There are many critics of God and the Bible who assert that God was unjust in destroying the Canaanite people in the Old Testament. The assertion states that the innocent were destroyed along with the guilty in God’s judgement of the Canaanites. In recent days I have had conversations with atheists who assert that the destruction of the Amalekites, and eventually all the Canaanites, was unjust.
Many of the critics of God’s judgment against the Amalekites have stated that they have read the Bible many times, and this is why they are atheists and condemn God for His actions.
When we read what atheists and other critics write concerning God and what He requires for human life on earth, we find that the deficit resides in those who cite their knowledge of God, while displaying complete ignorance concerning who God is and what He requires.
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The premise Of Critics: In God’s judgment, He Also Destroys The Innocent
The following comment was posted at my Youtube site by an atheist who feels that when God destroyed the Amalekites and included the women and children, this was an unjust action by God.
“Let’s imagine for a moment that my neighbor murdered my entire family: my wife and my children. And let’s imagine that my murderous neighbor also has a wife as well as children the same age as my own. And let’s imagine that his wife and children were not involved with the murder of my own family. Do you know what I would not want to do? I would not want to go and kill my murdering neighbor’s wife and children. Do you want to know why? Because I’m not keen on “punishing” people for things they didn’t do. But you are. You’re okay with punishing people for things they didn’t do.”
My response to the above comment:
“Your illustration is an inequity. Thinking in human terms, using examples that have no parallel in the judgment of God, you display your callous lack of knowledge in what the Bible is teaching.
By the time that God destroyed the Amalekites, there was a 900 year history of the Canaanites in their butchery of people who lived in their lands.
God’s judgment of the Amalekites was not callous or indiscriminate; it was calculated, measured, and necessary to cease the spread of the evil the Canaanites inflicted upon people in their own nation, and surrounding nations.
The women, children, and babies of the Canaanite people were not innocent. Every parent knows that children are not innocent, they are little sinners. Children who grown up in homes where evil is prevalent, also become evil and continue the brutality of their parents. Sons become like their fathers, and the line of evil continues through every generation.
There is a provision in the plan of God, for those who do not understand their status as a sinner, or need for a Savior. God is always fair and righteous. He sent Jesus to die for all sins, so that He could apply the provision of Jesus’ payment of all sins, to anyone He chooses.
I am certain that all babies and children who have not reached an age where they know and are accountable for their sins, God covers their sins by Jesus’ death for all sins.
Heaven will be filled with children who were aborted by their parents, killed by evil men, or died as a result their parents evil actions. The mentally disabled also have no knowledge of their sin, and they are likely all covered by Jesus’ death for all sins.
God is completely fair and righteous, and in punishing evil, He also remembers mercy for those who have no capacity to understand their need for a Savior. This is why Jesus came; so that God could save all those who cannot save themselves.
Concerning the Amalekites, the only way to stop their evil was to destroy the entire nation. By taking in death, all of the children of the Amalekites, God saved them from the horrors their parents would have brought into their lives. These precious children are likely alive today in heaven, as an act of God’s great love.
A doctor who is seeking to eradicate cancer, does not remove only the most serious cells, that are metastasizing, but all cancer cells, because of their potential danger to the entire body in the future.
The fact that you cannot see the justice of God, in that He warned these people for nearly 900 years, and the Amalekites knew that they would all be destroyed if they didn’t cease their evil, is staggering.
If these Amalekite parents really loved and cared about their children, and they knew what Yahweh had done to other nations, why didn’t they repent like the Ninevites? Their continued practice of evil, despite God’s warnings of imminent destruction, speaks of how debased they had become.”
The Primary Attribute Of God Is His Holiness—His Separation From Sin
It is impossible for God to commit sin. He is above and outside all sin. Existing as perfect, everything He says and does is good, even when we don’t understand what He has done. In the New Testament Paul affirms the perfection of God regarding the promises He made to those who trust Him.
“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” ~Hebrews 6:18-19
Because God is perfect and cannot change, we can have great confidence that what He promised us, He will not change His mind. These unchangeable attributes of God’s nature and the promises He has made, originate from God’s perfection and His Holy and unchangeable nature. God can do no wrong, but we may think God has done wrong, if we don’t understand His nature.
If we think that God has made an error, it is because we have not understood what He has done. We should realize that God is always right, and it is we who sometimes misunderstood His actions. Our first thought when we don’t understand, should be that God is perfect and therefore, always right. We must seek to understand what He has done to correct our confusion.
When many atheists and critics of God and the Bible read a passage that they believe is evidence that God is immoral, they do not seek to understand, but to confirm their conclusion. They do this by consulting the opinions of other atheists, who also believe the God of the Bible is immoral. This kind of thinking always leads to incorrect conclusions, because the premise was wrong; that God is wrong.
If we begin with the idea that God exists and He has the power and technology to conceive, engineer, and produce the universe we inhabit, then it is no stretch of the imagination to accept that He also has the power to communicate a message to us through men He might choose, and preserve their testimony intact so that every person on earth might have a reliable and truthful communication from God.
If we begin with the idea that the Bible is true, and therefore we must seek to understand what is written—in its entirety—a correct understanding is possible. If we begin with the idea that the Bible is wrong, and God is immoral, then it will be impossible to arrive at a correct conclusion.
People who read only the Bible, apart from the comments of any person, always come away with a completely different view of the texts, than someone who first reads the comments of critics.
We Must Begin With The Certainty That God is Holy And Perfect In Every Way
In these promises made to us by God we see how important the unchangeable nature of God’s perfection are. We also understand why critics try so hard to impugn and malign the character of God. If God can be shown as unjust, unfair, unloving, or commit any act of evil—every claim of His goodness and love are destroyed.
The facts are; God is always revealed as Holy, righteous and fair, throughout the Bible. When people attribute evil to God it is because they don’t understand His judgments that result from His moral perfection, and hatred of sin.
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” ~Romans 2:4-8
When God sent Jesus into our world to die for us, this was forever an eternal proof of God’s righteousness, justice and love:
- God is righteous in that He cannot tolerate sin and evil;
- He is just in that He punished Jesus for our sins instead of us—fully satisfying His righteous requirements;
- He displayed His love to us by giving what was most precious to Him, His only Son.
“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.” ~Romans 3:25-26
“Those Who Come Near Me, I Must Be Regarded As Holy”
In Leviticus 10, Aaron had two sons, Nadab and Abihu, who were destroyed because they did not regard the Lord as Holy. These men failed to follow the procedures the Lord had given to Moses for how, when, and where they could approach God with the offering required.
If we think that God doesn’t care about how we regard Him, Leviticus 10 eliminates this misunderstanding
The primary fault of Nadab and Abihu was their failure to understand and acknowledge that God is Holy. When a person forgets who God is, they begin to live their life in a manner that places them in great jeopardy.
Nadab and Abihu were the oldest of Aaron’s four sons. They are seen is Leviticus 10 as priests bringing incense before the Lord within the censers that held the coals of fire (16:2).
The problem begins because Nadab and Abihu were coming with the offering at a time the Lord did not authorize them to come, with a fire not authorized, entering the Lord’s presence at a time not authorized. In other words, they were doing what God had commanded, but in a way that the Lord did not approve.
In the Old Testament, the sacrifices that God commanded for sin, had to follow a prescribed procedure. To disregard this procedure was an act of disrespect to the Lord, “not counting Him as Holy.” This is the error that people make today in their criticism of God; a failure to understand who He is, and that He is Holy. Critics make claims that God is evil and unrighteous for destroying the innocent with the evil.
When a person does not regard the Lord as perfect in righteousness and judgment, because they think He should have acted in a way they approve, they elevate themselves above God, and commit a grievous error.
Nadab and Abihu were killed by the Lord in front of the place where they made their offering, simply because they brought the offering incorrectly, and barged into the presence of the Lord at a time that was not prescribed.
The reason these two sons of Aaron did this, is the same reason that critics of God today say that God was unrighteous in destroying the innocent with the wicked, concerning the Amalekites. Both Nadab and Abihu, and people today, fail to understand the principle that God is Holy and everything He says and does is perfect in righteousness.
If We Think That God Is wrong, We Will Discover By Study, It Is We Who Are wrong
Moses tells Aaron that his sons made serious errors when they approached the Lord (10:1). The Lord warned that they could not come before Him, into the Holy Place, whenever they wanted, or they will die (10:2). Nadab and Abihu made two critical errors:
- They came before the Lord at a time He had not authorized.
- They tried to enter the Most Holy Place, when they were not authorized.
We see an example of a breach of royal protocol in Esther 4:11:
“All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter.”
To come into the presence of the king without authorization was considered a sign of tremendous disrespect. The authority of the king, and his power being disregarded, a person placed their life in great jeopardy by barging into the king’s presence without approval. Persons who attempted this in antiquity, were immediately executed. The example given to us in the book of Esther, was in the presence of the king of Persia.
When disrespect takes place before a person of great authority, it is due to a defect in the character of the person showing disrespect. Lacking humility many people today do not regard authority and often scoff, mock, and rebel against people in authority.
Concerning the God of the universe, people who treat Him with disrespect today, do so because they are filled with pride and arrogance and will not submit to any authority. At no time in human history has any society regarding people who rebel against all authority as valid members of a civil society. In heaven only those who posses a deep sense of humility and sorrow over their sins, will be allowed to live in the perfect world God created for the righteous. An acknowledgment of God as the only authority for what is good, right, and moral, is a prerequisite to admission into heaven.
The Consequences Of Dishonoring The Holiness Of God
Judgement from the Lord comes immediately as Nadab and Abihu are killed where they stand. This event is recorded in the Old Testament as an example to all of us today, to not disrespect the God who is the subject of the Bible, by failing to understand that He is Holy, righteous, and just.
The reason that atheists and critics of God disregard these qualities of God, is their abandonment of humility, respect, and all wisdom. As Nadab and Abihu were destroyed for their failure to honor God and disregard for who He is, so also do many today.
The book of Hebrews describes the consequences of our error if we fail to regard the Lord as Holy, and treat His words and actions as evil:
“There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The LORD will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.“ ~Hebrews 10:27-31
Today, because Jesus has come and completed the one perfect sacrifice for all sins, the way, time, and place we may enter into the presence of God, is open. Anyone who has felt sincere remorse for their sins and has come to Jesus for the forgiveness He offers, has the right to approach God at anytime. Unlike those in the Old Testament under the old covenant, who could only come before the Lord at specific times and by specified procedures, today we can come any time into the presence of our God.
“For Jesus Himself is our peace, who has broken down the middle wall of separation.” ~Ephesians 2:14
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16
God said in Leviticus 10:3, that he will show himself holy and display his glory. People who speak of Him, and seek to understand Him, must regard Him as Holy, Righteous, and Just. When God punished sin and evil, it is from His perfection and love of what og good, right, and brings peace. To destroy the wicked when they will not repent, is to preserve righteousness.
If The People Destroyed In The Old Testament Had Lived Righteous Lives, They Would Not Have Been Destroyed
No one wants to live in a world where evil is not dealt with swiftly, so that people who want to live in peace, may do so and enjoy the good life God has given us all.
The Canaanites are the descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham, one of Noah’s three sons. Among the Canaanites are the most infamous—the Amorites, who lived in the hill country of Israel. The rest of the Canaanites include: the Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, Amalekites, Hittites, Moabites, Edomites, Philistines, and Girgashites. The people of the Canaanite nations were some of the most brutal and vicious human beings who have ever lived on the planet.
