God Is Here

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” (Romans 1:19)

               Easter marked what many hold to be the holiest weekend of the year. The Jews celebrate Passover this weekend, and Christians remember that Jesus’ crucifixion was on the Friday before Passover with his resurrection occurring the day after Passover on Sunday. While I celebrate his death every first day of the week (Acts 20:7), and, by extension, his resurrection, I am still touched that people throughout the land are thinking of Jesus and his sacrifice for our sins. It is always good when people are thinking of Jesus. Pressures of the enforced quarantine are causing many people to search for answers to their deepest questions. The answers have always been there. They are overlooked in the rush of modern life.

                When Paul wrote Romans, he had not yet met the Christians of that mighty city. Still, he knew something about their challenges and their opponents. He is speaking of the pagans of Rome who had rejected the God of creation. They were without excuse because God was present. He was among them, and he could be known.  Nothing is different today. Godless “experts” have developed lengthy, convoluted arguments against the God of Heaven. Most people in our culture are hesitant to deny the existence of God, although they may live as if he does not exist. Still, God is here and shows himself to us.

Ignorance of God Is Unacceptable

                Knowledge is growing at an unbelievable pace. One website reports that human knowledge, pared with the continuing growth of the internet, will double every 12 hours! If you can read, you can learn anything. For example, it would be surprising to find someone who had never heard of the coronavirus. What was once a term used mainly in virology labs is now a household word. Knowledge is spreading fast.

                Unfortunately, the knowledge of God may not be. Like past years, there is illiteracy of God. While people know about a teeny, tiny, bug called COVID-19, they are ignorant of the God of all creation. The Lord decried this ignorance when he said to Hosea, “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). The very words of God are truth (John 17:17) and, Jesus said we could know the truth (John 8:32). Still, many do not.

                Ignorance is never an excuse. In our text from Romans 1:19, we note first that God can be known because God has made himself plain to them. Many scientists are beginning to acknowledge that there must be a designer behind the intricate details of our creation. God is in the careful design of the great stars of heaven and the delicate design of a butterfly. God has made himself obvious.

Ignorance of God Is Dangerous

To examine the context of verse 19, we see that this ignorance is dangerous. See verse 18: “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” It is never a good thing to be in the path of God’s wrath! Hosea wrote that the nation was destroyed because of their ignorance. When Paul addressed the curious people of Athens, he warned that they should turn to a knowledge of God. “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:30, 31). See that the days of ignorance were over. Why? Because judgment was coming.

Ignorance of God is not Accidental

The saddest part is that some people do not know God and do not want anyone else to know him either. Some people actually suppress the truth about God (Romans 1:18). The apostle asserts that people knew God but “exchanged the truth about God for a lie” (Romans 1:25). It stuns the mind to thank that some are so calloused in their thinking that they will knowingly swap truth for a lie.

This happens in two ways. First, some reject God outright. These are the atheists who will not be persuaded. Their faith in their atheism is unshakable.

Second, are those who wear the name Christian but are not. They swapped conviction for convenience and serve their own selves rather than the God of Heaven (Romans 16:18). In some ways, these are far more dangerous people. In some cases, they sit on the pew beside us. They sing the same hymns and shout “amen” as loudly as any. But there is no substance in their hearts.

Ignorance of God is Hard Work

In our text, Paul says God has made it “plain to them, For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived” (Romans 1:19, 20). God has made it plain, and they have clearly seen the evidence! The result? “So they are without excuse” (vs. 20).

Because the certainty of God’s existence is so plain, one must work very hard to blind himself to the truth. Jesus said, “you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). We can now understand how some who are otherwise intelligent, can be so blind to the truth. 

Others work hard to prevent the knowledge of truth. Paul says some actually suppress the truth (Romans 1:18). Some are blindly ignorant of the truth of Jesus Christ. But others actively work to corrupt, hide, and misstate the truth. They will not be held innocent.

Most of my readers are Christians. You are children of the light. We must know how Satan works in our lives and be prepared to fight back against his schemes. The victory is ours in Christ. Let us press on to the knowledge of Christ

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