Monday 1 January 2007

Ultimate Questions

Life is full of questions. Some are trivial, some more serious
- and some tremendously important.

Even as you read these words you may have questions about
your health, your financial situation, your job, your family or
your future.

But the greatest, the ultimate questions, are about God and
your relationship to him. Nothing in life is more important
than this. Good health, financial stability, secure employment,
a contented family and a hopeful future are all things that
people want. Yet even these are temporary and eventually
pointless unless you have a living relationship with God, one
that is clear and certain - and will last for ever.

In the following pages you will discover why such a relation-
ship is so urgently needed - and how it is possible.

The questions that follow are the most serious and important
that anyone could ask. The answers are those that everyone

Please read these pages thoroughly and carefully - and if
necessary more than once.

You cannot afford to miss their message.

Is anyone there?
This is the fundamental question. If God does not exist,
searching for him is pointless: for he that cometh to God must
believe that he is.
1 While it is impossible to 'prove' God in a
mathematical sense, the evidence is very convincing.

Take the existence of the universe. To call it the result of an
'accident' raises many questions - and answers none. The
same is true of the 'Big Bang' theory. Where, for instance, did
the raw materials come from? Not even a 'big bang' can make
something out of nothing! The evolutionary idea is wide-
spread, but just as weak; how can 'nothing' evolve into
'something' let alone earth's amazingly complex life forms?

All other theories are equally fragile. The only satisfactory
explanation is this: In the beginning God created the heaven
and the earth. Our world is not the random result of a gigantic
fluke involving ingredients that were 'always there'. Instead,
the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things
which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Creation had a beginning, and it was God who brought it into
being. For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it
stood fast.

This is reinforced by the amazing order and design seen
everywhere and by the universal laws which hold everything
together, from the vastness of outer space to microscopic
organisms. But design demands a designer and laws a law-
giver - and God is both! God made the world and all things
therein, seeing he is Lord of heaven and earth.

But the strongest 'creation evidence' is man himself. Unlike other
living creatures, man has something we call 'personality'; he
makes intelligent choices, has a conscience and can distinguish
between right and wrong. He is capable of love and compassion.
Above all, he has an instinct to worship. Where did he get these
qualities? Neither evolution nor an avalanche of accidents could
have produced them. The clearest answer is this: And the LORD
God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Man is
not an accident; he is fearfully and wonderfully made by the
Creator of the universe.

1. All words in italic type (other than book titles) are quotations from the Bible as indicated
on page 32.
2. This is a major and complex issue, impossible to discuss here. If evolution is a genuine
problem to you, read From Nothing to Nature, by Prof. E. H. Andrews (Evangelical Press).

Is God speaking?
The question is vital. Left to ourselves we are totally ignorant
of God. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find
out the Almighty unto perfection? God is beyond our under-
standing and we need him to reveal himself to us.

Creation is one of the main ways in which he does so. The
heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth
his handiwork. The sheer size of the universe and its amazing
balance, variety and beauty reveal a great deal about the God
who made it. In creation God shows his stupendous power,
awesome intelligence and brilliant imagination. For the
invisible things of him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without

When we communicate with one another we rely heavily on
words. God also speaks to men through words - the words of
the Bible. Nearly 4,000 times in the Old Testament alone (500
times in the first five books) you will find phrases like 'the
Lord spoke', 'the Lord commanded' and 'the Lord said'. This
is why it is claimed that Scripture came not in old time by the

will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by
the Holy Ghost.

In no other literature can we find scores of clear and detailed
prophecies made by men claiming to speak from God, and
later fulfilled to the letter. The odds against this happening by
chance are too vast to be taken seriously.

Then there is the Bible's impact on people's lives. No other
book has had such a life-changing power. Millions of people,
over thousands of years, have proved by personal experience
that the law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the
testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The
statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the
commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

After 2,000 years no expert in any field has ever disproved a
single statement in the Bible.3 The reason is this: All scripture
is given by inspiration of God. We should therefore accept it
not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.
3. If you have serious questions about the Bible read Nothing but the Truth, by Brian Edwards
(Evangelical Press).


