Why Does God Remain so ‘Hidden’?

I wish I could count the number of times that I have heard someone say, “I am really just trying to seek God.” Or how many times have you heard someone say, “I want them to find God so bad!” Well, that brings up a good question: if God wants us to be with Him and trust Him so bad, why does He remain so hidden from His would-be followers?

I love getting into conversations with unsaved people around this topic because it is so relevant to life with an easy transition to the Gospel. When asked, Richard Dawkins answered “I don’t know” to the question of “If God wrote a message in the sky, and it said ‘Richard, I am real. ~ God’, would you believe then?”

It Has Already Been Written In The Sky

The truth is He already has. Numerous times throughout the Psalms and many other times in scripture, it is written that the heavens declare His glory. He’s not as hidden as people think He is. God hasn’t made it so no one can find Him. However, He hasn’t just shown up in the sky and said, “Wassup. Jesus died to save y’all, so repent.” The reason is freewill and choice. God doesn’t want people to follow Him because he said so; He wants people to choose Him because they want Him. There is enough evidence for someone to believe in God; however, no matter how much evidence there is for God, it will always require trust to believe until we stand face-to-face. On the flip-side, that small requirement of faith is simply enough for people to outright deny God all together.

Christ wants us to love Him, and for that love to be genuine, we must choose it ourselves. It’s not something we can be forced or coerced into. This is why God has done things the way He has. There is enough evidence for people to choose what they want to do either way, whether that means following Him or not. It comes down to free will, and because God loves us and wants us to freely love Him back, He allows us to either chose Him or deny Him.

How to Use This to Share The Gospel

If people believe that God hasn’t shown Himself through creation, you may have a hard time showing them that with “evidence.” No worries though. The greatest strength you have in this situation is your own story. People can deny seeing God around them, but they cannot deny the story of your testimony. They cannot deny how you have seen Christ show up in your own life.

A Warning

Your testimony is something people can never invalidate; however, it’s something that you can invalidate all on your own. You can invalidate your testimony by your everyday life. This is done when you claim to be changed, but you don’t bear the fruit of being saved by grace through faith. If you continually speak negatively of others, cuss nonchalantly, or blow up in peoples’ faces, why would any person want what you have? They won’t because you’re acting the same as the people who have not surrendered their lives to Jesus. How we live our lives is essential to demonstrating the goodness of God to others around us. When we live a changed life, the work and presence of Jesus in our lives is undeniable. These simple things can be used to bring those around us to Christ.

Sharing Your Faith in a Public School

My entire life I have been attending a public school, from Kindergarten all they way up to 12th grade. As I am starting my 2nd semester as a Senior in high school, I have begun to recall how I have handled my deep faith publicly. I believe there are some simple truths that may be helpful for others that are starting their first years at high school, hoping to be bold in their faith.

1. You ARE going to mess up.

It is important to realize that no matter the strength of your faith in Christ and your desire to live it out, there will be failures. It is often the aftermath of these failures that will shape and define how you live out your faith, as well as how others perceive your faith. Don’t let the devil use the guilt of your failures to push you away from Christ, let it bring you closer to His love. If you haven’t failed, then you weren’t trying.

2. Everyone IS going to see you mess up.

While this may be a hard pill to swallow, it is so true. People will see you, and they may think you are a fool. Who cares, you are obeying God’s will to share the Gospel. However, they will also see how you handle your lack of perfection. Will you give it to God or fix it with continuous human error? This will be a testimony to your faith.

3. They are just as scared as you are.

Often times when you think about sharing your faith or defending it, you may get a little nervous or even feel your hands shaking. That’s okay. The person you are discussing hard questions with is just as nervous as you are. Remember you are both humans, you both get anxious about things. But, never forget that your anxiety or nervousness should not hinder you from sharing. A strong testimony to your faith is how you handle your fear.

4. They don’t know everything either.

When I am making a case for Christ with some of my classmates, sometimes I feel like I don’t know enough. I have come to realize that the person I am talking to feels the same way. It’s impossible to know everything, you can educate yourself on as much information as you want, but there still may be a hard question to answer. That is okay, you don’t need to know all the answers, but don’t be arrogant and pompous, blocking the love of Christ from being shown.

5. Prayer is an essential.

As I have learned through experience effective ways to share the Gospel and defend my faith, I have seen that in America especially, we don’t use prayer to its full potential. This is even more true with teenagers in general: we don’t pray. Part of this is because we weren’t taught much about it, but that is no excuse. When sharing God’s love continuously with a friend, like in a school setting, it MUST be accompanied by prayer. Ask that God would move His Spirit through that person and give you the right words to say. God hears our prayers.

