It is ironic that the very things that people think makes them wise, are those which make them ignorant. Before God created anything, He determined that human beings could never know Him strictly by their intellect. This becomes a particularly large barrier for many since a great number of people believe that their intelligence is the way that they can know all things.
God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. ~1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (NLT)
On purpose, God chose a way of saving us that makes no sense to the intellectual—at first glance. It is only much later that people who seek to understand God apart from intelligence, realize that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most intelligent truth in the universe.
God choses people who are lowly esteemed by the world to be the messengers of His wisdom. He choses men and women who the world considers unimportant, less educated, without power, or knowledge, to confound those who think they are wise. He did this so that no person would ever glory in their own knowledge, achievements, or power.
Since God created all that exists and is singular in perfection, knowledge, and righteousness, He alone deserves all praise, honor, and glory. Human beings, angels and whatever other creatures might exist in the universe, we are all created beings and far less than God. It makes perfect sense that God would choose something the world considers foolish, to provide the perfect way that we might be saved.
No one who makes it to heaven will ever believe that they arrived there because of anything they did. Every person who lives with God in heaven will understand that they were saved by a sovereign act of God’s grace and endless love, and not as a result of their own goodness, wisdom, or efforts.
Salvation has always been by God’s grace—through faith.
Why The Unbeliever Cannot Find God
The primary reason that the atheist, critic, and non believer cannot find God, nor understand who He is, is because they seek to know Him first by their intellect. Not that knowing God does not have a great intellectual basis, for it does. Simply put, God chose that the primary way that we can first know Him is not by acquiring knowledge or by human wisdom, but by a simple childlike faith.
Children have a marvelous way of receiving things that mature adults cannot. A child can hear that Jesus came to earth and died for their sins, and they will receive Him without reservation. An adult will require more knowledge, time, and consideration before they will believe. The reason is clear: the longer that person lives on earth, the greater the influence of sin upon their heart and mind. A child is still a sinner, but their hearts are pure and not poisoned by the world. Children can receive the love of God easily, whereas adults cannot.
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. ~Mark 10:13-16 (NLT)
Children are teachable, humble, and ready to receive. Adults become proud, unwilling to receive teaching, and skeptical after they live a few years in the world. For this reason, it is not possible for anyone to find God or understand who He is by trying to apply their own wisdom or understanding to God.
How God Chose To Reveal Himself
It was the purpose of God that our entire revelation of Him would come through His word. It is only by studying who God is as He is revealed in the pages of the Bible that we can know Him. This is the manner in which He chose to show Himself to us. Our final revelation of God came when He sent His Son into the world and Jesus lived a perfect, righteous, and holy life so that we could see who God is.
One day, Phillip asked Jesus to show him the Father. In other words, “show me what God is like.” Jesus responded that if we have seen Him, we have seen God.
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. ~John 14:8-11 (NLT)
Jesus said that if we will sit down and read the words that He spoke in the New Testament and observe how He worked while on earth, we can know and understand who God is. Jesus said that it is by the miracles that He performed that we can have evidence that He is God. The things that Jesus did are the proof that He is God. If we must have visible, empirical proof, God provided this evidence for us by the testimony of honest men who wrote and told us what Jesus did.
These men said that even though they saw Jesus do all these things, they were not really sure that He was God, until after they also saw Him crucified, dead, and then alive three days later. Like us, these men were skeptical that Jesus really was God. They heard Him say that He was fulfilling all the words of the Old Testament prophets who told us what the Messiah would do; “open the eyes of the blind, heal the sick, make the crippled walk,” but they still were not convinced. It took the resurrection before they knew for sure that Jesus is God and Messiah.
After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said. ~John 2:22 (NLT)
Jesus told these men that after He was raised, they would be given the ability to remember all that they had seen and heard from Jesus and that they should write a testimony of what they saw and heard so the world could also know.
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” ~John 14:25-26 (NKJV)
Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. ~Luke 24:25-27 (RCR)
Then Jesus said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. ~Luke 24:44-48 (RCR)
The men who saw and heard Jesus, also had a hard time believing that He really was God. The final proof for them was that Jesus had risen from the dead. They went back to the Old Testament and read the words of the prophets who said that the Messiah would perform miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6) and raise from the dead (Acts 2:22-36).
Jesus told these men that they were witnesses of these things. They proceeded to write the words that we read in the New Testament not long after Jesus was raised from the dead. How do we know this for certain? We can see that the New Testament is very detailed in recording all the events that took place at that time. Jesus said that Jerusalem would be surrounded, attacked, and that “not one stone of the temple would be left upon another.” Jesus was predicting the siege of the Jerusalem by Romans in 70 A.D., that destroyed Jerusalem, and the Temple, and disbursed the Jews all over the world. The Jews remained disbursed until 1948 when they came back into their own land again. Ezekiel 37 records the prophecy that says this would happen and it did on May 14, 1948.
If the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple had taken place by the time that the disciples of Jesus had written their narratives in the New Testament, it certainly would have been included in the text. The fact that there is not a single mention of this event, is great evidence that the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., had not happened yet. These events would have been the most important event to take place in Israel during their history. There is no possibility that the disciples would have neglected to write about this event if it had taken place.
This means that the New Testament, including the testimony about Jesus in the four Gospels, was not written after 70 A.D., but before.
Jesus was crucified in 32 A.D. The siege of Jerusalem happened in 70 A.D. There are only 38 year between these two events. The Testimony about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, must have been written within 38 years of His death and resurrection.
The Peril Of Seeking To Know God By Human Wisdom
If you are someone who has not been able to understand the God of the Bible. Perhaps you have been discouraged by things you read in the Bible or heard from other critics that has made you stumble at the idea of God. If you can set aside all these ideas and come back to a simplistic approach, whereby you begin to seek God with the attitude of a child: “I want to know you God and understand who you are,” if you are willing to do this, He will reveal Himself to you.
Any person who picks up a modern translation of the New Testament, Like the 2015 Edition of the New Living Translation, and begins to read and study the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, with a sincere, seeking heart, can come to know who God really is.
If you continue to deny the existence of God, the reliability of the Bible, or that Jesus is anything more than a myth, you will never know who God is. This approach is the very thing that Paul described in 1 Corinthians:
So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. ~1 Corinthians 1:20-21 (NLT)
I cannot lead you to a saving knowledge of Jesus as your Savior, and you cannot know or understand God, by philosophy, scholarly study, or the brilliance of debaters in this world. We can only know God by the foolish preaching of the New Testament narratives of Jesus.
This is the way that God chose for us, so that we could know Him and find our who He is.
- We must humble ourselves and recognize our need and weakness.
- We must seek God with a sincere desire to know Him.
- We must come to Him in faith, believing that He exists, can be known, and that He will reveal Himself to us if we seek Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
If you are angry with God, have misunderstood Him, are confused about what you have heard or read, you can end all of these by determining to come to Him in a new way. Come with a heart of humility, earnestly seeking God, and you will find Him.
The answers are in the text of the New Testament. Any person can change their life today by changing their heart and mind. I pray that you will find the truth and the love that Jesus died to bring to you. Come now, this is your day to find the Love of God.
Categories: Jesus Cross is Offensive, Josephus as a credible witness, Leading People to Jesus, Living For Jesus, Messianic Prophecies, Robert Clifton Robinson, Tacitus as a credible witness, The Condition of the Heart, The Four Gospels, The Historical Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Importance of the Bible, The Miracles of Jesus, The Resurrection, The world rejects Jesus, To Love Jesus, True Repentance