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What We All Know About God

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
October 5, 2022 9:00 am

What We All Know About God

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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October 5, 2022 9:00 am

Many people struggle to believe in a God they can’t see or touch or hear. But not only can you know that God exists, you can know him personally!

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Today on the MetLife career. If there is no God, there's no you if there's nothing more than biology, chemistry and physics, and there's no you in their.

It also means that the biology is all there is.

Death is the absolute end of it all and that idea alone may not prove that God exists, but it convinces many people but something just doesn't quite sit right with an atheistic approach life with Jeannie. As always, I'm your host Molly benefits today were launching into a new teaching series called unknown God.

JD is talking about how you can know that God exists and more than that you can actually know him personally. Many people struggle to believe in a God that can't see or touch here.

Even if we don't want to admit it deep down I think we all sense that there must be a creator. So let's go to God's word and find the answers. Don't forget you can always reach out to us@jdgreer.com or give us a call at 866-335-5220. But for now let's join Pastor JD Greer as he begins his new series with a message titled what we all know about the things you might notice if you're paying attention to culture at all is that atheism seems to be making a small comeback in our culture over the last decade or so, a new set of articulate, hip, cool, aggressive spokesmen have emerged, often calling themselves the new atheist. They consist of people that we call the four Horsemen of the apostles, the Apocalypse, people like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Bennett also included more on cultural icons and talk shows like Bill Marr Bill Nye the science Guy and Ricky Gervais's only walk if you are a little recent cultural history that I learned recently I thought was interesting and a big will help you to write after 9/11, the tragedy of 9/11 in our country interest in religion searched a lot of people went back to church or synagogue may talk about our country's need for God while at the same time Sam Harris began writing a book called begin the faith in which he said that religion was not a solution to the world problems that religion was itself the problem but you know if your CDE when he finished the manuscript he offered it to more than a dozen publishers and every single one turned it down and didn't want to touch. He finally found one publisher who would publish it.

And when they published it. It spent 33 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list. After this he wrote a second book called letters to a Christian nation, which basically said generally religious people are not the problem in the book he read.

He said you summit church.

He didn't call you by name but he said you people like you want to go to the summit church. You're the main problem those of you who take your faith seriously. That same year Richard Dawkins came out with a book called the God delusion in which he basically said faith in God is stupid because evolution is mitigated any need for God and a loving God if he existed, would rule the world differently than we see it ruled the religious people are mean and I like women and talk, and set about this book and what he said was my goal is that religious people when they open it will be atheist when they put it down and that was his goal. The next year. The late Christopher Hitchens who is by far my favorite modern atheist published a book called God is not great. He argued the same thing the same. Harris did try to show the belief in God was not necessary, and also that religion itself was what created most of the problems in our society. All these books were bestsellers, but here is where the sociological analysis gets interesting.

The popularity of this stuff has not led to a surge in belief in atheism and our country that number. Statistically, has not really changed on the last two years. What have surged, however, listen to this is the number of people who began to disconnect from any and all religion impacts so many people have done this, that there's actually a new name for this group.

Now there called nines ride on the census when you're asked to identify your religious affiliation.

There's a large of a people that choose not know any currently about 23% of our of Americans that up. By the way, from 16% in 2007 and up from 7% in the mid-1990s. In other words, it's 25 years they tripled and statistically that is unheard of. This number will probably only increase in the days to come.

35% of millennial's put themselves in the nine category with that number heavily weighted toward males. Males are more often nines than that then females nines would say they were not hostile toward a spiritual faith in God. But we're just done with organized religion. Another way of saying that is it is not based on atheism. All that intellectually attractive, just that they find any kind of organized religion or religious confession unattractive and they say things like what there is a God I'm not really sure that we can know that much about him.

And if you do claim to know something about them then you're going to be arrogant. You can be a big can be bad for society. So you relate to God in your way, or the deity in your way and I'll relate to him in my by the way, for a few of you that are listening to me this is all really encouraging because you finally know what category you belong to, you're not, you get to call your mom this afternoon. God came on just what none did make sure that you spell it correctly first said it, she knows exactly what you're talking about.

I here's a question that I present all of you as you believe in God as you question it hears is a question why is the existence of God a question at all for something as important as God. Why should it require faith.

My kids don't have to believe by faith that either daddy exist that I don't ever have to say them hate kids under the sometimes you're gonna doubt my existence and when you do us what you recite this and in your heart.

