"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people 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, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened.” (Rom. 1:18-23)
Christians are constantly being challenged to defend their faith (1 Pet. 3:15) and give evidence for God. We often hear the rebuffs of non-believers saying, “If God is real, why doesn’t He make Himself known?” When they say this, what they mean is that they want more proof. I don’t say that like it’s all bad. I relate well to the doubting Thomas’ out there (John. 20:24-29). I want some evidence, too. So, is there any evidence for what we believe? Of course. As Christians, our faith is the evidence of things not yet seen (Heb. 11:1, NASB), but that doesn’t mean that our faith is not based on solid evidence that is or has been seen.
The truth is, God has revealed Himself many times in many ways (Heb. 1:1). A revelation could be defined as "God making known to man what man otherwise could not know." And two of those major ways that God has revealed Himself to us is through what Bible students call general and special revelation. General revelation is referring primarily to that which is known generally, or universally, to all. And there are 2 main channels of general revelation: 1) creation. 2) conscience. Paul mentions both in Romans 1. That which is known about God is evident within us (conscience; intuitive; inescapable) because it was made evident to us (creation; creative order; sustaining all things; intelligent design). Creation is said to reveal evidence for God 24/7/365. Around the clock, the heavens (the skies above) are silently "preaching" the glory of God and the work of His hands (Psalm 19:1-2). The complexity and beauty of all of creation—from the microscopic cell to the telescopic solar system—reveal an intelligent, creative Designer behind everything that exists. Everyone can look at the created order and think, "Someone put this together and sustains it." This revelation alone is so evident to us and within us that it’s enough to leave every man without excuse on judgment day (Rom. 1:18-23). It serves as the basis for man's just condemnation.
God has also provided the special revelation of His written Word we call the Bible. God has communicated to us through language we speak! In fact, so much so that people are intimidated by the size of the book He wrote! There is no other book like it, and it contains the most trusted historical documents in all of ancient history—written by eyewitnesses I might add (Luke 1:1-4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16).
As we saw in the sermon this week, God has revealed Himself powerfully through miraculous signs and wonders at different times to varying degrees. He shows up and acts in real time, in real historical events. But in these last days, the Bible says, He has spoken to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the incarnation of God. He actually came into this world to reveal the truth. He died for our sins and left the evidence of an empty tomb for proof (Heb. 1:1-4)!
Miraculous signs though, even that of the resurrection, is no guarantee that people will believe. Jesus said if people won’t listen to the Old Testament alone—just Moses and the Prophets—they won’t be convinced even if someone rises from the dead (Luke 16:31). In fact, I would say that a major way John’s gospel encourages belief is by unmasking the true nature of unbelief. Many saw the evidence. They just didn’t want to believe. Like the religious people in Jesus' day, they rejected Jesus despite undeniable, indisputable evidence (Matt. 16:4). So again, the problem is not always evidence. There’s a lot of evidence! And I hope that evidence encourages you to believe. But as we saw with Pharaoh in Exodus last Sunday, our biggest problem is not the lack of evidence, but what we do with the evidence. The problem isn’t always so much intellectual as it is spiritual. We need a new heart. One that willingly submits to the authority of divine Creator. One born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:3; Eph. 2:1-10).
If you are seeking God and wondering if this Christianity thing is the real deal, I encourage you to continue to investigate the claims of Christianity and the reliability of the Bible, but eventually the time comes when you have to make a decision. You can learn a lot about God and have all the evidence in the world without ever coming to Him for salvation. The evidence is there. Will you come to Him for salvation?
Trusting in Christ with you,
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