Everyone who really searches for meaning in life will eventually have to face one basic question: “Does a Creator really exist?”
If the answer to that question is yes, then it follows that human beings should be able to find the reason for their existence by seeking this Creator. However, it seems that many people might be willing to accept the existence of a Creator except for one problem: if this Creator really does exist then why don’t we see Him?
For some people, the absence of a visible being that goes along with their own personal idea of “God” eliminates the need to think about it any more. But for others that nagging feeling still remains- does a Creator God really exist? Is there any real evidence of God’s existence? Those are good questions but here’s an even better one: “If there is evidence that God really does exist, then so what? Do I care to accept that evidence or am I just going to continue as if I didn’t know any better?”
The Apostle Paul deals with this in the first chapter of his letter to church at Rome…
“But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, evil men who push away the truth from them. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts. Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse [when they stand before God at Judgment Day].”
You think that’s tough? Hey, Paul’s just getting warmed up….
“Yes, they knew about him all right, but they wouldn’t admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care. And after awhile they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused. Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they became utter fools instead.
And then, instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they took wood and stone and made idols for themselves, carving them to look like mere birds and animals and snakes and puny men. So God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin, and do whatever they wanted to– yes, vile and sinful things with each other’s bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they prayed to the things God made, but wouldn’t obey the blessed God who made these things” (Romans 1:18-25).
For the most part, the Bible doesn’t attempt to “prove” to people that a Creator God really exists- on the contrary, the existence of God is usually treated as an obvious fact. The Bible also says that God’s anger is directed towards people who suppress or try to “hold down” this fact of His existence. In other words, the Bible tells us that God has declared the truth of His existence through His creation but people have not only rejected that evidence but have actually tried to bury it!
So what’s the big deal about creation? Well, “creation” is a kind of window through which we can understand something about God’s existence. You see, each time you enjoy some aspect of nature- a star-filled evening sky, a beautiful sunset or a walk along a sandy beach- you’re quietly reminded that these things did not come into existence on their own. In order to have a creation you have to have a Creator. The reality of a worker (that would be God in this case) can be established by the existence of His work (which would be the world, the sun, moon, stars and so forth).
So why would people deliberately try to cover up nature’s testimony that God really does exist? Well, part of the answer is found within the Scripture we looked at above…
“…(T)hey knew about (God) all right, but they wouldn’t admit it or worship him or even thank him…”
This takes us a little closer to the real issue. You see, accepting the existence of God also brings some responsibility with it. The acknowledgment of God carries a responsibility to God. For example, if a Creator does exist then that means that people are responsible to live in a way that’s acceptable to that One who created them. Acknowledging that God exists has the effect of making people accountable for the way that they live. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of people would rather just do whatever they want without the nagging feeling that they will eventually have to answer for their actions to a Creator.
So how do people deal with this? Well, the easiest path to avoiding responsibility towards God is just to deny that it exists. See, if you can convince yourself that God really doesn’t exist then you would be free from any responsibility to acknowledge Him, wouldn’t you? If there is no God, then there’s no responsibility on our part towards Him. For example, if people can eliminate the existence of God then they would never have to worry about breaking any of His rules or requirements. If there is no God, then there are no requirements and people are free to live however they want. Unfortunately this is the path that many people take.
There’s only one small problem with this. Remember what we said earlier- creation requires a Creator and the reality of a Worker can be established by the existence of His work. The problem is this: in order to claim that God doesn’t exist, people must intentionally block out nature’s testimony that God really does exist. In other words, people are forced to “push away the truth” about God’s reality as the Bible says above.
So people often attempt to muscle God and this evidence of His existence out of the way so they won’t have to think about it any longer. Then they go ahead and live out their lives in the hope that everything will somehow work out OK in the end when they die. Unfortunately, these choices often result in some tragic lifestyle consequences that the Bible explains like this: “So it was that when they gave God up and would not even acknowledge him, God gave them up to doing everything their evil minds could think of” (Romans 1:28).
When you come right down to it, The Doctor thinks that there are really only two reasons why people reject God’s existence: pride and fear. People often deny God because their pride makes them refuse to admit their need for God. Then there is also the fear of what others might say if the reality of God’s existence really began to change someone’s life. These two things often make it very difficult for people to overcome the built-in testimony of God’s existence as seen in creation.
Nevertheless, Jesus Himself reminds us of this:
“If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live. And how does a man benefit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in the process?
For is anything worth more than his soul? And anyone who is ashamed of me and my message in these days of unbelief and sin, I, the Messiah, will be ashamed of him when I return in the glory of my Father, with the holy angels” (Mark 8:35-38).
The invitation remains as it has for 2000 years: Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NIV). The alternative is summed up like this…
the father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear
“State Of Emergency!”
“Sniper Kills Ten!”
“Troops On A Rampage!”
“Youths Go Looting!”
“Bomb Blasts School!”
It is but the sound of man
worshiping his maker (1)
(1) Steve Turner, quoted in A Shattered Visage, © 1990, Ravi Zacharias