"In the beginning God..." Genesis 1:1
The first presupposition of the Bible is its claim that God is.
The Bible does not spend precious time trying to prove the existence of God.
It simply starts with this great affirmation: God is!
Most of us have heard of the various philosophic arguments used by scholars
to develop an apologetic for the fact that God is, as the Bible claims.
They include the ontological, the teleological, and the cosmological arguments
for the existence of a divine God.
We must acknowledge that all the arguments for the existence of God will not avail unless the person
to whom they have been given approaches God by faith.
The Bible states categorically that " The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Psalm 53:1)
According to a Gallup Poll made a few years ago, 94% of the people in the United States say they believe in God.
This can be compared to Canada's 89%, Italy's 88%, Western Europe's 78%, and Japan's 38%.
With these statistics in mind, we may conclude that the problem of demonstrating to people that there is a God
is not so difficult.
Yet, there have been those of every generation who have declared themselves atheists, and many who live
as though there is no God.
I want to declare to you in this message that God is!
God is the Creator behind all creation.
God is the supreme fact behind all history.
God is the supreme fact of life, of death, of time, and of eternity.
Again " The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God..." (Psalm 14:1)
Who could conceive of a creation without a Creator.
No wise person argues the existence of God.
" The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." (Psalm 19:1)
The universe is immense.
We have learned that there are one hundred billion galaxies, and each galaxy has in it a cluster of stars.
In each cluster there are a hundred billion stars.
Altogether it is estimated that there are 10,000 quintillion stars.
Just add eighteen zeroes to the 10,000 and you have the number of stars.
Now I can't count that high, but I know that is tremendous.
Even more staggering is the fact that the light from some of these stars is 60 quintillion light-years away.
Light travels at the rate of 186,000 miles a second.
So, traveling at that rate of speed it takes 60 quintillion light-years for the light from some of those stars
to get where you and I can see them in the heavens at night.
The Milky Way is so immense that it would take light one million years to travel from one end of it to the other.
The measureless magnificence of the skies is amazing.
If our sun were hollow, it would be large enough to hold 1,400,000 worlds like ours.
The sun is a ball of fire.
Its flames flash out three hundred thousand miles.
It is estimated that the sun is so hot that if the earth were thrown into the sun
it would burn up completely in one minute.
Yet our sun is one of the smallest balls of fire in the universe.
The nearest sun to ours is Alpha Centauri.
It is twenty-five trillion, three hundred billions of miles away or 275,000 times as far away as is our sun from us.
In astonishment and awe we say, with David: " Who is like unto our God, who dwelleth on high,
Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth." (Psalm 113:5-6)
God has manifested Himself magnificenly in the millions of worlds, each with its separate orbit,
all balanced so wonderfully in space.
Consider God's magnificent acts in all the intricate and exact operations of nature.
Look at the bee and its work.
A red clover blossom contains less then one-eighth of a grain of sugar.
Seven thousand grains are required to make a pound of honey.
A bee, flitting here and there for sweetness, must visit 56,000 clover heads for a pound of honey;
and there are about sixty flower heads to each clover head.
When a bee performs that operation sixty by 56,000 times or 3,360,000 times, it secures sweetness enough
for only one pound of honey.
Think of the miniature marvels of the structure of bees and the intricacy of their mysterious operations.
The bee has three pairs of legs.
The nose of the bee has two or three thousand tiny sense plates.
The bee's wings beat 190 times a second, or 11,400 times a minute.
Look at the ruby-throated humming bird - the only bird that hibernates at night.
So beautiful are the colors of these little birds that Audubon has called them " glittering fragments of the rainbow."
These humming birds are the only land birds that can reverse their wing action, moving backwards and forwards.
Their wings move so rapidly that one can see them as a blur.
They vibrate over two hundred times per second - which is five or six times as fast as an airplane propeller.
Because of this, these little miracles of God can appear to stand still in midair,
or can support themselves while they dip their beaks into a flower for nectar.
They travel at one hundred feet per second, which is more than a mile a minute.
Think of the migratory flights of birds.
When winter approaches millions of birds head for the south.
We know that a lot of humans do also.
The bobolinks leave in July, pass through South Carolina in August, and are in Cuba in September.
