Question: Can we know anything about God?
If God didn’t intend for us to get to know Him and His plans for the world, He would not have given us such a great deal of information in the Bible. God has given us these accurate, historical accounts of events and His revelations to men and women, so that we can learn of Him, His character and standards, and His future plans for humankind. The common thread we can recognize from the entire Word of God, also known as the Holy Scriptures, is that God created people to have a relationship with Him, loves them immensely, and has a plan for them to be with Him throughout eternity! His design is quite intricate and miraculous, reflecting honor and glory back to Him. Most importantly, God means for us to get to know Him through a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only way to truly know God. It’s difficult to describe God without pointing to Jesus, again and again!
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father God except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father, as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.’” John 14: 6-7
We can know about God, and we can get to know God as a friend and heavenly Father. Both are important. Really “knowing God” means recognizing His voice or guidance, reading of His relationships with people, talking with Him, and beginning to enjoy our growing relationship with Him, which brings hope, joy, and peace. We can do our part to know God through Bible studies in our church and community, by talking with others about what the Bible teaches, and, of course, by talking directly with God through prayer.
The scriptures say that God made us to observe His creation all around us and understand He is the master “architect” behind it all who designed it AND keeps it going. Psalm 100, memorized by many as a favorite, teaches that we should revere, praise, and worship God:
“Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us, not we ourselves; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3
REASONING ABOUT GOD
God gave men and women the minds to reason, from living in His creation, that He is a God of enormous power, order, complexity, harmony, and beauty, which is “clearly seen” (Romans 1:20) as the work of a master! Sadly, even though people sense within their hearts that God exists, they don’t turn to Him to live by His wise rules but selfishly fulfill their own desires and make their own “gods” to follow. Some think there is no god behind creation and that the world slowly evolved from particles of dust in space; they push from their minds what God has provided to help them comprehend. They know if they hear about and acknowledge God, then they’ll bear more responsibility of adhering to His higher standards, which they reject.
“For the wrath of God is revealed in heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” Romans 1:18-23
The departure from respecting God’s truths, as demonstrated and illuminated by His creation, leads people into the futility of their own minds as they pursue false gods, man-made human religions, and shallow philosophies. Instead of receiving light and wisdom from God, their hearts are darkened more and more, and they believe any lies that the ultimate deceiver, Satan, and his demons covertly suggest to them.
BEGINNINGS AND NEW BEGINNINGS: THE MASTER’S PLAN
Some people have asked, where did God come from? The answer is one we don’t fully understand, that God existed always, or eternally. Another concept that our human minds can’t connect to from our earthly knowledge and experience is the “Trinity”. Some very intriguing scriptures tell of its members – God the Father, Jesus Christ (God’s Son), and God’s Holy Spirit. Did you know that all three, distinct parts of God were present when the earth was made? In the Colossians reference below, notice that Jesus, “The Word of God”, continues to hold creation together!
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him, all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.“ Colossians 1:15-17
God instructs us, beginning with Genesis, the first book of the Bible, how He, along with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, made this world we live in. The history of God’s guidance, rewards, and discipline of men and women is detailed throughout the Biblical record so that we can know, even today, what He expects of us and how He partners with us to accomplish His perfect will. Through His inspiration to the writers of the books of Matthew through Acts, God explained how He sent Jesus into the world as a man to teach what God was really like; then, He showed how Jesus willingly suffered and died on a cross to save us. Because God cannot accept sin into His holy presence, He planned since the beginning of the world for Jesus to take the punishment for our sins against God by paying the ultimate penalty with His own blood by dying. Our belief and acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice made us right with God so we never would have to pay for our own sins someday. Remarkably, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead to live 40 additional days on the earth before ascending into heaven. And what an amazing 40 days that was! The youngest disciple who followed Jesus, John, wrote of what he witnessed during the time after the resurrection:
“I am the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:24-25
“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Jesus Christ. It is God’s powerful method of bringing all who believe it to heaven. This message was preached first to the Jews alone, but now everyone is invited to come to God in this same way. This Good News tells us that God makes us ready for heaven – makes us right in God’s sight – when we put our faith and trust in Christ to save us. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the scripture says it, ‘The man who finds life will find it through trusting God.’” Romans 1:16-17, Habakkuk 2:4
The Bible refers to Jesus as “the firstborn from the dead”, who has a resurrected body that can never die and can move quickly in ways and over distances that our bodies cannot…yet!
“And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.” Colossians 1:18
God wanted us to know of this kind of body He will give to all believers at a future date when Jesus returns to earth with us, from heaven, to set up His earthly kingdom. (Presently, when we die, we exist in heaven only in spirit form but as recognizable as we were when we lived.) Details about believers’ future were recorded in some of both the Old and New Testament books. These have provided us with even more hope and encouragement to stay on course with our dedication to follow Jesus throughout our lives. Here are a few of the many verses penned by Paul the apostle and Isaiah the prophet:
“Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God — His plan that was previously hidden, even though He made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by this Holy Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.But people who aren’t spiritual but still natural can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them, and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, ‘Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?’ But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, Isaiah 40:13 and 64:4
As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, the believers of church in Corinth, God purposed for us to know how He prepared a place for us to enjoy and serve Him at a time still to come. However, that incredibly glorious experience is only for those who God has adopted into His family, the people who accept His Son Jesus as the one who saves them from the penalty of their sins. Those who choose not to receive Jesus, God’s gift to them, will not inherit His kingdom of heaven and the “New Earth” kingdom of the future. God inspired the writers of the Old Testament to point to the coming of a Savior, a Messiah, who would make a way for men and women to be right before God. There’s a great deal that cannot be understood about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit by those who have not stepped forward in faith to accept Jesus as God’s Son. As verse 14 in Corinthians 2 stated, these truths seem like foolishness and can’t be fathomed by our natural minds; they are only spiritually discerned by those who have believed God’s message about Jesus. When someone accepts and asks Jesus into his life, God sends His Holy Spirit into the person to begin the unveiling of His exciting plans!
DESTINATION: GOD’S HEAVEN
God wants everyone to know how to join Him in heaven. He has assured all that it’s never too late to accept Jesus Christ as Savior – UNTIL the moment you die! Then, when you pass into the spiritual dimension and see the reality of the Biblical truths of heaven and hell you’d always heard about, and it will be too late. At that point, your destiny will be fixed for eternity with God and the other believers (saints) in heaven, or in hell, suffering torment in darkness. While dying for our sins on the cross, Jesus called heaven, “paradise”!
“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:39-43
Don’t delay! This is the opportunity you have to get right with God. It’s dangerous to wait to decide to follow His Son Jesus Christ at a later date. We never know when we could be living our final day on the earth.
Talk to God right now by saying something like this:
I am putting all of my trust in you now. I understand that Jesus died for the many wrongs I’ve committed and paid the once-and-for-all price to make me right in your eyes. I am very sorry for all the times I sinned against you by ignoring you and living any way I wanted to. I confess I have led others to do wrong, too, and I am so sorry. Please forgive me for the people I have hurt along the way, intentionally and unintentionally. I can’t turn my life around and make it please you because I’ve tried and failed at it. I need you to be with me at all times, through your Holy Spirit, and transform me into the person you’ve created me to be. I trust that you can help me do every task you have for me that I cannot do under my own power, and I will give you the credit. I want you to be proud of me and use me to help others. Thank you! Amen.
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is there anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27