Recently, I discussed the existence of God with a friend of mine. He continued to reject that there is a God, while I continued to show him that even though he may pretend there is no God, he had just decided in his heart that he only wants to follow after himself and the world. He didn’t want to follow God and give up all power of himself, so he decided to “live the dream” and follow his own twisted views.
It is obvious that there is a God; it is proved through science, ontology, theology, philosophy, math, etc.. Anselm (a famous philosopher) uses this seemingly easy argument to prove there is a God. “And, indeed, we believe that thou are a being than which nothing greater can be conceived” (Proslogium, Chapter II). In this argument, he challenges all people to think of something greater, better, more amazing, or inconceivable than God.
It is obvious that there is nothing greater or cognitive than God. My friend went on to say that he felt there was no need for a God, as his sin didn’t bother him. I told him that he had hardened his heart to God, and had wanted to be in charge of himself. He told me that I was still not reaching him–that he still felt fine with his life. At that point, I just went back to my assurance that God was in charge of my life, and that I had no need to worry about pain or fear because I knew that He was in charge of my life, and ultimately only He could change the hardened heart of my friend.
That talk really helped me to realize my utter dependence on Him and the beauty of that situation. I felt so happy that I was under His wing. How could this be a figment of my imagination? If I believed in a figment of my imagination, how could it be that I have this feeling of supreme comfort and support? Here comes into play the divine sense–the feeling conceived by God and implanted into you that there is a Supreme Power who is larger than yourself. This Supreme Power has always been around, and just as soon as you have cognitive thought, this sense comes into play.
This sense in a way hints of a greater power, not to scare you off, but to save you from corporal ignorance and nativity. C.S. Lewis argues, “From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the center is opened to it” (The Problem of Pain). In essence, he says that when one realizes there is a God, what alternative is left? Without this greater sense, we would be stuck in this continuous cycle of not knowing what to believe. “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice, there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek, find. To those who knock, it is opened” (C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce).
While we do have this choice, ultimately, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). Even though we may have a choice now, everyone (even the most disconsolate), will acknowledge His supreme power throughout the lands, and that no matter what happens, He is God. So, even though my friend might not believe now, he will bow before God at the end. This does not mean he will be redeemed, though. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15).
Even though my friend may want to repent at the end, he will not be able to, for “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Even though he repented in the end, he did not come to the Father through Jesus’ pain and rebirth, but from his own judgment and realization of eternal death. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). Even though my friend’s plan is to live a good life and try to understand people and creation better, he has called himself righteous and has not thrown himself upon God’s forgiveness as a sinner, but as a so-called righteous man. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). Even though one’s foundation might be fame, power, money, happiness, or healthiness, everything is uncouthly built on sand compared to Jesus’ solid foundation.
Jesus is the gate, we are His sheep, and no one can come to the safe corral but through Him. Revelation 3:8 says,“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close.” Once we are safely in His hands, we cannot be ripped out of them. It is the parable of the seed that says, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, where it was trampled, and the birds of the air devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the seedlings withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up with it and choked the seedlings. Still, the seed fell on good soil, where it sprang up and produced a crop—a hundredfold” (Matthew 13:2-8). Those who hear the gospel, but whose faith is not built on a firm foundation, will not thrive. They will be choked by the “righteous,” because their mutability left them prone to sin.
But, those who truly believe and are sent through Jesus will live forever basking in God’s glory. Although those non-believers may be left without moisture, they will still be judged by God for not digging their roots deeper. There is the thought that because some are degenerately evil, why should they try to fix it? But that passage in Matthew leads to this verse, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.’ (Romans 3:23-24). All have sinned, so how can our degenerately evil selves fix our degenerately sinful nature? Only by accepting God’s forgiveness and basing our help not on ourselves, but only on our Savior can we even think of recovering from our sin.
But not only are we dependent on Him in our sin, but even in our fortunes. We have to give thanks to Him not only when we need help, but when, “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). We are to be dependent on God through everything–our vigils of pain, and days of happiness. Whoever tells you differently is just fooling you into believing in your own power. But how can we have power or strength when we are degenerately sinful and imperfect people? We must base all our hope on Him and not ourselves! If we had to lean on our own righteousness, where would we be?
We would be following our cultures footsteps, the culture that has deserted all recognition of a God. This culture has hardened hearts to God. They follow their own muddy, imperfect dreams without help from anyone. What must they regret when they die! Our culture believes that we are meant to trust in ourselves and follow our own dreams to make us happy, and they also argue that our God told us to be happy, so why do we not follow their lead? “Yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). Even though things might look like they would make us happy, God’s plan is for us to follow Him to make us happy for longer than our felicitous culture’s happiness.
Without God, we are nothing. “So God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). Why should we not believe in a God who has our greater good at heart, and who is the perfect Father of us all? We should not pensively stay away from Him. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day” (Psalm 91:1-16). Under His wings will we find peace, he is our shelter from the storm, our comforter, and creator.
He is the greatest being, “a being than which nothing greater could be conceived” (Anselm). He has planted in us this divine sense that tells us of this Greater Being, and without Him we are nothing. He contrived to send His only Son to die and pay the price of sin and death for his children who have done nothing but curse Him, but who are his dearest creations.
About the Author:
Name: Alexandra Turnbull
How many years have you been apart of TPS?
This is my first year with TPS, but I feel like it has been longer, given that I have watched my four older sisters take TPS classes.
What classes are you taking with TPS this year?
This year I am taking Biology with Ms. McKeeman, and Spanish 1 with Senora Falk.
What are a few of your hobbies?
My hobbies include knitting, playing soccer, following college and professional sports, and being outdoors.
How did you hear about Clay Magazine?
I heard about Clay by just being a student at TPS and reading articles on the website.
*I’m on the left and my sister, Victoria, is the other person in the picture!