The Amalekites attacked the Israelites on their journey through the desert, from behind where all of the women, children, babies, elderly, infirmed, disabled, and animals traveled in the caravan. They did this intentionally so that they could inflict as much murder upon God’s people as possible. The Amorites received the judgement of God for their heinous crimes, but God gave them almost 900 years to repent before He destroyed the Amalekites.
The Moabites used their women to lure the Israelites into sexual sin, so that the men of Israel would worship their god Baal, and turn away from the Lord. God destroyed this nation by a swift act of judgment, as well as Balaam who taught the Moabites how to deceive God’s people and bring judgment upon them.
Critics of God in the Old Testament often cite these two instances of God’s judgment as evil, unjustified, and immoral. The facts are that all of the Canaanite people were extremely evil and their actions were so horrendous by the time the Israelites came through their land, that God had decided to institute final judgment against these people.
There is no higher moral authority that God, for He is the only Being who is absolutely perfect in every way. Only God has the exclusive right to destroy entire nations, and He only does this after warning nations and people for hundreds of years.
To ignore evil and allow it to continue on earth, would result in the total collapse of all life on earth. Sin does not cease itself. Only when people understand their actions are an offense to a Holy God, and that He demands our moral perfection in all of our lives, can there be a civil society where people can live together in peace.
It is when people fail to understand the Holiness of God—His complete separation from sin and evil—that His judgment against sin and evil can be correctly understood.
Nadab and Abihu greatly disrespect the Lord in the context of worship, and experience his judgment as a result (vv. 1–7).
“Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD.” ~Leviticus 10:1-2
“And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” ~Leviticus 10:3
“Your Own Words Condemn You”
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is seen teaching the Parable of the Ten Servants in chapter 19. In this Parable Jesus intends that we understand He is the ruler who is the object of this story. The servants are those whom Jesus has called to use the resources He has given them—to tell others about Him, and help people in the world find salvation in Jesus.
In this Parable three servants are given different amounts of silver, representing resources. When the master returns from His journey to heaven to be crowned as KIng, He asks an accounting of these servants to see what they did with what He gave them.
The first servant increased what was given to him by one hundred percent; the second, by five times. These servants were congratulated by their master for using well what was given to them. Their authority in the kingdom was determined by what they did with what their King gave them.
The third servant did nothing with what he was given. When an accounting was made by his master, he said he did nothing because he was afraid of his master: “I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant” (Luke 19:21).
Jesus said that by his own words, this servant condemned himself. Jesus said: “Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I am a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank?” (Luke 19 22).
The critics of God and the Bible who point out that God destroys the wicked in judgment, condemn themselves. Since they know that God is Holy, Righteous and Just, and cannot tolerate sin or evil, they should have repented at this knowledge. Instead they act as His critics, condemning Him for destroying the evil people of the Canaanite nations.
By their words, the atheist, progressive, and critics of God’s judgments in the Old Testament—demonstrate they know God will judge people like them, but they still refuse to repent and believe in Jesus.
The Righteous Basis For All God’s Law, Predicated On His Moral Perfection
Five times in the book of Leviticus, the Lord repeats the statement: “I am Holy. (11:44,45; 19:2; 20:26; 21:8, קָדוֹשׁ qâḏôš; or קָדֹשׁ qadosh, set apart, perfection).
“For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” ~Leviticus 11:44-45
There is only One who is not created, who is above all creation, who is perfect in every way. In order for God to be God, He must be perfect, He must be Holy. If God could be found committing sin, evil, or any wrong, He would not be Holy; He would not be God. This is the reason that critics of God seek to attach blame to Him for actions He instituted in the Old Testament. By claiming that God’s judgment of sin is immoral, critics think they can lower God to a human standard.
“Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him,’You will be proved right in what you say…'” ~Romans 3:4
God Makes Us Righteous By A Supreme Act Of Grace: He Gives Us Salvation Simply Because We Believe Him
“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.” ~Romans 4:20-22
If we had the capacity to create something perfect, we would be greatly offended if anyone would attempt to cause our creation to become imperfect. God created human beings in His image. We were perfect as God is perfect. Our morality was exactly the same as God’s morality. Everything that God holds as right, we also held as right. It was the introduction of sin into human life that changed our view, and alienated us from God’s perfection.
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” ~Romans 5:12
God made human being like Himself, morally perfect. He hates what sin did to us, and the way that it robs us of the beauty and perfection God wanted us to enjoy forever. When God warns people and nations to cease their sin, evil, and rebellion against Him, after a time of waiting for these people to repent and change their minds, He brings complete judgment.
The reason that entire nations are destroyed is that when sin reaches its pinnacle, it infects every part of life for that nation. Just as sickness and disease permeate every part of a human body until it kills the body; so also does sin. The only remedy for a nation completely infected with sin and evil, is to destroy everyone in that nation.’
When cancer enters the human body, if it is not killed completely, infected cells will overtake the entire body and kill the person. When cancer treatment takes place, every part of the cancer cells must be killed in order to save the person. If even the smallest single cell of cancer is permitted to exist, it will grow again into every part of the body and kill the person.
God sees nations in the same way. The Canaanite people, which consisted of many nations, had become completely infected with sin. If God only destroyed the adults and left the children, these children had also become infected with the sin of their parents and the sin would simply go on into the next generation. It is a fact of human life that children become just like their parents. The children of evil people, will also become evil themselves.
If a baby or child dies, they are in a different category of judgment by God. Only person who are fully aware of their sins are held accountable for their sins. A baby or small child is a sinner, but they have not reached an age where they understand their sin and the need to repent. God is completely fair and merciful, and it is possible that in heaven, all the children of these evil people who God judges, are placed under the provision of Jesus’ death for all sins.
When Jesus died, He died for all sins, for all time. God can show mercy to anyone He chooses, because He alone knows the true heart of a person. God can appropriate the death and resurrection of Jesus for sins, upon anyone He chooses. It is clear that He does this for certain persons who are incapable of understanding their sin and need for repentance.
We don’t know that many of these babies and children who also perished in the total judgment of nations, were saved by God from eternal loss by Jesus’ death for all sins. God is always fair and righteous. In the book of Revelation there is a stunning declaration by the people whom God has redeemed from the earth, when they have seen all of the judgments of God, “And I heard a voice from the altar, saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just.” ~Revelation 16:7
When we see the complete judgment of God at the end of all things, we will be satisfied that God was completely fair.
There is a difference between God’s judgment and man’s judgment. Man often makes mistakes when he judges because he does not have the capacity to look into the heart of a person and know all things. God is unlimited in His knowledge, and therefore, the only One who can rightly judge. We cannot look into the heart of anyone to see what the motive was; God can see what a person thinks, and why they say and do the things that come from their life.
When God created Adam, He placed him on the earth and gave him dominion over every creature and the earth itself. This first man was subject to all the laws of the universe, just as we are today. Man does not live for himself. He exists within a set of boundaries that allow him to continue to reside on the earth. God established these laws for mankind, just as He established them for the universe.
The Spiritual Laws:
- Sin and Death
- Eternal Life
Sin And Death
The principle law that we will concern ourselves with in this essay, is the law of sin and death. As gravity; “The force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass,” defines objects; the laws of sin and death defines behavior for human beings; “the soul that sins will die.”
God did not place us on this planet with no directives. We all understand that in order for human life to exist, there must be laws which govern human behavior. This only became true after the fall of man. Before Adam fell into sin and death began, there was only one rule: “Don’t eat from one fruit in the garden. This single law became the method, by-which, man could measure his love and obedience to his Creator. If Adam truly loved God and would do as He had instructed him; there would be no end to his life, nor the perfection of his existence. If Adam wished to exercise his right of choice and disobey God, then the result would be a loss of eternal life, and his relationship with God.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” ~Genesis 2:16-17
There was only one rule: don’t eat from this one tree, one penalty: death.
This is the law of sin and death that God had established: “The soul that sins will die.”
“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.” ~Ezekiel 18:4
This is what God told Adam on the day that he first sinned. His disobedience would result in a “curse,’ that would permeate the entire earth and cause death and decay to begin.
There Are None That Are Truly Righteous Or Good
Atheists often speak of the innocent who God should not have destroyed, but clearly they have not understood what the Bible says about sin. In Romans 3, Paul defines the condition of all human beings: “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one is good, not a single one.’
The babies, children and others you define as innocent in the Old Testament, are not without sin. Babies and children grow up as sinners themselves, to commit horrible acts of evil. A child born into a pagan family who worship demon gods, will become just like their parents.
One of the criticism’s that atheists use in their debates with Christians, is the idea that people become a Christians because they grew up in a Christian household. This premise works equally well in describing what will happen to a baby or child of Pagan parents who worship Molech; these children will become like their parents, also evil and worship demon god’s.
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.’ ” ~Genesis 3:17
The Bible is clear that all men, since Adam, are under a curse. From the moment that Adam disobeyed God, he was under the judgment of sin and death. Because all men are descended from Adam, all human beings have inherited this curse.
Paul wrote later in the New Testament that this was the purpose for Jesus coming into the world, to remove the curse.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)… ~Galatians 3:10-13
What Happened To Adam After His Sin:
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. ~Genesis 3:7-8
Their eyes were opened; and for the first time, they noticed that they were naked. They felt guilt and hid themselves from God. Prior to Adam’s sin, he was not focussed on himself; he was looking at Eve and his relationship with God and all of creation. The fact that immediately after Adam’s sin occurs, he becomes self-aware; illustrates the defect that is in all of us. We are sinners by nature, being self-consumed. This defective nature that we all posses is the cause of all of the pain and suffering that is in the world.
The Bible is clear that all men, since Adam, are under a curse because of the actions of Adam. He was our representative and by his failure, every person on the planet has suffered the consequences. From the moment that Adam disobeyed God, he was under the judgment of sin and death. Because all men are descended from Adam, all human beings have inherited this curse.
We Are Not Sinners Because We Sin; We Sin Because We Are Sinners.
Our propensity towards sin comes from the fact that we are inherently flawed in our basic spiritual D.N.A. We commit sin because that is what we do best. It is not really possible for any human being to not sin.
A large part of the plan of God in allowing Jesus to suffer for the sins of all people was that God would have a righteous basis to forgive sin. The pronouncement of God was that: The soul that sins will die.
How God Justifies The Sinner
In order for God to be seen as Just, He must punish sin by the death of the guilty. God does not ever overlook sin; He always judges it and punishes all wrong, just as He said that He would. There is, however, a provision in the law of God that allows for an innocent, who has done no wrong, to substitute his life for the life of the guilty. The innocent is made culpable by the transfer of sins to his account and then takes the punishment that is due. The former guilty party is treated as innocent, and there is no record of wrongdoing attached to his account. This is exactly what was accomplished by the provision in the law of God, to which Jesus availed Himself on our behalf.
Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering (who is innocent), and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him (who is guilty). ~Leviticus 1:4
Although the process of sin’s removal is the same in both the Old and New Testament examples, through an innocent second party, the permanent removal of those sins in the Old Testament did not occur until the Messiah made His one perfect sacrifice for all those sins. After Jesus’ death, everyone who comes to Him, based on this provision in the law; they have their sins fully paid, and removed from their record.
In the Books of Exodus, Chapter 29, and Leviticus, Chapter 4, the Lord describes a process whereby a person who has committed sin may have those sins atoned for by the death of an innocent animal. This sacrifice did not remove the sin of the persons who committed them; it simply acted as a kofar—a covering, until the Messiah would come and make His one perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people. God was illustrating the seriousness of sin and the cost involved to have those sins judged. If no sacrifice was made, if there was no shedding of blood, then the sins could not be atoned for.
