The Unbeliever Has Received a Knowledge of God
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.
How can an unbeliever who has never heard the gospel still be condemned before God? In Romans 1, beginning in verse 20, Paul made three statements about the unbeliever whom we think would be innocent but in fact God says is guilty.
In Romans 1, Paul said that all unbelievers have received a knowledge of God. “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” (1:20). This verse supports the doctrine of what we call “natural revelation.” Natural revelation is the knowledge about God that is available to anybody. There are some things everybody can know about God without a Bible, without a pastor, without a missionary, without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is natural revelation, and it comes through creation.
Anybody can know there is a God. But a knowledge of God is not sufficient to get you to Heaven. The psalmist said, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1). The word “fool” refers to an imbecile who says there is no God despite all the evidence for God.
Paul said this natural revelation comes primarily through creation. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes . . . have been clearly seen” (Romans 1:20). In Psalm 19:1-2, the psalmist said, “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 heavens themselves are screaming out day and night that God exists. Consider the vastness of this creation. Do you realize that astronomers now are able to see things in our universe four billion light-years away? How do you explain the vastness of creation? The unbeliever says, “It happened by chance.” But chance is not a power; it is a mathematical probability. There is a big difference in the two. For example, I could flip a penny and say, “What is the chance this will land heads up?” You would say, “50/50.” If I flip the coin and it lands on heads, you could ask, “What made it land heads up?” It would not have been chance that made the coin do that. It would have been the force with which I flipped the penny, the atmospheric pressure where I was, the height to which the penny went–all kinds of factors would have determined which way that penny turned. Chance was simply the mathematical calculation of what was going to happen.
It is the same way when we consider the universe. What is the chance that this universe just happened? Somebody has said that 1 in 10 billion is the best estimate of this universe coming into existence by chance. That is no chance at all. The real question is, “What made this earth and this universe come into being?” There has to be a power behind it to explain it.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What Every Atheist Knows” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
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.