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Creation and God's Existence #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2024 12:00 am

Creation and God's Existence #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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February 14, 2024 12:00 am

https://www.thetruthpulpit.comWelcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's People God's Word. Don is continuing with the second part of the message we started last time, so let's open our Bible as we join him in The Truth Pulpit.Click the icon below to listen.

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Welcome to the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word. Today Don is continuing with the second part of a message we started last time.

So let's get right to it. Open your Bible as we join Don now in the Truth Pulpit. So with that, all of that introduction, Psalm 19 is now a wonderful instructive place for us to start. Let's go back there if you would to Psalm 19.

And you could, if you're taking notes, make a second point here. You could just title it, Creation and God's Existence. Creation and God's Existence. There's a remarkable, wonderful symmetry to the mind of God, to Scripture, and to the knowledge of God in all of these things. And what I mean by that is this, is that the knowledge of God's existence starts at the very beginning of time, before you and I were born. The knowledge of God's existence starts at the very beginning of time and at the very beginning of Scripture. Scripture opens with the principle, with the statement, the declaratory indicative statement, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That is the beginning of time and it is at the very point of creation that we begin to build a Christian mind. The cornerstone of building a Christian mind is having an appropriate rightly directed appreciation for the creation that is all around you. Now, before we look at the text, I want to say this because I don't want this to get lost in the midst of the exposition of the text. Beloved, God created the heavens and the earth, the heavens and the earth, Genesis 1.1.

That has consequences. The universe belongs to God, it's His. It's not something that came about by an unexpected explosion of nothing that somehow became everything.

That's silly. God made the universe and therefore it belongs to Him. The Psalm said, the earth is the Lord's and all that is within them. And for you and me, that has an incredible shaping fundamental force in the way that we think. Beloved, God made the universe and it belongs to Him.

That means something. That means that you and I, we are guests in the realm of God. This universe belongs to Him and we are guests.

We are tenants, you might say. We are, you know, we are citizens in a realm that belongs to Him. And that fundamentally changes, as we'll see in the months to come, the way that we respond to life itself.

We think completely differently. If you exist in a realm that belongs to God, then you're accountable to Him and the life that has been given to you somehow must be given back to Him because it all belongs to Him. We can no longer live for ourselves.

You've been bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6.

Stated differently, someone else has said that the beginning point of human knowledge is this. There is a God and you are not He. You're not the boss.

You're not sovereign. Man is not the final measure of things. The thinking of man is not the final measure of what is true.

The thinking of man is not the final measure of what is right. And all of a sudden, not just individually, the whole class of humanity throughout the ages has been put in its place, under God, in the realm of God, not existing separately and apart from Him. And so, creation and God's existence. Let's look at the first verse that introduces this to us.

And we'll try to go through this with deliberate speed. Verse 1, the heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. How do we know that God exists? God has testified to His own power and wisdom in the creation and nature that is all around us. Every aspect of creation is somehow revealing, testifying to the reality and the existence of God.

And there are three aspects to this testimony. Look at verse 2. The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Now verse 2, day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge. There is an unbroken testimony in the creation all around you that signifies and points you to the existence of God. One day gives way to another in expressing His existence as we go out under the umbrella of the skies and within the realm of visible creation all around us.

We'll see more about this in just a moment. One day with the sun shining brightly, continual testimony to the greater glory of the One who put the sun in the sky. Every night when it's clear enough, you see the stars moving in their orbit.

You can look up and you can identify the planet Mars by its red hue, millions of miles away and say, and it's there just like it was last night. Unbroken testimony. This is admittedly an unspoken testimony. It is an unbroken testimony. It is an unspoken testimony.

Look at verse 3. There is no speech nor are there words whose voice is not heard. In other words, God conveys this knowledge in a way that goes beyond human language to He's not speaking in words as I am now speaking to you.

He's speaking in a different way. He has made himself in creation and he makes that known without literal words. In other words, what God has done in creation and every day, every day creation is faithful to God. He's speaking in and every day, every day creation is faithfully making the same testimony over and over again. God has shown himself in creation. He has imprinted, think about it this way, he has imprinted into creation, into the very fabric of creation, the knowledge of God. And he is addressing through that imprint in creation, he is addressing the faculty of the human mind that he himself gave to us. So that when we look up, we're not supposed to simply say, oh the sun is shining brightly.

We're to look up and recognize and we are accountable for this as we'll see in a moment. To look up and see the blinding glory of the sun is a testimony to a greater blinding glory of the one who put it there. And there is no other explanation for it. It is an unbroken testimony day to day, night to night. It is an unspoken testimony made without human language. And in verse four through six we see that it is a universal testimony. This unbroken, unspoken display of the knowledge of God is universal.

It goes in like manner to all men everywhere. Verse four, their voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In other words, this universal testimony is available to all men everywhere.

