Q: #325. If God is everywhere (omnipresent), does that mean He is in strip clubs? (Hab 1:13) says God cannot even look at sin!
By: Steve Shirley
A: The omnipresence of God (the ability to be everywhere at once), is an attribute of God that is made clear over and over in the Bible (1 Kin 8:27)(Ps 139:7-8)(Jer 23:23-24)(2 Chr 16:9). God is also omniscient (all-knowing) (1 Jn 3:20)(Isa 42:9)(Ezek 11:5) and omnipotent (all-powerful) (Lk 1:37)(Mt 19:26)(Jer 32:27). However, this does create a dilemma for some people because it means that God is found in all kinds of sinful places such as casinos, bars, nightclubs, strip clubs, and more. (This also includes Hell, which I will discuss in Q: #328.) How can a holy God, who hates sin, or cannot even look on sin (Hab 1:13) be in such places? I can think of 3 good reasons.
First off, I have decided to fully address the second part of this question, about (Hab 1:13) in the next question. But, in short, this verse is not saying that God "cannot look on sin or evil." In fact, the Bible shows us the opposite is true. God is quite aware of EVERYTHING that is going on on this planet (and everywhere else). He sees every good and bad thing that people do (Prov 15:3)(Job 34:21-22), and is shown throughout the Bible to judge the bad (sin and evil) (Heb 4:13)(Ps 90:8). In the first 19 chapters of Genesis we see 3 powerful examples of this. God saw Cain murder his brother Abel (the first murder in the Bible) and punished him for it (Gen 4:8-15). God destroyed the whole Earth in a flood because He saw the evil of man (Gen ch. 6-9). God destroyed the cites of Sodom and Gomorrah because He saw their evil (Gen 19:12-25). So, God clearly sees and judges evil.
This is why Jesus had to come and give His life for the sins of all men. God sees every sin we commit, big and small, and we are judged and condemned for our sins. Even the smallest sin is enough to keep us from His presence for eternity. So, this is the first reason why I believe that God is in "strip clubs," or any other sinful place: to see and judge man's sin, both in the present, and for eternity.
Secondly, He is in "strip clubs" because He wants people to confess their sins, turn from them, and repent. There are people who have been saved and become Christians in EVERY place you can possibly imagine. Some people's testimonies are simply incredible! There are men who have been saved while in strip clubs, and dancers who have been saved as well. The Bible says that these people cannot be saved unless they are drawn by the Father (Jn 6:44). In other words, God would HAVE to be in the strip club in order to draw the man or woman to Him. However, God also can take the sin He has seen and convict the sinner of his or her sin after the fact, and bring them to repentance and saving faith at a later time outside of the club. See (Acts 2:37-38)(Lk 18:13-14) for two examples of people in the Bible who were crushed by their sinfulness and repented.
Thirdly, it is a fact that there are sometimes backslidden Christians in places of sin. Millions of Christians, mainly men, struggle with porn, and some visit "strip clubs." The Bible is quite clear that once we become a Christian, God lives inside of us in the form of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20)(1 Cor 3:16-17). So, if a Christian is in a place of sin, wouldn't God have to be there too?
So, having listed these 3 reasons, let me quickly deal with one other aspect of this. Over the years, I have heard some people attack God on the charge that if He is everywhere, and sees everything, then He is watching people have sex, or looking at naked women all the time. They make God out to be some kind of deviant because He can do this. First off, God is NOT us! He does not think like us, He does not see things the way we do, nor does He act like us. Yes, He does see all of this, but UNLIKE US, He is not attracted to it, nor is He tempted in any way by it (James 1:13). Nudity is something that God does not even give a second thought to. In fact, He created the first man and woman without clothing (Gen 2:25).
The same is true of sexual intercourse. God created sex, and it is good in His eyes (Gen 1:28)(Gen 9:1,7)(Gen 35:11), but it is meant only for the marriage relationship (Prov 5:15-20)(Mal 2:14-15) (1 Cor 7:1-2)(Heb 13:4). Sex is primarily for procreation (Gen 4:1), but also for enjoyment within marriage (of a man and woman ONLY). However, God does take notice and action when nudity (i.e. in strip clubs) or sex occurs outside of His given boundaries, and turns into sin. He is repulsed by this, and angered (the exact opposite of how many humans react). In fact, the Bible even says that God views sexual sins as worse than many other sins (See: 1 Cor 6:18, Heb 13:4, 1 Th 4:3-5). There are consequences for those who step outside of God's will and sin in this manner, or in any other way. No sin we commit escapes God's sight, and He will judge our sin. But, in His grace and mercy, He will convict us of our sins and give us a chance to repent and turn to Him.