In a court trial, you can pronounce someone guilty based on the preponderance of the evidence. You do not need proof. Although proof is always nice to have, it is not necessary to pronounce someone guilty or innocent of a crime. Likewise, proving the existence of God can be done considering the preponderance of the evidence and doesn't require overwhelming proof. The question that only you can answer is, how much evidence will it take for you to believe that God does indeed exist? That God does indeed love and care for you deeply?
Perspective #13: How much evidence will it take for you to believe that God does indeed exist? That God does indeed love and care for you deeply?
Some people have an open mind. They are curious about God and what He wants, and they are not necessarily afraid to be accountable to Him. Because they invest the time it takes to get to know Him, they are free to gain a better perspective of Him and His Kingdom. To this kind of person, the truth is what is essential, so they eagerly seek the truth, understanding that sometimes the truth can be hard to find, hard to uncover and requires a little work, a little effort.
Perspective #14: Truth can be hard to find, hard to uncover, and requires a little work, a little effort.
However, it is always important to understand that truth will always reward the diligent who sincerely seek after her and are not afraid of her.
Perspective #15: Truth will always reward the diligent who sincerely seek after her and are not afraid of her!
For others, evidence for the existence of God must be ignored or dismissed at any cost even when the evidence is undeniable or overwhelming. The only legitimate reason I can come up with for this is that they are afraid of the truth. These skeptics and critics are usually close-minded and are biased to their position, refusing to believe, discuss, or listen to anything that does not support their position.
Thus, the truth scares them. Since they do not want to be "accountable" to the truth, they ignore it, cast doubt on it, or plainly just do not believe it no matter how compelling the evidence may be. It is a question of their will to not accept the truth. This becomes most evident when it comes to accepting the truth of God's existence.
These people typically prefer another less plausible explanation that has nothing to do with God. The reason for this may be caused by some great hurt or pain in their life that they are blaming God for. Or they just do not want to be accountable to God. Or they see God as a crutch, something meant only for the weak. This perspective forces them to ignore anything and everything implying or referring to "God." They choose to discount or dismiss the evidence of God at all costs.
When this is the case, evidence and proof do not matter, because this type of person doesn't want to believe. They may say it is because there is not enough evidence, or there is still some doubt. Nevertheless, this is seldom the actual reason. The real reason is that they do not want to be accountable to God. They want to do their own thing, whatever that may be. Their will says "no," and their mind says "excuses!"
Or possibly, other so called “God followers” have mis-represented God, who He is and what He wants to them causing them to be “repelled” or “repulsed” by the idea of God. Unfortunately, God gets blamed for the actions of those who say, they follower Him. Regardless of whether their actions prove what their words say.
Let me give you an example of what this looks like. Let’s say you and I are acquaintances. Not really friends, but we know of each other. Now, what would happen if I borrowed your car, without your permission of course, and drove it to a near by shopping mall. I want to do some window shopping, but I really don’t feel like getting out of the car, so I just drive through the big mall doors. I might or might not care about all the people in my way, after all “I’m shopping” and they are in MY way! I cruse around the inside of the mall, not caring what I run over or who I run over, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage. When the police finally stop me, and come to the aide of all those shoppers. I tell the police that YOU told me to do this for you. That it was YOUR idea and it was what YOU wanted. Now, should the police “believe” me and arrest you and make you pay for all the damage and destruction I caused?
Probably not. Yet, so many people blame God for what others have done in His name. In fact, they don’t give it a second thought, and yet, if someone was to do that to them, they would be outraged. This of course happens, because we don’t know God and we’ve never taken the time to get to know Him. You see, if someone says they are a “God follower” and then does something that God would not do, you can see it from a mile away. Why? Because you know God, and what they did, has nothing to do with who God is or what He’s like.
However, no matter the reason, no matter the excuse, God will hold you accountable for all the evidence of His existence regardless of whether you believe it or not.
Perspective #16: God will hold you accountable for all the evidence of His existence regardless of whether you believe it or not.
Notice this perspective says YOU! It is vital that you understand that regardless of whether you "believe" the evidence or not, God is still going to hold you accountable for the evidence, as it has been there all along and you either choose to believe it or not. The choice will always be your own. You see, God has given us all the power to choose which means we're in charge. Likewise, this means that we are also accountable for the choices we make.
The Bible says: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20 emphasis added)
Evidence for the existence of God is everywhere, and it is easy to see because God has intentionally made it easy. If you can't see it, or you refuse to see it, then you are exercising your God-given "power to choose." Which is perfectly okay; there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, just know that God will hold you and only you accountable for what you choose or do not choose to believe in, including Him.
Proof, on the other hand, is fact that is indisputable. Just like with evidence, there are still a lot of people who choose not to believe the proof even when it is slapping them in the face. For example, Jesus came to earth as the Son of God and did many miracles; healing the sick, lame and blind, casting out demons and raising the dead. Most of the people of His day did not believe who He said He was. In fact, they regularly wanted to stone Him for making Himself out to be God. They refused to believe even though they saw all the proof. Why is that?
