All of us at some point in our lives have heard someone begin a sentence with these words; “If God would just………………..”
“If only God would.………….”
So let’s fill in the blanks and examine some of those statements.
In his preface to the Greek New Testament, the Greek scholar Erasmus wrote:
“These holy pages will summon up the living image of his mind. They will give you Christ Himself, talking, healing, dying, rising, the whole Christ in a word. They will give Him to you in an intimacy so close that He would be less visible to you if He stood before your very eyes.”
All scripture points to Christ. Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God, and when He walked on the earth, He was a living breathing flesh and blood human being, as real as you and me. So First and foremost, God revealed Himself through his Holy Word and through the person of Jesus Christ.
God revealed Himself through creation. No man was there to witness creation, but we know it happened, otherwise we would not exist.
And God reveals Himself through the human conscience. In Romans chapter 2, verses 14 and 15, the Bible tells us: “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.” That innate sense of right and wrong did not evolve, it was instilled in you by God.
God revealed Himself through history, by way of judgments against wicked nations. Speaking through His prophets, God warned the nations time and again of their destruction. Their only hope was to repent and turn from their wickedness and turn back to Him. Those that failed to heed the warnings were destroyed. Those that repented were spared.
But still, people demand proof.
32 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
The demand for visible proof is nothing new. Jesus encountered it when He was here. We still encounter it today. The demand for proof will continue to the last days. The book of Revelation reveals to us the coming judgments of God, and of a people who will still persist in their unbelief in spite of all the dreadful things that will be taking place on earth. The signs will be staring them in the face and yet they will continue to ignore the signs.
I’ve heard some say, “If only God would answer all my questions; if God would just appear before me and explain everything clearly in person, then I would be able to believe in him.”
Again, we do have the answers. They’re in His book. The Bible answers the questions that really matter to our faith and our relationship with God. The Bible did not tell us how to build bridges or tall buildings or cars or airplanes. The Bible is not a geography textbook. It does not disclose the source of the world’s rivers or the locations of all the world’s mountain ranges or continents. God gave us the ability to make those discoveries ourselves in their proper course of time, and we did. The Bible does tell us how to live and it answers the most important questions that relate to our salvation.
From W.A. Criswell, former pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas: Now just briefly, first, the Book is God’s revelation to us how we can be saved. You know, I used to wonder, back there in the beginning when God began to reveal His holy Word and when finally Moses wrote it down in about 1400 BC, why didn’t God reveal in that Word these things that we know today? Things that concern the atom and atomic energy; things that concern biology and all the secrets of the cells and the enzymes and the anatomical system, and why didn’t God reveal to us the secrets of chemistry and astronomy? A thousand things in the scientific world that we are introduced to today, that God knew all about; He made them. These things we’re just now beginning to discover, like penicillin, like nylon, like the atom, like a thousand other wonderful things, such as, propelling our airplanes through the sky with jet propulsion, God made all that. Why didn’t He reveal it to us from the beginning? Why is it that the Lord rather reveal to us things that concern the soul and our life in fellowship with Him? Now as I begin to think about that, the reason is very obvious.
The most vital and fundamental and important of all of the knowledge to which we could ever be introduced in this world lies in the things of God, the soul, our relationship to Him, and the rest could come in their time and in their order. First of all, is the knowledge of the revelation of God. And that’s what God did in His Book. He revealed to us first of all the things concerning Himself and our relationship with Him, and how we are to live and to walk in His presence, how we can be redeemed, how we can have fellowship with God and see His face someday and live: that above all, then the rest followed in its order.
And last, “If God would just make us all good from the start, there would be no evil in the world.”
In the beginning God did make us good. God did not create evil. God does not tempt anyone with evil. But He did create the first man and woman with free will, and we still have free will today. He allows us to choose our own way, but with consequences that He made clearly known. Evil entered His creation through the sin of Adam and Eve, and we inherited a sin nature as a result. We’re the ones who choose to ignore that innate sense of right and wrong, not God. But God did give us a way out. He gave us a way of escaping the eternal consequences of our sins through His son Jesus Christ.
It’s not just cynics and skeptics and non-believers who make statements that begin with “If God would just…………..” Christians make them sometimes as well. Though we cannot understand everything about our salvation, everything we NEED to know is right there in God’s book, the Bible.
And that brings me to this point: When God hears someone say, “If God would just………”, I wonder if His response is, “If you would just………..read the Book.”