Theology: God (GOD IS OMNIPRESENT)

Omnipresent means that God is present everywhere there is at any given moment. God is simultaneously everywhere at once and is present at all times.

 

Many years ago when I was young and foolish I went squealing around a corner and took off down the highway. That night my dad very casually said, “Where were you going in such a hurry this noon when you were heading east on Highway 30?” I had to wonder if he were omnipresent. I didn’t know where he was, but was sure that I didn’t think he was anywhere near when I was speeding.

 

 

God is everywhere in the universe present at the same time. The deist may hold to omnipresence however He will see God’s presence as far off while He is omnipresent in his effect on the creation.

 

Anselm stated, “Nothing contains thee, but thou containest all things,” (quoted by Shedd, William G.T.; “Dogmatic Theology”; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984, p 340)

 

Augustine mentions that God “is not at some particular place. For what is at some particular place is contained in space; and what is contained in some space is body. And yet because God exists and is not in space, all things are in him. Yet not so in him, as if he himself were a place in which they are.” (Shedd, p 341) How would you like to be a member of his congregation and trying to take notes?

 

Pardington, “He is present everywhere and there is no point in the universe where He is not” (Quoting Farr, Pardington, Revelation George P. Ph.D.; “Outline Studies In Christian Doctrine”; Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1926, p 86) I’d add there is no point outside the universe where He is not.

 

Bancroft mentions, “He is present everywhere, and there is no point in the universe where He is not.” (Taken from the book, Elemental Theology by Emery H. Bancroft. Copyright 1977 by Baptist Bible College. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. p 87) Sound familiar? It is the same as Pardington’s quote from Farr.

 

Strong, “By this [omnipresence] we mean that God, in the totality of his essence, without diffusion, or expansion, multiplication or division, penetrates and fills the universe in all its parts.” (Strong, Augustus H.. “Systematic Theology”; Valley Forge, PA: The Judson Press, 1907, p 279)

 

Do you agree with these Definitions? Let us consider the facts for a few moments.

 

1. Is He not larger than the universe? We don’t know the limits of the universe but most assume there are limits. God, if there are limits to the universe is everywhere in the universe, and outside the universe as well.

 

2. Do you agree with the statement that God is everywhere there is to be? How about within the nonbeliever? We believe that a demon can’t enter into the body of a believer because the Holy Spirit dwells there. Thus we must concede that quite probably the Spirit is not within the lost person. However, indwelling may well relate to His special manifestation while His presence is everywhere — even the nonbeliever. (He can be present in hell so this would be consistent. Christ descended to Sheol after the resurrection.)

 

The term “ubiquitous” may be a better word than omnipresence in that it has within its definition the idea of simultaneous presence everywhere. Ubiquitous relates to a being that is present everywhere at the same time.

 

My definition would be, God is totally unhindered by space or time and is in all places totally and completely at all times. His holiness limits his indwelling manifestation within the unrighteous, yet they are in Him.

(Acts 17:27,28)

 

He is everywhere present in totality. In other words his big toe isn’t in India and his heel in Japan.

 

1 Kings 8:27,

 

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”

 

The very least we can draw from this text is that the highest heaven is above the heavens of the universe. We know that the throne of God is beyond the universe.

 

See also, 2 Chronicles 6:18, Psalm 139:7-10, Isaiah 66:1, Jeremiah 23:23,24, Acts 17:28, Hebrews 1:11, 12.

 

How do we explain the phrase in Genesis 11:7 which tells us that God came down to the tower of Babel? (“Come, let Us go down,” vs 5 also).

 

The answer is that God usually manifests Himself in some specific place. At that point in time He was in heaven. In the 40 years of wondering He was over the Ark of the Covenant. In the days of the Temple He was in the Holy of Holies. Another example is Matthew 6:9, “…..Our Father which art in heaven…..”

 

 

APPLICATION

 

1. If we are in Him and He is everywhere then there is no way that Satan can get us out. We are secure. This may be a doctrine that would help teach security of the believer. We are in Him so Satan can’t carry us away, nor can we exit on our own power. God is much more powerful than Satan or us.

 

2. If we really believed that He is with us and in us then, you would think that we would clean up our acts some. Many Christian’s lives do not reflect their belief in this doctrine.

 

3. If He is really this big then He is one to serve under, rather one to dictate to.

 

4. He is within us. We have a resident friend and strength.

 

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23

 

5. It should be a warning to the lost. Amos 9:1-4 mentions the extent of God’s ability to find those that try to evade Him. vs. 2-4,

 

“Though they dig into hell, thence will I bring them down: And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them: And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.” (Jonah 1:1-3 also.)

 

I would like to quote Bancroft at this point.

 

 

The parish priest of austerity Climbed up in a high church steeple, To be nearer God so that he might Hand His Word down to the people. And in sermon script he daily wrote What He thought was sent from heaven

And he dropt it down on the people’s heads Two times one day in seven.

In his age God said, “Come down and die,” And he cried out from the steeple,

“Where art Thou, Lord?” And the Lord replied,

“Down here among My people.”

 

(Taken from the book, Christian Theology by Emery H. Bancroft. Second revised edition Copyright 1976 by Baptist Bible College. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. p 80)

 

God is great, immense, limitless, and yet He desires to dwell among His people. Remember this as you seek to minister to them.[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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