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Don Stewart :: Would Everyone Believe in God Today If He Only Showed Himself?

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Don Stewart

No. Though people would not be able to deny God's existence, His presence would not cause everyone to trust Him. It is one thing believing that God exists; it is quite another thing to make a trusting commitment to Him.

Unbelief Is Never Satisfied

Unbelief is never satisfied. Jesus 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, "Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!" Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds (Matthew 11:18,19).

Note that John lived the life of self-denial. The people rejected his message and said he had a demon Jesus ate and drank with people and was called a glutton, a drunk, and a friend of sinners. Nothing could satisfy the unbelief of the people.

Some Refused To Believe

The case of Lazarus illustrates this point.

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).

Many Still Refuse To Believe

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 deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9).

Even if God were to appear publicly it would not cause an outpouring of faith toward Him.

Jesus Said They Are Not Willing To Believe

Jesus said the people rejected Him because they were not willing to believe.

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 were not willing (Matthew 23:37).

It is not that they could not believe in Him, they simply chose not to.

Summary

While many people say they would believe in God's existence if he only appeared in some public manner this is not really the case. The human heart will always find ways not to believe. Jesus illustrated this in the way he and John the Baptist were received - John supposedly had a demons and Jesus supposedly was a glutton and a drunk.

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 raised back to life - they wanted to destroy the evidence. People reject the message of God because they choose to do this, not because of any lack of evidence.

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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