“So what if there is a God?”
Most Americans do not ask, “Does God exist?” Why? Because most of them already believe that there is a God, or at least a higher entity.
The question they ask instead is this: What difference does the existence of God make? Or, so what if there is a God?
That’s a great question, because it’s the very question the Bible answers. The Bible does not try to prove that God exists. Instead, the Bible tells us why God matters.
Without God, there would be no good or evil.
People argue about whether a good God would allow evil to exist in the world. But there is better question that should come before that. Namely, how do we identify good or evil in the first place? Without someone declaring what is good and what is evil, how do we know? This is not to say that people who believe in God are always good, or that people who do not believe in God are always evil. It is simply to say that without a standard outside of ourselves, how do we know what good and evil really look like? And yet people everywhere seem to share a set of similar ideas about what is good or evil, right or wrong. This is because when God created the world, He declared it to be “good” (Genesis 1:31)- He gave the world a moral value. And He created human beings with an internal compass (their conscience), pointing us toward Him and toward what He says is right (Romans 1:19-20). Furthermore, God has given us His word in the Bible so that we can know what is true and right and good (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Without God, there would be no existence.
God has the right to say what is good or evil, right or wrong, true or false because He is the creator of all things. Revelation 4:11 declares, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” This means that nothing would exist if God had not brought it into being. Colossians 1:16 says, “By Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible… all things were created through Him and for Him.”
Without God, there would be no purpose.
If God is the creator and therefore the owner of all things then God is the only one who has the right to say why everything exists. First, all things were created for the purpose of God’s glory, or to please Him. That is why God calls upon the whole earth to worship Him, serve Him, and obey Him (Psalm 100). Second, because He loves us, God created us for the purpose of knowing the joy and peace of living in harmony with Him every day. God speaks this way to His people: “I know the plans I have for you… to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). In short, God says that He created us to bring glory to Him by worshipping and obeying Him, and to enjoy Him by living in perfect, loving fellowship with Him forever.
But here is where we run into a terrible problem. Because the truth is, people on their own do not desire to love and serve and obey God like He created them to do. In fact, the Bible affirms that our natural desire is actually to sin against God, to seek our own desires, not His; that we have all sinned and that we “fall short” of bring God glory (Romans 3:10-11, 23). What is more, because God is holy by His very nature, separate from all evil (Habakkuk 1:13; 1 Peter 1:14-16), He must punish sin (Psalm 145:20). And the ultimate punishment for sin is death (Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12), ultimately a separating from God in a place of torment (Revelation 20:11-15). Hell is for real.
Yet at this crucial point is also where we discover the greatest reason God matters:
Without God, there would be no salvation.
God Himself, because He loves us, made the only way for us to be “saved,” or rescued from our sinful desires and from the punishment that we deserve. This is the salvation the familiar verse, John 3:16 speaks of when it says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus, God’s Son, became a man so that He could stand in for our punishment- that is, take our place! He died instead of us. “God shows His love for us in that while were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:9). “For our sake God made Jesus to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Jesus we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). After Jesus died for our sins, He rose again from the grave, defeating death (Romans 6:9; Hebrews 2:14-15). Now Jesus offers forgiveness for our sins and eternal life with God if we will believe in Jesus- that is, trust in or commit our lives to Jesus, and what He has already done for us to bring us into fellowship with God.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Does God make any difference for you? Do you think about the fact that He created you and loves you? Does your life have a true purpose because you have given yourself to God? Do you know that God has saved you because you believe in Jesus Christ to rescue you from your sin?
God can make a difference in your life forever.