. He said, "…I do always those things that please Him [My Father]" (John 8:29). On two occasions God the Father spoke from Heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).

### He must be able to do things which only God can do.

In Matthew, chapter 8, we read that Jesus was in a ship with His disciples. Jesus fell asleep and, as He slept, a great storm arose. The disciples were afraid that the ship would sink. They woke Jesus saying, "Lord, save us!"

Jesus spoke to the wind and the sea saying, "Peace be still." Immediately the wind and the sea became calm. The disciples marvelled and said, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!" (Matthew 8:27).

Jesus had power over evil spirits. The evil spirits recognized that He was the Son of God, and, when He commanded, they obeyed Him.

Jesus had power to heal all sicknesses and diseases. He caused the lame to walk again. He restored sight to the blind. He had power over death itself. He raised three people from the dead. The people praised God saying, "God has visited His people." Most important of all, Jesus Christ, the God-Man, had the power to forgive sins.

Who is this man Jesus Christ? There are only three possible answers to this question: (1) He is a liar, (2) He is a lunatic, or (3) He is who He says He is—God.

Is Jesus Christ a liar? If so, considering the claims that He made, He is one of the biggest liars who ever lived. But when you examine the pure, sinless life of this man, can you say that He is a liar? No, you cannot.

Some people say, "I believe that Jesus Christ was a good man, but not the Son of God." But if Jesus is not who He says He is, He is a liar and not a good man. Good men do not lie.

Is Jesus Christ a lunatic? Are His words and His teachings the words and teachings of a madman? No, they are not. Even those who did not believe in Him said, "No man ever spoke like this man."

This leaves only one answer: Jesus Christ is who He says He is. He is the Son of God. He is God "manifest in the flesh." Out of the billions of people in the human race, you can point to this Man and say, "This is He! This is the God-Man!"

Jesus said "…if you believe not that I am He [the promised Savior], you shall die in your sins"
(John 8:24).

"…Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name…" Philippians 2:5-9

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## Jesus Christ died a criminal's death.

Christ's death was a most unusual situation. He was the God-Man, the only perfect man who ever lived. He never committed a single sin. Yet this Man, who was a delight to God, died a criminal's death, forsaken by His friends and forsaken by God Himself.

How can you explain this? There is only one explanation: He took our place and died for our sins.

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## Jesus rose from the dead.

Yes, Jesus died a criminal's death, but He didn't stay dead. He rose the third day as the Victor over sin, over Satan, and over death.

Jesus appeared to His disciples in His resurrection body over a period of forty days. On one occasion He was seen by over 500 people. The Bible says, "…He showed Himself alive after His passion [death] by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days..." (Acts 1:3).

If you are ever troubled with doubts about your salvation or doubts about the Bible, put them all aside and settle the whole matter on this question: Did Jesus Christ really die and did He really rise again from the grave?

Yes, He really did die, and He really did rise again. Therefore we know He is the Son of God and that all He says is true. We can put our complete trust in Him. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is "declared to be the Son of God with power … by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:3,4).

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## Jesus Christ has been exalted in Heaven.

Many people know that Jesus Christ died on a cross and that He rose again from the dead on the third day, but not many know what happened when He went back to Heaven.

The Bible tells us that, when Jesus returned to Heaven, He was exalted by the Father to the very highest place in Heaven. The Bible says,

"…He [God the Father] raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" (Ephesians 1:20,21).

If we could be lifted out of this world and taken to Heaven, the thing that would impress us most is that Jesus Christ has the place of supreme honor and authority in Heaven. He has the highest place in God's universe!

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## What God will NOT do.

The are three things God will not do:

### 1. God will not lie to us.

God always keeps His Word. The Bible says, "...God cannot lie..." (Titus 1:2).

### 2. God will not save anyone apart from the death of His Son.

God is holy and righteous. God loves sinners, but He cannot overlook our sins or pretend that He does not know about them.

God showed His great love for us by giving His beloved Son to die on the cross for us. Because the Lord Jesus died for our sins, God can righteously forgive all who take Jesus as their Savior.

There is no other way anyone can be saved. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).

### 3. God will not save anyone who will not believe on the Lord Jesus.

God has a part in our salvation, and we have a part. God's part was to give His Son to us to be our Savior. Our part is to believe on Him and take Him as our Savior.

When God looks at the human race, He sees two groups of people—those who believe on His Son and those who do not believe on Him. God says something about each group:

• "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life…
• He that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on Him" (John 3:36).

Dear friend, Which group are you in? If you are not saved, why not tell God that you do believe on His Son and that, right now, you are trusting the Lord Jesus as your Savior?

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved…." Acts 16:31

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