I wasn't there, so I do not know for sure. However, I can surmise that their reason is probably similar to the reason most people have today. If they "accepted" Jesus for who He said He was, then they are accountable to Him and His teachings. And if we are honest, most people do not want to be accountable to anyone, let alone Jesus or God. There seems to be a general perspective that God is just a bunch of rules, regulations, and rituals. Just another burden to carry around, and honestly, who needs or wants another burden?
Of course, that is a misguided perspective on who and what God is. However, before we get to that point, I want to address another. If God does indeed exist, then why doesn't He just provide us with "overwhelming proof" and remove all doubt?
Before I answer that question, let me ask you a couple more questions. What proof do you require to believe that God exists? Do you need Him to turn water into wine? Do you need to see that He can walk on water? Do you need to see that He can heal the sick? The lame? The blind? The leper? Do you need to see Him cast out demons? Do you need to see Him feed over 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish? Do you need to see Him raise the dead? Do you need to see Him raise Himself from the dead? How many "tricks" will it take for you to believe?
Jesus had this same problem. The people of His day saw these signs and more, yet very few of them believed in who He said He was. At the time of His crucifixion, Jesus only had about 120 followers. Considering that He spent over three years walking around Israel teaching, healing the sick, the lame, the blind, casting out demons. On one occasion feeding 5,000 men (15,000 men, women and children) and at another time feeding 4,000 men (12,000 men, women and children), why did He only have 120 followers?
That is because God created us with the power to choose. Like I said earlier, with that power we can have proof slap us in the face and still "choose" to ignore it. Why? Because we are free to choose whether we believe the "evidence" or not. Humans are very clever, most of the time we can come up with a reason or an excuse to not believe the evidence and justify our choice not to believe. Understand, regardless of the choice we make, the reasons for the choice, or how we try to justify the choice, God will still hold us personally accountable!
Let's look at this from God's perspective for a second. You have created humanity, and you have chosen to love them. In return, you want them to love you as well. However, for their love for you to be real, they must be free to choose; their love must be given freely. Which also means, they must be free NOT to choose to love God.
Now, you could put some overwhelming proof out there that they would see and be unable to deny unless they are brain-dead, but that would be like forcing them to love you. Forced love is a contradiction. Forced love would remove the ability to make a conscious choice to love God and serve Him only. I think this is the primary reason why God has put so much evidence out there for His existence. He wants to make a choice easy for you. He's not into making this hard, but He is all about you having the power and the freedom to make up your mind.
Like I've said several times now, you and only you are accountable for what YOU choose to believe. Let me give you an example of this. Let's say, someone you trust, a Pastor or a good friend tells you something about God that is untrue, and you believe it without verifying, or investigating it yourself. God is going to hold you accountable for what you believe. True, He may also punish them for spreading the lie, but He will hold you accountable for believing the lie and for not putting forth the effort to validate it. Likewise, if someone tells you "there is no God, " and you believe it without putting any effort into proving it as true, God is still going to hold only you accountable.
Now, given all of this, can we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there either is or is not a God?
NO!!! It is not possible for us to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God. However, we cannot disprove it either. The thing we need to understand is that the finite (limited) cannot prove or disprove the existence of the infinite (unlimited).
Perspective #17: The Finite (limited) cannot prove or disprove the existence of the Infinite (unlimited) – Skip Heitzig
The finite has limits; it has boundaries, while the infinite has no boundaries, no limitations. The infinite is unlimited and can do anything, be anything, go anywhere without limits. Roy A. Varghese makes an interesting observation about this fact in his book The Wonder of the World: A Journey from Modern Science to the Mind of God when he says:
Once you understand what is meant by the concept of God, you understand immediately that the Infinite is not something you can see physically. In order for you to see something physically, it must have shape and size and color. It must reflect light and work its way through our sensory channels until it is registered in the brain. But if you apply these attributes to any being then it can no longer be thought of as infinite. Consequently, we cannot seriously expect God’s face to appear on a hillside. And if the words ‘I exist, signed God’ were to suddenly appear in the sky, this would not prove anything one way or another since there is no way to verify the source of the message.
Now, how can you put all the knowledge of an infinite being into the mind of a finite being? This, of course, is impossible. Then how do we get to know the infinite? The only way He's chosen to reveal Himself to us is through His “written” Word, the Bible, and His “revealed” Word, His Son Jesus Christ.
We have the evidence. The question then becomes, is there enough evidence to prove the existence of God? The answer to this question is an overwhelming "YES!" There is more than enough evidence to prove the existence of God. All we need to do is consider the evidence that God has left behind for His existence and then make our choice based on the evidence.
Join me next week for part two!
 Or clearly perceived from the creation of the world