OceanSide church of Christ
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THE PRESENCE OF GOD (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. There are some religious people who act as if the physical presence of God is with them at all times.
1. They talk to Him and He talks back.
2. He is constantly telling them what do to, how to do it, and when to do it.
B. There are other religious people who almost never experience the presence of God in their lives.
1. They do not sense that He is near to them.
2. They feel as though God is very distant and cold.
3. NOTE: Some of these people may be in our audience today. Some Christians do not truly experience the presence of God.
C. The title of our lesson is: “The Presence of God (1).”
1. We will talk about some of the places where God may be found.
2. Paul says: “…he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27).
3. James tells us that if we will draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to us (James 4:8).
I. HIS PRESENCE IS EVERYWHERE
A. The Bible teaches us about the omnipresence of God.
1. Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
2. Psalm 139:7-10
Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
3. Jeremiah 23:24
Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? Saith the Lord.
1. Cain who slew Abel
2. Hagar who was cast out
3. Elijah who fled to a cave
4. Stephen who was stoned
5. Peter who was imprisoned
1. This concept is one that we grasp mentally, but have difficulty in application when it comes to our committing sin.
2. We utter the concept to keep people from doing sinful things.
a. Don’t do that. God is watching.
b. However, the concept should cause us to engage in good works because God is watching (Rev. 2:19, Thyatira).
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
II. GOD’S PRESENCE AFFIRMED BY NATURE
A. We do not mean that men can go into nature in order to have fellowship with God. All that involves is a subjective feeling.
B. Nature, God’s Creation, points to the fact that God exists (Ps. 19:1-3).
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
1. The vastness of the Creation points to God.
2. The beauty of the Creation points to God.
3. The design of Creation points to God.
C. Nature tells us two things about God.
1. He is powerful and He is divine.
2. Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
D. Quote: “Astronomers who do not draw theistic or deistic conclusions are becoming rare, and even the few dissenters hint that the tide is against them. Geoffrey Burbidge, of the University of California at San Diego, complains that his fellow astronomers are rushing off to join ‘the First Church of Christ of the Big Bang’” (Hugh Ross, astrophysicist).
III. GOD’S PRESENCE IN PROVIDENCE
A. God’s presence is seen in how He provides for man’s needs in a supernatural way through natural means.
B. He provides for all men through what some refer to as general providence (Matt. 5:45b).
…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.
C. He specially works in the lives of His people.
1. God was at work in the life of Joseph in order to preserve a family and ultimately a nation (Gen. 50:20).
But as for you; ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto the good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
2. God was at work in the life of Job.
a. He was refuting an accusation Satan made against His servant (Job 1:9-11).
b. He set the limits on Satan’s power over Job (Job 1:12; 2:6).
3. God also works in our lives today (Phil. 2:13).
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do his good pleasure.
a. We long for and request God’s providence in our lives.
b. As things are happening, we may wonder if God is working in our lives.
c. When we look back, we know that it was God who was involved in our lives.
IV. GOD’S PRESENCE IN HIS JUDGMENTS
A. This is a specific area of the providence of God.
B. God is alive and well in the kingdoms of men.
1. He removeth kings, and setteth up kings (Dan. 2:21).
2. …to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdoms of man (Dan. 4:17).
3. Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above (John 19:11).
4. Romans 13:1
Let every soul be subject unto the higher power. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
C. God’s judgments upon nations are intended to do at least three things.
1. Correct an erring nation
2. Topple nations that are wicked and corrupt
3. Bring glory and honor to His name
1. God is involved in all the affairs of the nations.
2. Because this involves God’s providence, it is often difficult for us to see.
3. When things happen, men who believe in the judgments of God are often quick to proclaim the “why” of God’s judgments.
a. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson proclaimed that 9/11 was God’s judgment on the United States because He was upset with our nation’s immorality, especially abortion and homosexuality.
b. Things to consider:
1) God works His providence separate from man.
2) God does not reveal the whys of His judgments to us.
3) Man is not wise enough to surmise the “whys” of God.
A. In this lesson, we have looked at some of the broad areas wherein God’s presence can be found.
1. But, man denies the existence of God.
2. But, man has divorced God from His Creation.
3. But, man denies that God is in anything, especially within the tragedies that come upon nations.
B. Paul, however was right when he instructed the Athenians (Acts 17:27-28).
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live; and move, and have our bring; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
C. NOTE: If there is a God, and if He is active in our world, this changes everything for man.