Many people believe this life is all there is. You’re born and you live and you die and that’s it. There is only the physical, and when the physical dies that’s the end of you as a being. This sort of thinking leads people to question whether there is a God and whether there is a spirit world, and they tend to arrive at the conclusion that there is no God and no spirit world … no world outside of this life’s world … no other world … no other dimension.
Maybe there were times when you thought or felt like this. Let me pose this question: how does God bring people to know Him and understand Him and comprehend that there is a world in a spiritual reality? That might seem like an extremely loaded question, because there are at least four aspects to it:
- That God is.
- That God is knowable.
- That God might be understood.
- That there is a spirit world … a spiritual reality away from this physical universe in which we live and exist.
So … how does God bring people to know Him?
God speaks through creation. Since the first human eye saw, trees, plants, landscapes, rivers, day and night, the sun and moon, the stars and even the wind have been shouting aloud that there must be a God. All these aspects of creation tell us there has to be a Divine mind behind what is.
Even though the shape of the planet has changed substantially through the universal flood (Genesis 7-8), when you stand in a valley looking up at the mountains, when you stand on a mountain looking down into a valley, when you fly over Hudson Bay when it’s iced up, when you gaze at a snow capped mountain or see those huge icebergs, when you look up into the night skies and see the starry hosts, when you see the way animals behave and reproduce … and more … when you look at the intricacies of the human body … the eye, the ear, the speech, the brain … not forgetting the spiritual dimension … could any thinking person … any reasonable person believe in “evolution”?
Do you know that God never seeks to prove He is? The Bible always speaks of God in the reality. This is why we can believe Genesis 1 to be real, and because of this we can understand:
Heb 11:3 By 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.
Consider … God spoke, and out of nothing he created everything that exists. It’s not farfetched … creation tells us that God is, and as through a mist it tells us that God is knowable, understandable and is Spirit living in a spiritual reality.
God speaks into our conscience. A basic explanation of conscience is, “Your conscience helps you determine between right and wrong. It is what makes you feel guilty when you do something bad and good when you do something kind.” That is general to all people … so how does God speak or work in one’s conscience?
Rom 1:19 Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
(Reading the whole passage will be helpful.) The Holy Spirit works in peoples’ hearts and minds (consciences), drawing them towards the truth of God. Not everyone responds positively … yet deep down in the heart, people know there is a God. They might want to shape their “god” according to their beliefs or morals … but they know there is a “god”. This is another way of starting to know that God is and as through a mist it tells us that God is knowable, is understandable and is Spirit living in a spiritual reality.
God convicts people. He uses His awesome creation, and He uses His Holy Spirit working in the conscience … but there is something else that becomes the platform for God to shape one’s thinking to know that God is, He is knowable, He is understandable and He is Spirit living in a spiritual reality. This “something else” is the Bible. It is God’s “out breathed” Word, fully inspired, inerrant and authoritative.
The Bible is essentially all about God’s rescue plan through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial, substitutional, penal death. The very Holy Spirit who authored the Bible (2 Pet 1:19-21, 2 Tim 3:16), takes God’s Word as it is preached, read or sung and applies it to hearts. This application is Him convicting people that God is, that God is knowable, that God is understandable, that God is Spirit and that God lives is a spiritual world different to our physical world.
But there is far more to it, for those revelations are only half of the complete picture. You see, to know and understand this God is only possible through Jesus Christ His Son! The Holy Spirit’s chief work is to draw people to Jesus … to understand His salvific work at Calvary … why He came to earth, why He died on the Cross, what His death and resurrection mean, and that there is a real hell and a real heaven. When this becomes real in the heart of the individual, there is absolutely no doubt that God is, He is knowable, He is understandable and He lives in the realm called heaven … outside of all creation where all those who believe in Jesus will be for all eternity.
Where we often think of heaven as God’s Kingdom … Kingdom actually refers to God’s rule in one’s heart, in the home, in the church and in heaven. As God is Spirit, living in the spirit world, when believers die and go to heaven, we too with be with Him in His spirit world forever. (1 Cor 15:42-44). But never forget that as there is heaven in the spirit world … so there is hell … a place reserved for all who reject Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
Dear Lord, help us to know You better and understand Your workings are our life, this world and eternity. Amen.