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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Does the God of the Bible Exist?

Don Stewart :: Would Everyone Believe in the God of Scripture If He Only Showed Himself to the World?

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Would Everyone Believe in the God of Scripture If He Only Showed Himself to the World?

Does the God of the Bible Exist? – Question 25

No. Though people would not be able to deny God’s existence, His visible presence would not cause everyone to trust Him. It is one thing to believe that God exists but it is quite another thing to make a trusting commitment to Him. The following observations need to be made.

1. Unbelief Is Never Satisfied: The Example of Jesus and John the Baptist

From Scripture, we learn that unbelief is never satisfied. Jesus made this clear when He compared the response of the religious leaders to Him and to John the Baptist. He said,

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ’He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ’Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:18, 19 NET)

Note that John lived the life of self-denial. The people rejected his message and said he had a demon Jesus.

On the other hand, Jesus ate and drank with people and He was called a glutton, a drunk, and a friend of sinners. Nothing could satisfy the unbelief of the people.

2. The Example of Lazarus: Some Refused to Believe No Matter the Evidence

The case of Lazarus further illustrates this point. Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus brought him back to life. This caused a great number of people to believe in Jesus. We are told that the religious leaders reacted in the following manner.

Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus. (John 12:9-11 NKJV)

They not only wanted to kill Jesus, they also wanted to kill Lazarus! They wanted to destroy the evidence of Jesus’ power. They certainly were not looking for the truth.

3. People Still Refuse to Believe Because of the Wicked Human Heart

Although people today might say that they would become believers if God personally appeared to them, this is not necessarily the case. The problem is not so much a matter of evidence as it is a matter of the human heart. The prophet Jeremiah said.

The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse—who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 NRSV)

Even if God were to appear publicly it would not cause an outpouring of faith toward Him. The human heart is still wicked. Many would choose not to believe in Him even though they could not deny His existence.

4. Jesus Said Certain People Are Not Willing to Believe

Jesus said the people rejected Him because they were not willing to believe. When He wept over the city of Jerusalem He made the following statements.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it!” (Matthew 23:37 NET)

It is not that they could not believe in Him, they simply chose not to. The same holds true for many people today. They are not unable to believe rather they are unwilling to believe.

To sum up: even if God did indeed reveal Himself to everyone, so that nobody had an excuse, it would still not cause each individual to become a Christian. Multitudes would still choose to reject Christ. Like the unbelieving people in Jesus’ day, they would also find some reason not to trust Him.

Summary – Question 25
Would Everyone Believe in the God of Scripture If He Only Showed Himself to the World?

While there are people who say they would believe in God if He only appeared in some public manner, this is not really the case. Though they could not deny his existence, they would still not become His followers. Why? The human heart will always find ways to reject God.

Jesus illustrated this in the way He and John the Baptist were received by the religious leaders of His day. John lived a life of self-denial. He supposedly had a demon. Jesus lived the opposite way. He was supposedly was a glutton and a drunk. Unbelief is never satisfied no matter what evidence is presented.

We also find an example of refusing to believe the evidence in the case of the raising of Lazarus. The religious leaders wanted to kill Lazarus who had been brought back to life. They wanted to destroy the evidence.

God, through the prophet Jeremiah pointed out the real problem. The human heart does not want to believe. It is sinful, wicked. It will always find an excuse.

Jesus illustrated this in His prayer over the city of Jerusalem. The people rejected Him willingly and knowingly. It is not that they could not believe but that they would not believe. They chose to reject him.

We conclude that people reject the message of God because they choose to do this, not because of any lack of evidence. This is due to the wickedness of the human heart. Thus, even if the Lord showed Himself to the world it would not cause belief on the part of everyone. People will always find reasons not to believe.

If the God of the Bible Exists, Then Why Is He Silent? ← Prior Section
Why Should We Expect the God of the Bible to Reveal Himself to Humanity? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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