General Revelation

By Duane Leach

When witnessing to people it often seems that they are more concerned about God’s responsibilities than their own.

When confronted with their sin and need of a Savior they change the subject. They want to know what God is going to do about those who have never heard the gospel. They’ll ask how God can judge innocent people when they don’t even have the Bible. They usually don’t like the answer given in God’s Word.

Romans 1:18-20 gives a clear and concise answer to concerns about how God can hold responsible those who don’t have His written Word.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

He has shown who He is in the universe He created. This is known as general revelation. God puts His creative power on display as a revelation that He is.

From the very beginning of creation His very nature has been shown. Anyone can look at the wonders of the world around them and realize that someone with immense power caused it to come into being. The laws that govern how it all functions speak clearly to an intellect beyond our comprehension. Someone who can plan such an intricate universe and has the power to bring it into existence is evident to any honest observer.

The creation is God announcing that He exists. The problem isn’t with the evidence but with men’s unwillingness to acknowledge God and their accountability to Him. They suppress the truth of who God is and worship idols instead. The issue isn’t lack of proof, it’s hardness of heart.

Psalm 19:1-2 explains:

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

The observable heavens are shouting out to mankind that God exists. They can be seen by everyone in the world and are a witness to His greatness and glory. No one who looks into the night sky can fail to be impressed by the immensity and grandeur.

As we develop better and stronger telescopes, their numbers keep getting revised, but as of now, astronomers estimate that our Milky Way galaxy contains approximately 100 billion stars. They also estimate that there are 10 trillion galaxies in the universe. If each of them is made up of the same number as our galaxy that means that the total number would be 10 with 24 zeros following it. This is the sort of evidence that men suppress, saying it all came into being by some sort of cosmic accident.

People don’t go to Hell because of ignorance, but for a rejection of the knowledge given to them. God holds men responsible for their sin because He has put His existence on display by what He created. Their response is to refuse to honor Him as the Creator. In their pride they choose to believe lies rather than the truth that is all around them.