By Greg Turner
greg@sharingtheway.com
The answer is given to us in scripture and is one of the main tenants of Christianity. The surprising answer is NO! Why? Are there not many scriptures that ‘show’ God talking to any number of people in the bible? Yes! So why the seeming conflict? It all revolves around the design that God set up for people to be called (Rom. 8:28-30, 9:24) into the ‘faith’. Notice the word ‘faith’ is what we are called into. The word faith is used in the New Testament around 230 times depending on the translation. The Word of God defines faith as believing in things not seen:

Hebrews 11:1-3 ( NIV ) 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see2This is what the ancients were commended for. 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

From a different translation:

Hebrews 11:1-3 ( NKJV ) 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen2For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

We cannot find God by wandering from one religion to another or by reading every doctrine (like evolution, big bang, Protestantism, Catholicism, Islamism, etc.) that man has written. We think that when we are unsettled, or having a mid-life crisis, or some other crisis that we then decide for ourselves that we need to find God. This is a deception! A deception that means only one thing – that we are serving ourselves and that we think we can solve all by momentarily putting God into our lives until the crisis is past. Guess what? God will actually hide from us for “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (Hos. 5:15). He wants a real relationship with us not one where we only look for Him in crisis. On the contrary – if God comes into our minds it means that he is calling us! We naturally will not think of God. It is not in our nature “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8 NKJV). If God is coming into our mind then he is calling us just as Jesus called the original disciples (see Matt. 4:18, 21). He is calling sinners “… for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13 KJV) and He is calling many “… for many be called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16 KJV). What does it mean to be chosen? A chosen person is one that God puts his Spirit in. Jesus was the first (of the new covenant) for “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him” (Matthew 12:18 ( KJV ).

Here is the number one piece of confusion today. Many people go to church, are routinely baptized, and then spend the remaining days of their lives thinking that they have made it into the kingdom of God and go about doing their own thing. They still serve themselves! It was a feel good moment to put God into their lives momentarily. This is important – they have been called! But do they have the Spirit of God in them? Jesus said absolutely not! Here it is:

Matthew 22:1-14 ( KJV ) 1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,  2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,  3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.  5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise6And the remnant[churches] took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found[many are baptized], both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment[Holy Spirit]: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.

Now originally Jesus was talking about the Jews. He actually spoke to them directly! Yet, they rejected him and went about their own business. But do we think this scripture does not apply today? Are the churches today any different than the synagogues of Jesus’ time? The Jews were the called of God – his people that were ‘bidden’. Jesus bid them himself – in the flesh! But they were not worthy and God sent in the Roman army to destroy them in 70AD including their temple and all their synagogues. By about 300AD there were no synagogues left in the Roman Empire! All their churches were completely destroyed! Do we really think it is any different today? Are today’s churches any different than those synagogues? Jesus said “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?  For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.  But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;  And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your traditionYe hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:3-9 KJV).

And notice what Paul says:

Colossians 2:20-23 ( KJV ) 20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ[buried in baptism] from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,  21(Touch not; taste not; handle not;  22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men23Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

The churches create all kinds of doctrines and things to put on people to get them to go to their church and make them feel holy. They seem good but are not of God. And also,

Hebrews 13:9 ( KJV ) 9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace[unmerited forgiveness]; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

In these verses we see the leaders (Pharisees) of the church of that day attack Jesus and his disciples for not following the rules that they had made up in their synagogues (their churches). These verses show us clearly that men ought to follow God not man-made institutions and doctrines. Where did God command that men should make synagogues and follow after self appointed men? This is not to say that all churches are bad or that all ministers are bad. Yet, beware of their doctrines and traditions that they use to get men to follow them. God wants a relationship with you, not a church or a denomination or a man or a minister. Now in Matthew 22 we can see that the ‘king’ is God the Father, the ‘son’ is Jesus, and the ‘servants’ are those who do Christ’s bidding. Christ sends out the servants (Matt. 28:19) to spread the seed (Matt. 13), but it is the Father (king) that calls. For “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44 KJV) and “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV). We cannot please God by going to church and following after men. God calls us his sons and daughters for “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18 KJV).

He wants a relationship with us. He calls us his temple. We don’t need physical temples anymore! We are the temple and when his Holy Spirit is in us we become his sons and daughters! What father talks to his son or daughter thru someone else? It doesn’t happen. If our son or daughter wants to talk to us they do so directly – not thru someone else! We don’t need priests and ministers to talk to God nor to learn about God. He uses his servants to help lift the body to a point where they can stand on their own. That’s all. Jesus sends his servants from house to house (Matt. 10:12-15) to share (Matt. 10:27) those things he has given them to edify the body (I Cor. 12). That’s all. Never to rule over them!

For those that are trying to prove that God exists we see that “Truly, you are a God who hides yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior. All of them are put to shame and confounded; the makers of idols go in confusion together. But Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity” (Isaiah 45:15-17 ESV).

All that try to prove that God exists will be ashamed for he is the God of the faithful! He says “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right” (Isaiah 45:19 KJV).

God hides himself, but reveals himself thru his word, his Son and his Son’s servants. Israel is a word for God’s people, both yesterday and today. His people will reach salvation by faith and by believing in the unseen powers – God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God says “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified[sins forgiven], and shall glory” (Isaiah 45:22-25 KJV).

He does exist, but requires us to seek him in faith and when we do it will not be in vain. Jesus said “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8 NKJV ). Also, “my sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27) and He says “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (Jer. 7:23). You cannot prove that He exists, but once you believe in Him then He will come unto you and reveal Himself to you. Then you will see him everywhere and in everything! You cannot prove that he exists except by belief (Heb. 11:6), so seek God today with all your heart and he will come unto you (Jer. 29:13) and then you will know that He exists.

In His Name,
Greg Turner
greg@sharingtheway.com

 

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