Question: "Why should I care if God exists?"
Answer: There are myriad views on not only the nature of God but also His very existence. Humans have limited perception of the complexities of our immediate world and the universe as a whole. The irony is that God’s nature is not one of confusion, but of peace. First Corinthians 14:33 states, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” The key to overcoming confusion is not to avoid the question altogether, but to focus on the very One whom many choose to ignore (Philippians 4:6–7).
We should eagerly address the real, concrete problems facing humanity, such as poverty, illiteracy, and disease, and it is true that debates about the existence and nature of God can keep us from concentrating on those challenges. So, why should any of us care whether or not God exists? To the believer, it is the theological question above all others. To the unconvinced, it remains a philosophical issue. Theology, to the agnostic, is merely a human invention; the question of God’s existence seems pointless.
The Bible’s presentation of God shows why His existence matters. God’s holy nature is revealed in contrast to human (sinful) nature, and the Bible gives mankind a standard of right and wrong. Without an arbiter, there is no final authority to weigh the values we establish for ourselves (Psalm 19:7–11). Who is to say one thing is wrong and another right? Why is it incumbent upon us to help those in need? By what authority can we object to illiteracy? If there is no God, and life on earth is simply “survival of the fittest,” then why should anyone work to feed the hungry? Upon what standard do we lay the foundation of our morality?
God reveals to us His essence: “I AM WHO I AM” (see Exodus 3:3–15). This statement speaks to God’s self-existence, which is fully independent of mankind’s perceptions of Him. He encompasses everything, and He Himself is the standard of what is good. Psalm 19:1–5 paints a beautiful picture of God’s eternal nature and His revelation of that nature in His creation.
The question of God’s existence is important because, on a practical level, if God does exist, there is a good chance that He wants to connect with us and that He requires the meeting of certain standards to make that happen. So, the question is central to everything. We are either created in God’s image, or we are not. Love and compassion are either part of God’s nature (and therefore to be reflected in us), or they are products of a random biological accident (and therefore unnecessary). Our existence has significance (or insignificance) depending on the existence (or nonexistence) of God. Meeting the temporal, material problems of mankind is important, but meeting the eternal, spiritual problems of mankind is even more important.
The Bible says mankind has been spoiled by sin. In fact, the pressing global problems that we face today are, ultimately, the result of sin. The question of God’s existence then becomes of utmost importance, because to ignore God’s existence is to ignore the reality of sin and thus the root of the world’s problems.
Fortunately, God has provided a way to forgive sin and restore our fellowship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16, Romans 3:21–26). Sinful man is spiritually dead and often rejects any notion of the one true God. John 3:19 states, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” It is God who brings us to faith in His Son through the Holy Spirit (John 6:41–51). Salvation is a gift God offers to all mankind (John 3:16). Our role is simply to believe what God says and yield to His Spirit. The validity of this message, of course, is contingent upon God’s existence!
Why do people attempt to persuade others to agree with their view of God’s existence? Why can’t Christians keep their faith within the confines of their homes and churches, as they are often told to do? The motivation for many Christians is that they want everyone to have the opportunity to fellowship with God. Also, Christianity is inherently evangelistic. One of Jesus’ mandates is to spread the gospel and make disciples. This outreach is done out of love, and it is an endemic principle of the Christian faith.
While no one has seen God, He manifests Himself to us in a number of ways. First, God is made known through His creation (Romans 1:20). The willing observer can look all around him, see God’s handiwork, and spend a lifetime in wonderment at the intricacies and interdependence of all physical things. Scripture states it is foolish to deny there is a God (Psalm 14:1). The universe was clearly designed, and we have been created with an ability to comprehend it at some level. Scripture is unambiguous that God has given us everything we need to acknowledge His existence (Job 38).
God also reveals Himself through His Word (Psalm 19:7–11). The Bible teaches us of God’s nature, and it instructs us in morality (1 Timothy 3:16). The supreme expression of God is to be found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:15).
The plain fact is that God does exist. He loves us and wants to bring us from spiritual death to life in His Son, Jesus.