This is obviously the next question to be faced. To acknowl-
edge that God exists is one thing, and to acknowledge him in
the general sense that God speaks to us in creation and through
the pages of the Bible is another. But we need to know more.
What is God actually like?

The Bible gives us many clear and positive answers to this
tremendously important question. Here are some of them.

God is personal. God is not a 'thing', power, or influence. He
thinks, feels, desires and acts in ways that show him to be a
living personal Being. But he is not just 'the man upstairs' or
some kind of 'superman'. But the LORD is the true God, he is
the living God, and an everlasting king.

God is one. There is only one true God. He says, I am the first,
and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Yet God has
revealed himself as a 'trinity' of three Persons - the Father, the
Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit, each of whom is truly,
fully and equally God. The Bible speaks of the glory of God
the Father; it says that the Word (Jesus Christ) was God; and
it speaks of the Spirit of the Lord. While there is only one God,
there are three Persons in the Godhead.

God is spirit. He has no physical dimensions. He does not
have a body, nor does he have any characteristics that can be 8

defined in terms of size and shape. God is a Spirit; and they
that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. This
means that God is invisible. No man hath seen God. It also
means that he is not confined to one place at a time, but is
everywhere all the time: 'Do not I fill the heaven and earth?
saith the LORD. Quite apart from anything else, this means
that God is fully aware of everything that happens everywhere.
This includes not only everything you do and say, but every
thought that passes through your mind.

God is eternal. God has no beginning. In the Bible's words,
from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. There never was
a time when God did not exist and there never will be a time
when he will not exist. God describes himself as the one which
is, and which was, and which is to come. And he remains
eternally the same: For I am the LORD, I change not. All that
God ever was he still is and always will be.
God is independent. Every other living being is dependent
on people or things, and ultimately on God - but God is totally
independent of his creation. He can survive on his own. He is
not worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any-
thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.

God is holy. Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises. There
can be no comparison with the holiness of God. There is none
holy as the LORD who is utterly without fault or defect. The
Bible says of him, Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil,
and canst not look on iniquity. And this holy God demands
holiness from every one of us. His command to us today is: Be
ye holy; for I am holy.

God is just. The Bible says that the LORD is a God of
judgement: and that righteousness and judgement are the
habitation of his throne. God is not only our Creator and
Sustainer; he is also our Judge, rewarding and punishing, in
time and eternity, with a justice that is perfect and beyond any
appeal or dispute.
God is perfect. His knowledge is perfect. Neither is there any
creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are
naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to
do. God knows everything in the past, present and future,
including all our thoughts, words and deeds. His wisdom is
perfect and utterly beyond our understanding. O the depth of
the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How
unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding

God is sovereign. He is the sole and supreme ruler of the universe, and nothing whatever is outside of his control.
Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in
earth. With God there are no accidents or surprises. He writes
all the world's history and worketh all things after the counsel
of his own will God needs no advice or consent for anything he
chooses to do. Nor can anyone prevent him doing what he
pleases: none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest

God is omnipotent. He is all-powerful. In his own words
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything
too hard for me? This does not mean that God can do anything
(he cannot lie, or change, or make mistakes, or sin, or deny
himself) but that he can do anything he wishes consistent with
his character.
These are just brief sketches of some of the things God has
revealed in the Bible about his own nature and character. There
are other truths about God in the Bible (and we will look at one
of these on page 22) though there are many things about him
we cannot possibly understand. He doeth great things and
unsearchable; marvellous things without number. In that
sense, we cannot find him out and no amount of human
intelligence or reasoning can change that. This should hardly
surprise us. If we could understand God he would be unworthy
of our worship.

Who am I?
The pressures and problems of modern living are driving
many people to a restless search for meaning and purpose in
life. We have seen something of who God is; what about us?
Why do we exist? Why are we here? Does human life have any
meaning or purpose?
The first thing to get clear is that man does not merely 'exist'.
He is more than an accidental accumulation of atoms which all
happen to fit together into a convenient package we call 'a
human being'. The Bible tells us that he was specifically
created by a wise and holy God. So God created man in his
own image, in the image of God created he him; male and
female created he them. Man is more than a highly developed
animal or refined ape. He is as different from other creatures
as animals are from vegetables and vegetables are from
minerals. In terms of size, man is minute compared with the
sun, moon and stars, but God has given him a unique and
honoured place in the universe.
This is seen in one of God's first commands to man: Have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Man
became God's personal representative on earth, with authority
over all other living creatures.

