I spoke for the FBCLC D-Now this last weekend. It was a great time, and the students were a blast. Since the theme was about living your whole life for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31), I thought I would start by laying some spiritual groundwork. I began with Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Honoring God with your life starts with drawing near to God. As a result, we must believe in God! I exposed the students to a number of philosophical arguments that support theism (the Cosmological argument, Teleological argument, Ontological argument, Anthropological argument, and the Moral argument—we were loving God with our minds). But in the end, I asked if we really need these kinds of arguments to justify belief in God. In other words (as Alvin Plantinga supposes), it seems right to consider belief in God as a basic belief. In the same way that we do not need arguments to justify our belief in a past (it is possible that everything came into being 10 seconds ago, complete with aged material and all of our memories) or our belief in other minds (everyone around me might just be figments of my imagination), we do not need arguments to justify our belief in God. It is natural for humans to acknowledge a transcendent creator.
But what about the fact that some humans disbelieve that there is a God? The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 1:18-20 that “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans teaches us here that we know God exists, but because of our sin we suppress the truth that he is real. God has made it perfectly clear that he is real to everyone.
But, consider, as a result of our sin, our position before God. God’s wrath (vs. 18) is looming over us. You see God is a good judge, and he always punishes sin. What would we think of an earthly judge if he let criminals go? Well, God does not exemplify the worst traits in earthly judges; rather, he is perfectly just and always punishes sin. Notice Hebrews 9:27: “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” This is a problem for us, because we have all sinned. Because of our sin, we are separated from God—separated from our maker! But God loves us, and he has made a way for us to be reconciled back to him. God sent Jesus (God the Son) to die for our sins. Jesus paid the penalty for sin on the cross. 1 Peter 3:18a says “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.”
For these students, I challenged them to not just know that God is real, but, to confront this knowledge and to reach out to Christ.
John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”