If God exists, why doesn't He make His existence more obvious?
By Christopher Jethro
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017
Some people have wondered if God is real, why He doesn’t make Himself more known; that is, why doesn’t God make His existence very obvious to everyone so that no one could choose to not believe in Him?
First of all, God already has made His existence obvious! Where did the universe come from? How could anyone logically conclude that the entire cosmos could come into being from nothing? That is absurd and unscientific. If you see a book, it proves there was an author. If you see a painting, it proves there was a painter. You do not need to see the author or painter in-person to know they are real. When we can observe creation (the universe) we know there is a Creator. We do not need to see God to know that He is real because it is obvious. Those who deny His existence are only in denial, suppressing the truth.
As Romans 1:18-21 explains this, “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like” (NLT).
Having explained this, below I will explore the effects of God making His existence even more obvious...
Why doesn’t God do more to prove Himself?
Certainly, God could choose to rearrange the stars above Earth to spell, “God is real. You need Jesus.” So why doesn’t He? It boils down to a simple concept: as previously explained, people already know that God is real – they simply choose to suppress this truth because they do not want to have to be morally accountable to Him. God is not interested in forcing Himself on anyone. He wants people to draw to Him through a freewill choice.
Would God proving Himself have a negative or positive impact?
It would be best to answer this question with another question: if God’s ultimate desire is for people to enter into a loving, personal relationship with Him through freewill, how would God proving Himself affect this decision? For a second, you might think it would because it would help to erase a person’s doubts about God. However, the truth is far from this.
For example, if God were to show His face in the sky and boom His voice across the entire universe shouting, “I AM THE LIVING GOD!”, the effect of this would not cause people to love God but instead to be greatly afraid of Him. The subtle, yet clear, evidence of that we do have of God’s existence is certainly a much lighter, warm way of gently inviting someone to get to know Him; the evidences we have provoke good reasons to believe in God without causing the person to become scared at the realization of God’s existence.
In short, the more obvious God’s existence is, the greater the possibility of a person experiencing fright at the powerful event of realizing God’s existence. In another example: If you looked in the sky and saw the universe rip open, and God stepping down through some celestial gateway from Heaven… God proving Himself to you in this extremely obvious manner would probably be a terrifying experience for you, and not a positive experience at all. The result would not be a desire to have a loving, personal relationship with this Deity, but to be uncontrollably terrified at the actualization of God’s existence and power as He comes before you. I hope that these examples will have helped the reader to understand that God proving Himself too obviously could have a very negative impact on people.
Would God proving Himself cause people to love and obey Him?
Secondly, and more importantly, even if God proving Himself did not terrify a person, it still wouldn’t guarantee a person becoming a Christian. Truthfully, people demanding proof of God is just an excuse people use. God proved Himself to the Hebrews many times in the Old Testament. Miracles of the Ten Plagues upon pharaoh’s kingdom, the very parting of the Red Sea, pillars of fire and sand, and God appearing as fire on Mount Sinai are all example of how God proved Himself to people in the Old Testament. There is no way they could think that Yahweh was not real.
Now, did all of these miracles proving Yahweh’s existence do anything to help them stay faithful to the one true God? Not at all! Sadly, even when it was more than obvious that this God was real, the Jewish people still often sinned by worshiping other [false] gods! As we can clearly see by example, many undeniable miracles from God will not cause anyone to love Him and be faithful to Him.
A Caution on Sign Seeking
One last point: the Pharisees often asked Jesus for a sign to prove to them that He is truly the Messiah. Jesus’ reaction to these people might surprise you. When asked to prove Himself, Jesus replied in both instances “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 12:39 & Matthew 16:4). The “sign of Jonah” that Jesus referred to was Jesus rising to life three days later after His crucifixion. Jesus made it very clear that people with an evil heart are the ones demanding a sign (proof of God). This does not mean that it is always wrong to ask God for a sign; it is not wrong for a Christian to ask God for a sign to confirm a decision they need guidance on. However, refusing to believe in God or Jesus until you have your demanded sign is evil because it is simply an excuse.
Besides, the sign that Jesus gave is one that every person can recognize as proof of God. The proof of Jesus rising to life after three days, along with many other evidences, is outlined in the website section Historical Proof of Jesus.
Summarizing what we’ve learned: God wants each person to come to know Him personally through Jesus Christ; making His existence completely obvious would not guarantee a person wanting to love and know God, nor would it guarantee a person’s freewill decision to loyally serve and love Him. Any person who rejects the Gospel on a basis of demanding undeniable proof of God is just using this as an excuse to further reject God.