We can know God is real when we experience His reality. God wants us to know that He is real. One way you can find out for sure is through an experimental approach. Pray a prayer like this:
“God, if you are real, show me. If you really exist, I want to know before it is too late.”
No one else needs to know if you prayed such a prayer. If there is no God, then He can’t respond to any prayer. If He exists, He will show you in a way that is convincing to you.
But really, people who suppress the truth about God are without excuse. The Bible says that God has placed eternity in the hearts of the sons of men (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). You have an intuitive knowledge in your heart that there is “something out there” and that when you die you will still exist somehow – and not just as a memory or idea. Right now you may believe in your mind and with part of your heart that you have well-grounded scientific or other reasons to deny the reality of your eternal existence, but God has made sure that something in you knows that this is not the truth.
The Bible says that, “what may be known of God is manifest in them [i.e. you and all thinking people], for God has shown it to them [to you too!]. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they [you] are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19, 20)
In other words, God’s existence and nature is revealed through what you can see around you in the physical universe AND in your own internal world. Your conscience, mind, memory, will – indeed your whole soul – is a strong evidence that there is a Personal God – one who feels, thinks, chooses and judges.
Can we really believe that all personality and personhood is nothing but a meaningless product of time, chance, matter and energy? And if so, what would be the practical consequences of such a philosophy lived out?
It is actually so improbable that you have no excuse if you choose to believe such rubbish.
The Universe is not old enough for life to have evolved through chance. Even billions of years is not enough time. And the best astronomy reveals that the Universe cannot be orders of magnitude greater than that in age. See Dr. Hugh Ross’ page – Reasons to Believe for more on this.
Can you believe that a true life painting could exist without a painter? Or could a watch exist without someone to first design it? Could all the mysteries and intricacies of the biological world really come into being without a super-intelligent and wise Creator?
Added to all this we have the millions of testimonies of believers around the world who have been changed by surrendering their lives to Christ. Some of these are more dramatic than others, but all point to the same reality. Only a tiny fraction of what God has done in amazing ways for people has ever been reported. One reason for this is the indifference many Christians still have towards the glory of God and the salvation of sinners. Another reason is that many sinners would not want to admit to others too publicly what they privately know that God has shown them.
The historical, physical resurrection of Christ is the great event on which Christianity is based. Many skeptics have become believers upon investigating the evidence for this with an open heart and mind.
All the objective evidence in the world may fail to move your heart if your real reasons for questioning God’s existence are subjective. You may feel disappointed with something in life and be blaming God for that. Well, that may not be fair at all. This will be dealt with in another section. But for now, you might want to check out the information contained in “The Will of God and the Rebellion of Man.”