But man was also given special dignity. Being created 'in the
image of God' does not mean that he was made the same size
or shape as God (we have seen that God does not have 'size
or 'shape'), nor that man was a miniature of God, possessing
all his qualities in small quantities. It means that man was
created as a spiritual, rational, moral and immortal being, with
a nature that was perfect. In other words he was a true
reflection of God's holy character.

What is more, man gladly and constantly chose to obey all
God's commands and as a result lived in perfect harmony with
him. Man had no 'identity crisis' then! He knew exactly who
he was and why he was in the world, and he obediently took
his God-given place.
But not only was man totally fulfilled and completely satisfied
with his position in the world. God was satisfied with man! We
know this because the Bible tells us that when his work of
creation was complete, with man as its crowning glory, God
saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
At that point in history, perfect people lived in a perfect
environment in a perfect relationship with each other and in
perfect harmony with God.

That is hardly the situation today! What happened?

What went wrong?
The straightforward answer to the question is this: by one man
sin entered into the world, and death by sin.
The first man and woman (Adam and Eve) were given great
freedom, but also one serious warning: But of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the
day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. This was an
ideal test of man's willingness to obey what God said simply
because God said it. But the devil tempted Eve to disbelieve
and disobey God's words, and she did. And when the woman
saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant
to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took
of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto her
husband with her; and he did eat.
At that moment 'sin entered the world'. By his deliberate
disobedience man cut himself off from God. Instead of loving
God, Adam and Eve were terrified of him: Adam and his wife
hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst
the trees of the garden. Instead of being assured, confident and
happy, their sin had made them ashamed, guilty and afraid.
But God had said that man would die if he disobeyed, and he did.
Death means separation, and in one terrible moment man became
separated from God; he died spiritually. He also began to die 15
physically, and now had a dead soul and a dying body. But that
was not all: the children of Adam and Eve inherited their
corrupt nature and sinful character. From then on, like pollu-
tion at the source of a river, the poison of sin has flowed to all
Adam's descendants, and so death passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned.

Notice that important word 'all', which obviously includes the
writer and the reader of this page. We may never meet on this
earth, but we have this in common - we are sinners and we are
dying. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and
the truth is not in us. and if we claim not to be dying we are
being ridiculous. Fooling around with the facts does nothing
to change them.
Many of today's newspaper, television and radio headlines
remind us of the fact that the world is in a mess. It is easy to
condemn violence, injustice, disorder and wrongdoing in
society, but before criticizing others ask yourself whether you
are perfect and living a life pleasing to a holy God. Are you
absolutely honest, pure, loving and selfless? God knows the
answers to these questions - and so do you! For all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God. You are a sinner
by birth, by nature, by practice and by choice, and you urgently
need to face the facts - and the consequences.

Faverdale North Industrial Estate, Darlington, DL3 OPH, England

© Evangelical Press 1987
First published 1987
Reset - 1988
Ninth printing 1998

ISBN 0 85234 329 9
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data available

All Scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized [King James]

This booklet is also published in Afrikaans, Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese,
Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hun-
garian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Macedonian, Mongolian, Polish, Por-
tuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Setswana, Slovak, Slovenian, Span-
ish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, Welsh and Zulu.
Photographs reproduced by permission of the following photographers
and agencies:
John Blanchard (Pages 8,13,18,19,21 ,23-25,27,29,30)
Malcolm Boulton (Page 3)
J. Allen Cash Photo Library (Cover, pages 4,6,9,22)
Bob Obbard (Pages 10,11,14,16,20)
Pictorial Press (Page 12)
Rex Features Ltd. (Page 26)
Science Photo Library (Page 5)
Syndication International (Page 15) Clifford Tanner (Pages 7,17,28)

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