Do People Perish For Lack Of Evidence?

I’ve done a lot of study the past couple of weeks on the
doctrine of Hell because I was studying for a debate with Counter
Apologist and another atheist on the Therefore God Exists podcast (click on the “My Video Debates” link on the sidebar if you want to watch it). My studies
inspired me to write two blog posts on the doctrine of Hell, two of which were
rebuttals to articles my debate opponent wrote on the subject. I scheduled
those posts to be published some time after the debate because I didn’t want
muddy the waters beforehand. Anyway, this blog post is also inspired by my
studies. This has to do with an objection to the doctrine of Hell I, oddly
enough, don’t receive very often. It’s the atheist’s complaint that if God
exists, there’s insufficient evidence to believe in Him and therefore, God is
unjust in sending people to Hell. After all, how can you expect people to
believe in you without evidence? Moreover, how can you punish someone for not
believing in you if they would have believed had more evidence been given to
them?
How should we Christians respond to such criticism? Is God
really unjustified in sending people to Hell because people simply don’t have
good enough reasons to become Christians?
God Is Not Obligated To
Save Anyone
I’d like to start off by arguing that God is not obligated
to save anyone from their sins. We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23, Psalm 14:2-3), and God’s Word tells us
that we deserve spiritual death because of that (see Romans 6:23). If God did not send Jesus to die on the
cross to die for anyone’s sins, He would still be justified. Salvation
is a gift, not a right (see Ephesians 2:8-9). However, I would agree that it
would be unloving of God if He had no salvation plan for us. If God loved us,
He would try to save us. After all, it would be very odd to say that you loved
someone yet saw them headed for destruction and did nothing. However, I would
disagree that that would make Him unjust. God would be unloving if He
had no salvation plan, but NOT unjust.
So even if God arranged the world so that no one could come
to belief (meaning, there’d be no evidence of His existence), He would not be
unjustified. We don’t deserve salvation. We deserve Hell.
Fortunately, this is merely hypothetical. The reality is that
God IS loving. 1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16 say that His very nature is love. God
loves everyone. He doesn’t want any to perish, but for all to come to
repentance”
(2 Peter 3:9). That’s why Jesus died for “the world”
(John 3:16), “the whole world”
(1 John 2:2), for “Everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). As I mentioned in my
debate with Counter Apologist and in my critiques of his articles, God has
paved the way for everyone to be saved.
But how can this be? If God wants the whole world saved, why
leave so little evidence for His existence? If He really wanted all saved,
wouldn’t He be more obvious?
There’s Good Scientific,
Historical, and Philosophical Evidence For Christianity.
The Bible shows us a Being who is
omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, who created the entire universe and
designed the living creatures in our universe, and who exists outside of space
and time, at least prior to bringing the universe into being. The Being The
Bible describes as God is also a personal agent, that is to say, an agent who
is a person instead of an impersonal force.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument, if both of the premises in that argument are true, shows us a Being who is
spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, supernatural, and is a personal
agent. He is the agent that brought all of matter, energy, space, and time into
being at The Big Bang.
The scientific evidence for intelligent design (I.E The Fine Tuning Arguments, the DNA-To-Design Argument, and The Irreducible Compexity Argument), if the scientific data is accurate, point us to the
existence of a Being who designed our universe and local galactic region to
permit the existence of life, and once our universe and local area were life
permitting, this Being designed the first living cell.
The Moral Argument, if the
premises are true, shows us a Being who is morally perfect.
The Ontological Argument, if all
of its premises are true, shows us a being who is Omnipotent, Omniscient,
Omnipresent, Morally Perfect, and Neccesarry in its existence.
Now, I can’t defend the premises
of these various arguments for God’s existence given my time constraints, but
this is one reason why I believe, and why you should believe, that The Bible’s
God is the true God and all of these others are phonies.
The arguments from natural
theology show us being whose attributes, only the God of The Bible has. All of
the arguments from natural theology reveal a being who is spaceless, timeless,
immaterial, powerful, supernatural, personal (The Kalam Cosmological Argument),
intelligent enough to design a life permitting universe, galaxy, and planet,
(The Fine Tuning Arguments), intelligent enough to design life (The
DNA-To-Design Argument, irreducible complexity), morally perfect (The Moral
Argument), and a being that is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, necessary
in existence, morally perfect, and all loving (The Ontological Argument). None
of the polytheistic religions and none of the pantheistic religions give us a
being that has all of these attributes. Only Judeo-Christianity does.
Now, I don’t have the space to
defend each of these arguments. So if you want to learn why these arguments are
sound, click on the links above (i.e the highlighted letters).
Even Without Natural
Theology, The Orderliness Of The Natural World Points To God’s Existence.
But some might object that if they hadn’t read these
articles, books, and lectures on these scientific, philosophical, and
historical arguments, there’d be little reason to become a Christian. To this,
I’d appeal to Romans 1. In verse 20, Paul says that God’s handiwork is evident
from everything that He has made, so evident in fact, that people are without
excuse in denying He exists.
Not only does science point to a transcendent
Creator-Designer, but even without the scientific evidence, which not all
