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Can Man Know God Exists?

by David A. DePra

     The question as to whether God exists might seem to be a

strange one to find here in a Christian publication. Of course God

exists! But is it actually possible to PROVE He exists?

     There are many people in this world today -- some of them

highly educated -- who laugh at the suggestion that God exists. And

there are many others who want to believe God exists, but insist that

we be able to prove He does from a scientific standpoint. How do

we answer them?

     Too often when Christians are confronted with these questions,

we squirm and simply say, "Well, you have to have faith." Actually,

there is nothing terribly wrong with that answer, as we shall see. But

can we offer more proof than this that God does actually exist?

The Bible

     One difficulty Christians run into trying to prove that God exists

is that we cannot use the Bible. Really? Yep. We can't use it. Why?

Because it is like trying to prove FROM the Bible that the Bible is

inspired. A source cannot be used to verify itself. Thus to say, "I

know God exists because the Bible says so," is easily discounted

by those who don't want to believe. They will say, "The Bible is

not the truth."

     Incidentally -- and this may shock some people -- the Bible never

says that scripture proves God exists. That is a fact. Why? Well,

God is really smart, you see. And He knows better than to try to

say, "You can know I exist by reading a book you don't believe is

written by Me." The point is, if you don't believe the Bible, you

aren't going to believe God inspired it. And if you don't believe

God inspired it, you aren't going to accept it as proof that God

exists. And the circular argument goes on and on.

     There is another reason that the Bible doesn't point to itself to

prove God exists: The Bible is relatively new in human history. If

man is only six thousand years old -- and we don't know that for

sure -- then the Bible really only came together after about half

of that time was over, and then only the OT. The NT much later.

Add to that the fact that widespread availability wasn't possible

until the 15th century with the invention of the printing press, and

you can see why there must be other ways to know God exists than

from reading the Bible.

     Now don't misunderstand. God can reveal Himself through the

Bible. And there are such things as prophecy, etc., which can be

used to show people God exists. But normally, if you are dealing

with someone who is questioning the existance of God, these

proofs won't work.

     Ok. But even though we cannot use the Bible itself to prove to

someone that God exists, the Bible does tell us what we can use.

It gives us several proofs which are outside of the Bible which will

prove to anyone who is open that God does exist. Here we will

deal with only two: The external witness of creation, and the internal

witness of conscience and morality.

Without Excuse

     Actually, even before we try to prove God exists to someone, we

need to ask a number of other questions. First, it is possible to

prove anything to anyone -- if that person has their mind made up?

     The answer is NO. If someone has made up their mind, it is not

even possible to prove to them that THEY exist! Thus, this is a vital

issue to remember: Most people who demand proof that God

exists DO have their mind made up. Rarely are they sincere

seekers of the Truth.

     The Bible talks about people who have rejected God. They

have already faced the issue of God's existence and have refused

the Truth. The evidence they have IS their ridicule. The evidence

they have IS the darkness in which they live.

This is clearly stated in the Bible itself. Paul writes:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all

ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in

unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God is

manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the

invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly

seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his

eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God,

neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and

their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be

wise, they became fools. (Rom. 1:18-22)

     Paul states in no uncertain terms that if a person does not believe

God exists that they are not having intellectual problems. No. They

are having MORAL problems. He says, "that which may be known

of God is manifest IN THEM. For God HAS SHOWED IT UNTO

THEM." He goes on to say, "The invisible things of Him from the

creation are CLEARLY seen, being understood by the things which

are made." Then Paul concludes, "They are WITHOUT EXCUSE."

     Here we see Paul referring to the two proofs mentioned above.

First, the external proof of God's creation. Second, the internal proof

within man. In fact, Paul does not promise God WILL show people

He exists. Rather, he says that God HAS shown us all through

just these two witnesses of Himself.

     Notice how dogmatic Paul is. Paul is telling us that those who

deny God's existence have NO excuse for doing so. Everything a

person needs to prove God exists is found -- first of all -- in the things

we see -- the visible creation -- but there is likewise evidence of

God manifested IN US. In our very person and conscience.

