Why Believe in God
Is that belief logical? What are the evidences for it? Why should you accept the Bible as being God’s Word?
SOME people say they believe only what they can see. We reply most emphatically: Believe it! Yes, believe what you can see! The apostle Paul said the visible creation shows God’s power: “For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are understood by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” (Rom. 1:20, NW) Most people do believe that the things they see are proof of God’s existence. A Gallup Poll survey showed that even in presumably “materialistic” America 96 percent of the people interviewed said they believe in God. They have looked at the order and majesty of the world around them, at the existence of man and at the Bible itself and have seen convincing arguments that God does exist.
One writer put it this way: “If we start with an open mind, ready to believe or not believe according to the evidence, it is quite probable that we shall discover that it is easier to believe in God than to decide that plants, animals and man himself, body and mind, had their origin as the product of blind, purposeless chance. It is perhaps fitting to add that many persons do not wish to believe in God. They realize that it would rebuke their past and change their future to an unpleasant degree if they did.”*
What do you think about the origin of the universe itself? Was it pure chance, just an accident, a combination of many fortuitous events? Or does it bear witness to the existence of another mind that is higher, more intelligent, and that existed long before man did? Remember that the universe is not chaos, as it might well be if it were accidental, but is in order. Does this indicate to you that conscious thought is responsible for it? that it was designed by an intelligent creator?
Are the orderly laws that extend from the light-year expanse of the starry heavens to the tiny atoms that compose all matter just an accident? Are the exact motions of the heavenly bodies that form the standard for our timepieces an accident? Did accidents produce earth and man and all living creation—not just one such accidental occurrence, but a whole series of thousands of millions of them that marvelously combined, without other accidental happenings occurring that would destroy it all?
Is a power greater than chance involved in the universe’s origin? Scientist Arthur H. Compton said of the parts of the tiny atom: “If the simple yet prolific set of pushes and pulls to which the electrons are subject result from pure chance, then chance is more ingenious than the most clever of our scientists.”*
Not only do the origin of matter and the order in the universe present problems for those who deny the existence of a Creator, but there is the far greater problem of the origin of life itself. There was a time when spontaneous generation (called abiogenesis, meaning origin from nonlife) was believed to produce life. Worms developed out of putrid flesh, lice from dirt, frogs from the mud of pools, etc. But Pasteur’s experiments of nearly a hundred years demolished that theory. If it is argued that abiogenesis does not occur now but did occur in bygone ages, that is merely speculation. It is not a scientific argument, since it would not be based upon observation and experiment, but rather upon blind assertions that can neither be observed nor proved. Dr. J. Gray, a leading experimental zoologist, explained: “The spontaneous origin of living from inanimate matter must be regarded as a highly improbable event, and as such can be assumed not to have occurred.”*
The question is simple: Did matter, order, the marvelous universe and the unexplainable miracle of life occur purely through the outworkings of chance, or were they produced through the design of a great Creator? The former is so implausible that it takes more faith to believe in the materialistic theory of evolution than it does to believe in God! It remains true that “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”—Ps. 19:1; Job 9:8; Isa. 40:26; Jer. 10:12.
EVEN GREATER MARVELS
But there is much more to be considered. Man, through the diligent use of his intelligence, has attained great accomplishments, but even in simple things nature’s wisdom came long before man’s. Aeons before man developed levers they existed in animals’ bodies. Unknown time before man made his first force pump the heart existed. Further, valves to control the movement of fluids exist in the heart and veins. Brushes to remove mucus are found in the windpipe. Electric batteries have been the possession of eels from time immemorial. Heatless light is manufactured by glowworms and fireflies. Heavier-than-air flying has long been the prerogative of birddom. Were these things just accidents, just the outworkings of chance, or is there an intelligence behind them that is far greater than man’s? That they were an accident is far more difficult to believe than is the Christian view that they were created!
