"Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; as for the former events, declare what they were, that we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; declare the things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods; indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. Behold, you are of no account, and your work amounts to nothing; he who chooses you is an abomination." (Isaiah 41:22-24)There was once a time in American society when the Word of God was revered. Even people who were not believers still understood the importance and the value of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs, ethics, and morals. Even if God was not worshiped, He was still feared. Yet today, to a large extent, we have become a society that has grown up without God. Many of our young people today are not only ignorant of the Word of God, but they are also indifferent to it as well. To judge someone's behavior as being against the word of God is meaningless to many in this generation. For many people today, the Word of God has ceased to be a foundation for building one's life upon. Even in our churches, there are many people who, while saying they believe the Bible, are not willing to change their life to live according to the Bible. The Bible may be important for religion, but has no relevance for living.
So how can God reach out to a world that no longer believes His word? I remember a pastor relating a story of how he was praying and God spoke to him and said, "a wicked and perverse generation seeks a sign." To which the pastor replied, "I know God, isn't it awful!" Yet God replied, "no, you don't understand, a wicked and perverse generation seeks a sign." Again the pastor said, "I know, it's just awful." But God replied again, "a wicked and perverse generation seeks a sign, so give them a sign." What God was trying to say is that we live in a time when its not enough just to tell people that Jesus is real, they need to see that He is real. They need to see the proof that God is still alive and is still on the throne.
The world's problems are not due to a lack of information, but they are spiritual in nature. The world does not need an intellectual God, they need a God of power and might. I believe that the closer we get to the end times, the more God wants to reveal Himself through miraculous signs and wonders. Micah, prophesying of the end times, said "in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles." (Micah 7:15) Even in the days of the early church, as the preaching went forth, "God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will." (Hebrews 2:4) People may not believe the message of God simply because it is in His Word, but many will believe because of the confirming testimonies of the signs and wonders that accompany His message.
The question we must ask ourselves is, "is our God real?" Is our religion merely intellectual? Have we believed some statement of faith that has no real effect upon our daily lives? Or have we encountered the living God who is able to change us and bring us into conformance with His nature? Can people look at your life and see the work of God? Do they see changes in you that can only be attributed to God's mighty power? The world needs to see that God is still alive; that He still works in the lives of people; and that He still performs miracles and wonders on earth. I think that the church today needs to rise up in the boldness of Elijah, when he confronted the 400 prophets of Baal, and say to the world, "and the God who answers by fire, He is God." (1 Kings 18:24)