     But wait. Paul takes things even one step father. It is a terrifying

statement he goes on to make. Not only does he state that the

evidence for God is found IN US, and OUTSIDE of us, but he then

says that the rejection of that evidence is THE REASON why

people deny God exists! In other words, they have ALREADY

rejected God -- and THAT is why they say He does not exist.

     This is stated above in verse 22 from Romans. Paul states that

BECAUSE a person rejects God, they become "vain in their

imagination." He says that BECAUSE a person rejects God, "their

foolish heart is darkened." He says that BECAUSE a person

rejects God, "they became fools" -- all the while "professing

themselves to be wise." These conditions are NOT obstacles to

seeing God exists. No. They are the MORAL CONSEQUENCES

for rejecting Him.

     Notice how we tend to get these things backwards. There are

people today -- and they are everywhere on the internet -- who

mock the very idea of God. They trash the Bible, Christianity, and

God Himself -- on the basis of what they consider to be "sane

reasoning." They point to logical or philosophical proofs and

arguments to back up their rejection of God. They put believers on

the defensive by demanding that the burden of proof for God be

on us. But many of us make the mistake of thinking that these folks

are just sincere seekers of Truth, who have been tripped up by a

few intellectual arguments. God says no. He says that they have

already rejected Him. That is WHY they are doing what they are


     You will never meet an atheist who stands on neutral ground

regarding God. You'll never meet an agnostic who simply wants

to see the Truth. Never. Every one of these people are AGAINST

God. Despite the fact that they know the vocabulary, and have

memorized all the arguments, they WEAR an antagonism against

God. Some of them even wear a "nice" antagonism -- because

they have learned the value of covering up their bitterness. These

folks are NOT seekers of the Truth. They have seen some Truth

and have rejected it.

     Are there sincere seekers of the Truth? Sure. But if a person is

a sincere seeker of the Truth, they are not ANTI-God. No. They

are ANTI-nothing! That is what it means to be sincere, right? And

if a person is truly a sincere seeker of the Truth, God Himself tells

us that they WILL believe. They WILL, because the evidence is

IN THEM, and AROUND them. They will not be able to deny it.

     What we are seeing here is that the issue of God's existence

is NOT an intellectual one. It is NOT an emotional one. It is not

even a cultural or social one. It is a MORAL issue. For once I admit

that God does exist, I have no escape from the implications. I know

I am accountable to Him.

     So should we try to prove to people that God exists? Only if they

sincerely want to know. But we should never ARGUE with people

about this. Argumentation about this already proves a person is

resisting God and has crossed the line. People don't "argue" if they

really want to know. No. They discuss. They ask. They inquire.

They may even question. But they don't argue in the sense of

opposing the idea you are trying to prove to them.

The Moral Witness

     Man is a moral creature. Totally. Everything you and I do, and

everything we are, is moral in nature. From the time you get up in

the morning, until you retire at night, you are making value judgments

and moral evaluations about everything. You and I do this to such

an extent that we don't even realize it.

     For example, the first thing you do when you wake up is make a

value judgment as to how you feel. Then as to how nice a day it is

outside. Then perhaps as to whether you want to go to work, or face

your day. These things are subtle, but they are moral or value

judgments. They don't have to be earthshaking or profound. But

they are there.

     Every time you complain, you are making a moral judgment. And

when you enjoy something. You may not say words, but by your

reaction you are either saying, "This is good," or "This is bad." You

are passing judgment or evaluation on life, people, and whether

you realize it or not, God Himself.

     As you proceed during the day, you hear many things from many

people. In reaction to everything you hear, you make a judgment.

You either agree with it or you don't. You either value it or you don't.

You either embrace it or reject it. Again -- these things are subtle

and normal. They need not be earthshaking events. But we are

continually reacting and absorbing and choosing over these things.

We can't help it. It is how we are made. We are MORAL creatures.

