SOME do not believe that God exists and hence are unable to accept the idea that there is an orderly and coordinated divine Plan of the Ages concerning mankind. But many who doubt the very existence of God have not given the matter sufficient intelligent thought. When the facts are seriously considered, it is almost impossible not to believe in a Supreme Creator.
Effects must be produced by competent causes. Everything that exists must have been made by someone. If a thing has beauty, symmetry and intricacy of design, it must have been produced by a superior intelligence. We reach this conclusion by pure reasoning. It is not necessary to see the Supreme Creator to believe he exists.
The evidence that God exists is overwhelming. Everything around us proves it. Every tree, plant and flower amazes us. Intricate in design, exquisitely beautiful in form and texture, each speaks of a wisdom and skill above the human. It is absurd to boast of human skill and ingenuity yet attribute to mere chance the regularity, uniformity and harmony of nature. The very fact that there are dependable and unvarying laws of nature presupposes an intelligent lawgiver.
There are some truly amazing attributes possessed by the animal creation that are beyond human wisdom. The snake has an infrared sensor so responsive it can –detect temperature changes of one thousandth of a degree. The hornet navigates accurately even on cloudy days by sensing the polarization of light. A bird flies thousands of miles from a tree branch in your back yard, and returns to the same branch through stellar navigation. Such powers have been exercised by the lower animals for untold ages. Men have only recently understood these amazing characteristics and are seeking, sometimes vainly, to –duplicate them scientifically. This is certainly proof of an intelligent creator far superior to the human.
The greatest masterpiece of all earthly creation is the human being itself. It is –extremely complicated and exhibits God’s handiwork in every respect. Man has mental attributes far above the animal creation. He has moral and ethical qualities totally lacking in the lower animals.
By using deductive reasoning we can prove that God exists and we can also determine what he is like. It is self-evident that the highest and grandest thing created cannot be superior to its maker but must of necessity be inferior to it. Since the grandest earthly creation of God is man, since man is endowed with the characteristics of justice, love and wisdom, it follows that God, the creator of man, must possess these attributes to a far wider and grander degree. We know what God is like because of the things he has created. We know he is just, benevolent, wise and powerful–much more than we are. It must be so. Without seeing God with our eyes, we see him with our minds. We instinctively love and seek to worship such a great and wonderful God.
How can we know God’s plan for humankind? Again we use deductive reasoning. It is logical to suppose that such an infinitely wise and good being as God, who made man mentally capable of realizing that he exists, would then be moved by his love and justice to supply the wants of man’s nature by giving him some revelation concerning himself and his plan for mankind. Where do we find such a revelation? We find it only in the Bible. This book was written over a period of many centuries by men inspired by God’s spirit.
They faithfully recorded what God wanted to reveal to mankind. We can identify the Bible as God’s word because it is the only ancient record that explains to the satisfaction of every reasonable mind such important subjects as:
How the earth was prepared for man’s habitation, describing the various geological events preceding the appearance of life.
The exact order in which the various forms of vegetation and animal life appeared upon the earth, facts confirmed by the latest scientific findings.
How man was created perfect and designed to live forever, and how he fell from perfection into sin and death.
Why evil is now permitted.
How man was redeemed from death, as a result of which the dead will be raised, and all the willing and obedient of mankind be restored to perfection, to live everlastingly in health and happiness upon the earth.
The Bible also contains prophecies of future events and tells when they will take place. Written thousands of years ago, it foretells and accurately describes present conditions, and locates where we now are in relation to God’s plan, and reveals what we can expect in the immediate future.
But if man was created perfect and designed to live forever, why is he in such an imperfect condition today? He suffers diseases, pain, calamities, sorrows, and all manner of evils, and dies an early death.
Why? The Bible tells us how God required the first man, Adam, to be obedient to him to continue to live. This was an entirely just requirement. Do we not expect obedience from our children? God purposely made the test of obedience very easy. He simply designated a certain fruit tree and asked Adam not to eat of it. Adam failed the test. God thereupon withdrew his favor from him and Adam began to die. It was after Adam had sinned against God that he brought forth his children. Thus they were all born imperfect, “born in sin and shapen in inquity.” (Psalms 51:5) The human race began to degenerate and has fallen steadily ever since. This accounts for present day conditions. It was Adam’s sin of disobedience that is the cause of all human miseries.
But God did not leave mankind in such a hopeless condition. Being loving as well as just, he provided a way to redeem man from death.
He provided a ransom:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.”– John 3:16
“Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”–1 Timothy 2:5,6
Ransom means “corresponding price” or “equivalent price.” Suppose a man is captured and held by an enemy who demands the payment of a certain sum for his –release. That sum represents the value of the man–his price or ransom. When Adam disobeyed God and was condemned to death, a perfect man’s life was forfeited. To redeem Adam’s life and thus release him from death, another perfect man’s unforfeited life must be yielded up in offset, in the place and stead of the forfeited life. This is the ransom price for Adam.
God arranged for this price to be provided. Jesus was born a man, but unlike other men, he was perfect because God was his father. He was the equivalent of Adam before Adam sinned. He sacrificed his perfect human life; he died without deserving to die in the place of Adam who deserved to die. God accepted his sacrifice as the ransom price for Adam. Thus Adam and all his race who inherited death through him, were redeemed and will live again. Then will be fulfilled the prophecy: “I will ransom them from the power of the grave. I will redeem them from death.” (Hosea 13:14) We read, “there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15) Every man who has ever lived, the good and the bad, will b e raised from death during God’s kingdom under Christ, soon to be fully established on earth. It will be a benevolent but firm kingdom, ruling in absolute justice and equity. Then will be fulfilled the prophecy, “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”– Jeremiah 31:34
Many prophecies of the Bible indicate that this kingdom is near. The signs are numerous and unmistakable.