generations have had access to, creation still points to a Creator. Although science gives God’s general revelation a mega phone, it’s still audible even on the intuitive level. Even Christians
who are not scientifically or philosophically minded have appealed to the
orderliness of nature, the complexity of the human body, and the beauty of
nature to justify their belief in God. I would agree with anyone who says that
the existence of a Creator is a very intuitive belief. Design is evident on an
intuitive level.
For example, who wouldn’t conclude that we were designed by
an intelligent agent as soon as they saw an anatomy chart like the one I’ll
post below?
The human body is extremely complex. You possess
3,000,000,000,000 (three trillion) nerve cells all coordinated by the brain.
You have 30,000,000,000 (thirty billion) working sections in your brain. Your
eyes are connected to your brain. If they weren’t connected to your brain, you wouldn’t
be able to see. Your eyes contain 131,000,000 photoreceptors, without which,
you wouldn’t be able to see. You have 24,000 hair-like cells in your inner ear
which react to sound and convert it to nerve impulses.
Your head has an opening called a mouth which has 32 teeth
which grind food to allow you to swallow. The food then goes down the esophagus
and into your stomach where it will remain for short time before being
dissolved by the acids in your stomach. These acids help you absorb the
nutrients from the food to give you energy. After the food is dissolved, it
will turn to feces and then travel through your colon and exit your rectum. The
digestive system exhibits complexity. In fact, it appears like someone
purposefully designed the body so that it would be able to process food
correctly.
There are many, many other complex features of the human
body. Most Christians believe that God exists on the basis of such complexity.
Christians who have never studied apologetics appeal to this complexity. Even
in the first century and before hand, people could understand such a
teleological argument. The Apostle Paul mentioned the complexity of the human
body in a completely different context in 1 Corinthians 12.
The problem with this argument is that the skeptic of God’s
existence will appeal to various arguments for evolution to refute this
argument. That’s why I never use it anymore. I give other evidence for
intelligent design such as The Universal Fine Tuning Argument, The Local Fine Tuning Argument, I explain how DNA needs a designer, how irreducible complexity
points to a designer, and I also point out the flaws in the evolutionist’s argument. But I don’t use the “See how complex our bodies are” argument
anymore.
Nevertheless, it is an intuitive argument. And this
intuition is universally accessible. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to
reach this intuition. You could be in a third world country and get this evidence. I’m reminded of the Psalmist’s words that the voice of creation “goes out into all the Earth, their words to the ends of the world.” – Psalm 19:4
Aristotle would agree. Aristotle imagined what it would be
like if there were a race of men who lived underground all their lives in a cave
and who suddenly, through an earthquake or something, managed to escape and
come out and see the external world. This is how Aristotle describes the impact
that seeing the world would have upon these men:
“….when thus they would suddenly gain sight of the earth,
seas, and the sky; when they should come to know the grandeur of the clouds and
the might of the winds; when they should behold the sun and should learn its
grandeur and beauty as well as its power to cause the day by shedding light
over the sky; and again, when the night had darkened the lands and they should
behold the whole of the sky spangled and adorned with stars; and when they
should see the changing lights of the moon as it waxes and wanes, and the
risings and settings of all these celestial bodies, their courses fixed and
changeless throughout all eternity – when they should behold all these things,
most certainly they would have judged both that there exist gods and that all
these marvelous works are the handiwork of the gods.”
The Holy Spirit is
Witnessing To Everyone.
If Christianity is true (and the atheist is assuming it is
in order to make his case against God), then The Holy Spirit is witnessing to
the hearts of everyone in order to get them to repent and turn to The Lord.
This is why some Christian Philosophers argue that belief in God is a properly
basic belief. A Christian can be justified in believing God even in the absence
of any arguments for His existence, these philosophers will argue, because The
Holy Spirit is speaking to them. People encounter God.
God Leads Everyone To The
Level Of Evidence They Require
When people refused to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, Jesus
said that they were without excuse, since the evidence of His divine identity
had been amply demonstrated: “If I had not done among them the works which
no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated
both Me and My Father”
(John 15:24). God understands that people need
evidence to believe. He understands that it’s unreasonable to ask people to
believe in something without good reasons. That’s why God leads people to the
evidence that they need in order to believe the truth of Christianity.
A great deal of atheists I’ve talked to on the internet are
well acquainted with the arguments I’ve linked to above. Arguments such as The Kalam Cosmological Argument and The Fine Tuning Argument. This is because
God knows they need a deep argument to believe.
Others have to come to faith through having a religious experience
(i.e having a radical encounter with God). Others have come to believe in a
Creator through simply observing the orderliness of nature and intuitively
inferring God. Not everyone needs an argument to be convinced of Christianity,
but for those who do, God leads them to it. Why else do you think He’s lead you
to this blog? 😉
Not all evidence is the same, not all of it is equally
convincing, but I believe God grants sufficient evidence in the type and
strength to each person who requires that particular type and strength.

Liked it? Take a second to support Evan Minton on Patreon!

Leave a Reply