     Now if you doubt this, try to function totally free of making any

evaluation about anything. I mean, right down to whether you like

the taste of food. You will find that you would have to literally cease

to exist. That is because man is a REACTIVE creature. We react

and respond to everything. And most of those reactions carry

some kind of MORAL element. Again -- this is how we are made.

     The point is, there is absolutely NOTHING we can do to escape

the fact that at the fundament of our being we are MORAL in nature.

It is the way God designed us. And for good reason. God made

us to live with Him forever. Indeed, He made us to BE ONE with

Him forever. And God is the most moral -- morally righteous --

creature in existence.

     Now, once we see that man was made FOR God, and is moral

in nature, it brings us to a clear conclusion: Man cannot escape

facing the question of God's existence. He cannot. Why? Because

everything about us is built for God. It is in us. The QUESTION of

God's existence is in us. And according to God, so is the ANSWER.

We really are without excuse for denying God.

The Original Design

     God's original plan was to make a man who, through a series of

life-long moral choices and reactions, would develop righteous

character. This would result in an eternal fellowship with God.

     And what IS righteous character? It is the desire and power to BE

right and to DO right -- for no other reason than the fact that it IS

right. But there really is a more simple word for this: LOVE. At it's

basis, righteous character is LOVE. It is the LOVE of God being

lived out.

     It was for this purpose that God made man. And every potential

for this relationship with God was given man -- it was built IN him.

Man originally had the moral capacity and potential -- not only to

be able to live with God -- but man had the NEED. In effect, God

not only made man able to live with Him, he made made fully

dependent and reliant upon Him. And it was good.

     What we see here speaks of what man IS. Man is a moral

creature who CANNOT function outside of dependence of God --

and live. He is made FOR God, and will not "work properly" in any

other capacity.

     The problem is that Adam decided to try. Despite the fact that

Adam could not function morally and spiritually outside of God,

Adam rejected God. That is why he died.

     So what we see today is that man continues to be made for God.

None of that has changed. Man's moral makeup is built FOR God.

     Thus -- again -- this is why every single person on earth has within

themselves something of God. It is a ruined "something," and it is

a "flawed" something. It IS broken. But it is THERE. There is a

moral nature and consciousness which cannot be denied. And we

KNOW it.

     If man were not a moral creature, it would be possible to say that

he does not KNOW there is a God. But we can't even get up in the

morning without deciding whether it is a good day or a bad day. Are

we really so foolish to think that we don't know there is a God? We

do know it. Indeed, we know it so well that we take our knowledge

of Him for granted.

Reprobate Mind

     God says that the inward and outward proofs of God are so

powerful and so strong, that to reject these is to be without excuse.

He says that such a rejection is so serious that doing do will inflict

a terrible moral damage -- moral insanity -- upon a person. If a

person rejects the God for whom he is made, that person will get to

the place where his entire mind and perspective becomes


     This only makes sense. God is Light. And if I deliberately turn

off that Light, the only result can be darkness. But the most terrifying

part about that is that I will then come to be so at home in that

darkness that I will eventually take pride in it. I will consider it to be

normal. Indeed, I will even think my darkness IS light.

     Why do things work this way? Again, because man is a moral

creature. Man MUST react and choose. And with every choice

there will be a result. This is the way we are made. It is not possible

for us to function otherwise.

     The word "reprobate," in the Bible, means "to bring into a worse

condition or state." Thus, when a person who is made for God,

continues to reject God, he is moving farther and farther away from

the only place he can function normally -- morally speaking. He is

pushing away the very essence for which he was made. The only

result can be reprobation.

     This is why those who reject God become darkened in their

thinking -- all the while they think they are smarter than anyone else.

They were made for God, and only God. But they have rejected

Him, even in their thinking. And when a person rejects God in their

thinking, do you know what they get? They get what they have

chosen: Thinking WITHOUT God! And that is moral insanity. It is

a condition which -- because it has rejected the Source of all Truth --

is incapable of seeing the Truth.