There's not a man anywhere in the world at any point in the history of time or ever will be before God brings it all to an end that has not been the recipient of revelation from God about his own existence. Because it is imprinted and woven into the fabric of creation. David focuses on the sun as the preeminent display of this glory. At the end of verse four, he says, in them he has set a tent for the sun which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber.

And like a strong man runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens and its circuit to the end of them. And there is nothing hidden from its heat. The sun warms all the earth. The sun is present for all men to see.

During the course of the calendar year, I realize that there are places in the Arctic circle and down in Antarctica where there are times where, you know, it's night all day long. But the sun is displaying the greater glory of the one who put it there. That is crucial for us to understand in developing the Christian mind. We set aside, we've all heard it. Some of you were taught and trained in this. Some of you perhaps sadly have taught these things in the past to others. You know about a big bang existence of the universe, a big bang explanation. And we're not going to silence men from saying those things by what we teach here.

That's not the goal. The goal is for you to recognize, to look up, to look about you and take the personal accountability, the personal opportunity, the personal possibility as it were the Spirit of God comes to you and speaks to your heart and say, but what do you say? What is your answer as you look at the heavens?

How do you explain this majestic precise ordering of the universe? David here has spoken about what theologians call general revelation. General revelation, it's the revelation that's available to all men everywhere by which God has made his presence and power known in nature. He testifies in a way that all men can understand.

And as we'll see in a moment, all men do understand it. This general revelation, you can't look at the sky, you can't look at the motions of the planetary bodies and come to a knowledge of the gospel. You can't come to a knowledge about everything that scripture reveals about the nature and attributes of God. But it is not sufficient to save you from sin, but it is sufficient to put you on notice that God exists. It is sufficient for you to know that he exists with certainty and without doubt.

The incomprehensible magnitude and order of the universe point to the God who established it by his wisdom and power. Now look, something really important to understand here, the fact that most of us perhaps don't really give much thought to this aspect of it. You know, we just go about our business and we get off to the store or to school or to work and don't give any thought to it, doesn't lessen the reality and the efficacy of the testimony. The fact that men ignore it, take it for granted, take for granted that the sun is going to rise tomorrow like it did today.

On what basis does anyone believe that, that denies the existence of God? How can you know the sun will rise tomorrow if everything is random? My point is, is that the fact that we neglect this does not at all lessen the conclusive nature of the testimony. We see the sun by day, the moon by night, and a kaleidoscope of stars in the heavens. Astronomers chart their movement to the moment, to the minute so that every one of you with a cell phone can look at the phone and see what time the sun is scheduled to rise tomorrow. Where did that precision come from? That magnitude and precision speaks to the reality of a living creator who is overall. That is David's point in the first six verses of Psalm 19, that creation speaks to the existence of God. It declares his glory, verse one.

It proclaims his handiwork. Now, let's go to our third point here this morning and look at the supporting testimony from other scripture. The supporting testimony from other scripture. And here we ask a question that is really vital. Someone could ask, is creation really enough to know for certain that God exists?

Is it really enough? You know, we've been so steeped in the skepticism of the past, you know, the past age of philosophy. So critical and slow to believe and so conditioned to deny God, to ignore God, to ignore these kinds of matters. So it's understandable to me if someone would sincerely ask, is creation, is what you just described in 10 or 15 minutes, really sufficient to know that God exists? Well, I'd say, first of all, understand that I may have summarized it in 10 or 15 minutes, but this testimony has been going on for thousands of years and it's always out there. And so the fact that I deal with it briefly doesn't diminish the magnitude of the fullness of which with which God has spoken. But look at Romans chapter one.

The question is, is creation alone sufficient to compel men to believe in God? To know without question that God exists? We've turned to this passage many times.

There's a reason for that. It's fundamental to the proper building of a Christian mind. Romans chapter one, verse 18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God can be known about God. Look, that's our how to know God exists.

That's the title of the series. You see that these things come directly from the text. The things that we're talking about, the issues, the themes that we are emphasizing here, they come directly from the most fundamental texts of scripture. We're not on a side diversion here. We haven't taken a detour into something not important. We're dealing with the most fundamental matters with which Paul opens his entire systematic expression of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the book of Romans.

It starts right here. What can be known about God? Does he exist and can we know it? This is fundamental to the gospel. Verse 19. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

It is obvious God himself has made sure that it could not be missed. Verse 20. For his invisible attributes, namely or specifically, 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. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves.

And on it goes. Beloved, Scripture tells us the answer to the question, is creation sufficient reason to believe in God? Think about it this way. To deny the existence of God, to ignore the existence of God, to defy the existence of God in light of creation is grounds for eternal judgment. That alone is sufficient to judge a man and bring him under the wrath of God. The wrath of God is revealed against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. And why is God angry? Why is God wrathful against mankind?

