If God really exists, why doesn’t He show Himself in some dramatic, undeniable way?
That question was posited not long ago in a Washington Post opinion article headlined “Where is God?” And it accurately reflects the widespread sentiment of an unbelieving world.
Wondering aloud “Where is God?” is an understandable cry of desperation during a crisis. David expressed words to that effect when he found himself in a deeply despairing situation. “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1). But as is always the case with genuine believers, the truth David knew eventually soothed the pain he was feeling: “I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:6).
The Demand for More Evidence
Atheists, on the other hand, lean heavily on the supposed lack of evidence for God as the basis for their denial of His existence. They like to portray themselves as objective and reasonable individuals, and readily proclaim their willingness to go where the evidence leads them.
However, their “objective” inquiry is hardly exhaustive. For atheists, the mere inability to see God is often proof enough of His nonexistence. Others argue that if God does exist, the burden of proof is on Him. Put simply, God’s problem is a lack of evidence.
That popular lie has become the defense of many who deny God’s existence, and a stumbling block to Christians who believe they need to prove it.
Do We Need to Prove God?
Evidential apologists can confuse unbelief with ignorance. They consider the supposed information gap as the void Christians need to fill to usher uneducated unbelievers into the kingdom. Consequently, these well-meaning Christian intellectuals labor long and hard in the quest for compelling evidence of God’s existence. But true Christians aren’t mentally coerced—they’re spiritually converted.
We should be thankful for the compelling evidence of our Creator that we find in everything from the design in DNA to the layout of our solar system. But as an evangelistic tool, the evidential approach inevitably ends up doing more harm than good, as it turns the Creator-creature relationship on its head. God ends up in the seat of the accused and man places himself in the seat of judgment.
This is an ancient pattern for unbelievers. When Jesus hung on the cross, different factions of people insisted that Christ prove His deity to them on their terms. The Jewish rulers sneered and said, “Let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God” (Luke 23:35). The Roman soldiers teased Him in a similar way: “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself” (Luke 23:36). And even the unrepentant criminal, a man you would think realized he was in no position to make demands, chided Jesus: “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us” (Luke 23:39).
In essence, accusing God of a lack of evidence is nothing less than idolatry. Sinful man routinely asserts his imagined sovereignty over God.
Yet the God of the Bible defines Himself on His terms, not ours. “The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these” (Isaiah 45:7). “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3). “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all” (Psalm 103:19).
In Exodus, the Lord described Himself to Moses in succinct and nonnegotiable terms.
The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. (Exodus 34:6–7)
God authoritatively declares who He is and what He is like; we don’t get to do that.
God Has Proven Himself
Scripture also makes clear that God has not left Himself invisible and unrevealed to mankind.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18–20)
God’s fingerprints are all over His creation. Just as a painting is proof of a painter and a building is proof of a builder, so too is creation proof of its Creator. As John MacArthur explains,
God has made His invisible attributes visible. The particular attributes that man can perceive in part through his natural senses are God’s eternal power and His divine nature. God’s eternal power refers to His never-failing omnipotence, which is reflected in the awesome creation which that power both brought into being and sustains. God’s divine nature of kindness and graciousness is reflected, as Paul told the Lystrans, in the “rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). . . .
God’s natural revelation of Himself is not obscure or selective. . . . Even in the most ancient of times, long before the telescope and microscope were invented, the greatness of God was evident both in the vastness and in the tiny intricacies of nature. Men could look at the stars and discover the fixed order of their orbits. They could observe a small seed reproduce itself into a giant tree, exactly like the one from which it came. They could see the marvelous cycles of the seasons, the rain, and the snow. They witnessed the marvel of human birth and the glory of the sunrise and sunset. Even without the special revelation David had, they could see that “the heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1). 
Through the majesty and order of His creation, the invisible God undeniably reveals Himself.
Man’s Problem Is Unbelief
God has never been the One with the problem. He has never been absent or invisible. From the beginning of time, “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). Unbelievers are those with the problem because they willfully “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). Man’s problem is unbelief—willful, defiant unbelief.
Evidence for God—or lack of evidence—has never been the issue. Atheism is nothing more than a façade for people who love sin and hate God.
We cannot allow sinful men to stand in judgment over God. Instead, we must warn unbelievers about God’s impending return and the judgment that follows. We cannot accept sinners’ demands for a god of their own choosing. We must proclaim the one, true God as He has revealed Himself in His Word.
And we must have the courage to expose the real problem of all unbelief: the insatiable love of sin and the absolute refusal to worship God as He rightly demands.
Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180319
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