JD is my daddy, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in warm blankets must be got runneth over the I don't ever have them say that my kids are never in doubt about me being there daddy so why should our relationship with God be any different.

Why should that require faith you want to show you for the next three weeks for the Bible says about faith in God show us what we can know and how we can know that we know it and then what faith actually is and what it also want to try to show you have a God that many people have rejected in the name of the Christian God is actually a made up God who did exist. In other words, they rejected the false view of God that didn't really exist, but in doing so they thought. They rejected the Christian God, but they just ignore the Christian God. I want to show you the fake God that they rejected would never exist in so I can also tell you the real God.

Iraqi does exist, but you come back and we can refer that right for today for today working to go through Romans one where Paul explains, were unbelief comes from both you and explain where unbelief comes from. Here's what he says, Romans 118 for God's wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteous of the people watch this here comes, who by their unrighteousness to this work suppress the truth because sense.

What can be known about God is already evident among them nobody says, demigod, church people were Jewish people, all people evident among the because God has already shown it to them. Verse 20 here for his invisible attributes of things we cannot see, that is, his eternal power and his divine nature. We can see that we can't touch it yet being clearly understood, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world and they've been understood.

These invisible things have been understood and undeniable through what he is made as a result, people are without excuse. Many goes on to explain what people did the human race. What they did is they exchange the truth of God for a lie and they worship and serve what is been created right. Maybe that was themselves. But it was a put on earth instead of the create server is really the one that ought to be praise forever.

There are three points that Paul makes here in these verses about belief and unbelief. Number one he says may be known about God is self evident. Number two. He says our belief problems ultimately are going to go back to our problems and the number three he's going to explain that the opposite of faith in God is not actually atheism. The opposite of faith in God is idolatry almost written most of our time on that first point and then is it the other to replicate the end. Okay bye Paul says number one, if you're taking notes what may be known about God is evident if we according to Paul, certain things about God are self-evident. We automatically recognize them and instinctively we know them. If we stop recognizing them. It's because, listen to this. Something has distorted our view, and what that is. I'll get to toward the end of our message now hear me. I'm not saying when I say that that some people don't sincerely believe in atheism. They do this is that there's always something that causes them to turn their backs on what are rather obvious indications that there is a God behind creation. To give you a few of these ways that God is evident, don't think of these as proofs per se, but think of them as just strong indications that a normal person would look at and say yeah obviously there is a intelligent God behind this I here's a handful of them. If there is no God, there's no you if there is no God, there is no you happy even if there's nothing more than biology, chemistry and physics, and there's no you in their you have a brain yes, but there's no real mind, no self, no consciousness within the brain. Earlier this year I read a book about Christopher Hitchens final days into the crisper. Hitchens, one of his four Horsemen of the apostasy apocalypse.

I mentioned you a second ago in 2010.

Hitchens was diagnosed with a really aggressive cancer and as it settled in on him that he was basically under a death sentence. He was in a die within the year. He wrote a book chronicling his last thoughts. The book was called mortality. That's really interesting book.

Some of the chapters in and only a sentence along in the book.

He talked about how his doctors kept telling him Christopher your body is fighting the cancer.

Your body is trying your body don't want to give up. He said I finally said to my doctors.

I don't have a body. I am a body and it biology is all there is. That is right. There is no JD there's just this stuff right here.

There's just flesh not let me just ask you to consider does not really jive with you that there's no real you that the consciousness of the real self. The real you. That's just an illusion created by the synapses of your brain, because he here's what that also means it also means that it bought it. Biology is all there is, it means that death is the absolute end of it all and that idea alone may not prove that God exists, but it convinces many people that something just doesn't quite sit right with an atheistic approach. Today is a special day as we are kicking off a brand-new featured resource available. Hopefully doesn't take listening to our program for very long to realize that we believe that the Bible offers provides us with principles that apply to every relationship that we have said this in mind, we want to equip you take care well for the people in your life whether it someone who lives in your house worse than when you work with her friend, our newest resource and encouraging green cards to help us grow the relationships that mean the most. Next month is Thanksgiving the perfect time to encourage the mind. Let them know you're thankful for them to mend a broken relationship. This box set of cards comes with your generous gift to the ministry right now so give us a call at eight 663-3520 or check it out at Jeannie Greer. I know I've told you before about Steve Jobs he was Apple's iconic CEO. He told an interviewer on 60 minutes shortly before he died. By the interviewer asked if you believe in God visible throughout my life I had seasons right to believe in God and seasons were. I didn't believe in God the Z cannot pause there for a minute, he says, but after I got diagnosed with cancer.

