Without Excuse (Romans 1:18-23)

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:19–20, KJV 1900)

When I was a boy, growing up in central New Jersey, I used to lay out on the grass, looking to the sky. I thought about all the stars and the sky. I would think, if I got in a spaceship, and left the earth, how far would I be able to go until I hit the end of space? Then, if I hit the end, there must be a wall, but how thick would the wall be? With this, I had one more big question. How did everything come into existence in the first place?

Men have especially pondered this last question throughout the ages. How did everything come into existence? In Romans 1:18 and following, Paul is writing about the depravity of man and that God’s wrath is revealed “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” (v18) He indicates that God has given a general revelation of Himself through His creation. When man ponders the infinitude of the creation in all its complexity and understands that nothing exists without a first cause, he must come to a conclusion that an infinite, omnipotent, omniscient and eternal being was the first cause, the Divine Creator of all, God.

Paul indicates that since God has thus revealed himself, men “are without excuse.” They are without excuse for not honoring God and giving thanks to Him. Today, many in the name of science and philosophy profess that there is no God, that somehow the universe came about through natural causes, which they vainly attempt to explain. They fail to pursue the truth because they systematically filter out the possibility of a Creator who is God.

However, there are a few who continue their pursuit of truth and break through this filter. One such person was Antony Flew, a philosopher and leading advocate of atheism. After advocating atheism for more than fifty years, he shocked the philosophical world by reversing his position. He stated, “A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.” He wrote a book about this conclusion titled, “There is a God.” How did he reverse his position? He did so by continuing to evaluate his presumptions and by following the evidence to wherever it leads.

Many of the people we meet today are swallowed up by the philosophies of men. They conclude that there is no God, having taken verbatim the teachings of others without continuing to pursue the evidence. If you run into these people, continue to pray for them that the Lord would open their minds to the truth and challenge them to never stop following the evidence. Perhaps, just like Antony Flew, they will come to believe that God exists. They cannot proceed to faith in Christ alone for their salvation until they first believe that God exists.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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