Moral Proofs

     The things which are the most obvious are often the things which

are the easiest to miss. Do you know why? Because we are so

used to them. We are so used to them we pass them over.

     It is like this with God. Our realization of Him -- inward and

outward -- is so obvious we easily pass over it. We think we need

some spectacular event or something to prove God exists. But the

clear and undeniable proof has always been before us and IN US.

     If I held up in front of you a plain white sheet of paper and said to

you, "Prove to me this paper is white." Could you do it? How? To

what would you point as proof? You could call witnesses. But what

if I questioned their sincerity or reliability? What if I said, "They only

think this paper is white because they have been taught that it is. I

say that it is NOT white. Prove me wrong."? Then what?

     You could also tell me to look at the paper. You could line up

other colors of paper to provide a contrast. But what if I rejected all

of this as proof? What if I said, "Maybe the paper isn't white. But it

is only our perception of it. Maybe what we think is 'white' really isn't

white at all. Maybe it is really another color. In fact, maybe there is

no such thing as color. Maybe there isn't even such a thing as

paper. Maybe perception is all in our head, and not what is really

out there."

     If this has your head spinning, it should. But this is exactly the

kind of reasoning people who deny God exists use. They say that

there is a "God part of the brain." They say that everything in us

which tells us there is a God is nothing but a product of evolution,

or a matter of subjectivity. They say that no matter how clear the

universe seems, we can never be sure of anything we think.

     Now note something here: This kind of thinking is not only stupid,

but it is irrational. For the moment someone says, "You cannot know

anything for sure," they are contradicting themselves. Why? Well,

because they are saying that "they know for sure" that "you can't

know anything for sure!"

     The fact is, we exist. And other things exist. And we have senses.

And at some point, either those senses are reasonably reliable, or

they are not. But the point is moot. They are all we have! Begin to

deny reality and you become the very definition of insanity -- a

person who "has taken leave of his senses." A person who is

"detached from reality."

     God says that a person who denies Him is, in fact, insane -- at

least from a moral perspective. That person is as foolish as the

one who looks at a white piece of paper and denies that it is white.

He refuses to face the Truth. In the end, a person who denies God

is denying what is so obvious that he must literally discard his moral

capacity and perspective. The result is darkness.

Morality and Conscience

     We have seen that man is moral in nature. It is what we are, and

the way we function. Even those who deny God are that way. They

cannot escape it.

     One example will suffice here. There is an atheist on the internet

whose big goal in life is to rip apart the Bible -- showing all of it's

supposed contradictions. (Actually, what he shows is his total

ignorance of the Bible.) But despite claiming that there is no God,

this man spends a great deal of time and energy fighting against

the God he says doesn't exist. I wrote him an email stating that he

had rejected God, and that this was why he was fighting against

Him. (Don't ask me why I did this. I think the man's arrogance and

mockery of God irritated me.) His response was quite revealing.

I could tell it was well rehearsed, and that he had used it many

times. He said, "If you are a Christian, you know that you have no

right to judge me."

     Now right away notice that this response is moral in nature. On

the one hand, he says he doesn't believe in God. But on the other

hand, he is making a moral judgment against me by accusing me

of judging him. Where did that come from if there is no God? I

mean, if there is no God, then why is it wrong to judge him? Not only

that, but now he is judging me -- based on HIS own definition of


     My point is this: This man could not even open his mouth without

some form of moral evaluation -- wrong or right -- coming out. But

then he denies God in the next breath. Somehow lost in his hate

is the fact that if there is NO God, then there is no basis at all for any

thing he says.

     We need to see this. Morality in any form must have a source

or origin. Where does it come from? Evolution? Are we just taught

it? Or is there some other element in us which is so much a part of

our makeup that we take it for granted?

