By Jun P. Espina | Last updated on February 18th, 2020 at 01:35 pm
God’s very first question to man was, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9) His interest in your closeness to Him gleams every passing moment. As with Adam, your fellowship with God pleases Him. “Where are you?” A sweet inquiry in the tone and character of divine love. Adam and Eve sinned and hid away. But God inquired their whereabouts though He knew everything. A true love marks God’s case for the man and woman He created. If you are far away from your Maker this time, then your life’s quality must have been less connected to the Almighty. What’s the sense of it all? Your closeness to God matters—in fact, it is all that matters! Sin must have driven you somewhere today, but God’s love beams upon you like the sun chasing the shadows since He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9)
Closeness to God
Look around you if you want to see godlessness and satanism merging seamlessly in our culture and relationships. God’s Spirit is wooing us to return to Him as what He did to all Adam’s children. God is interested in our closeness to Him. The Almighty Father sent His only begotten Son to earth, our Lord Jesus Christ, to die for us so we can have redemption and peace with our Maker. His love for our soul’s salvation from hell and our assurance to live forever in heaven drives His heart to allow the crucifixion His own Son! Yes, God is absorbed with our intimacy with Him.
The Gospel story dominates the religious world for over 2000 years now since its truth enlightens millions of people and changes the lives of the true born-again Christians. Islam or the Hindu system of faith dims in comparison with the Good News of Christianity. I studied the conversion stories of sincere Muslims to the Christian faith and noticed their attraction to Christ’s love teaching. While the Bible commanded us to “love our neighbor,” the Qu’ran taught the Muslims to “kill or behead the infidels.” Second, what has confounded the intelligent ones among them is the command to face Mecca during a prayer when God is omnipresent—He is everywhere, not just in Mecca. Jesus Christ is just without equal as a Healer, Teacher, Prophet, the Truth, the Word of God, the Life, and as the only Son of God who died for the forgiveness of man’s sins and rose again, the third day to affirm His words. Think about Buddha or Mohammed if you want to see a prophet without prophesy, whose bones are still in the grave today. The enemies of God scorn our Lord, but the apostle Paul wrote that Christ “is the image of the invisible God . . . For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible. . ..” (Col. 1:15-17) Our Lord is one with our heavenly Father, and no religious leader or founder is greater than Him.
Closeness to God through the Gospel
The Bible said that the fools don’t believe in God. It means normal people are wired to look for the Supernatural. Now, we can only get closer to God through the Gospel. Outside of Christ’s Good News, we cannot approach our Creator who is the Truth. The Muslim world records thousands of suicide cases caused by a hunger for more “Allah.” The YouTube is full of Christian testimonies of former Muslims craving for the divine light amidst the darkness of Islam. Christ’s Spirit fixed this dilemma for the true God by living in the believer’s heart and flooding it with God’s love. Said Paul, “For the love of Christ controls us.” (2 Cor. 5:14a)
Christ Himself gave us the gist of the Gospel is John 3:16. He said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Paul’s commentary about God’s love is corollary to John 3:16. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us,” he taught, “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” When God gave His Son Jesus for the ETERNAL LIFE of the believers, He gave Christ’s blood! “Christ died for us,” Paul clarified, while we were yet lost, restless and rebellious sinners! Our Creator values our souls so much that His beloved Son came to save us from hell (because of our sins) by His precious atoning blood. God the Son died for my sins and He resurrected to guarantee the truth of the eternal life He promised me. The word gospel or good news thus, is not enough locution to describe my future immortality in Jesus.
How is Closeness to God Possible?
W. G. T. Shedd said that a thirst is experienced because God created water to quench such a feeling. C. S. Lewis expanded the idea: “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (Source: Mere Christianity) I like Lewis’ idea. I cannot see God, but since I desire God, it is because “I was made for another world.” I don’t desire for God if He doesn’t exist. Our closeness to God is possible because we desire such intimacy with our Creator. Have you experienced praying and supplicating (begging) and crying before God? It is because God is real. If we sensed the mystery of the awesomeness of the idols during our Catholic years, it is because God’s enemy, the devil and his demons are so real as the sun.
Closeness to God is Possible with Christ
I believe God loves us. He wants us to live forever in Paradise. All of us! Thus, we need to reach Him. “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (James 4:8a, NLT) But He wants us to believe in Jesus Christ His Son and our Savior. “[W]hoever believes in Him [Christ] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John3:16b) Without Jesus, our Father God can do nothing for us who are sinners and unholy. He had already proclaimed the sinners’ judgment. Taught the Scriptures: “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7, ESV) God will throw the unforgiven billions of people into the eternal fire in hell. He is Almighty, but He cannot save us without Christ’s blood, for “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22)
God expelled Adam and Eve from Paradise because of their disobedience. Yes, sin separates. But the apostle Paul taught that man’s reconciliation to his God became possible by the blood of Jesus. What we need is a genuine faith and trust in Christ. Peter trusted our Lord, but Judas rejected Him. Do you want God and the fellowship of His Spirit? Trust Jesus; believe in His promises! Here is how Paul puts it:
God cannot behold evil. Habakkuk said, “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor.” (Hab. 1:13) But Christ nailed all our sins on the cross. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.” (Eph. 1:7) God desires our intimacy with Him, but we need to receive Jesus first and His Gospel to make our reconciliation with our Creator possible.
Faith in Jesus makes possible our closeness with our Father God.