David wrote in Psalms 32:6, “Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found.” NASU What does David mean by that statement? Keeping in mind that the Bible is God’s communication to you, thus a better question is: What does God mean? Is this statement implying that at some point in an individual’s life that it will not be possible for God to be found?
God created you and me for fellowship with him. We broke that fellowship by sinning, by rebelling against our loving God. He longs for us to be made right with Him, for fellowship to be restored. First Timothy 2:4 tells us that God desires for every person to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Since this is true, does there come a time in an individual’s life when God will no longer hear from him? Certainly when the man who never responded to God’s call while he was alive dies, then that man will not find God. Genesis 6:3 tells us that the Spirit of God will not strive with the man forever. That same verse goes on to set the normal life span of a man for that historical period. Perhaps David is simply pointing out the truth that God ceases to hear the prayer of the sinner at his death.
The Bible also speaks of people’s hearts becoming hardened to the point that they refused to see truth, hear truth, or respond to truth. In fact that is a common theme found in both the Old and New Testaments. Moses, the gospel writers, Paul, the author of Hebrews, etc. all wrote about various people whose hearts became hardened toward God. On more than one occasion Jesus instructed His disciples to “shake the dust off of their feet” in places that refused to receive them or their message. Acts 13 describes Paul and Barnabas shaking the dust off of their feet in Pisidian Antioch because the gospel message was rejected there.
John 9:31 says that God does not hear sinners. Isaiah 1:15 tells me that my iniquity will cause God to hide His eyes from me when I pray and no matter how much I pray, He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 says that my sins will cause God to hide His face from me and refuse to hear me. Psalm 66:18 tells me that if I regard (cherish) sin in my heart then God will not listen to me. Proverbs 1:28 bluntly states that sinners will cry out and God will not hear because they hated knowledge. Proverbs 28:9 says that if I refuse to listen to God’s law then my prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:13 points out that if I try to conceal my sin then I will not prosper; but if I confess and renounce my sin, then I will receive God’s mercy. Those verses can certainly apply to the sinning believer in Christ, but they also surely apply to the one who has never put his faith and trust in Christ. When we love our sin, refusing to confess it and repent of it, we place ourselves in an awful position. God has proclaimed for the whole world to hear, that He will hide His face and refuse to hear. That seems to apply to believers and unbelievers alike.
In short, it seems to me that God doesn’t give up on people; people give up on God. Job 27:8-9 gives a very sobering warning, “For what is the hope of the godless when he is cut off, When God requires his life? Will God hear his cry When distress comes upon him?” You cannot afford to ignore that question.