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. ~Hebrews 9:22
Jesus, The One Who Justifies The Sinner
Jesus came, in the words of Isaiah; to proclaim to the ends of the world this great salvation that would be accomplished by the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled every point and purpose of the law of God, by becoming the perfect sacrifice that would; once and for all, remove our sins.
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. ~Hebrews 9:11-15
Old Testament Sacrifices Did Not Remove Sin
Paul’s puts forth the argument in Hebrews Chapter 10, that if innocent animals who shed their blood, could take away the guilt of the offending sinner and allow them to continue to worship God, how much more can the precious blood of the Son of God completely remove our sin and our guilt—forever? The purpose of these Old Testament laws were to serve as a “shadow of the good things to come.” If the Old Testament sacrifices had been perfect, then the person offering the animal would have experienced the complete removal of their sins. This was not the case; however, the sinner who brought his sacrifice, understood that his sins were still present. God was allowing a temporary provision to cover the guilt of the sinner until the Messiah arrived to permanently remove them forever.
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. ~Hebrews 10:1
To be “saved,” means to be rescued from the law of sin and death, so that it no longer has any effect upon you.
The Arrival Of Jesus And The New Covenant
To this end, the prophet Jeremiah describes the arrival of a God-man, who will have the capacity to remove the curse that Adam caused and restore all those who believe, back to a perfect relationship with God.
The Messiah will make a new covenant in His blood that will make the first covenant obsolete.
Old Testament Prediction:
Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke… ~Jeremiah 31:31-32
New Testament Fulfillment:
(Jesus Speaking) For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. ~Matthew 26:28
…by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. ~Hebrews 7:22
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. ~Hebrews 8:6-10
In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. ~Hebrews 8:13
Hebrew Scholar, Paul of Tarsus, Confirms That Jesus Was The Object Of Jeremiah’s Prophecy
In confirming the fulfillment of this prophecy from Jeremiah 31:31-32, Paul directly quotes the exact words of the prophet in describing the work of Jesus Christ, to accomplish our complete salvation; by the shedding of His blood on the cross.
Jeremiah: Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. —Jeremiah 31:31
Paul: Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah —Hebrews 8:9
According to the covenant of the Old Testament, a person who had sinned could have his sins “covered” (not removed) by the blood of an innocent. These sacrifices for sin had to take place every time a sin was committed.
For more information on why and how the new covenant has fulfilled and eliminated the old covenant, see the chapters: Dying For Our Sins, Bearing Gods Wrath, and Hanged on a Tree.
The Old Testament Sacrifices Had Limits In What They Could Accomplish:
Although the sacrifice of these animals served as an illustration for what God would do later through the Messiah’s perfect sacrifice for all sins, these animals could not permanently remove sin’s penalty and make a person perfect before God.
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. ~Hebrews 10:1-4
The Sacrifice That Jesus Made For Us, As Described By The New Testament, Is Without Limits In What It Has Accomplished:
Jesus death on the cross, fully vindicates all those who look to His sacrifice as the final payment for their sins. These sins were completely removed at Jesus death, and they no loner remain on the account of those who receive Jesus by faith.
By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. ~Hebrews 10:10-14
The purpose of the many Old Testament laws was to serve as a shadow of the good things to come. If the Old Testament sacrifices were perfect, then they would not need to be offered continuously. Once the person who made the sacrifice completed the ritual, then his sins would have been completely removed. This was not the case however; the sinner who made his sacrifice understood that his sins were still present. God was allowing a temporary provision to cover the guilt of the sinner until the promise of God through His Messiah would come and permanently pay for these sins, and thereby remove them forever.
This is the topic of this prophecy by Jeremiah 31:31-32, that God will make a “new covenant” with Israel, and finally to the whole world. In this new agreement, the sacrifice that Jesus made one time for all of us, is the only means by which God is ready to save us all.
The Basis Of The New Covenant
Malachi continues our education is understanding the laws of sin and death and how the Messiah will bring the message of a new covenant between God and man. What God requires for salvation, is the most important issue of all human life. The basis of forgiveness of sins in the Old Testament was the animal sacrifices that were continually offered. On every occasion when a person would sin, they must bring a sacrifice for each sin. Under the new covenant of God, all sins were fully paid and forgiven, by one sacrifice. As the Messiah comes to offer His perfect and eternal life for the sins of the world, by His death and resurrection; salvation is available to every person.
Here the prophet Malachi states that when the Messiah comes, He will bring a new covenant that will exist between God and man.
Old Testament Prediction:
“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts. ~Malachi 3:1c
New Testament Fulfillment:
Therefore, when Messiah came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, “Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’ ” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first covenant that He may establish the second. ~Hebrews 10:5-9
By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God… ~Hebrews 10:10-12
Jesus’ Singular-Perfect-Life, Makes Us Ready For Heaven
This is one of the most important questions of a person’s life. Just as there are thousands of religions, with millions of churches who claim to have the answer to this question, how can we know who is correct? The correct answer is: Jesus.
What distinguishes Christianity from other religions of the world, is the singular life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As you have read through this book, you have no doubt been struck by the uniqueness of Jesus. You have come to understand that salvation is not possible for any person, apart from Jesus death for our sins. The reasons are many, but they are all directed at two important points:
How God’s Salvation Works
- By Grace: Salvation is a free gift that became possible because of Jesus’ willingness to die and pay the penalty for our sins. There is nothing that any person can do to earn their salvation except to receive the forgiveness of sins and believe that God has saved you.
- Through Faith: A sincere trust in the completed sacrifice for all sins that Jesus accomplished by dying on the cross and raising Himself from the dead.
- With Repentance: A heartfelt and urgent desire to turn from all sin and to cease the practice of sin from the moment of salvation.
- A Sincere Trust In Jesus: To understand that Jesus died for your sins and that His death has fully satisfied God’s wrath against you. To be serious and earnest in seeking salvation from Jesus; not a casual, callous, insincere, or uncommitted confession made in a moment of emotion or doubt.
- A Diligent Endurance: Those who are really saved, abide in Jesus and never leave Him, regardless of the cost, difficulties, discouragement, persecution, or losses of life.
The principle of salvation and the granting of eternal life, requires moral perfection. Because all human beings are sinners, their salvation is not possible, apart from a supernatural work of God. A provision in the law of God allows for a substitution at the place of judgement for sins—providing that this substitute is a human being, perfect and without sin, and has a life of sufficient value to pay the ransom of all human lives.
Only Jesus Meets All The Demand Required Of A Savior
God sent His Son into the world for the purpose of saving us. He was able to accomplish this because of His unique qualifications. Jesus took the body of a man and came to earth as one of us.
First: The law of God requires that only another human being can save us. As Jesus is also the Eternal God, dwelling within the body of a human being, His life is of infinite value. This is a prerequisite because the one who is offering His life for ours, must have a value that is equal to, or greater than; all of the lives that He is saving. As God came to us in the form of a human being, and His life has sufficient value to redeem us; Jesus was uniquely qualified to offer His life for us. See the chapters: Virgin Birth, A Body Prepared, and Passover Lamb.
Second: Based upon the above requirements, there is no other person, religion, or institution of man; that can meet these demands of God’s law. Therefore, it is impossible for us to save ourselves by our good works, since they will always fail the test of perfection. Although we may have the capacity to do many good things, we are not capable of being good in all things.
This is a requirement of God for eternal life: perfection in moral behavior. We all understand that if imperfection is allowed in any system, before long, it begins to affect all of the other parts of a system. In the simple example of a basket of fruit: just one spot on one piece of fruit that has begun to decay, will eventually cause the ruin of all the other pieces of fruit.
The entire basis of all human law is to remove those from society who refuse to obey the laws of government that protect the safety and serenity of all other persons. We all understand that imperfection in human life, greatly affects the quality of life for everyone. In heaven, there will be no imperfection in anything. Only those who are fully ready, by obtaining perfection in their moral behavior, will be permitted in heaven.
By Jesus’ death and resurrection, His perfect life has made all of our imperfect lives—perfect. Once we believe upon Jesus our sins do not have the power to keep us out of heaven since they have been removed. They do, however, have the capacity to affect our fellowship with God in our current relationship. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to remove them; and our fellowship with God can continue. This new relationship with God, based upon Jesus death and resurrection; makes us fully ready for heaven. Those who take Jesus as their Savior are “Born Again,” by the Spirit of God:
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” ~John 3:3-5
In our first birth, we are born of water at our physical birth when we come out from our mother’s womb through the water.
In our second birth, we are born of the Spirit when we turn our life over to Jesus Christ, trusting in the sacrifice that He has made for us on the cross.
Every living human being has experienced birth by water; however, only those who choose to be born of the Spirit will be born again a second time. Spiritual rebirth sets us free from the curse of Adam because we are no longer under the power of sin and death. When we place our trust in Jesus as our Savior, God causes the rebirth of our formerly dead spirit. This is what Jesus was referring to as being born again.
Those who refer to themselves as “Born again Christians” are describing this new spiritual birth, in which Jesus has removed the old curse that sin had formerly placed us under and He has given us a new life directed by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said in the above verse from John Chapter 3, that admittance into heaven comes only by a spiritual rebirth through Him as our Messiah, not through any good works that we might try to perform to please God. Nicodemus was a leader in Israel. He believed that his righteousness came from the fact that he was a son of Abraham and because he kept the laws of Moses. Jesus informs Nicodemus that God only accepts those people who come to Him through a new spiritual rebirth, not by being a son of Abraham, or by keeping the laws of Moses.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. ~John 3:6-8
The spiritual birth which occurs when we sincerely turn our life over to Jesus is not something that is always outwardly visible. New birth happens internally within our spirit where our true self resides. The real you is spirit, and this spirit is dead to God while we remain under the curse. God created your spirit to exist for eternity. However, without this new birth, our spirit will remain dead within us. If we do not experience a new spiritual birth, we will remain dead to God and separated from Him forever. Without the new birth, we will remain under the curse of Adam’s disobedience and our own sins that we have committed.
This is the reason that a person cannot understand the Bible, the nature of God, nor how His plans for the universe operate. God only reveals Himself to those who are in a new spiritual relationship with Him, having had the curse removed through the sacrifice that Jesus has made for us on the cross.
But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from Gods Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they cant understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. ~1 Corinthians 2:14 (NLT)
If we choose to live our life apart from God by denying Jesus and His desire to remove our sins and the curse, then there remains no other way for God to save us. If we live for ourselves and to please our flesh, then we are already dead. If we choose to be born again and live our life directed by the Spirit of God who will reside in us, then we will live forever.
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey Gods laws, and it never will. Thats why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. ~Romans 8:6-8 (NLT)
If we choose to be Born Again by the Spirit, then God’s Spirit will begin to live within us, helping us to make better decisions to not sin as often as we had, before we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. ~Romans 8:9-10
The body that we live in is not a part of God’s plan of salvation, only our spirit (you will receive a new body). Because our bodies are unredeemed for the present time, we will continue to struggle with sin throughout our lifetime. We have a new nature that comes from being born again, while at the same time, we live within our old body that loves to sin. You can see how this presents us with great difficulty. Romans 8:6 above describes this conflict as a state of war between our flesh and God. We want to please the Lord with our new spiritual nature that has been born again, while our body seeks only to please itself.
