So the LORD said, I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, 'There shall my Name be. II Kings 23:27
Is God truly everywhere at all times? Omnipresence - a theological term that refers to the unlimited nature of God or his ability to be everywhere at all times. The doctrine of Omnipresence has some merit to its teaching as God was present in creation, he formed man in the womb and there is no place to hide from him. Scholars leave the impression that Godís presence is everywhere at the same time and there is no time or place that you will not be in his presence. Remarkably most of the biblical scholars use the same scripture reference as their proof.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? Psalms 139:7
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,Ē even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalms 139:7-12
If you will notice in the passage above we need to consider that there is a direct correlation between where I am going to where God is found. Its not that God is everywhere, but God is everywhere I go. From Godís perspective the passage above represents Godís promise to be with you wherever you go.
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5 Genesis 26:3, Genesis 31:3, Exodus 3:12, Joshua 1:5, Judges 6:16, I King 11:38, Isaiah 43:2
God has promised to be with you and his presence goes wherever you go. However, sin separates men from God by their disobedience. From the story of the fall of man we learn that God confronted Adam and Eve with their sin and sentenced them to be banished from the garden. After driving Adam and Eve out God of the garden, God placed a cherub to guard the entrance preventing Adam and Eve from partaking of the tree of life. Their sin had separated them from the presence of God and everyone since then has been born with sin and separated from God.
In Deuteronomy we learn that those who obey God were blessed and those who rebel and disobey Godís command were subject to the curses of the law. When they did not respond to the chastisement of the Lord, the curses increased and became more severe. In every case when the curses proved to be ineffective God saw that men were determined to allow sin to dictate how they lived. Therefore, due to man's desire to continue to sin after he had disciplined Israel many times, he thrust them out of his presence.
They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves. They built Asherah pole, they bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshipped Baal. They practiced divination and sorcery, they sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger. Ultimately, they sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire, something so hideous that the though never entered God's mind.
So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence. 2 Kings 17:16-20
In this we see a pattern of separation, God turns from his creation when they outright reject his commands and refuse to obey them. The principle is simple, man has to obey God's authority for God to be sovereign and God will deal with those who refuse to have him as their King. On the other hand, God does not want anyone to perish and demonstrated his love for the world by sending his one and only son to atone for man's sin. God is life and he has no pleasure in the man who perishes because he refuses to accept his authority.
But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Samuel 14:14
Why is it that people know God exists, he is sovereign ruler of the universe but cannot fathom that they are a part of the universe that God rules? The outcome is that God rules the universe but not my life. That kind of response is a threat to God's authority. Without the knowledge that God is willing to forgive them and accept them as his children in his kingdom they live separated from God as sinners.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
When you read the books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah you learn that God sent Prophet after Prophet to plead with the people of Israel and Judah to repent and return to the Lord. The Israelites wanted a King like the nations around them and God gave them Saul. Saul became the King that God warned Israel about through Samuel.
After the prosperity within the reigns of David and Solomon Israel split into two factions with Israel choosing to serve foreign gods. Within the books of the Kings and the Chronicles you can see a progression of kings and how the king's worship of foreign gods turned the Israelites from God. When God had enough sin, he sent the Assyrians to capture the ten tribes of Israel and deport them to places throughout the kingdom of Assyria. Judah did not learn from the experience and they also were scattered throughout the Babylonian empire.
So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 2 Kings 17:18
Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence. 2 Kings 17:20
It was because of the Lord's anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence. 2 Kings 24:20
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Psalms 51:11
I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your brothers, the people of Ephraim.' Jeremiah 7:15
Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your fathers. Jeremiah 23:39
They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 2 Thessalonians 1:9
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. Revelation 20:11
Being in the presence of God is a choice of seeking his face and having a personal relationship with him. James explained if you want to be closer to God first cleanse yourself from known sin, then make an effort to draw closer to God. While you draw near to God, God will respond by drawing nearer to you. Ultimately God wants you to forsake the evil that separates you from God, remember this forsaking evil is a life time process as God will refine your life until he finds you pure and without blemish.
If Godís presence were everywhere at the same time then his word has been made null and void. If his presence were everywhere at the same time, it would be impossible for God to cast you out of his presence. God has plans to protect his children and his kingdom castings those that sin and rejects his authority out of his presence on Judgment day?
They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power II Thessalonians 1:9
Lets remember that God takes no pleasure in the death of a sinner.
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:32
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
At the same time, God has always had the desire to live among his people and has plans for his adopted children to eternally dwell in his home. in addition, God has always wanted a personal relationship with his creation. Just as he came to the garden to have fellowship with Adam and Eve God wants to become closer than a brother to you.
God will respond to your commitment to serve him, with a personal commitment to that will help you turn from sin. In this commitment Jesus Christ comes to abide in you and baptize you with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ will guide you, as you grow closer to God.
Being in Godís presence is the outcome of Godís love and a personal promise to be with you. God gave this promise to his elect not once but several times in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ also gave you a his commitment to be with you until the end of the age, he will never leave not forsake you.
Obedience is a way you show God your respect for his authority. you love and honor him as a father. With the demonstration of obedience you display the love you have for God and opens the doors of mutual trust. And in relationships you do things for each other to show their importance to you.
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23
The promise of Jesus Christ and God the Father to come and make their abode with us demonstrates the closeness God desires. His immediate presence in your heart makes the difference as you were once estranged from God, but now you have become the child of God and live as a family unit under the same roof with God.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, Ephesians 2:19
Apostasy is another thing that affects the presence of God. You can choose to deliberately turn your back on God and defect from the kingdom of God. You can sever your relationship with God and refuse citizenship in the heavenly realms. Because it is a choice to serve God, God will honor the choice you have made even when it means your total separation from him. However, God wants you to know that there is no turning back and expect a bleak future.
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
There is one final way of total separation from God. Total separation from God will occur on Judgment day to those do not know God or obey him. Godís decision will be according to your deeds and his decision will be irreversible, no parole or pardons. You will be thrown into a hostile environment to human life, where you will remain forever.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
Lets remember God's promise
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-11