He says it right here. God has imprinted upon creation, the unmissable, the undeniable reality of his existence. And men turn away from it, harden their hearts and deny him anyway. There is no excuse for that. And that condition of mankind, that condition of the minds of unbelieving men, and I fear perhaps even for some of you within the room here today have been living in this way. I don't care. I reject it. I'm pushing it away. That's not what I think. That state of the human heart, that state of the human mind, beloved, I say it with a broken heart, but in fidelity to Scripture. That state of mind, individually and collectively for mankind, it is damnable.

There is no excuse for that. But if you've ever driven in the country at night, which is fun to do, you know, and you get out, and the stars are, you know, away from the light pollution, they just jump out at you. And I remember going with my mom decades ago out into the country to see a comet that was passing through the heavens back then, and just the glory of that. Think about being in a dark country place like that on a clear night. No lights.

No moon. It's just that enveloping darkness of the natural cycle of time. The testimony of creation.

Now I'm going from the reality to a metaphor here, okay? The testimony of creation in the world around us is like being in that dark country place. And yet there is a big billboard with flashing neon lights on the side of the road on that dark night. And it's just flashing and pulsating.

It's relevance and its existence and it's light to you. You can't miss it. You're on the dark road and then suddenly out of nowhere in this little illustration that I'm making up here, all of a sudden you're on the dark road and you're waking up here, all of a sudden a big billboard plays and just comes up and is just displaying these flashing blinding lights. You can't miss that.

You can't turn away from it. It's that billboard is there, obviously, drowning out everything else with the testimony of its existence. Well, in a far greater way, beloved, greater than that little illustration, in a far greater way, creation speaks to all men everywhere of the existence of God. If that billboard really existed, you could not be possibly be excused for saying, I never saw it. Of course you saw it.

You can't miss it. In a far greater way, to be a guest in the realm of God where He has displayed the knowledge of His existence in creation is inexcusable, which is the negative way of saying that there is a certain knowledge to be had and the Christian mind embraces that and comes to the conviction. Creation tells me that God exists, period. And I don't need to and I will not yield to the next media promoted argument against the existence of God that comes down the road.

My feet are put down and my mind is made up, you say. And this is the conviction that guides the eye determined the way I respond to everything else. And we see this confirmed elsewhere in the Bible. Turn back to the book of Acts for a moment. Genesis 1, Psalm 19, Romans 1, Acts 14. Acts 14, verse 15. Crowd was trying to worship Paul and Barnabas.

Paul stops them. He cries out in verse 15, men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like nature with you. And we bring you good news that you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations, he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness. What's Paul saying there? He's saying the God who created the world has imprinted in the flow of the seasons, one season following naturally after another, those seasons testify to the existence of God.

The regular course of the seasons manifest his existence in a way for all men to know. As Christians, we accept that testimony. We say yes, Amen and Amen. Chapter 17, verse 22. As Paul is speaking to a bunch of idolaters who had up a memorial, an altar to the unknown God, Paul says to them in verse 22, men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription to the unknown God. What therefore you worship as unknown?

This I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. Notice this, beloved, in the room now in verse 27, that they should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he's actually not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being, as even some of your own poets have said, for we are indeed his offspring.

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. Paul points to creation and says the effect of creation, the moral implications of living in the realm of God where he testifies in the heavens and in the regular seasons to his existence in an unbroken, unspoken way universally to all men. The moral implication of that, verse 27, is that they should seek God. Beloved, creation in the course of nature puts men on notice.

It is the flashing neon billboard that no man can escape. God exists, and in light of that knowledge, God now commands men everywhere to repent from their worldliness, from their godlessness, and to turn to him in Christ. For those of us that want to develop a Christian mind, here's how we respond to that. The Christian mind, the way that we think in light of creation and what scripture says to us about it is this. The Christian mind acknowledges this testimony and says it is sufficient, period.

There is no debate about this. The Christian mind affirms the justice of God in it. God, who created this realm and put us as guests in it, God has a right for the subjects of his realm to honor him, to recognize him, to seek him. The fact that they don't is no indication that the testimony is inadequate. The testimony is perfect for its intended use.

The fact that men spit upon it is on them, not on the one who made the testimony. So, the Christian mind acknowledges this testimony, it affirms the justice of God in it, it affirms the grace of God in it. What a gracious thing for God to establish a realm in which we can actually live. What a gracious thing of God to establish creation in a way that his handprint cannot be missed. What a gracious thing of God to tell me that I am not alone in this realm, but that he is there. And in the words of Francis Schaeffer, he is there and he is not silent, he has spoken. And the Christian mind delights in the resultant knowledge of God that comes from it. Poetically, Isaac Watts speaks to this in the hymn, I sing the almighty power of God.