     Let's ask a question: If I come over to your house, and begin

loading up a van with your possessions, will you stop me? Sure

you will. You will know I'm a thief and doing WRONG. But what if I

say to you, "This is not wrong. You just think it is because society

has taught it to you." Or maybe I could say, "Evolution has put into

us the notion of right and wrong. But there is really no such thing as

right and wrong. Only our sense of it." Would you accept my

answer? Or would you cop-out by simply saying that what I am

doing is against the law -- which technically has nothing to do with

the morality issue?

     The fact is, if someone lies to you, cheats you, or steals from you,

you KNOW it's wrong. You know it. How? Because it's against the

law? No! You know it because you are a moral creature. And

you -- your morality -- has been violated. That knowledge is built

in. And it had to come from somewhere.

     If morality is a product of evolution, we should expect to see

some forms of it in lower mammals. But we see none. Animals are

not moral. They don't operate out of that basis at all. It is every

animal for himself.

     More importantly, however, if morality is a product of evolution,

then such a morality is not really based in right or wrong. It is based

on "what is needed to survive." Natural selection stuff. In that case,

there IS NO right or wrong. None. There is only "the sense" of right

and wrong that we have supposedly evolved. So in other words,

if I steal from you, it is NOT wrong. It is just your evolved sense of

right and wrong that tells you I am doing wrong. And frankly, aside

from the man-made legal consequences, there is no reason I

should not steal.

     The same goes for a taught morality. Morality can, to an extent,

be taught. Kids can be taught that right is wrong, and that wrong is

right. But nothing that is taught MAKES it right or wrong, and we

know it. Even in the smallest children, you can see that they have

some sense of morality. They try to hide it when they do wrong.

Sometimes they fib. They seek approval. All of this shows that

inside of us, despite training, there is an overriding sense of right

and wrong. A conscience. A morality. And it is of God.

     Of course what we are talking about here is CONSCIENCE. But

notice that term: Conscience. It suggests a "consciousness" of

what? Right and wrong!

     What is our conscience? What we have today is the residual of

something that was originally tied to our knowledge of, and

relationship to, God. It is, however, "unplugged" from the Source

through the sin of Adam. Thus, it doesn't always work correctly in us.

What this means is that our conscience -- while it constantly tells

us we ought to do right -- is not always accurate as to what right is.

That is why many people think this or that is right, and others do not.

But it is nevertheless true that are certain common denominators

which ALL people agree upon in their conscience: Basic morality,

most commonly reflected in the last six commandments, for

instance. Virtually all people KNOW these are right. Have you

ever heard of a group of people who invite others to steal from

them, kill them, commit adultery against them, and who consider

doing all of those things to be good? Even desirable?

     Well, why not? If morality is not built in, then we should expect to

see such things -- and see them often. But we never see them. And

there is no record in history of such a thing being common. Even in

cultures where immorality runs rampant -- like today -- there is still

a structure of knowing right and wrong. Why? Because no one

wants wrong done to them!

     The fact is, we KNOW right and wrong more than we like to

admit. We usually plead ignorance when it comes to OUR conduct

towards others. But not when it comes to the conduct of OTHERS

towards us!

     Man's sensitivity to right and wrong has been blunted by the

sin of Adam. But it is still there and it is enough to turn us to God.

Our moral consciousness and personal conscience are so big

a part of us that we take them for granted. The evidence in us of

the existence of God is so clear and plain that it is easier to prove

than it is to prove that a piece of paper is white.

Logical and Physical Proof

     Proof of God's existence is not only within us. It is also in all that

He has made. The creation declare the glory of God. You can

argue all you want. But where did everything come from? A

creation demands a Creator. Intelligent creation demands that

there be intelligence behind it.

     In the worlds of logic and philosophy, there are what are often

called, "The First Principles of Knowledge." The first one of

these is "the principle of identity." It states, "A thing must be

identical to itself. If it were not, it would not BE itself." You can tell

that this stuff starts out at the very root of things, can't you? It must.

For it is a logical progression and must first form a foundation or


     The second principle of knowledge is even more important. It is

the principle of "non-contradiction." It states, "Being cannot BE

non-being. A thing cannot be, and not be, at the same time.

