The Reception of Natural Revelation
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.
There are two things we can know about God from creation. First, we can know God’s “eternal power” (Romans 1:20). Did you know astronomers can view objects in the universe that are 47 billion light years away? If you traveled at the speed of light (186,282 miles per second), it would take you 150,000 years at that speed to cross the Milky Way. And our galaxy is just one of millions of galaxies! That’s mindboggling. How did the universe come into being? The secularist says, “It happened by chance.” But chance is not a power; it’s a mathematical probability. For example, if I flip a coin, what are the chances it will land heads up? The mathematical probability is 50/50. But if it does land heads up, what made it do so? It could have been the force of my thumb, the weight of the coin, or dozens of other factors. But chance had nothing to do with it, because chance is not a power; it’s a mathematical calculation. It’s the same thing with this universe. This universe wasn’t created by chance. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”
Something else natural revelation tells us about God is His “divine nature” (Romans 1:20). Now, there are some truths about God we can know only through the Bible or Jesus. You can look at the universe and never know that God is holy, just, or all-knowing. But Paul said there are things you can know about God’s nature from creation, and one of those things is God’s kindness.
In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas arrived in Lystra, and because they performed miracles, the people mistakenly thought they were gods. Paul quickly said, “We’re not gods. We’re here to point you to the true God.” In Acts 14:15-17, he said, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Paul was saying, “The fact that God sends you rain to produce the crops you need tells you that God is kind.”
We often hear the question: “If God is good, why do bad things happen?” But the real question is, “Why do good things happen to bad people?” God sends good things to bad people all the time. He shows kindness to them in spite of their disregard for Him. Why? Romans 2:4 says, “The kindness of God leads you to repentance.” God sends good things to cause unbelievers to turn to Him. Everybody is able to look at creation and know that we serve a kind God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What about Those Who Have Never Heard about Jesus?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.