Date: December 8, 2019
Is There a God?
The Point: God has given us ways to know He exists.
Get Into the Study
Use this current event to introduce Session 2.
2019 was an incredible year for space exploration—this calendar laid out at the end of 2018 by Business Insider describes a year filled with trips to the moon, a solar probe that can fly faster than any man-made object in history, and seven flights over Jupiter! Humans since the beginning of time have been fascinated by space, and today, NASA and similar companies pour billions of dollars into space travel.
As Christians, we know and believe that the heavens truly do declare the glory of the Lord. This world is full of people who are searching for truth and meaning, and wanting to explore space makes sense—God’s glory, creativity, and enormity shows itself in incredible ways when you look up at the stars, or look through a telescope at a planet. Beyond this world, the mysteries of space remind us all that we are a small part of a larger plan—God’s plan.
Optional question: When was the last time you contemplated God’s glory in light of the vastness of His creation?
Study the Bible
Use this illustration with the Psalm 111:10 portion of today’s session.
Every year, Chapman University, a private university in Orange, California, surveys more than 1,000 adults on their top fears. In 2018, the most recent year for which the survey research is currently available, 73.6% of adults said they were afraid/very afraid of corrupt government officials. The next closest fear was of pollutions of oceans, rivers and lakes, representing 61.6% of individuals polled.
This was the fourth year in a row that Americans said their top fear was corrupt government officials. It’s natural to fear that the person in charge isn’t truly good, or that their moral center is corrupt. History has taught us that evil people can come into power through government and wreak utter destruction on those under their ruling. Those rulers want their subjects to fear them so they can bully them into doing what they want.
But a fear of God is an entirely different kind of fear—it’s a deep respect for an all-powerful, all-knowing, always good God. It’s an understanding that He’s in charge, and we are not. The truth is, as long as our good God sits on the throne, we ultimately have nothing to fear. Though trouble may come our way, we have the Creator of eternity watching over us as His beloved children.
Optional question: What does it mean to you to “fear” God?
Study the Bible (Option)
In advance, read this article on outer space before your group gathering and note a few of the more interesting facts.
Share a few of the lesser known facts about space from the article with your group, then ask: “Which of these facts most surprises you?” Allow time for responses. Explain that God, in His infinite wisdom, created all things, including the heavens and the earth. When we learn about one part of creation, we’re given the opportunity to know about its Creator. A brief study of space reveals God’s creative mastery, leaving us in awe of Him.
This idea supports the teaching plan found in the Daily Discipleship Guide.
Study the Bible (Option)
To help group members think about the truth of God’s existence, ask: “What are some ways we identify ourselves? What do we use to prove who we are to others?”
Display a photo of a fingerprint. Talk about how fingerprints are unique for each individual, so they are universally accepted as a form of identification. Point out that you can determine if a person has been at a location by their fingerprints.
Say: “Now imagine we wanted to find out where God had been. Where do we see His fingerprints?” Discuss responses. Encourage group members to be alert to where God is at work around them. Look for His fingerprints every chance you get.
From the Senior Adult Leader Guide, p. 34. The same image can be used with the optional idea in Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide, page 14.
Study the Bible (Option)
In advance, make copies of the case study found here: Is There a God?
Place group members into subgroups of three or four people each. Give each subgroup a copy of the case study. Direct them to read the case study and to discuss what advice they could give Rhonda. After a few minutes, allow each subgroup to share their responses. Say, “Because of our culture today, meeting someone like Christine could happen sooner rather than later. So, we have to be ready to answer their doubts and questions.”
This idea supports the teaching plan found in the Young Adult Leader Guide.
- What’s the most unbelievable thing that has ever happened to you?
- What things do we use every day but don’t understand how they work?
- What movie, novel, or song do you remember that presents a view that there is no creator?
- When has God spoken to you through His creation?
- What properties of nature should cause people to see God’s intelligent design?
- How does nature declare the existence of God?
- What key words strike you as important in these verses?
- If a friend asked you why you believe the Bible is reliable, what would you say?
- What useful tool could you compare as a metaphor for the Bible? Why?
- What have been some of the major landmarks so far on your journey to a better understanding of God?
- How does fear of God lead to wisdom?
- What are your greatest motivations for following God’s instructions?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Answers to Tough Questions, Session 2.
Jackie Kearns says
Please check the sermon outlines section. The text base topic box is printing so light cannot even see it. The theme base is going to a converter file, but prints fine.
Lynn Pryor says
What you are experiencing is resident with your computer/printer settings. All files under Sermons are created and uploaded the same way.
david ross says
I have encountered this before but I can not locate the source for the footnotes in the Where the Bible Meets Life in the Leaders Guide….specifically for the Is There A God lesson, I wanted to review the sources for footnotes 2, 3, 4 about China. I know I will be embarrassed when pointed in the right direction…
Lynn Pryor says
David, these are the links:
Jess Staufenberg, “The Six Countries in the World with the Most ‘Convinced Atheists’,” Independent, March 23, 2016, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/atheists-countries-list-six-world-most-convinced-a6946291.html.
Brandon Showalter, “China on Track to Have World’s Largest Christian Population by 2030,” The Christian Post, July 21, 2016, https://www.christianpost.com/news/china-largest-christian-population-world-200-million-believers-despite-crackdown-166718/
You will need to contact the Christian Research Journal directly for this one: Jeremiah J. Johnston, “Modern Day Martyrs: A Non-Christian’s Chronicle of China’s Dark Side,” Christian Research Journal 35 (2012) 60.