What Does Omnipresent Mean?

By Dawn Wilson – June 20, 2018 – crosswalk.com

Latin Origin

As a young girl, visiting a little street-corner church in Chicago, I heard a preacher quote Matthew 18:20: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” It was a great promise, but it stirred up confusion and wonder in my heart: Is God with “two or three” in Chicago and “two or three” over in China—at the same time?

I had my first doubts about God based on my belief system of what I could see, feel and understand, rather than on what God tells us about Himself in scripture. Years later, when I became a Christ-follower and examined biblical concepts for myself, God opened my “eyes of understanding.” Though the word, “omnipresence,” doesn’t appear in the Bible, the concept is clear in Matthew 18:20 and many other scriptures.

At college, I discovered the prefix in the word “omnipresent” comes from Latin—“omni” means “all.” A couple of other words in biblical studies refer to God with that same prefix. “Omnipotent” means all-powerful, and “omniscient” means all-knowing. “Omnipresent” is easy to define: all-present or present everywhere. That doesn’t mean omnipresence is a simple concept.

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