“The God Who is There”

This is a series of Sunday morning sermons preached in 2012 at the Tanglewood Church of Christ in Odessa, Texas.

May 20, 2012: “The Invisible God” ‒ In the last few years, a militant form of atheism has pushed to the forefront in our culture with claims that religion is only superstition and that no truly intelligent person can justify belief in a Supreme Being. A major part of their attack is based on supposed science and assertions there is no evidence that an invisible Creator exists. Today we begin a study of our faith in the existence of the God of the Bible. Our first lesson notes that (1) we do indeed believe in an invisible God, and (2) we know that invisible is not the same as unreal! Click our message title to listen.

May 27, 2012: “Seeing Him Who Is Invisible” ‒ Not only does the Bible affirm that God is invisible, it forbids anyone even making any object of worship (idol) designed to represent Him. But there is a sense in which we can “see Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). Paul said that “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7) and “we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18). How can we see the invisible? How do we look at things that are unseen? By faith!

June 3, 2012: “Prepared to Give an Answer ‒ As Christians began to be persecuted by the pagan Roman culture around them, the Apostle Peter wrote a letter to urge them to (1) keep their glorious hope before them, (2) live exemplary lives despite the abuse, and (3) “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope you have” (I Peter 3:15). I am convinced that the evidence is available, sufficient and convincing concerning God’s existence and nature. As Peter said, each of us must be equipped to give a reason (answer, defense) for why we believe.

June 10, 2012: “The Evidence of Things Not Seen” ‒ Hebrews 11:1 says that faith undergirds our hope and is the evidence (or that which produces conviction) of things we do not yet see. Evidence is used in many fields of our lives. Legal evidence is required in court cases. Science, history, mathematics – all have well-defined ideas of what provides “proof” or produces conviction of the truth in that field. The same is true in the study of the Bible and of our subject about the existence of the God of the Bible. Understanding what constitutes evidence, examining and evaluating the evidence, and weighing alternative possibilities is what we are going to do now in our study.

June 17, 2012: “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” ‒ The atheist and skeptic may argue that our God is invisible and that they cannot believe in things invisible. Yet, in fact, they do! Their belief in the evolution of life from inert matter billions of years ago, the Big Bang hypothesis of the origin of the universe, or even the circling of an electron around a proton in the atom are all examples of things invisible. Perhaps they will then respond that they may not have seen these things, but can advance reasonable arguments for their existence. This is actually the nature of most “evidence” — reasoning from what is seen to what is unseen. When there are differing conclusions drawn from the same “evidence,” an appeal has to then be made to what is most likely, reasonable or probable. It is precisely here that the Christian should have the advantage. We begin today looking at what we believe is the evidence for God’s existence. Our first argument concerns the origin of the universe and the most reasonable explanation for its beginning.

June 24, 2012: “The Grand Design” ‒ In 2004 the scientific and academic world was shocked by the announcement by Dr. Antony Flew, a leading spokesman for the atheist movement in England and America, that he now believed that the universe existed as the the result of an Intelligent Designer. In subsequent interviews and a book, he declared that a combination of recent discoveries of science and the Judeo-Christian argument that design requires a designer had led him to his new conviction. Indeed, most efforts by the “no god” (atheist) believers now seem to focus on countering this argument for the existence of God. Our lesson today provides our point of view on this very powerful evidence.

July 1, 2012: “Let There Be Life!” ‒ Modern man has a huge fascination with the idea of other life “out there” in the universe. Star TrekStar WarsWar of the WorldsThe Martian Chronicles, fascination with UFOs, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence giant dish arrays (SETI) ‒ are all examples of such interest. The extreme desire to find some indication of life, or supposed “pre-life” components like water and organic compounds, on Mars by the Rover explorers really reflect the belief by many in the science field that life should be abundant and easy to come by on many planets across the universe. But the evidence is to the contrary. All experience, observation and research have confirmed that life only comes from other life! The existence of life is another evidence (or clue) in favor of the existence of an unbelievably powerful and intelligent Creator. Click to listen.

July 8, 2012: “Made in His Image” ‒ In the Genesis account of creation we read, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” The rise of intelligence in living creatures, especially as found in man, is only adequately explained by a powerful, intelligent Creator. The same intelligence and reason that allows the atheist and skeptic to argue against the existence of a Creator is actually a powerful clue to His existence. Listen as we speak more on the subject.

July 15, 2012: “Our Conscience Bears Witness” ‒ “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” Atheism argues that nothing produced everything, that chaos produced order and design, and that non-life generated all life. Can it give a reasonable explanation for the human concepts of good and evil, right and wrong? Almost all mankind everywhere and through all recorded history have shared a common conviction of certain core “moral standards.” The Christian’s confidence is that we are endowed with these core morals by the Supreme Being, God.  Hear more by clicking on our message title.

July 22, 2012: “And God Said” ‒ Non-believers in the existence of an all-powerful, eternal, intelligent Creator God scoff at the idea of believing in a God who is unseen. And all of our clues to His existence so far have fallen into the category of “circumstantial (but substantial) evidence.” Now we consider evidence of another kind. This God has spoken! And He has been heard and the witnesses have recorded it! This is the claim of the Bible. Today we begin our examination of the evidence that the Bible provides for the existence of God.

July 29, 2012: “The Word of the Prophets” ‒ Last week we saw that the Bible consistently claims to contain words from God, even insisting that God “breathed out” the sacred writings (II Timothy 3:16). If this is true, how could God verify or substantiate these claims so that every generation could check the evidence for themselves. The claim of the prophets of the Old Testament is that their accurate predictions of future events would be the definitive proof. Today we look at this claim, check out those prophecies, and see how this provides substantial proof both for God’s existence and for the Bible being from Him.

August 5, 2012: “God With Us” ‒ Many ask, “If there is a God, why doesn’t He show Himself? It would be so much easier to believe if we could see Him!” In our last two messages, we presented evidence that God has spoken. Today we explore the claim of both Old and New Testament that God has also walked among us! The predictions of the prophets, and the historical biographies of the Gospel writers say, in effect, of Jesus, “This is Him!”

August 12, 2012: “Who Is This?” ‒ Last week we reviewed the claim of Christianity and the New Testament that God actually visited the earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Today we examine the evidences presented to support that claim. This is a matter of history, not science or philosophy. As a result we must “play by the rules” of historical research. It is a matter of established historical record that Jesus lived, and a movement quickly sprang up and grew which believed and proclaimed his claims. It’s confirmed that within a generation documents were written and diseminated claiming to be by eyewitnesses of the words and deeds of Jesus. And history shows little or no evidence of substance was provided by contemporaries disproving the eyewitness claims. Join us in a quick overview of the evidence concerning Jesus, and answer for yourself, “Who is this?”

August 19, 2012: “Earnestly Seeking Him” ‒ After taking this brief overview of the evidences supporting belief in a Supreme Being, specifically the God described in the Bible, we conclude our series today. Belief in many things in life require little or nothing of us. Belief that Magellan’s exploration team sailed around the world, or that light travels at 186,282.397 miles per second in a vacuum probably does not require any action on our part beyond simple acceptance of these truths. But belief in the existence of the God of the Bible is different. Belief would mean acknowledging His rule over us, His standard of conduct for our lives, His visitation to earth through Jesus, and our accountability at judgment. The writer of Hebrews speaks of, “believing that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Are you walking by faith? Listen to our our message.