Later they go down over the Andes and across Brazil to the marshlands of the Paraguay River.
The tiny blackpoll warblers go as far as five thousand miles, while the night hawks of the Yukon
journey to Argentina.
God is the One who made the birds and taught them when to go.
God is an all-wise, all-mighty Creator!
Think about this.
Water weighs eight hundred times more than air, yet, to have rain, it must be lifted against the force of gravity,
held in suspension above the earth, moved to definite locations, and brought down as rain.
It has been estimated that approximately sixteen million tons of water fall every second.
Obviously this must have been raised from oceans and lakes and rivers to make its fall possible.
Oh, the mighty power of our God.
"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works." (Psalm 145:3-5)
There was a time when there was no matter.
God by the Word of His power called matter into being.
Those who say the world began with a big bang when molecules of matter came together might as well believe
that the car I drive was thousands of pieces of metals and parts lying in some junk yard
and a hurricane blew through that junk yard, and out came my car.
Recently one of our church members sent me an email.
I want to share it with you.
It was posted to the Syracuse University Campus Crusade for Christ.
I do not know where it originated:
An atheistic professor of philosophy turns to one of his new students and asks,
" You're a Christian, aren't you?"
The young man answered, " Yes sir."
The professor: " So, you believe in God."
" Absolutely," the student answered.
" Is God good?" The professor asked.
The student responded, " Sure! God is good."
The professor came back with: "Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"
" Yes," The student answered.
Professor: " Are you good or evil?"
Student: " The Bible says I'm evil."
The professor grins: "Ahh! The Bible!"
He pauses for a moment.
" Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him.
You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?"
Student: " Yes sir, I would."
Professor: " So, you're good..!"
Student: " I wouldn't say that."
Professor:" Why not say that? You would help a sick person if you could...
in fact, most of us would if we could... God doesn't."
The student doesn't answer.
" He doesn't, does He? My brother was a Christian and died of cancer even though
he prayed to Jesus to heal him.
How is this Jesus good?
Hmmm? Can you answer that?"
There is no answer from the student.
Professor: " No, you can't." He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk.
Then, he said, " Let's start again. Is God good?"
Student: " Er... Yes."
Professor: " Is Satan good?"
" No," answered the student.
Professor: " Where does Satan come from?"
The student quietly answers: "From God?"
Professor: " That's right. God made Satan."
The professor sensing victory:
" I think we are going to have a lot of fun this semester."
He turns back to the Christian: " Tell me young man, is there evil in the world?"
" Yes sir!"
Professor: " Evil is everywhere, isn't it? Did God make everything?"
Professor: "Who created evil?"
There is no answer.
"There is sickness in the world. Immorality. Hatred. Ugliness.
All these terrible things are in our world. Who created them." The professor questioned.
There is no answer.
The professor shouts at the student: " WHO CREATED THEM? TELL ME PLEASE!"
The professor closes in for the kill and puts his face into the face of the young man and says, "
God created all evil, didn't He?"
There is no answer.
The class is mesmerized. "Tell me," he continues, "
How is it that this God is good if He created evil?"
There is no answer.
The professor continues to press the student.
" Do you believe in Jesus," the professor asks.
The student's voice cracks as he answers, " Yes, I do."
The professor shakes his head sadly.
" Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world.
Have you ever seen Jesus?"
Student: " No sir I've never seen Him."
Professor: " Have you ever heard Him or felt Him or tasted Him?"
" No sir, I have not."
Professor: " Yet, you still believe Him. That takes faith.
According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist.
What do you say to that?"
The student hangs his head without a word.
Another Christian student raises his hand. " Professor, may I speak?"
The professor turns and smiles:
" Another Christian ready to enter the fray. Come, speak some wisdom to us."
The student looks around the room.
" Some interesting points you are making, sir. Now I have a question for you.
Is there such a thing as heat?"
Professor: " Yes, there is heat."
Christian student: " Is there such a thing as cold?"
"Yes, there is cold also."
Student: " No sir, there isn't!"
The professor's grin freezes. The room becomes very quiet.
The Christian student continues:
" You can have lots of heat, even more heat; super- heat; mega -heat; white heat.
