Wednesday, December 8, 2010 – How Well Do You Know God?
According to a 2008 poll, fully 92 percent of Americans expressed a belief in God, and 85 percent in heaven.Though belief in God has remained at about the same level, belief in the devil has increased slightly over the last few years — from 63 percent in 1997 to 71 percent today.
Poll after poll will tell you most people believe that their faith is pleasing to God and that it is "enough" to satisfy what he asks of us. That begs a question: How can the majority of the people in the world claim to have intimacy with the Lord -- claim to be His faithful children and yet Jesus Himself said that "Few" would find eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24). The point is: Just saying "We know God!" does not prove we know Him. How does one come to know God?
In II Thessalonians 1:7-9, Paul declared important information about Jesus’ Second Coming. When Jesus returns, He will exercise great power. While persecutors may possess power over us now, their power will certainly be no match for Jesus when He comes with His Mighty Angels -- rewarding all according to their deeds (Matthew 16:27).
There were two classes of people that will be punished upon His return. They are 1) those who know not God, and 2) those that do not obey the gospel. We know that all are lost without the gospel (II Corinthians 4:3, 4). But, just for a moment, let’s consider what it means to really know God.
God has revealed Himself through creation (Hebrews 11:3), human history (Deuteronomy 6:20-25), nature (Psalm 19),special revelation (Hebrews 1:1, 2), His care (Acts 14:17), and man’s conscience (Romans 1:18-19, 32). Mankind can come to know God. God expressed the desire that men come to know Him (Colossians 1:10; John 17:3-4). This understanding and knowledge of God has been revealed through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son (John 1:18; 14:7-8).
People say: "I go to church!" Does that mean they know God? "I have been baptized!" Does that imply that they know God? "I have a warm, tingly, feeling inside!" Does that signify that they know God. "I have a had a moving, religious experience!" Does this assure them that they know God?
Knowing God includes having accurate information about Him (II Timothy 3:15).
Knowing God includes having intimacy with God through the Son (John 17:20-21).
Knowing God includes having interest and concern for His kingdom (Matthew 21:28)
Knowing God includes inception into His Kingdom (John 3:3, 5; Colossians 1:13).
Knowing God includes taking the initiative for His cause into the world (Matthew 28:19-20).
Knowing God includes keeping His commandments (I John 2:3).
The great immoral act of our age is that God has revealed Himself to men through His gospel, but men will not come to know Him.