Thankfully, because Jesus will live within us for the rest of our life, He gives us the power to overcome sin, if this is our desire. The Lord will also give us the power to rise from the dead, never to die again, when He returns for us.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. ~Romans 8:11
It was by the sacrifice that Jesus has made for us on the Cross, where He took the curse of Adam and removed it, that we are no longer under the condemnation which God placed on Adam and all of his descendants.
…Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us… ~Galatians 3:13
Those who receive Jesus as their Messiah and have their sins removed are not only called born again; they are also described as being a new creation. All of the old things from our former life have passed away; everything has become new.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~2 Corinthians 5:17
All sins which you have done in your former life before the moment you received Jesus as your Savior, no longer exist. God has placed all of your past failures and the terrible things which people have said and done to you, on Jesus’ Cross. When He died, everything that has happened in your former life also died. You are now a brand new creation with a clean record before God.
Nearly two thousand years ago, in a tiny town where Rachel breathed her last, Herod dispatched troops to kill all of the newborn baby boys, and David was born; an infant came into the world that would change human life, forever.
He was not the kind of man that most people would consider a powerful leader, or conqueror of nations. He worked with His hands and shaped wood from trees into useful objects for life. He used no force to compel anyone, He spoke humbly, and treated the lost, the broken, and the poor, with great compassion and love.
He did not attend a prominent Rabbinical school to learn the ancient scriptures. He was no author or traveling evangelist. There were no accolades or parades when He came into the world, though He created all that exists by the words of His mouth.
Although this man fulfilled every promise of the prophets of old, His arrival at Jerusalem was met with shock and dismay. “Who is this Carpenter from Nazareth,” the Pharisees cried, “no prophet ever came out of Galilee.” He was rejected, despised, ridiculed, scourged and crucified. While bearing unimaginable suffering Himself, the constant desire of His heart was to bring freedom to His tormentors. To the men who tortured Him: “Father, forgiven them.” To the repentant thief on the cross who had mocked Him moments before: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” To the whole world, a promise: “It is finished.” The work of your redemption is complete, eternal life is yours, heaven is your eternal home.
His heart burst from within as the mounting pressure of bearing the sins of the world pushed his body beyond the stress than any man had ever bore. He commanded His spirit to depart His body. He breathed His last, His blood poured out, His work— finished.
For three days, He lay in the borrowed tomb of a friend, his body experiencing no decay. On the first day of the week, a spectacular event—equalled, only by the first moments of the universe; when light exploded into the darkness of this world and He was alive once more.
All religious men and women seek to direct us to a set of ideals, a religion, or a set of teachings. Jesus is unique, in that He consistently seeks to focus all of our attention upon Him.
Other religious leaders seek to teach certain truths; Jesus said that He is the truth.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6
Other religious leaders try to point us to the light; Jesus said He is the light.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” ~John 8:12
Others tell us where we can find satisfaction; Jesus said that only He can truly satisfy us.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world. ~John 6:51
The various religions of the world tell us how we can have eternal life; Jesus said that He is the bestower of eternal life.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” John 11:25
Every other religion that is offered in the world, has one thing in common: They allow many ways to God, and these ways are based upon works that people do to make themselves acceptable to God. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ states that we are lost, without hope, and we cannot save ourselves. The Gospel of Jesus Christ declares that we can only be saved if we are humble ourselves and repent of our sins—surrendering to Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven.
The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. ~John 7:7
The world hates Jesus because He claimed to be the only way to God. Not one of many ways, but the single, acceptable, and exclusive way to heaven and eternal life.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6
If Jesus had simply stated that His way was the best way, but not the only way; His message would not be nearly as intolerable. Human beings have a problem with ultimatums. Many people resent the fact that Jesus claimed to be the only way to heaven and that by not receiving Him, they will condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. In my conversations with people, they have assumed that the Christian church has taken the stance that Christianity is the only way to heaven. This is not true. Jesus is the source of the statement that He is the only way to eternal life. Jesus Himself said this, and the Bible echoes this fact throughout the New Testament (John 14:6, above).
A Desire To Save
How does the Lord feel when countless numbers of human souls depart this earth without the covering of His sacrifice? How does the Lord feel after He has done everything that He could do to prevent the loss of a single person, and they miss heaven because they were unwilling to be saved?
Anyone who has resided a few decades on the earth knows that a person who does whatever he wants to do during his life is a truly miserable person—in the deep recesses of his soul. If you want to be a truly unhappy individual, just live for yourself and your own pleasure. We see these people everyday, walking around before us; men and women with empty souls. Those who have done whatever their heart desires, only to end up a desolate shell of a human being.
The Gift Of Guilt
The enduring problem that plagues those who live apart from God, is the guilt which arises from our instinctive knowledge of our sin, leaving us with self condemnation. God has hardwired each human being with an internal knowledge of right and wrong. Only by a very long process of denying guilt and a suppression of these feelings can a person finally sear their conscience until they can no longer feel remorse over their actions.
Loss Of Conscience
When Paul wrote to Timothy, describing the conditions of the heart—within those who live during the last days of earth, he described a conscience which has been “seared with a hot iron.”
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron… ~1 Timothy 4:1-2
When the conscience is continually suppressed, and a lifestyle of sin continues without repentance; over the process of time our conscience is no longer operational. As a hand which is repeatedly burned—looses the sensation of touch, so also, does the human conscience. In the last days there will exist a large population who have developed a suppressed conscience. For these individuals, it is impossible to repent; turn from sin, and surrender to Jesus as their Savior.
…who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. ~Ephesians 4:19
This is the common estate of those who have continually denied God and have chosen a lifestyle devoid of regulation by the conscience. Eventually this person may become quite adversarial towards the Christian gospel and the Bible. Once the conscience is made void and no longer operates, this person is unable hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, who is the instrument of salvation. At this point it becomes impossible for redemption to occur.
This is particularly applicable to those who have attended church and have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ—even making a profession of faith in Jesus as their Savior. If these individuals fall away from Jesus, it is impossible to renew them to repentance and a desire for salvation.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. ~Hebrews 6:4
Notice that salvation has become impossible for this person, not for God. Anyone who comes to Jesus in sincere repentance for their sins and a desire to be saved—will be accepted by God; they shall obtain eternal life. The impossibility resides in the heart of those who fall away—they are unable to find repentance again and return to Jesus, from where their Salvation originates.
The Deception Of A Life Without God
The life of those who deny God, reject Jesus Christ, and continue to live in denial of their conscience—garners a result that is unaware to these individuals. Having denied God and having rejected the love of the truth that Jesus had died and offers salvation, God turns these persons over to their own deception and allows them to live free from God. In the same way that we might give up on a person who has continually rejected us and our love; God will honor the wishes of those who do not want Him in their life.
At this point, without the covering of God’s protection, these individuals accept the “lie,” described by Paul in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2; offered by satan, to Eve, in Genesis 3:4
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness… ~2 Thessalonians 2:11
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God… ~Genesis 3:4
The lie is the false assertion put forth by satan that a person does not really need God; we can be our own God. It was the desire of Lucifer to elevate his throne—equally with God’s throne and be worshipped by all creation, as God. As a result, Lucifer was destroyed, cast out of heaven to the earth and became satan—the adversary of God.
For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. ~Isaiah 14:13-15
For these reasons, a discussion with many atheists who have maintained a life without God for a number of years—is frustrating for the Christian, and an irritation to the atheist. Evidence plays no part in convincing those who have reached a place of impossibility with God. Seeking to present evidence—irrespective of how compelling it is, will have no effect upon the persistent non-believer. The difficulty is in knowing, with certainty, whether or not a person has reached the place where they cannot be saved.
For this reason, it is always a good idea to make an effort to witness to those who are non-believers—with the hope that the Holy Spirit may still be able to reach their conscience. We cannot know the true condition of a person’s heart—even when they oppose us adamantly with our efforts to convince them of their need for Jesus. It would be a mistake to assume that a person cannot be saved—just because they will not accept our witness of Jesus Christ. We must try to present to Gospel to every person and pray that the Holy Spirit might be able to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Whether or not an individual has reached a place where they cannot be saved, is not our concern. We are to present Jesus and His desire to save—to everyone. Salvation is of the Lord, not from us.
But Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” ~Luke 18:27
An Internal Witness
We were created with the capacity to know that God exists, and we understand that we were made for a purpose. We feel this conviction deep within our heart. We know that there is more to life than just living and dying. No one has to explain this to us; we understand it inherently from the deepest recesses of our soul.
…God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart... ~Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)
Without God and the surety that we are made for a purpose, we are left with a sense of hopelessness, bitter grief, and emptiness. None of us wants to believe that life has no meaning and our existence here on earth is a mere cosmic accident. This is the reason that we are so busy within our lives; searching with such fervor—for satisfaction. We are looking for the meaning of our existence, although it eludes us. We seem to understand that life can be satisfying—though the manner in which this is achieved, is a mystery.
We try to attain happiness through a career, money, relationships, pleasure, and travel. Regardless of how many things we accumulate, the number of relationships we have, or the places we visit, there remains a missing piece. People who have sought their personal fulfillment, through all of these pursuits—describe the emptiness and lack of satisfaction that remains, even after all their dreams are achieved.
The Purpose Of Our Life
The truth is; we were created for an immense purpose. We were made for God. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being. We discover who we are, by finding out who He is. It is through a personal relationship with our Creator that all things in life come into focus. The reason that our existence is often confused and meaningless is that we have left-out the most important piece. On the day that we come into a new relationship with the Lord, everything changes; life takes-on meaning and purpose. Until we realize this and begin to live for the One that were created for, we will remain unsatisfied and never find true and lasting happiness. God has created us with a fervent desire for Him. He created us for Himself, to love and glorify Him—forever. There is a great cavernous void in our life that can only be bridged by a true relationship with our Creator.
This relationship is only possible if God initiates the connection. Because all persons exist as fallen beings (imperfect); first God must remove our imperfection in order to have fellowship with us. Jesus came to be the instrument whereby our sins could be removed, and convey to us; perfect righteousness. In order for God to forgive sin, the penalty for those sins must be exacted. Jesus offered to stand in our place and take the full penalty that all human beings have accrued, since the beginning of the world. The fact that He rose from the dead after having taken those sins and died for them—is our assurance that God has accepted His sacrifice and has made salvation and a relationship with God, possible.
All that any person must do, after hearing what Jesus has accomplished for us, is receive the pardon that God offers us for our sins, and take Jesus as our Savior. The moment that we ask God for His forgiveness and receive Jesus as our Savior—God removes all of our sins, as-if they never existed, and conveys to us—perfect righteousness.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ~Romans 10:8-10
For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” ~Romans 10:13
Where The Journey Begins
I have discovered that there is complete satisfaction in Jesus. Not in religion or church, but in Jesus alone. Until a person finds their fulfillment in the God who made them, religion and going to church is a colossal waste of time.
The reason that Jesus left heaven and came to earth was to allow us the opportunity to know the true and living God—personally, as one person knows another.
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3
Up to the time that Jesus arrived on earth, God was a distant ideal which could never be fully understood. He was in heaven; we are here on earth. The distance between us seemed infinite and unbridgeable. When God came to earth in the form of a man, someone who is like us, a person whom we were able to see and understand; for the first time mankind knew what God was truly like. By Jesus arrival on earth, we know and understand who the One true God is.
Jesus came to remove the barrier and infinite gap between a perfect and Holy God and al of us—who are imperfect, and unable to reach God, ourselves.
Isaiah describes Jesus as a man of sorrows.