He said I certainly found myself wanting to believe because it can't be that when we die.

It all just fades to black all the wisdom that we've accumulated as a race all of our accomplishments. Is it somehow that has to live on to the point is he knows something is off. I compare Hitchens account of his final days with that of Sean girl in our church with cystic fibrosis who I've told you about before she passed away just a few weeks ago for a while, she might have been the greatest evangelist in our church. I cannot personally ever remember being in the presence of another person who exuded such consistent serenity and joy. She told not doctors and the nurses and anybody else who would listen that what she was going through with nothing compared to what God had prepared for her to eternity would come in her room. She said let's start the week and maybe I here's a girl that struck down in her prime with her whole life ahead of her and she would say I would say that they know my prime is just ahead of me. She says I'm headed to my prime our lives whether we live 20 years or hundred and 20 there only small drops of water compared to the expansive beauty of eternities ocean go it seemed like for a week every week. For a while I was meeting new people who were impacted by her testimony now again this her hopefulness prove that God exists. No, it does not, but it does show you that atheism goes contrary to a yearning inside of us. We have that suggest that we are more than biology CS Lewis very famously explained it like this. He says here's how I think about it. I needed this court before as great a baby feels hunger they become so hungry. Well there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim well there such a thing as water men feel sexual desire. Well there so the McCourt sponsor that not called sex if I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

Why would that be the one desire for which there was no corollary at all what may be known about God is evident to us. Even Hitchens is the approach that begin to question everything he had this real struggle because of the consistent kindness in the hope that was displayed to him by a Christian friend, Grayson admits it's a great little book or the faith of Christopher Hitchens, written by one of his friends. Larry torn and it's it's it's fantastic.

I read earlier this year, but that's what I did you wrestle with the 09. There's no God, there's no you, here's a second idea if there's no God, there's no free will. There's no free will of all ERs biology and chemistry that our behavior in any situation is solely due to what our genes are chemicals in us, compel us to choose. Even when we think were acting freely or think were making a choice. This is because some chemical constructs in our minds pushes us to act this way because there is no us behind it all. There's just this stuff is all there is biology and chemistry I give you an example for a new atheist want to do if you says this himself on his podcast called waking up with Sam Harris.

Sam Harris was complaining about certain people who take him out of context and misquote him and twist his words, but then after he complained about it, pauses, and he says, but you know I really can't be critical.

They had no choice there just acting in accordance with their genes because there is no freedom. There is no free will. What that means is that every decision you think you've made is actually an illusion.

Now again I would just ask you, does that jive with you is that approach to life work. I once heard a scientist explain the people who committed rate. This is on a talk show. You can people who committed rate were just carrying out the preprogram instinct. Their DNA had built into them. He said ethically that repulses me.

But scientifically we can't deny that certain people by evolution a program that way. In order to propagate their species.

See, we know that's not true.

We know that a person who acts on the impulse to rate ought to be held responsible for that choice, and ought not to have their behavior simply explained away as genetics and chemical out workings. You cannot live as if you were just biology you do live as if you're just biology going to be locked up by other biology. Okay, that approach like this done work here is the third thing. If there is no God, there is no true worth. There's no true worth anything is only ascribed value only ascribed by fortis biology and chemistry means nothing has real inherent value. There's just usefulness value we ascribe things because we are finding useful if your none you know any you gotta consider this because this is a really big deal, especially listen when it comes to something like justice. If were only biology and chemistry. There's no such thing as true justice.