Opposites cannot be the same."

     Now note that. It is as simple and basic as anything can get. It

simply states that either something exists or it doesn't. The same

thing cannot exist and not exist at the same time, for that is a


     These are principles which have been established over the

centuries, and with which any sane person would agree. But what

do they have to do with morality?

     Well, look at it this way. If it is a fact that something cannot both

exist and not exist at the same time, it is therefore a fact that there 

IS existence and non-existence. Right? There is existence and there

is non-existence.

     Herein lies the problem. Because existence is NOT non-

existence, existence cannot come from non-existence. Get that?

Things cannot "pop into existence." Indeed, another one of the

principles of knowledge, the "principle of being," states this. It

states, "Only being can cause being. 'Nothing" does NOT exist.

Only what exists can cause existence. From nothing comes only


     Every natural law of this universe, every discovery science has

ever made, verifies this. No one has ever discovered how to create

something from nothing. There is nothing to work with in that case.

     Even those who believe in "the big bang" theory as the origin of

the universe cannot argue themselves around this principle. For

even if I say the universe was not created, but is the product of a

big bang, I must explain two things: First, where did the stuff that

exploded come from? Second, who created the physical law which

caused the bang?

     Actually, there are even more difficult arguments to overcome.

Suppose I delude myself into thinking that somehow, someway, the

stuff that went bang leap into existence on it's own. And suppose I

even think that the law by which the stuff exploded someone leap

into existence. Then the question becomes: Who created the law

by which things could leap into existence on their own?

     The point is, things function. And even for existence to come

from non-existence, there had to "exist" a law by which this could

happen. Where did it come from? Did pure nothingness somehow

give total non-existence the ability to create existence -- even if only

in the form of a physical law of nature?

     We live in a universe with rules. Things have a nature to them.

They operate according to natural laws and processes. And you

can argue all you want, but you have to take it back to a Source.

Existence cannot come from non-existence.

     Now, some of the top scientists of this world--many of whom deny

God -- have a way around this. It usually goes something like this:

We have no scientific proof that God exists. But admittedly, we

cannot explain how existence came from non-existence. However,

we believe that someday we will discover how. We will find another

dimension which makes this possible; a physical law which is as of

yet not known.

     Well, that's "faith," isn't it? But not faith that God does exist. It is

faith that He doesn't. Maybe it is really a demand that He does not

exist, lest people be accountable to Him.

God DOES Exist

     People today think that if you believe there is a God, that you are

a fool. God says the opposite. He says that you are a fool if you

do not see that God DOES exist.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. (Ps. 14:1)

     Those who claim there is no God, or that the Bible is not true, or

that Christianity is a lie, often refer to science as their authority. Most

often they point to evolution or archeology as proof. But not only is

evolution -- from start to finish -- a total fabrication, even archeology

can be quite subjective. How people interpret bits and pieces of

items they dig up, or inscriptions they find, is often dictated by what

they have set out looking for.

     In this day and age, we have become so arrogant in our worship

of science that we cannot imagine that WE -- modern man -- could

have actually been deceived by a lie called evolution, and could

have exalted it as a science. That, we figure, is the kind of mistakes

ancient people made. But not us.

     Well, when is the last time YOU dug up a bone for yourself? How

about actually looking into evolution for yourself? Few of us have

ever done any of this. Instead, we listen to what experts and well

education people say, and cannot imagine that this many people

could be so wrong about so much. Well, they can. And are. And

it's because behind it is a MORAL issue.

     God holds us accountable for what we know. But He also holds

us accountable for what we COULD know. Practically speaking,

what this means is that the minute I have a question, I am held

responsible for inquiring further. I know enough to proceed.

     There is no excuse for the denial of God. Such a denial is not an

intellectual problem, an emotional problem, or a religious problem.

It is a moral problem. Man was made for God and is eternally tied

to Him. We have that witness within us and all around us. *

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