You can have a little heat, or no heat but we don't have anything called "cold."
We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that.
There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than 458 degrees.
You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat.
We cannot measure cold.
We can measure heat in thermal units because heat is energy.
Cold is not the opposite of heat.
It is just the absence of it."
There is absolute silence in the room. You could hear a pin drop.
Student: " Is there such a thing as darkness, professor?"
Professor: " That's a dumb question. What is night if it isn't darkness?
What are you getting at? Sure there is a thing called darkness."
" You are wrong again, sir.
Darkness is not something.
Darkness is the absence of something.
You can have low light, normal light, bright light, and flashing light, but if you have no light constantly,
you have nothing and it is called darkness, isn't it.
That is the meaning we use to define the word.
If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker and give me a jar of it.
Can you give me a jar of darker darkness, professor?"
The professor smiles at the logic of the young man and says,
"This will indeed be an interesting semester. Would you mind telling us your point?"
" Yes, professor. My point is that your philosophical premise is flawed and therefore
your conclusion is in error."
The professor's face begins to show anger, " Flawed...? How dare you...!"
"Sir, may I explain what I mean?"
Professor: " Explain..oh, explain."
The professor tries to regain control, but then he waves his hand for the student to continue.
The Christian student explains: " You are working on the premise of duality.
For example, there is life and then there is death.
There is a good God and a bad God.
You are viewing the concept of God as something finite or as something we can measure.
Sir, science cannot even explain a thought.
It uses electricity and magnetism but has never seen, much less fully understood them.
To view death as the opposite is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life. It is merely the absence of it."
The young man holds up a newspaper he gets from a desk of one of the students:
" Here is one of the most disgusting tabloids in this country, professor.
Is there such a thing as immorality?"
Professor: " Of course there is, now look..."
" Wrong again sir. You see, immorality is the absence of morality.
Is there such a thing as injustice?
No, injustice is the absence of justice. Is there such a thing as evil?"
He pauses, " Isn't evil the absence of good?"
The professor's face has turned a bright red, and he is about to explode.
He is so angry that he is momentarily speechless.
The young Christian continues:
" If there is evil in the world, professor, and we agree there is, then God, if He exists, must be
accomplishing a work through the agency of evil.
What is that work?
The Bible tells us it is to see if each one of us will choose good or evil."
The professor shoots back: " As a philosophical scientist, I don't accept this matter as
having anything to do with choice.
As a realist, I absolutely do not recognize the concept of God or any other theological factor
as being part of the world equation because God is not observable."
The Christian replies: " I would have thought that the absence of God's moral code in this world
is probably one of the most observable phenomena around.
Newspapers make billions of dollars reporting it each week!
Tell me, professor, do you teach your students that they have evolved from a monkey?"
Professor: " If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course I do."
Student: " Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"
The professor makes a sucking sound with his teeth and gives the student a silent, stony stare.
Student: " Professor, since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot
even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir?
Are you now not a scientist, but a priest?"
Professor: " I'll overlook your impertinence in the light of our philosophical discussion.
Now, have you quite finished?"
Student: " So you don't accept God's moral code as having to do with what is righteous?"
Professor: " I believe in what is - that's science!"
" Ahh! SCIENCE!" The student begins to grin.
" Sir, you rightly state that science is the study of observed phenomena.
Science also is a premise which is flawed..."
"SCIENCE IS FLAWED?" The professor sputters.
The class is in an uproar.
When the commotion subsides the Christian continues: " To continue the point you were making
earlier to the other student, may I give you an example of what I mean?"
The professor just stares at him.
The Christian looks around the room.
" Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?"
The class breaks out in laughter.
The Christian points to the professor: " Has anyone here ever touched the professor's brain?
Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain?
Has anyone ever smelled it?"
No one appears to have done so.
The Christian shakes his head sadly, " It appears no one here has had any sensory perception
of the professor's brain.
Well, according to the rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science,
I DECLARE that the professor has no brain."
The class is in chaos!
The Christian sits.
In the beginning God!
" Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know
how to answer everyone." (Colossians 4:6)
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope
that you have in Christ.
This message was prepared by Dr. Harold L. White, and influenced by a sermon by Dr. R. G. Lee.
You can email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org