Does God need to be visible in order for the world to believe Him, love Him, and follow Him?
Old Testament Era Visible Visitation
The Israelites had a partial (though earth shaking) visible and audible manifestation of God on the mountain, and they were scared almost to death.
“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.”
( Exodus 19:16-19 )
However, even a more muted visibility of God’s presence as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day resting upon the tent of meeting for several decades did not guarantee the faith, love, and obedience of the people.
New Testament Era Visible Visitation
When one of Jesus’ disciples was told that He had been seen alive after having been buried for three days, Thomas insisted that he would not believe it unless he saw and felt Him.
“But Thomas said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'”
( John 20:25 )
A few days later Jesus graciously manifested visibly, audibly, and physically in front of Thomas, using the opportunity to help him in his faith, and to teach us all a lesson.
“Then Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.’
Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’
Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”
( John 20:27-29 )
Those who have not encountered God in a visible, audible, and physical sense, and yet believe, they are blessed even more.
The Next Big Visible Visitation
The next time that Jesus manifests for the whole world to experience Him, will you already be ready?
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
( 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 )
If you are waiting for a visible visitation, and like Thomas refuse to believe until… well, consider opting for the greater blessing, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”