Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Why Doesn’t God Show Himself?

Biblegems #239

Question: Jesus was God and became man. So why doesn't God continue to present Himself in a more visual, physical, and tangible way?

Jesus once posed a similar question. Luke 16:19-31 describes a man who died and went to eternal torment in Hades, and another man who died and went to “Abraham’s bosom” for the righteous dead. The man in Hades begged Abraham to send someone from the dead back to his family on earth to warn them. Abraham replied: If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead (Lk. 16:31).

Jesus is telling us that those who deny God, despite the evidence, are not going to change their minds just because God shows up in human form. The problem lies with a person’s unwillingness to believe, not with the evidence of God’s existence.

This is the human condition described in Romans. God has advertised Himself throughout creation, but people ignore the evidence:
         Rom. 1:19-20; 28  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

When this refusal to know God through creation is repeated, man’s ability to recognize God through creation is depleted!
Rom. 1:28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

The word “depraved” means “worthless,” rejected,” and “castaway.” It pictures the brain as having become dysfunctional through misuse, like a hotel key card’s magnetic strip rendered useless by a cell phone’s powerful magnet.

As the question above points out, God has already revealed Himself in a visual, physical, tangible way:
         John 1:14   The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

And Jesus repeatedly demonstrated his divine nature. He publicly stilled raging storms:
Matt. 8:27   “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

He healed diseased bodies:
Matt. 4:24and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.

And, the most convincing evidence of all, He:
Rom. 1:4  was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Even so, the longing of the human heart to see God in a consistently visible, tangible, physical way will one day be realized by those who love and serve His Son Jesus:
         1John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

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