If you have ever watched a person suffer, then perhaps you can understand the meaning of Isaiah’s words. To observe someone in misery—is emotionally overwhelming and exhausting. Imagine God, looking down from heaven, seeing each one of us suffering throughout our life and missing the incredible blessings that He created for us to enjoy. He knew that we would never be able to achieve true satisfaction and the genuine purpose for which we were intended, unless He intervened and came to save us.
As Jesus watched our lives, His heart was moved with compassion. He saw us in the true state of our desperation, and He was compelled to act. He would come to earth and die for our sins, so that they would cease to exist, and our estrangement from God would come to an end. As Jesus walked amongst us, He watched our suffering because of sin. He longed to remove our curse and looked earnestly towards the day when He would hang on the cross and bear all of our shame. When that day arrived, it was both wonderful and wicked. Our sins would be removed—but at great cost to the Son of God. Jesus was made sin for us. Could we fathom what this means? I think not. The perfect Son of God was covered with filth, bathed in the stench of our wickedness; and He took it all.
For God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~2 Corinthians 5:21 (RCR)
Jesus did not die, only for those who would receive Him; He also gave His life for those who would never receive His sacrifice for their sins. At the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus contemplated the immensity of the cup that He was about to drink from. He asked the Father if there was any other way that human lives could be spared from judgment. The response was swift and certain; Jesus must go to the cross, or we would be lost.
The sorrow that Jesus must have felt at the moment He was made sin for us, is unimaginable. I believe that the suffering that Jesus endured at the Garden of Gethsemane, and upon the Cross, is beyond our ability to comprehend as mere human beings. It is likely that it will take eternity to allow us the capacity to understand the depth of Jesus’ suffering and the grief that He felt as He made His life an offering for us.
The interesting fact of Jesus sacrifice is that He did not have to die for us. It was of no consequence to God if the entire human race perished. God neither gained nor lost anything by Jesus death for us. He was already perfect and complete in Himself. He does not require the love or fellowship of anyone to increase His glory. He did not die for us because we are so wonderful and deserved such great love. Our ability to understand these truths is predicated upon the view that we have of our personal estate. If we do not understand our destitute condition, then it will be very difficult for God to save us. If we deny that these things are true, then we will never be able to come to God in a meaningful way. No person can truly be saved until they reach the end of themselves and believe that only God can save them.
There are many people today who claim that they once believed in Jesus and were faithful servants of the Lord. Like Judas, they really never believed and their actions in following Jesus were simply mechanical and contrived. There was no moment of sincere repentance over their sins and a deep need to be forgiven by God. Those who do not come into a relationship with the Lord by sincere repentance and a genuine belief that they are a hopeless sinner—without Jesus sacrifice for their sins, cannot be saved. The thief on the cross next to Jesus, did not understand all the theological points of Christianity, but he did understand one thing; he was a sinner, in need of a Savior. He believed that Jesus was dying for Him and when he said: “Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom,” this was his sincere expression of sorrow for his sins and a belief that Jesus could save him.
Jesus became a man of sorrows and He was aquatinted with bitterest grief because of my sins and your sins. We can be thankful and very glad that He was willing to bear the unimaginable horrors which were thrust upon Him. He did this to show us how great the Love of God is for a world which did not recognize Him when He came. Sadly, to this very day; the world continues to ignore and reject Jesus.
Who Then Can Stand?
In this final section of the chapter, Malachi asks the question: “who can stand when Messiah appears?” We have previously learned that the Messiah will appear on the earth twice. Once for salvation; in which He will die for the sins of the world. Second; He will return to earth for judgment. Here, Malachi describes the Messiah’s return to earth, the second time; for judgement.
Old Testament Prediction:
But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers soap.He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness. ~Malachi 3:2-3
New Testament Fulfillment:
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins… ~Luke 1:76-77
Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins… ~Acts 13:38
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace… ~Ephesians 1:7
Malachi asks the question: “Who can stand on the day of the Messiah’s arrival?” The question would be: “Which arrival is the prophet referring to?”
Jesus said that the purpose of His first appearance on earth was not for condemnation—yet, His presence here did bring judgment to all those who have rejected Him and the sacrifice He has made for their sins.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ~John 3:17
And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” ~John 9:39
(Jesus speaking) He who believes…is not condemned; but he who does not believe (in Jesus) is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ~John 3:18
Those who come to Jesus for salvation, through the forgiveness of their sins; will not be condemned. However, those who refuse Jesus, have judged and condemned themselves; because they have rejected the only way by which God has ordained that we can be saved. Those who make themselves blind to the truth of salvation that is only possible through Jesus Christ, affirm their blindness. Much in the same way that the Pharaoh of Egypt experienced the confirmation of his already hard heart, by seeing the judgments of God upon his kingdom. Because Pharaoh was persistent in his obstinance, God confirmed the hardness of his heart, making it impossible for Pharaoh to believe.
This is not to say that God conducted a transformation of Pharaoh’s heart; He simply placed circumstances before Pharaoh that would cause his already hard heart to be perfected in its hardened condition.
And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” ~Exodus 4:21
God did not give Pharaoh a hard heart towards Himself, this condition already existed before the ten plagues that God sent to Egypt. It was by these events that confirmation was made that Pharaoh had no desire, nor intention; of humbling himself before God.
In Jesus’ first arrival, He saved all those who came to Him in humility, out of a broken heart for their sin, by extending mercy and forgiveness. People who will not turn to the Lord, because of the stubbornness of their heart, God will send them circumstances that will either confirm or remove their hardness of heart. Trials have two possible outcomes: One, we are humbled by our difficulties and turn to God for help. Two, we are hardened by our difficulties and turn away from God.
God will confirm the blindness and hardness of a human heart, if that person continues to deny Him and will not humble themselves to seek Him. He does this so that on the day of judgment, there will be no excuse that is valid.
There is a point at which a person who refuses to believe what is so clear and obvious, will reach a place where they will never be able to comprehend God, nor His plan of salvation. We observe this phenomenon in those who consider themselves informed and educated regarding the nature and existence of the universe, while denying its obvious source; God. In the words of atheist, and theoretical physicist, Lawrence Krauss; “God is not necessary…” Dr. Krauss has reached a place where it is impossible for him to believe because of many years of denying and rejecting God in his life.
The Lord is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows in his life, he will reap. Those who sow unbelief in the truth of God’s simple message of salvation, will reap a heart that cannot believe. God will confirm their obstinance—thereby making their salvation an impossibility. There is a point in every human life, where after years of saying no to God, He will let this person go and they will be lost eternally. The impossibility of their salvation does not reside in God, who cannot save them; but in their own unwillingness to seek Him and be saved.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind… ~Romans 1:28
…and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. ~2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
Once a person reaches a point of unyielding to spiritual truth, it becomes nearly impossible for him to ever believe.
In answer to Malachi’s question, “Who can stand on the day of the Messiah’s arrival?” The solution is found in the atoning work of the Messiah at the cross. As Malachi speaks of two purifying agents of fire for metals and soap for clothing, the Messiah’s atonement cleanses us from all sin—past, present, and future. The soap, represents the blood of Christ that washes away all of our sins; while trials are the fire that purifies the believer in a continuing process of refinement.
The Old Testament remedy for sin required that an animal should be brought to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle. As the lamb stands before you, the priest would take your hand and place upon the head of the lamb; transferring your guilt to him. When the Lamb dies and his blood is shed, your sins are forgiven.
The major problem with the old covenant of continuing sacrifices for sins, is that it did not have the power to permanently remove the sins of the guilty. The new covenant that God has made with us, is based upon what Jesus has accomplished at the cross. When Jesus died as our Lamb, He paid the penalty for our sins. According to God, when we believe this; we are viewed as righteous; fully satisfying the requirements for heaven. When this happens, God not only forgives all of our sins, He removes them as if they never existed. This is what the term “justification” means; “Just-as-if-i had never sinned.”
All those who had their sins covered by the blood of the Old Testament sacrifices did not have their sins purged completely. When Jesus completed His sacrifice on the cross and was put to death, rising from the dead on the third day; every sin from the beginning of the world, to the very end, was paid in full.
See the chapter: A Tabernacle, a Sanctuary, for a complete study on the Old Testament sacrifices at the Tabernacle, in comparison to the one perfect sacrifice Jesus made for us as the Messiah.
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. ~Hebrews 10:4-10
God’s new covenant, declares that we are “not guilty,” and grants every person—eternal life; if we come to Him on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. Just as it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats under the old covenant could take away sins, it is also not possible for any human being to be saved apart from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
God has chosen only one method whereby He will grant us a full pardon for our sins. If we accept this offer by faith, trusting that God will do what He has promised, at the end of our life; we will arrive at heaven and live in perfection and beauty forever.
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 It is at the age of twelve that a young Hebrew boy enters adulthood. Many believe that the age of accountability is twelve, when God holds an individual responsible for his action or inaction in receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior. At twelve, a young boy or girl is no longer covered by the clause in the Law of God, which protects them from judgment based upon innocence or lack of knowledge. A baby or young adolescent may have the benefit of being covered exclusively by the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus for all sins, up until the age of twelve. No one knows this for certain, but it is postulated that twelve is the age of accountability for all human beings. Accountability for sin is based upon our knowledge of what God requires and our ability to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ~Romans 3:19-20
Because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.~Romans 4:15
The principle of innocence is best understood when we consider a person who has a diminished mental capacity, or is completely incapable of understanding sin or the requirements of God to repent and receive Jesus Christ. What happens to those who die as infants or in the womb? What of those who are mentally retarded, mentally ill, or have no capability to understand the Gospel by their lack of mental ability?
Because the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross has paid for the sins of all people for all time, God can cover with His grace any of those who cannot, of their own, understand the gospel and be saved. It would be inconsistent for God to send a baby, a young child, or a mentally-incapacitated person to hell. God wants to save people; and He will save those who cannot act to save themselves through confession and repentance, because they cannot understand sin and the need for salvation.
In these cases, where there is no law, there is no transgression. The clause in Romans 3:20 states that when a person comes to the knowledge that he is a sinner, the law is then applied to him. The age of accountability may vary from person to person depending on their individual ability to understand the gospel. According to God’s word, all adults are aware that they are sinners and that God has required everyone to repent and receive Jesus as their Savior.
 Isaiah 57:1-2 “Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die.”
Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson
“I choose to believe the testimony that is recorded in the historical record for Jesus, and you do not.”
“Choose to believe”? Can you choose to believe in leprechauns? In Bigfoot? In unicorns? I can’t. I follow evidence, and there isn’t enough evidence to back up claims of these things. Ditto God, Jesus, and the supernatural.
“When it all comes down to the bottom line, it’s really is a matter of faith.”
I follow the evidence. I have no use for faith.
“I think, and I may be wrong, that you are a person who is trying very hard to hold on to unbelief, but are also very close to turning in the opposite direction.”
I don’t think so. Feel free to pursue that hypothesis, but I’ve been seeking the best apologetics arguments for over a decade, and Christianity looks like just another made-up religion.
“I hope you will always feel welcome here.”
That’s a rare sentiment among apologists. Thanks.
Ultimately it is not the evidence that convinces people. The whole world is filled with His evidence, yet most of the world does not believe.
During the time that Jesus was here on earth and performed all of the miracles that His disciples recorded in the New Testament, their testimony was that most people still did not believe in Jesus even though they saw the evidence right in front of them.