How Do I Overcome My Initial Fear?

Well, there are several approaches to this question. The truth is that sharing your faith will not always be easy, it has to be worked towards. I want to show an approach that I believe is most effective. You have to be comfortable sharing the Gospel with yourself before you can share it with others.

I enjoy playing basketball, but I don’t ever get better at it unless I practice. Often times, this means giving up time I would put elsewhere. The same is with sharing your faith: if you don’t practice it, you won’t be good at it. The very thing that makes the Gospel so encouraging is because it is personal. Your first interaction with the Gospel was within yourself. When you were freed from your sins and imperfections, that’s when you knew you had to share it!

Apply It, Share Your Faith!

I encourage you to write out your testimony on some paper. If you are trying to figure out what your story is, try to think about when you first heard of the gospel and how it changed your life. Practice sharing your testimony with your family first. Ask them how you can improve it or if you are missing something. Continue practicing so that you know your testimony without having to think about it.

After you’ve become comfortable sharing with yourself and at home, you can begin doing it in public. Ask a friend if you can share your story with them. They will almost always say yes. Then, the stage is all yours to present the Gospel, showing how YOUR life has been changed by Christ.

Why the Gospel is Offensive

The message of the Gospel is often seen as very hopeful and exhilarating, in a good way. But, what many may not realize is that several non-Christians find it VERY offensive. Here’s why.

The idea that we are all sinful. The Bible clearly states that all humans are sinners, and fall much short of the glory of the Most High God. So if some random person told you that you were a sinner, wouldn’t you be offended?

Sin leads to death. After being told that everyone is a sinner under God’s eyes, you most likely will be told that this sin you can’t control causes death. Wow, well that sounds hopeful right? The sin that I can’t control leads to death I must endure.

Not only is there physical death, but sin leads us to hell. This sin that is in every man causes physical death, but to make matters worse, there is also a spiritual death. In this spiritual death that sin causes, your soul goes to hell for eternity because God cannot be in the presence of your sin.

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What About Those Who Have Never Heard The Gospel?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

~ Romans 1:18-20

From Caleb,

Would God really send those who have never heard the Gospel to hell? Let’s talk about it, because this a question that believers and non-believers share alike!

Let’s look at an example…

Hunter: “Do all people really go to hell if they don’t confess Jesus Christ as their Savior?”

Alice: “God makes it pretty clear throughout scripture that all have fallen short of glory and that the wages of sin is death. I would recommend taking a close look at the book of Romans.”

Hunter: “Yeah. I get that. I know all that stuff. But let’s just say, for example, there was a guy on a remote island, and no one knew he was there, so no one could share the Gospel with him. This guy, when he died, would he go to hell?”

Alice: “Sadly, yes. But let me explain why…”

“But let me explain why…”

I’m sure that our friend Alice would answer somewhat along these lines: The truth is yes, and God makes it clear through the apostle Paul why in Romans chapter 1. 

From Romans, we are shown that these people, even though they have never heard about God, have already had the truth and knowledge of God revealed to them through creation by God himself. Because he has so obviously demonstrated himself through everything that exists, God tells us that these people are “without excuse”. 

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This means everyone, no matter the circumstance, is separated from God, and without trusting in Christ to save us from our sins, we will spend eternity separated from him. This even includes the person on the island that has never had the opportunity to hear about Christ.

“Some may think that this is simply a hypothetical situation, its normal, but it’s not, this is real life for 3.14 billion people.”

Some may think that this is simply a hypothetical situation, its normal, but it’s not, this is real life for 3.14 billion people. There are 3.14 billion people that haven’t even heard the name of Jesus, so you need to keep that in mind when answering this question. Most people, when they ask this question are waiting for you to say that they will go to hell, that way they can, essentially, roast you by saying “See! God is an angry, unjust God! How could he call himself good and loving when he does stuff like that!”

Be prepared to answer that response. My reply to that would then simply be that by God doing this, he is able to call himself just and holy. He is just because he puts in place consequences for sin. He is holy because sin cannot exist in his presence. Sin cannot exist in his presence because he is perfect and without fault. He is light, and in him and around him there can be no darkness. However, he has made a way for us to be made right with him. Based on this, you can say that he is both just and good. 

Not only has he made a way for us to be restored back to him, but he has also made it abundantly clear through creation. Because he has made it clear through things such as creation, Paul says these people have no excuse for the sin in their hearts. These people are still guilty of sin, and God cannot be in the presence of sin. As Christians, this knowledge should break our hearts. This should motivate us in our walk to share the Gospel unconditionally with people in our nation and abroad. This is Christ’s grand design!