Will We Ever See God the Father Face to Face?

We will never see God the Father. He is Spirit (John 4:24).

The instances in the Old Testament when God appeared in human form are one type of theophany, a manifestation of God visible to the human senses. (See Genesis 17:1-4; Genesis 18:1-3; Genesis 32:24-30; Joshua 5:13-15; Daniel 3:22-25.) These appearances, however, do not represent God’s shape or form, since He is Spirit. They are the forms He used to reveal Himself to humanity. God has revealed Himself in many other ways, including fire in a burning bush (Exodus 3:2).

Although such passages as Exodus 33:11, Numbers 14:14, and Deuteronomy 5:4 refer to speaking with God “face to face,” it is obvious in light of other Scripture passages that the eternal, omnipresent Spirit who is the Creator of all things does not have a face. Because God wanted us to know Him personally, He revealed Himself in human form. God has literally shown us His “face” in the person of Jesus Christ. In Colossians, we read:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Genesis 1:15-18)

Through the gift of His life and death for us, God demonstrated His love for us. Through Jesus’ resurrection, He gives us the hope of joy and heavenly glory (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:22-23; 1 Peter 1:3). In addition, the Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ was “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29 NKJV). Every true Christian receives the Comforter (the Holy Spirit), who transforms him from within, making him over into the likeness of Jesus Christ (John 17:22-23; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2).

We are not, therefore, in a position where we must love someone we have never seen. God reveals His face to us both in the story of Jesus as we read it in the Gospels and in the lives of our Christian brothers and sisters, who teach us, instruct us, and love us under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

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