One of the most perplexing questions for Christians to deal with is, “If God is real, why doesn’t He show Himself? I’m right here. I’m waiting.”
This question can sometimes be intimidating because, if we are honest, we have probably wondered about this one ourselves. Would it not be super easy for the world to follow God if He would just make Himself known? God could end it all with one glimpse of Deity.
While on the surface this question can seem difficult, it is actually the perfect question for a Christian to answer. This question is actually the source of our greatest hope. Here are a few things to consider and then give back to someone who challenges you in the future:
Rebuttal One: Who do you think you are?
Let’s think about this for a moment. God does not owe us anything. It is an honor and privilege to be created at all. Therefore, while it is fine to seek to know if God exists at all, the idea of demanding God to show Himself is the height of intellectual hubris. Many in our generation have been educated beyond our level of intelligence. Because we know a little about a lot we think we are now the masters of the universe. The reality is we actually know so very little about the immensity of everything around us. Therefore, we should always approach the idea of seeking God with respect and humility. Anything less is intellectually naive.
Rebuttal Two: What more do you need?
The Bible says that the “heavens declare the glory of God.” Do you realize that the mathematical precision of the universe is enough evidence by itself to prove there must be something greater than us. The bigger the telescopes and the better the microscopes the more we realize we have not even began to fully appreciate the handiwork of something bigger than we can fully comprehend. That is the very definition of God. I have heard many atheists claim, “I have no idea how we all got here and how the universe moves in perfect precision, but I know it’s not God.” At this point, you are able to ask one simple question, “Can you prove it?” I’m still waiting for many of my friends to answer that question.
Rebuttal Three: He has in the form of Jesus!
The foundation of Christianity is that we believe God DID reveal Himself. The New Testament is the account of God stepping into time, space, and matter in order to reveal Himself to His creation. Therefore, we completely agree with the idea that if God were real He should reveal Himself to us. Every Christian should shout a loud “Amen!” He did reveal Himself in the incarnation of Jesus.
How did Jesus answer this question?
Jesus tells a parable on this very issue. There was someone He calls a “rich man” who dies. After death, he realizes how real all of this is. The rich man asks for the ability to go back to the land of the living and tell his family that all that “spiritual stuff” really is real. He is told that it is not necessary. His family has the Bible to guide them. The rich man’s reply is basically, “Yeah, we don’t really take that seriously. However, if someone came back from the dead, then they would listen.” He is told that if they are unwilling to listen to God’s Word, they wouldn’t listen to the testimony of changed life either.
“Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’ “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’ “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’ “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”” Luke 16:19-27, 29-31 NLT