Can we see God face to face?

Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons or anything else. As a reminder, you can ask any question about Christianity, God, the Bible, faith, doubts, uncertainty, and we will do our best to respond. As you know, we started a new series this last Sunday, which is our six week all church focus, talking about the blessing of church and being together as a church body. This last week specifically, we talked about being together face to face and what we can gain from being face to face that we really can’t fully gain any other way, which is a type of joy, type of relational connection that we just can’t experience if we are remote from each other. We close by talking about the ultimate face to face.

Is God coming to be with us to restore what we lost back in the Garden of Eden, that we can be face to face with Him forever, in person with God, forever and ever. And that is the essence of salvation, really, is being reunited with God. So the question this week is, can we see God face to face, really, while we’re still here on earth? God explicitly says in Exodus 33, no man can see him and live. However, there’s these small moments in the Old Testament moses and then Jacob when he wrestles with God, and later Gideon, where those men say that they have seen God face to face.

So one question might be, what are we to make of this? God says it can’t happen, and then here it happens three times. Well, if you read the context of Exodus 33 in particular, it’s pretty clear that Moses doesn’t see God fully face to face. He catches some kind of glimpse of him. It’s only for an instant.

We could assume Jacob and Gideon are similar. Very brief, fleeting moments of seeing part of God and being amazed that they can have experienced God in this way. It’s such a unique, rare moment of blessing. It does not happen very often in the Old Testament. It’s just this little glimmer here and there, but it’s never fully face to face with God, as God said.

That would be overwhelming for us. Example I always use is if you’ve ever seen a majestic landscape, you’re in a national park or something and you come off up to the edge of some scene and you witness it and you almost just start weeping because it’s so beautiful. You can imagine God is infinitely more beautiful than that and it would just blow us over. And so God says, you can’t handle the full thing right now, but there will come a day in eternity when we will see God face to face forever. Paul mentions this in one Corinthians 13.

He says, now we see dimly as through a mirror that is not fully lit. It’s clouded, and that’s how we see God now, even post salvation, reunited with God, we are with him. But there’s still an element of we are not fully there yet. But there will come a day, right? Paul says we will no longer see as in a mirror that’s dimly lit.

Then we shall see face to face is the term that he uses. And that is what we’re looking forward to in eternity, is then when we will see God face to face, as we were always intended to, before we ruined it with our sin. So thanks for following along. Thanks for being part of this series. And another reminder, if you are not in a smaller group at this church, we really encourage you to be so that you can truly be face to face with others.

Thanks again and we’ll see you next time.