There's only useful strategies for preserving our time for atheist a statement like you truly ought to, or ought not to your statements don't really have any meaning what the hearing, that doesn't mean they can't be moral people. Some of the atheist. I know are on par morally if not greater morally than a lot of the people of faith that I know he just means that their morality lacks a consistent intellectual foundation. You see, the only way that we can say something is unjust is if we appeal to a higher vision of how it ought to be. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. said that the racial the reason segregation laws in America were unjust in his letter to a Birmingham Jail. He said the reason the segregation laws are unjust because they conflict with the higher laws of God and we agree. We look at oppression. We say that's wrong because it's not supposed to be like that, but if there's nothing higher than biology and chemistry. You can't say that because there is no supposed to back according to the laws of evolution. The only reason our species is here is because we violently beat out all the other competitors that survival of the fittest are species one the hunger games is why we're according to that way of thinking about the world. This is a real problem for nines because when it comes to religion. Nines love to say I do my truth and you got yours. But they don't want to say that when it comes to justice. They don't hear somebody say what you got your justice and I got mine because they believe in basic human rights, so murder and oppression and sexual assault are wrong in every culture we want to hear about the abuse of women are the gassing of children in Syria and have somebody say well that's just how they do things over there. We say no that oppression is wrong in all places at all times. So again there's just something to the atheistic approach that just didn't work you have for what it's worth, CS Lewis, professor at Oxford who was himself an atheist said that this was ultimately what brought him to see that there had to be a got is that I've been an atheist and the reason I was a Navy is my biggest objection to believe in God was all the injustice in the universe and I bought will, there's a God he should fix all that in the end, however, he said, I realize that injustice was more of a problem intellectually for me as an atheist you would use his own words here. My argument against God would have universe seems so cruel and unjust wedding that fix everything, but how it I got this idea of John just and unjust. What was I comparing this universe with what I call it unjust. Write a few words here that he says will summarize. He says if it's true that were just here because of evolution and survival of the fittest. He said what am I there is no universal justice for all that the guy can say is that I see certain things as personally beneficial.

But when I said that my argument against God collapsed. Also, because the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancy. Consequently, atheism turned out to be two intellectually simple for me to see there's no God, there's no such thing as value. There's only ascribed value which means there's no such thing as true moral evil or injustice that also means by the way, that there's no such thing as beauty or love because when you behold beauty if there is no God. If there's just biology and chemistry. When you behold beauty, even you gotta say, like Richard Dawkins does well. The reason that you find that beautiful is because your ancestors all that bought them with food and and so they develop.

This is so that neurological feature that found that beautiful passed down to you and that's help them survive and now it's helping you survive. And that's why you find that beautiful and I hear him explain that in the God delusion, and I'm like really thought that when I look at that sunset. The reason I found that beautiful was somehow subconsciously reminds me of Twinkies like that's really what's going on there for those feelings of romance that love you feel toward your kids or your parents. All that is is a conditioned response that involved in your genes that enabled you to propagate your DNA into society faster than your neighbor's droplet not on a Hallmark card of Valentine's Day on this very special day. My jeans are releasing chemical compounds in my bloodstream because they may cultivated the centuries of evolution to see you is particularly useful for the propagation of my DNA into the next generation.

Listen, if you really believe that I am impressed with your intellectual consistency, but I would advise you to downplay that perspective on Valentine's Day. You listen you can prove your love for somebody you can't prove it exist by biology.

But you know it's real but if there is no God or only chemistry and biology.

The beauty and love are simply illusions here. Here's 1/3 problem. The new atheism runs into if there is no God but something came from nothing.

This may be the most basic question of all wise or something here rather than nothing in God delusion, Richard Dawkins admits this is a problem. Here's what he said you read behind the words because he nerds them up a little bit but it was a pretty clear cosmology is waiting on its darling.

Cosmology means ultimate origins. What he means by that is, basically, we think that Darwinian evolutionary theories explain how life has developed on earth, but we admit that we don't know where life itself or the original materials for life where they actually came from because it's self-evident that nothing times. Nobody can equal everything and so he says cosmology. The ultimate origins needed sneezes owned and then he says this in God delusion, but felt measurement that we don't worry, worry will figure it out eventually. That's called that's what a blind faith like exactly what is known.

I don't know it, but I believe it's out there and I'm really going to the future hope and it is reasons for time you are listening to Jeannie Greer and Summit life to hear this message again. Visit us@jeanniegreer.com and while you're there, download the sermon transcript, or browse through JD's blog. I'm excited to tell you about the finding new resource we have made available for you this month. One of our big goals here at Summit life is to set you up for success with teaching and resources you can share with others. We package together a set of greeting cards. Each card has an inspirational Bible verse, and the Frank is blank inside for you to use for the holidays or really any time throughout the year.

We all know the power of receiving hand written out self giving the gift of encouragement to someone you care about right now for a gift of $35 this month waiting in hard copy think things 335-1520 866-3354. Give online Greer.com don't forget to check out the gospel partner pages well the family also mailing your donation are addressed in your ministry to Durham, North Carolina nine.

Molly may events be sure to listen Thursday.

We will continue my new teaching series, unknown guy in my career ministry


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