Anyone out there?

Why attempts to find material proof of a spiritual dimension are pointless

Out there

Have you ever considered whether you can see truth? Touch love? Smell peace? Hear joy? Taste knowledge?

Can you see wisdom? Touch goodness? Smell power? Hear justice? Taste patience?

You can see my point. Immaterial things, like belief or faith, cannot be seen, touched, smelled, heard or tasted.

Yes, material things can be easily observed and measured with our senses. The existence of a brain can be seen and verified using diagnostic equipment.

Immaterial things cannot be measured in the same way but they can be understood and the effects of them can be seen.

We know that God is Spirit, so the idea of proving His existence through sight, touch, or smell is no more a legitimate endeavour than trying to prove the above examples with our senses.

We are bound by the limitations of earthly existence that does not allow us to see beyond the dimensions in which we live. God is outside of our time and space dimension, but He has given us a way to know and understand Him in the same way we can know and understand truth, love, peace, joy, and so on.

Imagine that we are characters in a book. We cannot prove the creator of the book exists because they are outside of the story's space and time dimensions. The creator does not begin and end with the book. All we can know about this mysterious creator is that they exist because the story exists.

Yet God has given us more, because He inspired characters to write the Bible and told them what to say. He revealed accurate predictions and prophesies about the future to authenticate the writers' reliability. He went further, as God the Son inserted Himself into the story by coming as Jesus Christ and then sending His Holy Spirit to dwell in those who accept and submit to Him as Lord and Saviour of their lives.

This is not a perfect illustration because God has given us free will to choose whether we accept or reject the Creator. If we trust Him, we come into a relationship with Him and our eyes are opened to His love, peace and goodness.

The Holy Spirit and God's Word are the two witnesses that we have been given to reveal who God is. This should be enough for us to respond to Christ with belief and faith and proclaim that He lives.

Now that reasoning will most likely raise questions because some are not looking for proof that God exists, they are trying to justify why they believe He does not exist.

The Bible also says that unless the Holy Spirit is working in someone's heart, then it is impossible to fully understand the truths of the Bible. The apostle Paul wrote, "For the cross (of Jesus Christ) is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Trying to prove an immaterial God using only human material dimensions is fruitless, but outlining the problem of sin is often quite easy. Most people will acknowledge that they have lied, stolen, lusted (which is adultery of the heart) or broken other commandments. This knowledge of sin comes from a divinely given spiritual barometer called conscience. We must therefore consider where we will go when God judges us.

It is pertinent to ask: If you were to die tonight where would you spend eternity? Everyone is interested in themselves and everyone has considered death. Whether you say "heaven" or "hell", what reasons do you have for your answer? You're likely to have said, 'Because I'm a pretty good [or bad] person.'

Do you claim to be good? Is that consistent with the fact that you, and everyone else, have at least told one lie, stolen time or objects from another, or broken another of God's commandments?

If you know that you have done wrong things, then remember that the Bible says, "...God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6).

No intellectual knowledge that God exists can convince anyone that they need to surrender their lives to Jesus. That converting work, according to the Bible, is accomplished by Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

When this happens it has a profound impact on our lives as we experience forgiveness for our sin and the peace that comes from assurance that we will one day go to be with Jesus in Heaven. I encourage you to keep searching for the answers to the questions you have about God.

Adapted from an article by Shari Abbot of Reasons for Hope, www.RforH.com

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