Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why Doesn't God Speak Audibly to People Today?

Here is a question asked of Julia by one of the young people at our church. The response was compiled by both David and Julia.

QUESTION 3.  Why doesn't God appear in person to people today? Why doesn't He speak in an audible voice to people today?

To what appearances do you refer?
How do you know He doesn't ? You'd have to be everywhere at once all the time to know whether He has or hasn't.
"He speaks to my spirit," says Jaden.

_________, remember what I told you about Richard Wurmbrand, the Romanian pastor who was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel a few decades ago? Remember how he and fellow prisoners were so exhausted from interrogations and beatings? How very ill he was? How at one point all he could do to maintain his sanity was repeat the name of Jesus over and over? How Jesus came into the prison cell with Richard and other Christian prisoners? Richard said that Jesus was actually there with them, and the walls glittered like diamonds, and they hardly knew they were in prison, and when he was released from that cell, he was healthy.  Is happened only a few short years ago, not centuries.

Hebrews 1:1-4
The Supremacy of God's Son
"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs."

Jesus commends and blesses those who believe without seeing Him in person (John 20:24-31). And our belief is not based on blind faith. We don't have to check our brains at the door. We have His creation all around us: humans, animals, birds, plants, stars and planets  (Romans 1:18-23). We have the Word of God, the Bible. In it we find the true account about the beginning of the world by the only One who was there (Genesis, chapters 1-3). It contains certain assertions about who God is and who we are, etc. (Psalm 119 and many other places). Recorded therein is the witness of the Apostles who walked with Jesus and heard Him teach and watched His compassionate miracles, who saw Him die, who touched Him after He resurrected (1 John 1:1-5, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).

Believing is an act of the will. It's a matter of choosing.

Another probable answer for why God does not appear to or speak outright to as many people today is because there are fewer who believe in Him. 

Jesus said, "My sheep (my people) hear my voice" (John 10:22-30).

John 10:24-30. "So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, 'How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.' Jesus answered them, 'I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.'”

_________, many friends are believers in God, and serve Jesus Christ wholeheartedly. Their life's ambition to learn as much as possible about Him, and what pleases Him. They have been born again, have received God's Holy Spirit into their hearts, and they listen to the leading of the Spirit. They hear from God. First, by reading, memorizing, meditating on the Bible. Then, they love Him and are so thankful for what He has done for them that they gladly obey His commands (found in the Word of God), that they hate it when they sin. They know their sin hurts their Father's heart and it builds a wall between them. They understand their sin keeps them from "hearing" from God, so they diligently keep a clean record with Him by confessing their sins, repenting (turn away from their sins) and ask Him to forgive them, which He gladly does faithfully and fully. Most of the time my friends "hear" from God by remembering certain Bible passages as they encounter problems in life. Some of my friends have actually heard God's audible voice speaking to them. I have also read accounts of that happening to other believers. (One must be careful ... If a voice tells you to do something contrary to what the Bible says, that voice is not God's, but Satan's or your own. That's why it's so important to know the Bible thoroughly, so as to be able to discern whose voice we are hearing, as well as to identify false teachers.)

Acts 17:22-31
Paul Addresses the Areopagus
So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god. ’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, for
“‘In Him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed His offspring. ’
Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man [Jesus] whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.”

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