Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. In your article entitled “Does God Really Exist,” I fail to see any definite proof of God’s existence. I have completed many long, hard Bible study courses and applied what I learned to my life but gained no contact with God whatsoever. I used Bible references in prayer, but I might as well have been talking to the wall. I now believe anyone who wants a good life has to forget about God and the Bible and go ahead and get it through his own efforts. If I did surrender to God according to Romans 12:1 and depend on Him to supply all my needs, I would go around naked and finally starve to death. There is nothing to gain in reading the Bible but unnecessary eyestrain and disappointment.
 
A. Perhaps your disillusionment stems from the fact that you have not understood the nature of God’s dealings with men in this age. Just what kind of manifestation of God have you been searching for? What do you mean by “contact with God”? Have you expected Him to speak audibly to you? Have you hoped to see Him? Did you expect obvious miracles to occur in your life, or did you want God to provide for you in the literal sense by raining a new suit out of the sky or causing food to suddenly appear on your dinner plate? Of course, you would probably answer these questions in the negative.

Then how can we expect God to deal with us in this day and age? Understanding the nature of God can help us comprehend why He apparently is not dealing with us in quite the same way the God of the Old Testament dealt with the nation of ancient Israel. God is all-knowing, all-powerful and omnipresent. He is also invisible (Col. 1:15).God the Father has never been seen by human eyes (John 1:18, 5:37, I John 4:12). Christ came to reveal the Father (Luke 10:22). He said: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). But God is glorified and therefore is “unseeable” by human beings.

Today God is working through the vehicle of His Holy Spirit, and He reveals His will to us through the pages of the Bible. Our job is to find out what God’s will is and get in harmony with it. The rewards for doing so come mainly at the end of this life when the saints are resurrected (Luke 14:14).

However, Christ Himself stated that many Christians can expect definite blessings in this life. He said: “There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands (as members of Godís Church), with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30). And the book of Proverbs is full of cause-and-effect maxims showing the benefits of wise and righteous behavior.

Nonetheless, in a purely physical sense, Christians live lives pretty much like everyone else in today’s world. Time and chance happen to all men (Eccl. 9:11).God causes the rain to fall on the just and on the unjust (Matt. 5:45).We experience sickness, accident and death just like everyone else. It is only at the end of life that God “separates the sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:31-32).

A Christian should be willing to obey God whether God intervenes to provide for him or not. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were willing to be thrown into the fiery furnace rather than yield to idolatry Ė whether God protected them or not (Dan. 3:17-18).

Also, the Bible reveals that God hears the prayers of those who obey him (John 9:31). But sins cut us off from God (Isa. 59:1-2).We are told, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you so that he does not hear.” Perhaps there is a connection between this verse and your statement that your prayers were not answered, even though you quoted Bible references. Or perhaps you were not praying in accordance with God’s will (James 4:3).

Another question you might ask: Have you really been willing to repent and change your life before God? Have you “sought first the kingdom of God,” or have you been seeking blessings for yourself first? (See Matthew 6:25-33.) Heaven is not a magic lantern containing a genie called “God” who can be summoned to grant every wish. The Christian is not primarily out to get from God; he is concerned with pleasing God no matter what. He seeks to glorify God, not the self (John 7:18).

A good life is not to be found by ignoring God and the Bible. Quite the contrary. By acknowledging God and obeying His will as it is revealed in the Bible, one may have a joyful, fulfilling, abundant life now through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, and look forward to a rewarding eternity in the future.
 
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