“But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him.” ~John 12:37
When I was still an atheist, 48 years ago, it was the reality of who Jesus is as a person and the realization that although He had created all that exists, He came to earth so we could know Him. The point for me was that God wanted to have a relationship with me. Evidence is not the answer that makes people believe.
Evidence is only effective after we decide to believe and come to the point where we earnestly seek to know who the Lord is, that everything changes.
We have it all backwards: we want evidence first; Jesus said, “no first believe, then I will reveal myself to you.” This is an insurmountable barrier to the intellect. It was for me, anyway.
“It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” ~ Hebrews 11:6
The moment I began to pursue that relationship with Jesus, my eyes and heart opened and everything changed for me.
“The whole world is filled with His evidence, yet most of the world does not believe.”
It’s hard to imagine that you can look at reality, doing your best to take the vantage point of a skeptic, and think that the world is filled with evidence for the Christian god. God is indistinguishable from nonexistent.
“During the time that Jesus was here on earth and performed all of the miracles that His disciples recorded in the New Testament, their testimony was that most people still did not believe in Jesus even though they saw the evidence right in front of them.”
Which is zero reason for me to accept Christianity’s claims. If there is little apparent evidence for a supernatural claim, I must reject it. And isn’t that what you do? Both you and I are given the claims of, say, Mormonism, and we reject it as almost laughable. Or Shintoism or Scientology or any other religion.
“The point for me was that God wanted to have a relationship with me.”
And is that true for me, too? I see no evidence of that.
“Evidence is not the answer that makes people believe.”
Then that’s not a particularly reliable route to understanding. I need good evidence. Give me some, and I’ll believe. Pretty reasonable, no?
“Evidence is only effective after we decide to believe and come to the point where we earnestly seek to know who the Lord is”
Is that how science works? You need to decide to believe that the earth orbits the sun and *then* you’ll accept the evidence that science gives us?
“We have it all backwards: we want evidence first; Jesus said, “no first believe, then I will reveal myself to you.” This is an insurmountable barrier to the intellect. It was for me, anyway.”
Agreed! That’s me exactly: I must have evidence first. If that bothers you, complain to my Maker.
How did the universe come into existence from nothing, and produce stars, planets, and people?
“How did the universe come into existence from nothing, and produce stars, planets, and people?”
There are a couple of reasonable answers. First: I dunno. Why ask me? I’m not a scientist, and you’re asking a scientific question. I don’t need to have an answer. Answering this question has no bearing on whether I’m obliged to be an atheist or not or how strong the Christian argument is.
Second: science doesn’t say that it came from nothing. If you disagree, show me (and pointing to a non-scientist apologist doesn’t count).
If you want to see how nothing can look surprisingly like something, read about the zero-energy universe hypothesis: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Zero-energy_universe.
If the universe came from nothing, you’ve got the same challenge. How can *God* have done it? Or do we just say that God is magic and can do anything, without evidence?
And note that not even the *Bible* says that God created out of nothing.
The first verse of the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” but that’s not to say that God created out of nothing. Read Gen. 1:2 to see the material that was assumed to exist before God shaped it into our earth.
The surprising attribute of your comments in this post is that you admit how little you know about the science of the universe, while disputing there is science that disproves a naturally occuring universe. I can understand if you had studied this important matter, but your comments are presented in such a way that you are disputing that God created the universe, without understanding the science or knowing the facts, and you do not present any scientific evidence to impeach the fine-tuned universe as evidence for a Being as its source.
In the following facts of science, they are presented to you as a demonstration of the fine-tuned argument, which makes a natural process impossible. If you are honest and really understand what our fine-tuned universe means, then you will dispense with an evolutionary or natural process as the source of the universe.
Your entire premise to dispute that God could have created the universe is that you don’t believe He could, and you cannot understand how this is possible. These conclusions indicate that you are not interested in whether God could create this universe, only that you will not believe He did.
Do you see how disingenuous you comments are? They indicate that all you say to me is merely from the vantage point of a scoffer, not a truth seeker. This makes it impossible for me to enter into an intelligent conversation with you. The reason: regardless what is presented, as is the following science, you will dispute what I and others say about the science of the universe. All this with no real education or desire to learn the science. It’s almost as if you don’t want to learn the science because it might disrupt your already determined conclusions.
For me the science that proves a Being is the source of our universe, was the final obstacle that brought me to faith in the God of the Bible. I had already developed many literary and historical understandings of the New Testament narratives that led me to believe the NT testimony about Jesus was absolutely true. It was the science that finally brought me to where I am now.
If you are genuinely seeking truth, the science should have the same effect upon your mind.I do not get the impression from you that your mind is the problem with faith in God; it is your heart that had been repeatedly hardened to such a degree that it may prevent you from ever surrendering your feelings for the facts
I don’t have time or space in this brief exchange we have entered into, that would allow me to educate you completely in what I know about the physical universe. suffice it to say that I am a relative expert in this matter and have studied the subject for decades.
I will attempt to present you with the science that proves.
1. The universe as we know it, cannot be explained by natural forces.
The finely-tuned universe, as empirical proof for the existence of God, has no formal logical defects.
2. The only current explanation for the existence of the universe—which can be tested and verified is the finely-tuned and designed evidence of the universe.
3. Our universe contains the precise physical constants that have the exact values that are required to allow for complex structures, such as galaxies, stars, planets, and people to exist.
4. None of these values are possible under any circumstance, by any naturalistic process.
The following is the known, provable, and extant scientific evidence that proves the universe was created by a thinking Being, not by a naturalistic process. I have published this information myself, and much of this also came from Cosmologists, and astrophysicists. There is a link in this response to over 70 Phd’s in various fields, who believe a Being is the source of the universe.
First: Life is only possible on earth because of certain elements that exist and were able to bond together in order to form molecules. In the case of earth, there are more than forty of these elements. For molecular bonding to take place, there are two essentials that must also exist: the strength of force for electromagnetism and the ratio of the electron mass in relation to the proton mass. These two are so closely tuned that if their precise balance was changed even slightly, there never would have been life on earth.
If the electromagnetic force was larger, atoms would cling to electrons so closely that no allocation between electrons and other atoms would be possible.
If the electromagnetic force was weaker, atoms would not cling to electrons at all, and there would be no allocation between electrons and other atoms, preventing all molecules from forming, resulting in no life.
If we are to have multiple types of molecules that will exist, the electromagnetic force is even more delicately balanced. The size and stability of the electron orbits around the nuclei of atoms, greatly depends upon the proper ratio of the electron mass to the proton mass. Unless this ratio achieves a precise balance, the chemical bonding necessary for life chemistry would never have taken place.
Second: the Atoms that exist in all matter could not exist unless there were sufficient quantities of the elements necessary for life.
Atoms of many different sizes must be able to form and in order for this to be possible, there must be a delicate balance between the constants of physics the govern the strong and weak nuclear forces, as well as gravity, and the nuclear ground state energies, which are quantum energy levels that are important in the formation of elements from protons and neutrons, that come from several key elements.
In the strong nuclear force that governs the level at which protons and neutrons may bind together in atomic nuclei, we are able to observe this complex mechanism.
If the strong nuclear force was too weak, multi-proton nuclei would not remain bound together. If this had taken place in the early universe, hydrogen would have been the only element in the universe.
If the strong nuclear force was only slightly stronger than what we now see in the universe, protons and neutrons would have such great affinity towards each other that none would remain. These protons and neutrons would have attached to other protons and neutrons and our universe would have produced no hydrogen, only heavy elements.
The chemistry necessary for life is not possible without hydrogen, but if the strong nuclear force at the commencement of the universe was only slightly stronger, hydrogen would have been the only element. This illustrates how fine-tuned the balance is for the strong nuclear force.
If at the inception of the universe the strong nuclear force was just four percent stronger that it was set at, the diproton, an atom that has two protons and no neutrons, would have formed. This event would have resulted in stars rapidly exhausting their nuclear fuel that no life later would have been possible. The control exercised in this early event allows us to see that these events were intentionally caused for the purpose of human life existing on earth much later.
If the strong nuclear force was decreased when the universe began, by only ten percent, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen would have been unstable and life on earth today would never have been possible.
Imagine that you want to make a planet where human beings will be able to live, billions of years later. You cannot simply make a planet with all of the necessary elements to allow humans to thrive. You must also prepare a universe to allow a planet like this to form in the first place, and sustain this universe for billions of years before the planet is formed.
There must be many fine-tuned constants pre-set before earth ever exists, or earth will not be able to produce and environment necessary for these beings to live. This requires tremendous foreknowledge of exactly how to start the universe and allow its expansion to continue so that all of these fine-tuned constants are set correctly.
These parameters are not only essential for life on earth, but any possible life of any kind requires life chemistry of the same nature any other place in the universe. What is truly amazing is that this fine balance is a condition that must exist universally on every planet in the universe if it will contain life.
We understand today that the strong nuclear force is the strongest attractive force in nature, as well as the strongest repulsive force in nature. The stunning reality that this is attractive on one length scale and repulsive on another length scale, defining this constant as particularly unusual and counterintuitive. In a natural process that was solely guided by chance, we would never expect to find such a fine-tuned parameter to make life possible. In spite of this, we find this exact precise setting that allows life to exist in our universe.
In order that life might be possible, it is essential that the strong nuclear force is only attractive over lengths no greater than 2.0 fermis and no less than 0.7 fermis. A single fermi is a quadrillionth of a meter. This force must manifest its greatest attractive force at near 0.9 fermis.
If these lengths were shorter than 0.7 fermis, the strong nuclear force must be strongly repulsive. This is due to the protons and neutrons existing as groups of more fundamental particles that are called quarks and gluons. Each of these proton packages are made up of two up quarks and one down quark, plus the relevant gluons. This is while each neutron also contains two down quarks and one up quark with their relevant gluons.
If the fine balance of strong nuclear force was not strongly repulsive on length scales below 0.7 fermis, the proton and neutron packages of quarks and gluons would merge together. This would produce no atoms, no molecules, resulting in no chemistry possible anywhere—or at any time—during the entire history of the universe.
This balance must be exquisitely fine-tuned, both in its length of operation throughout the history of the universe and the level of strength in its repulsion. Concerning the weak nuclear force which determines the rates of radioactive decay, if this force was stronger than currently observed, the matter of the universe would be swiftly converted into heavy elements.
If this force was weaker, the universe would contain only the lightest of elements. Essential elements necessary for life, like oxygen, carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen, would either be absent from the universe, or exist in quantities so small that life could not exist. What natural process in the production of the universe was capable of advanced determination to produce these precise balances?
It is insufficient to simply say that since we have these precise balances in the universe, this is proof that they were necessary, and no supernatural explanation is required.
This conclusion is preposterous. Of course science must examine how every process produced the necessary elements needed for life, and understand whether these processes happened by chance, or they were precisely controlled. In examination of all 209 physical constants of our universe, it becomes abundantly clear that the presence of these 209 constants, all at the same time, demands a causal explanation.
Science understands today that unless the weak nuclear force was precisely fine-tuned at one part in ten thousand, these essential elements required for life which are produced only in the core of a supergiant star, would have never been able to escape the boundaries of their cores, making supernova’s impossible.
If no supernova’s occurred in our universe, no second generation stars would have been created like earth, resulting in no human life to exist. There are far too many coincidence, if we are to conclude that nature is responsible for these results. The science of the universe proves intelligent actions took place to produce these results. The goal of these precise balances is clear: to allow human beings to live on earth.