Further, man’s intelligence lets him plan for the future. But how is one to explain the same foresight that is evident even in the unreasoning parts of nature? A tree produces seeds so there will be other trees when it is dead. Is this of importance to the tree? A squirrel stores nuts for the winter. What gave it the foresight to do so, and how does it know that the weather will turn cold? A bird produces eggs to perpetuate its kind. Why burden itself with offspring? Instinct does it? Nature perhaps? That is just begging the issue. Wherever you look Supreme Intelligence is present, it cannot be bypassed.
One authority explained: “The less a living animal seems able to think, owing to the inferiority of its organs, the more, judging by the acts of wisdom of which it is capable, does it become evident that some One has thought for it.”* If no Creator exists, who could have done that thinking?
But even more amazing is human life, which presents the greatest problems for those who deny creation. Why do the atoms and elements of the body combine to make organic compounds that conspire to develop various tissues and organs and to perform their functions in a unified structure that goes so far beyond the capabilities of these atoms and elements as they normally exist? What intelligent force produced this? Nature? Then why not call it by the name of the Supreme Being who produced the laws of nature, namely, JEHOVAH?
Nature has many wonders, and the development of a new human life is one of the most amazing. With no conscious thought on the mother’s part the bones, nerves, eyes, ears, feet, hands, heart, lungs and many other such structures and organs are produced in a manner that no human can explain. Is it by accident that the human cells follow such a carefully outlined process? Without a question of doubt there is an Intelligence far greater than man’s behind such production of life! Why hide the identity of that Intelligence by refusing to call it God?
When evolution says that creation did not occur, just remember that evolution does not know the origin of matter, the origin of life, how the tremendous gaps between the various life forms are to be filled, or the reason for the marvelous wisdom called “nature.” Marvelous laws that the wisest of scientists have spent decades, even centuries, trying to fathom did not come into being by chance. Believe what you can see! Accept the fact that there was an intelligent creation and therefore an intelligent Creator, Jehovah God!
KNOW THE CREATOR!
Reason, referred to above, reduces the stumbling blocks and misunderstandings that stand in the way of many persons’ accepting God, but we are not basically interested in your accepting just what logic and reasoning have to say about him. Far more important is what he has to say about himself. It would be unreasonable to think that, having created man, the Creator would now leave us without an explanation of why not all is in harmony in the world today. The Bible gives that reason. It shows why trouble and hardship exist, and it shows that soon these will end with the destruction of the great rebel, the instigator of wickedness, Satan the Devil. Thus, of our day it says: “Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—Rev. 12:12, NW.
If the Bible were just another book of man’s imaginations it would be of little value. But it is far more than that. It is a book that shows us what God is like, relates his instructions, gives evidences of his power and majesty and is a prime builder of faith.
The Bible is its own greatest proof of its reliability. First, those who had a part in its writing contended that it was from God. David said: “The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, and his word was upon my tongue.” Paul wrote: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching.” And “the holy spirit spoke beforehand by David’s mouth.” And Peter said: “Prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.”—2 Sam. 23:2; 2 Tim. 3:16; Acts 1:16; 2 Pet. 1:21, NW.
Yet the Bible does not just claim to be from God; it proves that claim! God’s challenge to those who claim divine inspiration is: “Let them approach and tell us what is to happen: . . . Tell us the things that are coming hereafter, that we may know that you are gods.” (Isa. 41:22, 23, AT) This test is conclusive because no man, of his own power, can reliably and in detail foretell specific future events. How does the Bible meet this test? Victoriously! Note the following examples of its reliable, accurate and detailed prediction of such future events—a power that no man has, a power that comes from God.
Years before Judah fell to Babylon the prophet Jeremiah not only foretold that fall, but specified the exact seventy-year length of the land of Judah’s desolation, and said that at the end of that seventy years Babylon would be destroyed, becoming “a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, a horror and a hissing, without an inhabitant.” How could any man have predicted the nation’s captivity, the exact length of the land’s desolation and the time and manner by which the conquering nation would itself fall into ruin? Yet this prophecy came true exactly as foretold, despite the fact that, as one writer said: “None but a madman would have dreamed of prophesying the overthrow of Babylon in the days when Isaiah and Jeremiah were alive. The Babylonians were among the fiercest warriors of their day. They had conquered the world and bent it to their yoke.”* The accurate predictions made by Isaiah and Jeremiah unquestionably prove that their claim to have been true prophets of God really was true.—Jer. 29:10; 51:37, AT.
