How Do I Know That God is Really Real?

clouds…believing in God might be fine for my grandparents and parents, but it’s not for me.  We live in a “CSI” world.  If something cannot be seen, felt, and measured, or, discovered in a laboratory, then there isn’t any real reason to believe it exits.  If there is a God, how can I know that He is really real?

I think it’s a fair question.  In fact, I think it’s a great question.  I wish more people would ask questions like this one-as long as they are open-minded to the answers they will receive.

There are numerous ways to approach this question.  I’ll take a swing at it my way; you may go at it differently.

Okay, let’s say that there is no God.  The universe runs strictly on mathematical principles.  Natural, predictable laws govern all that there is.  There is only birth, life, and death.  Nothing exists beyond this.  If this is the case, then we can safely say that there can be no such thing as a miracle.  Miracles – by definition – run contrary to natural laws.  They are not merely interesting events – they are unnatural events that by definition cannot happen.  Not only are they illogical and unpredictable, they would be impossible from a naturalistic viewpoint.

But what must we conclude if a miracle took place?  What would happen if we could find even one documented miracle within the course of humankind?  What would that mean?  Well, I think that it would mean that the laws of nature were bent or broken by something higher – something more potent.  One might even call that thing God.

Now, when I use the word miracle, I do not mean the warm, fuzzy things that happen in our life that we sometimes call miracles.  Some people look at the birth of a baby or a breathtaking sunset and describe them as miracles.  No offense intended to any newborn, but that won’t cut it.  Those things happen daily and have easy to understand, natural explanations.  Instead, I am referring to events that by the nature of things cannot happen.  That’s a true miracle.

I have reason to believe that many miracles have happened during the course of humanity.  But one in particular stands out.  It is the resurrection of a man, Jesus of Nazareth.  All reputable historians agree that a man named Jesus of Nazareth was sentenced to death by the Romans, and that that sentence was carried out beyond the city of Jerusalem.  Historians agree that the followers of Jesus claimed that he raised himself from the dead a few days later.

There have been many reasons given to explain how his followers claimed to have seen Jesus of Nazareth after he died.  For example, some have claimed he never really died, but appeared to die.  Others said that someone stole the body. What is interesting about these claims is that they all agree on one point: there was no longer a body in the grave.  It is nearly universally accepted that the body that was laid to rest was no longer there a few days later.  No one seemed to have the body.

In a short blog posting I cannot deal with every possible theory regarding the reappearing of his body (if you have one you’d like for me to address, please let me know!).  However, let me just point out that not only did the followers of Jesus claim to have seen him after his death, but even skeptics and ones who were hostile to him later testified that they saw him alive and well after he died.  Most of these witnesses later died horrible deaths, which they could have avoided if they would have admitted that the resurrection did not take place.  They refused.

Coming back from the dead is a miracle.  It should not have happened.  But we have reliable and early testimony from both favorable and unfavorable sources that Jesus was seen after his death. This evidence is compelling.  Historians routinely base their understanding of past events on the reports of eyewitness testimony.  If we are going to be open-minded, then we must admit that there is no good reason to deny the accuracy of these early reports.

But, you say, that was a long time ago.  How do I know that God is really real in my life?

Some have refused to believe in God because he has not met their requirements.  They believe that God should reveal himself to them in a special way in order to make them believe in him.  If God wants me to believe in Him, he should send me an angel, bail me out of this problem, or provide some obvious miracle. 

 But who are we to set the requirements?  Does the painting tell the artist how it should be painted?  Does the house dictate to the architect how it should be built?  Should the child deem for itself what activities are safe?  We must be willing to accept that reality cannot be understood as we dictate.

That being said, I believe that God can be knowable today.  Jesus lives because God raised Him from the dead (Acts 2:23-24).  This same God wants to be knowable to you.  When we place our confidence in Him, He begins to reveal Himself to us in a personal, knowable way.

Care to know Him?



Dane Cramer is a backpacker, Christian blogger, jail chaplain, and author of two books: Romancing the Trail and The Nephilim: A Monster Among Us.



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