Third: The gravitational force strength is determinative in the heat produced by the nuclear furnace of star cores. If the gravitational force was weaker during the expansion of the universe, stars would have been so hot that they would have burned up their nuclear fuel too quickly for life to exist much later. A planet that is capable of sustaining life must have a star that stable and long burning.
If the gravitational force was weaker during the inception of the universe, there would be no stars hot enough to ignite nuclear fusion. In a universe under these constraints, not elements heavier that hydrogen and helium would have been produced.
This fine-tuned parameter for the nuclear ground state energies of helium, carbon, beryllium, and oxygen were essential for life to exist. Hoyle discovered that these elements were balanced so precisely that any disruption to the early process of the universe would have resulted in these elements being far different from how they ended up. For Hoyle, this spoke volumes concerning the source of these balances, defining these results as impossible by a natural process, being caused by an outside source. Only a mind is capable of setting precise balances in physical processes so that essential elements can form as they have in our universe.
Hoyle reasoned that the ground state energies for these elements could not be higher or lower by more than four percent without producing a universe containing insufficient oxygen or carbon for life. Although Fred Hoyle has argued against the idea of theism , he concluded, from the evidence of the universe, that “a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.”
In other words, Hoyle was not ready to concede to the existence of the Christian God, but he also could not dismiss the facts of the data that proved an intelligence must have acted upon these processes or they never would have achieved the results our universe displays.
Many other astrophysicists have demonstrated that the level of design present in electromagnetism and the strong nuclear force is much greater than what physicists previously had determined.
This inherent design quality found in these two forces are mandatory for any physical life to exist in the universe. There must be an specific abundance of carbon and oxygen for life, and the only astrophysical sources that has significant quantities of carbon and oxygen are red giant stars. A red giant star that has used up all of its hydrogen fuel by nuclear fusion, can fuse helium into heavier elements. Mathematical models for red giant stars that take on slightly different values in their strong nuclear force and electromagnetic force constants, produce insufficient carbon, oxygen. By adjusting these balances in tiny fractions, these two constants by just four percent larger of smaller, life become impossible.
When we examine the coupling constant for the strong nuclear force, we learn that had this constant been altered by just one percent smaller or larger, no life on earth would have ever been possible. Again, what process of nature or as a result of the physical laws, could produce this result? This precise limit on the strength of the strong nuclear force and electromagnetic force, demands even more stringent constraints on quark masses and the Higgs vacuum expectation value.
These facts provide us with great evidence of specific design for the physics of the stars and planets in our universe and the tremendous mathematical design of their fundamental particles. It is the knowledge of these facts that have changed the minds of many Cosmologists in recent years from the idea that the universe is a product of natural events, to an awareness that our Cosmos was designed for life on at least one planet.
In achieving the correct nucleons for our universe, the physics must also be adjusted in order to achieve the correct elements for life. Adjustments were also necessary to cause these elements to bind together so they could form life molecules. Left to the randomness of a universe uncontrolled, the outcome would not obtain enough nucleons, or protons and neutrons, to form the necessary elements. This process had to be controlled or it would have produced and entirely different universe, incapable of supporting human life.
At the inception of the universe, there were about ten billion and one nucleons for every ten billion antinucleons. The ten billion antinucleons annihilated the ten billion nucleons, which generated a tremendous amount of energy. Every galaxy that exists today, every star that comprises the universe, was formed from these remaining nucleons.
If the number of excess nucleons in relation to antinucleons were less, there would not have been enough matter for galaxies, stars, and heavy elements to form. If the excess of nucleons to antinucleons was greater, galaxies would have formed, but with such inefficiency that they would have trapped radiation, preventing fragments from forming stars and planets.
See The Noted Scientists Who Believe God Created The Universe
Four: one important example of a fine-tuned universe that is understood by a critical requirement for life is the ratio between the electron and a proton of every atom in the universe.
Electron And Proton
The ratio of mass between an electron and a proton is 1:1836, meaning that a proton is 1,836 times larger than an electron. Although there is a great degree of difference between the size of these two parts of an atom, both the electron and proton maintain the exact same electrical charge. With this massive difference in size, how is it possible that both still have the same electrical charge? It took a thinking mind to know the precise size difference that was necessary before the first atom existed. If the electrical charge of the electron is altered by just one part in 100 billion, the body of every human being on earth would explode
Neutron And Proton
When we examine the neutron, we learn that it is 0.138% larger than a proton. This extra mass, causes the neutron to require more energy to produce than a proton. When the universe began to cool after the massive heat of the initial creation of the universe, there were nearly seven times more protons than neutrons. Had this number increased just 0.1%, the number of neutrons that remained after cooling would not have been sufficient to create the nuclei for the life-essential heavy elements. How is it that this precise limit was reached without exceeding the critical boundary that would have destroyed the universes ability to produce life-essential heavy elements? It is impossible to conclude that this was a random act of the natural process.
The physical laws of the universe do not define the outcome of events, only they manner in which they must occur. It is the outcome of events defined by the 209 physical constants that require intelligence, or they could not have happened, could not exist today to sustain the universe. The physical laws merely define what has already happened when these constants to place and allowed every other event of our universe to proceed. The laws of physics could not produce precise balances of these constants, only described the manner in which they took place.
It is the larger mass of the neutron, relative to the size of the proton that determines the rate at which neutrons may decay into protons and protons into neutrons. One neutron decays into one proton + one electron + one neutrino. There is such a fine balance here that if the neutron was just 0.1% smaller, the result would produce such a great number of protons that all stars in the universe would rapidly collapse into neutron stars of black holes. For life to exist anywhere in the universe, the neutron mass must be fine-tuned to greater than 0.1%.
The decay rate for protons is so slow that as yet we have not been able to record a solitary decay event. This defines the decay process of protons to necessitate a fine-tuned parameter in order for life to exist anywhere. Theoretically, protons must decay into mesons at a rate that is close to the known experimental limits. If protons decay even slightly slower into mesons, our universe would not contain enough nucleons to make galaxies, stars, and eventually, planets.
The same components that determines the decay of protons also determines the rate of decay for nucleons into antinucleons when the universe began. What natural process of law of physics is capable of determining this precise balance when at the beginning of the universe as -430th of a second, there were no laws or anything else to cause this balance. This precise rate of decay must have been known before the universe commenced and a Being had the ability to control the rate of decay precisely, or the rate of decay for nucleons would never have achieved the precise number required to later produce the correct type of stars.
If the decay rate at the beginning of the universe was slightly faster, the ratio of nucleons to antinucleons would be incorrect, producing far too much energy being released into the decay process, and this incorrect decay process would have destroyed life, not allow it to exist.
A precise number of Electrons must exist, equivalent to the number of protons with a tolerance of one part in 10^37. If this balance was off even slightly the electromagnetic force of the universe would have overpowered the gravitational force, resulting in non production of galaxies, stars, and planets. The number: 10^37, is such a great impossibility that it is beyond the mathematical possibility of chance. No natural process can aim, it certainly cannot hit a target so small, at such a great distance. If we were to shoot at a target from earth that is at the other side of the universe and hit the bullseye the first time, this is equal to the balance of gravity and electromagnetism achieving this precise fine-tuned balance when the universe began.
The physics of the universe must be so meticulously fine-tuned, within such precise limits, that there is no possibility that any natural or accidental process could ever have achieved these results.
We see the fingerprints of the Creator all over the physics that define our universe. His knowledge; His engineering skills: His power to achieve these results, are defining qualities that are easily observed once we understand the complicated and impossible process that was required to exact a universe like ours. There has never been any scientific explanation presented that proves the laws of the universe, or a purely natural process, was capable of producing these fine-tuned constants described here Their precise boundaries that allow these constants to operate, are exceedingly beyond the ability of unguided processes.
Cosmic Expansion: When we begin to understand the universe, the first junction we are brought to is how the universe has expanded since its inception. Fortunate for us today, scientists have been able to accurately measure this rate by examining the Cosmic Background Radiation that still exists from the beginning of the universe. When we compare this rate of expansion to the physics of galaxy and star formation, astrophysicists have discovered something truly amazing.
How fast or slow the universe has expanded, determines whether or not galaxies were able to form. If too fast, all matter would have dispersed quite efficiently and there would have not been the clumping or gathering of matter necessary to form galaxies. Without galaxies, there would never have been any stars. We need both first and second generation stars in order for a planet like earth to have the correct star to allow life on earth to exist. Had the universe expanded too rapidly when it began, the universe would never have produced galaxies and no one would have ever lived on any planet like earth.
If the universe had expanded too slowly, matter would have grouped together so well that the universe would have collapsed upon itself at the start into a super-dense lump of matter, never producing a single galaxie or star.
The creation event of the universe was not a mindless occurrence by random events that were from a purely natural process. Every important event that began at -430th of a second, had to happen under extreme control—such as the rate of expansion, and all the other events mentioned in this essay—or we would never have a universe like ours. The stunning revelation of all this is that if the universe occured by a purely natural process, the result would have been mass disorder, not mass order that is scientifically observed by the balance of these 209 fine-tuned physical constants.
Dark Energy: After the universe began, the cosmic mass density and dark energy density, began to modify the universe’s expansion velocity in dissimilar processes. In order for the universe to produce stars and planets and later earth that would sustain physical life, the value of cosmic mass density had to be exquisitely fine-tuned. Again, trying to explain this by the laws of physics, always comes up short. There is no physical reason these fine-tuned constants could happen by a mere physical process. Guidance had to be instituted or the balance could not have been achieved.
In these early processes of the universe, dark energy played a critical role. It was the discovery that dark energy had to be exceptionally fine-tuned for the universe to exist that has brought many scientists to the conclusion that intelligence was required. The earliest source for dark energy had be at least 122 orders of magnitude larger than the amount astronomers have presently detected. This means that the original source or sources, had to cancel each other out so that they left just one part in 10^122.
Think about this for a moment: As the universe rapidly expands, so also does space to accommodate its expansion. Dark Energy is the agent that acts to allow the universe to stretch out into space. The more that space expands to accommodate the universe, the greater the power of dark energy to act as an anti-gravity factor. The larger that space grows in size, the greater the power of dark energy, acting as an “anti-gravity factor.”
Dark Matter acts to make two very large bodies appear to repel each other, with their repelling force increasing the farther apart these two bodies get from each other. This is the opposite effect of gravity which acts to slow cosmic expansion. Science has now proven that the cosmic expansion rate has been accelerating during the last half of the universe, due to dark energy as an dominant component acting upon this expansion.
What this mean is that the presence of dark matter demands a recent cosmic beginning, so recent, a natural or accidental beginning of the universe or human life on earth is impossible. Critics of a Creation event by intelligence nearly always seek to refute dark matter because it proves a fine-tuned universe that resulted from intelligence, necessary by a thinking Being.
Theoretical physicists Lisa Dyson, Matthew Kleban, and Leonard Susskind stated that, “Arranging the cosmos as we think it is arranged . . . would have required a miracle.” These scientists further stated that an “unknown agent intervened in the evolution of the Universe for reasons of its own.”
Using mathematics and a knowledge of physics, scientists calculate that the force of dark energy should be incredibly large. The degree of its existence is so large that the universe should have expanded so quickly that galaxies and stars could not have formed and there would be no planets or life. The reason that dark energy does not overpower the universe and cause it to implode is there is an equally strong counterforce that restricts the impact of dark energy, so that stars and galaxies can form.
