If you’ve ever asked this question then I already like you. It shows you are a thinker and that is a very good thing!
The answer is actually very simple and can be understood by examining the meaning of two simple passages (though more will be given).
1st – The Bible tells us that sin is to KNOW to do right and then not do it – James 4:17. So the sin of not making Jesus the Lord of your life is a sin you cannot only commit if you know about Him.
2nd – Jesus tells us that all one needs to do to find the truth is to sincerely seek it.
“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. (10) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
(11) What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? (12) Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? (13) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” – Luke 11:9-13
So what does this mean and how does it answer our question?
Well, have you ever heard anyone say to God, “God if You’re there, would You show me?“
Perhaps you have breathed that prayer at some time in your life.
This is the first step towards obtaining an answer from God. The idea is consistency. If a person is truly hungry to know God and if that person searches for Him – they WILL find Him.
Now I could offer you some impressive stories of people in remote parts of the world who prayed similar to this and who were led to faith in Jesus. Sometimes through seemingly simple and unspectacular means and others through absolute miracles, but if they truly sought – they found! THAT is the promise!
Paul the apostle wrote quite a bit about this in Romans 1 and it would be worth your time to look it up and read it, and such could be part of your seeking, if you have not come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. However, a brief bullet point summary of what he says there is this…
- God is seen in all He has made.
- There is enough proof in creation that there is a God to provoke an honest person to seek.
- If a person seeks, they will find.
However, it has been my experience with several angry people who claim they sought and they cried out, but received no response. Of course they were talking to me and it never occurred to them to acknowledge that perhaps one of the ways God was answering their prayer was through me. Not because I am anything any more special than anyone else, but only because I know the answer and they are talking to me.
In college I was told a phrase I have never forgotten and it has served me well for many years, and helped me to recognize God when He shows Himself. The phrase is this – many people miss the supernatural, by looking for the spectacular.
The meaning is pretty straightforward. Often God comes in ways which are very mundane. He rarely comes riding into a person’s life in a flashy way. He approaches us relationally and bids us to come to Him. If we have a heart which is truly seeking… truly attuned to finding our answer, we will! It really is that simple.
Of course the opposite is true as well. If a person does not even bother to seek for God, even though He has impressed upon the heart of every person that He exists, they will very likely not find Him, but in the end that is a choice.
Now a follow up question which I believe is very pertinent is this – what happens to children who die before they can come to faith? We need only look to our first scripture in this article for an answer, for it applies!
Now while it is true that the Bible does not directly address this question, it does address it indirectly.
Paul, in the book of Romans, tells us that he was alive to God before the law came, but when the law came, sin revived and he died. What this means is that before Paul was capable of grasping abstracts like moral rights from wrongs, he was alive to God. This meant that God was not holding him responsible for sin, since he did not have any knowledge. Remember, sin is to know to do right and not do it. However, that all ended on the day that Paul understood the law and its role in his life. Once he realized that there was a God and that He had a standard for character and living he immediately saw himself in the light of that knowledge and it condemned him before God. Paul then needed to seek God and find Him.
God allows every man time to come to Him, to seek and find Him. This time is different for everyone. I was aware of God and the need for salvation at the very early age of 5. Many people however, do not come to a knowledge of God and sin until they are pre-teen… some even later than that!
We need to understand that God created every human being who has ever lived. As such He desires to relationally know every person He has made. Wouldn’t it be a strange notion indeed for an All-knowing, All-powerful Creator to make a human being He didn’t like or didn’t want to know?
We have the assurance of God’s word that God is just and that it is NOT His desire that ANY human being be lost. He desires everyone to come to know Him.
“(3) This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, (4) who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1Timothy 2:3-4
Now I know this might seem like an overly simplistic answer to a deep question, but in the few instances where I can, I like to keep my answers brief and uncomplicated and this just happens to be a place where the scriptures make that possible!
That having been said, I know what it is like to get one question answered only for it to be replaced with 10 more questions!
So I want you to know that if you have ANY questions or comments, I would consider it a privilege to hear from you. I am just one man and I do work outside the church to support my family so it may take me a few days to respond – BUT I WILL RESPOND.
In the meantime, may God bless you in your pursuit of Him!