Much different from that song that I referred to earlier. We've sung this, let me remind you of it. And by the grace of God I won't stumble as I say these things to you. Watts says, summarizing everything we've spoken about here today, he said, I sing the goodness of the Lord that filled the earth with food. He formed the creatures with his word and then pronounced them good. Lord, how thy wonders are displayed wherever I turn my eye.

If I survey the ground I tread or gaze upon the sky. Everywhere I look, Isaac Watts said, it's there. He said it poetically. Steven Charnock said it theologically in words that I absolutely affirm and agree with, come what may. Charnock said some 350 years ago, he says the existence of God is not only probably but conclusively proved from the things of the world. God has given us, this is still Charnock speaking, God has given us sense to behold the objects in the world and understanding to reason his existence from them. God established the realm in which we live.

He's placed us in it. He has given us the human senses as he constituted us as human beings. He's given us the senses to be able to look at these things and to appropriate them, to look, to hear, to see, to smell, to taste, to touch. And beyond that, God constituted us with a human mind that is able to process this with reason and come to conclusions that he exists. He created the realm, he created man in his image, he put man in the realm and gave him everything he needed to drink it all in so to speak and then he gave him a mind by which the man is supposed to say from all of this I conclude that there is a God who exists and I need to seek him.

For in a realm like this, I cannot be of my own. So wrapping this all up, God has spoken in creation. How do we know he exists? It's because God has made himself known.

He has revealed himself to us all. That's the first way that we know that God exists. And that appreciation for creation builds a framework of certainty in the Christian mind.

And so we should walk out encouraged, strengthened, edified as a result of these things. But notice this, beloved, and at the risk of repeating myself, understand this, that everything that we've said here today puts the careless man on notice. It puts the defiant man on notice. It puts the atheistic scholar on notice. It puts the atheistic scholar on notice.

It all points in between. They're all on notice that God exists, that God reigns, and that he has appointed a day of judgment. And in light of that, we, speaking collectively as the realm of mankind, we are responsible to seek Christ and to find him. Luke 13 24 says, Strive to enter through the narrow door. Look for it.

You say you're lost, you say you're confused, you say you're hurting. Okay, look for the God who has made himself known and don't give up until you find him. And may the Spirit of God help you along the way.

Jesus said in John 7, if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me. But whatever else we say about it, beloved, we see this from Scripture. Indifference to the existence of God, denial of the existence of God, refusal to seek him, they are inexcusable. There is no excuse for that.

There is no excuse for that. And there will be a day of accountability, a day of judgment that God has appointed, where what you have done with his testimony in all of these areas, particularly today in creation, where you will give an account. And so indifference is inexcusable and it is spiritually suicidal. J.C. Ryle says this, he says, laziness towards Christianity is a great sin. What will be said of the man who neglects his soul? What will be said of the man who neglects his soul and makes no effort to enter the narrow door?

There can be only one reply. He is omitting an explicit duty. Christ says to him, strive and behold, he sits still.

He sits still. God has spoken, beloved. Now he calls you to think and to respond.

What will you do? Let's pray. Father, we accept your testimony. We acknowledge your testimony in creation.

We accept it. We affirm your justice and grace in it. We delight in the knowledge that the God in whose realm we live has made himself known.

Thank you for saving us in Christ by his shed blood. Awaken those who have defied and denied you, Father, that they might be shaken to the core of their being as the inescapable testimony of creation surrounds them moment by moment, hour by hour, day after day, until they are left with no option but to bend the knee, to confess Christ, to call upon him for salvation and mercy. Father, these are not matters of trivial consequence. These are matters of sober, eternal significance. Give us joy as we meditate on them. Give us confidence as we seek you. Give mercy to those who are lost. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Amen. That's Don Green here on The Truth Pulpit. And here's Don once again with a final word.

Well, thank you, Bill. And my friend, I want to let you know of a special ministry that we have at thetruthpulpit.com that's very near to my heart. We have a ministry to those who are in prison.

And in the nature of life, sometimes we have loved ones that go astray and find themselves behind bars and spending significant time in incarceration. Well, we have a ministry to them. We send them transcripts of messages that I've preached from The Pulpit of Truth Community Church. We do it on a weekly basis.

They get mail every week. If you have a loved one in prison that you would like to have us reach out to in that way, do me a favor. Go to our website, thetruthpulpit.com. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Click on the link that says About, and you'll see a drop-down menu that will take you to our prison ministry. You can fill out the form, and we'll be happy to respond and join in with you in ministering to that one who is outside the normal course of society. So that's thetruthpulpit.com, the About link for our prison ministry. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you so much, friend, for listening to The Truth Pulpit. Join us again next time as Don begins a new message as we continue teaching God's people God's Word on the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-14 05:01:16 / 2024-02-14 05:13:40 / 12

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