The precision required to balance dark energy is stunning. This setting has to be accurate from 56 decimal places (Septendecillion) to 122 decimal places (Vigintillion). This is a number so immense that there is no possibility that this physical constant for dark energy could exist unless a mind had known this precise balance was essential to allow a universe that could produce stars and planets. This fact becomes the strongest scientific argument for the existence of God amongst all of the other evidence that exists.
The universe came into existence from nothing. Proceeded with order because of laws, and is understood by mathematics. Describe one naturally occurring phenomenon that can accomplish this?
Can any non-thinking thing create everything that will exist and simultaneously create laws to cause it to proceed—with specific order to make life possible? Then allow a human mind to understand how it all functions by mathematics—also created simultaneously with the universe?
What is the chance this could happen by accident? 1 in 10^122. Try to imagine a billion pencils all standing together at once on their sharpened points while on a smooth glass surface, without any visible support. The Chance this could take place on its own, is the same likelihood all the events necessary to create our universe, could have happened by accident.
Science does prove that there was nothing before the universe commenced. What you are citing are theories by atheist scientists who refuse to accept that a Being created the universe.
The most common theory for our universe is the idea of the multiverse, which caused our universe. The problem with the multiverse is that is cannot be proven by science. The entire posit exists by the conjecture of mathematical calculations that say other universes are possible. The problem is that this hypothesis cannot be proven scientifically. The link to data you included in your response, it this conjectured, unprovable hypothesis.
SCIENCE UPDATE: January 15, 2020. NASA announced today on their Hubblesite, that images from the New Horizons Spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope, now proves that there are not two trillion galaxies in the universe, there are only hundreds of billions. The problem with the overestimate originated from theoretical computations which were wrong. This is evidence that the similar assertion that our universe came into existence as a result of “an infinite number of other universes,” commonly known as the “Multiverse,” is also likely an exaggeration. Theoretical Physicists often cite the Multiverse as proof that God is not necessary, and the fact that our universe contains over 200 fine-tuned physical constants, is what we would expect in an infinite number of universes.
As it turns out, there is not an infinite number of other universes, only one, ours. There has never been any actual scientific evidence that proves there are any other universes; these estimates come from theoretical mathematical calculations, only. We cannot see beyond our own universe, and the reality is, there is no evidence whatsoever the multiverse theory is true. The reality of a fine-tuned universe that allows human life on earth, is proof that intelligence is responsible for our universe, and only the God of the Bible is capable of such engineering.
The following statement is from Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, a lead author on the study:
“New measurements of that weak background glow show that the unseen galaxies are less plentiful than some theoretical studies suggested, numbering only in the hundreds of billions rather than the previously reported two trillion galaxies.
“It’s an important number to know – how many galaxies are there?” said Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, a lead author on the study. “We simply don’t see the light from two trillion galaxies.”
The earlier estimate was extrapolated from very deep sky observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. It relied on mathematical models to estimate how many galaxies were too small and faint for Hubble to see. That team concluded that 90% of the galaxies in the universe were beyond Hubble’s ability to detect in visible light. The new findings, which relied on measurements from NASA’s distant New Horizons mission, suggest a much more modest number.”[AA]
There are many theories for how other universes could exist, in the form of mathematical calculations, but none of these have any scientific proof:
Not one of these other universe theories can be proven by any scientific evidence. They all exist in the theoretical as conjecture and speculation.
Ours is the only universe that we are sure that exists. The more we learn about our universe, the greater the confidence is that ours is the only one. The unique processes which were necessary in order to cause our universe and allow it to develop specifically to support human life on earth, makes it highly unlikely that any other universe could have achieved the same results by a random processes. If we are to believe that an infinite number of other universes exist and one of these has caused our own, then all that we have accomplished by this theory is to make the process infinitely more complex. We must also need an explanation for how all of these other universes began in the first place and were able to produce at least one with the capacity to support human life. The greater the number of universes, the greater the need for an explanation as to how this is was possible. The only conclusion supported by science today is that ours is the only universe in existence and before it began, there was nothing.
The problem is that, like the multiverse, these are mathematical equations, but they cannot be tested or proven scientifically. The evidence we do have and can observe, proves that nothing existed before our universe began.
This is particularly interesting because this is precisely what the Bible states regarding the beginning of the universe. The first line, of the first chapter, of the first book of the Bible states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word used for “created,” is bara, which means to make from non existing materials. In other words, the Bible tells us that before the universe, nothing existed, and God created the material for the universe, simultaneously with its creation.
This is precisely what the evidence of science today, proves. There is absolutely no evidence that any other universes exist, or that any other universe was responsible for the creation of our universe. These are all interesting ideas but they have no practical scientific evidence to support them.
What scientists state as certain, is that everything we see today, could have arisen from nothing—exactly what the Bible has said to us all along.
Hebrew scholar, Paul, wrote in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, that the universe was created by elements that are “invisible.” How could a first century man know that all that exists was made by invisible atoms?
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. ~Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV)
The prerequisite to understanding the universe is that it was created out of nothing. At the moment of creation, when there was nothing prior to this moment, a tiny particle the size of an atom, containing all the matter that would make up the universe—tightly compressed—exploded in infinite temperature, and infinite violence. Understanding how nothing turned into everything, is one of the greatest mysteries of our universe.
If you can accept that this is how the universe began, it is possible to begin to understand that only an infinite intelligence would have the capacity to make this all possible.
There are lots of responses to the fine-tuning argument. Do you need me to present any to you?
God doesn’t need fine tuning. He’s magic and can make life anywhere. Fine tuning would be an argument for naturalism. The multiverse is a good starting point for me.
“If you are honest and really understand what our fine-tuned universe means, then you will dispense with an evolutionary or natural process as the source of the universe.”
And go with what? A supernatural explanation, like the ones that have explained absolutely nothing? Science has answers, and the supernatural has given us none. Are you hoping that today is your lucky day, and science is exhausted?
“Your entire premise to dispute that God could have created the universe is that you don’t believe He could, and you cannot understand how this is possible. These conclusions indicate that you are not interested in whether God could create this universe, only that you will not believe He did.”
I’m not claiming that God didn’t create the universe; I’m saying that the burden of proof is yours. If you think that God created the universe, show that you have a better evidenced explanation than science ever could.
“regardless what is presented, as is the following science, you will dispute what I and others say about the science of the universe. All this with no real education or desire to learn the science. It’s almost as if you don’t want to learn the science because it might disrupt your already determined conclusions.”
I’m delighted to learn the science. I got my bachelor’s at MIT (computer science) and have a decent grasp of science, including the physics of the Big Bang.
“If you are genuinely seeking truth, the science should have the same effect upon your mind.I do not get the impression from you that your mind is the problem with faith in God; it is your heart that had been repeatedly hardened to such a degree that it may prevent you from ever surrendering your feelings for the facts”
The lack of good arguments and evidence is what Christianity’s problem. My heart isn’t the issue. I follow the evidence, and it doesn’t lead me to God.
“1. The universe as we know it, cannot be explained by natural forces.”
Convince the scientists. Where they go, I go.
“The finely-tuned universe, as empirical proof for the existence of God, has no formal logical defects.”
The multiverse. Of course, you’ll say that there is no evidence for the multiverse. Two responses: (1) Evidence?! You’re the one advocating for God, and you think *you* have the evidence?
(2) There is good experimental evidence for inflation, and inflation predicts a multiverse.
“4. None of these values are possible under any circumstance, by any naturalistic process.”
Then we can end this debate quickly. Show your argument to scientists, get your scientist acolytes to spread the word, and in a few years, when Divine Creation is the new scientific consensus, I’m on board. Easy.
I don’t have time to read the rest of your 6000-word essay. If you want to pull out a couple of the most compelling points, that’d be fine.
“By the time that God destroyed the Amalekites, there was a 900 year history of the Canaanites in their butchery of people who lived in their lands.”
Why is 900 years relevant? God didn’t need 900 *seconds* to know everything the Amalekites would ever do. He’s omniscient. If he felt that they were a problem, he killed them all at the beginning. Or, more humanely, avoid making them in the first place.
I think you make a relevant point. Since God already knows that most people will reject Jesus and be lost, why does He wait for judgement and give us our entire life to decide?
There is only one reason:
He loves us all and doesn’t want us to be lost. For this reason, He still gives people He knows will never repent, the same opportunity that those He knows will be saved, have.
Even more amazing is the fact that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, not just those who will believe and be saved.
God wanted all of creation to know that He loves us, even though we will not love Him. He wanted the lost to know that if they will be lost, it will only be because they wanted it so, not Him.
If God had His absolute will, not one of us would be lost. He made heaven for every one of us. We must stubbornly refuse to accept His offer of salvation, if we will be lost.
This is the nature of genuine love; it does not force anyone to love in return. There can be no genuine love expressed by God if He doesn’t respect our decision to not accept His offer to save us.
God gave the Canaanites 900 years for the same reason He give us our entire life. The fact that He knew the Canaanite would not repent, and many of the world will not repent, does not change the fact that He wanted all of us to be saved.
This is what real love does.
God does not want you be lost either, Bob. He has given you this life to realize that His love is far better than anything else in the universe. I sincerely hope you will join us sinners and experience the wonderful love and kindness of our Great God.
Robert: thanks for the reply.
“He loves us all and doesn’t want us to be lost. For this reason, He still gives people He knows will never repent, the same opportunity that those He knows will be saved, have.”
He creates people he knows will wind up in hell. Doesn’t sound compassionate, good, or just.
“Even more amazing is the fact that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, not just those who will believe and be saved.”
Rom. 5:18-19 makes clear that getting Jesus’s salvation doesn’t require any effort on our parts. We’re all going to the Good Place whether we like it or not.
“The fact that He knew the Canaanite would not repent, and many of the world will not repent, does not change the fact that He wanted all of us to be saved.”
You’re not portraying God as very smart. He wants all of us to be saved? Great—then he should only make humans that will eventually be saved.
It’s a good thing that we have your wisdom to define the nature and will of God.
I’m afraid that without your explanation we would never know that you would be a much better God than the One portrayed in the Bible.
““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” ~Isaiah 55:8-9
“I’m afraid that without your explanation we would never know that you would be a much better God than the One portrayed in the Bible.”
From your standpoint, I can see that it sounds at least arrogant and probably also bizarre, but yes, my morals are much better than those of the God of the Old Testament. That’s true for you, too. God regulated slavery; I’d have abolished it. God demanded genocide; I’d have abolished that, too. If I had God’s power and wisdom, I would’ve found much better solutions to these and other social customs. You, too.
“ ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD.”
Are you sure you’re worshipping the Good Guy? That’s also what the *Bad* Guy would say, and when you look around at the problems in society around the world, you do wonder which one’s handiwork this looks like.
Another thing it looks like: no god at all.
I don’t think you are arrogant. You are likely the most honest atheist I have met. What I do think is true, is that you have stated the real issue concerning the God of the Bible:
People examine the evidence (hopefully), and they make a decision whether or not they will believe it. I choose to believe the testimony that is recorded in the historical record for Jesus, and you do not.
When it all comes down to the bottom line, it’s really is a matter of faith. This is what Genesis 15:6 says about Abraham: “He believed God, and because of his faith, God counted Abraham as righteous.”
Faith in what God says, is really the only thing that impresses Him.
I think, and I may be wrong, that you are a person who is trying very hard to hold on to unbelief, but are also very close to turning in the opposite direction. Of course this could be very presumptuous of me, but It’s just a feeling I have reading your arguments.
In any event I am happy that we can discuss these subjects together. I hope you will always feel welcome here.