Further, in Daniel 8:3-8, 20, 21 it was shown that the Medo-Persian empire would succeed Babylon as a world power. The Median power would come first, and the Persian power would follow and surpass it in strength. After the Medo-Persian victory over Babylon the Grecian empire would cast Medo-Persia down. Later the mighty Grecian empire would split into four separate parts. All of these things occurred exactly as predicted, the final event occurring more than two centuries later when Alexander the Great cast Medo-Persia down, and then when, at Alexander’s death, his empire was split into four parts, each ruled by a different general. How utterly impossible it would have been for ordinary men to make such amazing advance predictions as are common in the Bible!
Would you prefer present-day examples to these ancient ones? Modern examples of the fulfillment of such amazing prophecies are equally convincing. For more than thirty-four years prior to the outbreak of world violence in 1914 (or since 1880) The Watchtower had faithfully and regularly pointed to 1914 as marking the end of the Bible’s “Gentile times” or “times of the nations.”* It showed from the Scriptures that the end of the “times of the nations” would be marked by the worst time of trouble earth had ever known. Before World War I started many people had scoffed, but the Bible’s prediction held true. The Bible writers could not of their own knowledge have known these events, or even have guessed at them, so far in advance. Such specific advance predictions cannot be man’s wisdom, but again the Bible prediction held true!
In Revelation 17:8 it was foretold that man’s political peace organization (the League of Nations) would go into the abyss of nonexistence, as it did during World War II, and would later come to life again, as it did in the United Nations, but that it would not succeed in its promise to bring lasting peace. Would any man have known this on his own? Again the Bible prediction, written nearly 1,900 years in advance, has held true!
This Book of books has stood the test, coming through with flying colors! Its reliable prediction of the future vindicates its claim to inspiration and proves its genuineness. And further, the existence of this obviously inspired book proves unquestionably that its Inspirer, Jehovah God, does exist!
The most important source of faith in God is the Bible itself. If you lack such faith, it is probably through lack of study of that Book; if you wish to gain faith you can do it through studying it. True faith is not blind but well informed. It is based upon facts, logic, understanding and trust. Such faith must be sought, and is gained through the pages of the Book of faith, the Bible. As Paul wrote: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”—Rom. 10:17.
The Bible describes faith as “the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.” Faith is the sum of our beliefs concerning Jehovah God and his kingdom. It is our confidence in him that has been developed through our examination of what is contained in the Scriptures. It is our well-founded conviction that things do exist that we cannot see, that these things can be laid hold upon with confidence and that the promises made in God’s Word will be kept.—Heb. 11:1, NW.
In summary: we believe many things that we cannot see. We believe them because we can see evidence of their working. Similarly, we can see like evidences of God’s activity. The existence of matter, the marvel of life, the amazing intelligence in nature, the scope of the human mind, the miracle of birth, the unerring accuracy of the Bible’s ability to predict the future, and the amazing extent of its ability to engender faith in the minds of its readers—all these and many other evidences point to the sure existence of a Supreme Intelligence, an almighty and all-wise Creator, who is identified in the Bible as being named JEHOVAH. The next step, after recognizing that God exists, is to look into his Word, the Bible, to see how it builds faith and what he requires of you.
Modern Discovery and the Bible, A. Rendle Short, page 79.
Man’s Destiny in Eternity, page 9.
Modern Discovery and the Bible, page 43.
English naturalist Jonathan Franklin, as quoted by Charles E. Sajous in Strength of Religion as Shown by Science, page 171.
Internal Evidence of Inspiration, Harry Rimmer, page 207.
Watch Tower, March and July, 1880. See also issue of December, 1879, and pages 83 and 189 of Three Worlds or Plan of Redemption, published in 1877.