Daily Archives: May 26, 2019

May 26 Ask, Seek, Knock

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:11–13

Key Verse: 2 Timothy 2:13

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Those who ask will receive answers. Those who seek will find. Those who knock will find the door opened for them. It is God’s acrostic: A-S-K: Ask, Seek, Knock.

The Lord wants us to pray to Him, not only because it honors Him, but also because it helps us to grow in Him. Furthermore, prayer taps us into His work in the world. At any given moment, you can pray for anyone anywhere on earth and have confidence that the Lord of the entire universe will hear you and respond in the most effective fashion.

For this reason, prayer is one of the best ways to get involved in God’s mission. What a wonderful privilege it is to be able to participate in the expansion of God’s kingdom by asking the Lord to help His children and impact His creation.

Another reason the Lord bids us to pray is to build our faith in Him. Even sinful men give gifts to their children. How much more does the holy God enjoy giving good gifts to those who ask Him? (Matthew 7:11). He enjoys helping us along in our faith as we learn His Word, practice His presence, and stay so close to Him that His thoughts become our thoughts. He also loves to answer our prayers and see us become bolder in our walk and witness.

God’s Word tells us that He is faithful because He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). Be certain to set aside time daily to talk to Him, and you will learn this truth firsthand.

Father, teach me to ask, seek, and knock—to persevere in prayer until I receive an answer.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 153). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 26 When in Need

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 4:12–16

Key Verse: 2 Timothy 2:26

They may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

We are likely to think of the obvious—hatred, lust, immorality—as Satan’s primary weapons of temptation and defeat. But our accuser possesses a far more deadly and cleverly disguised agent of spiritual destruction—discouragement.

In times of need, he causes us to dwell on our mistakes, our repeated failures, our constant confession of sins, and our general lack of holiness and unrighteousness. It doesn’t take much on the devil’s part to disillusion us. We are all too well acquainted with our infirmities. Allowed to linger, discouragement breeds despair, which engulfs any sense of godly hope and confidence. Like a battle tank out of gas, we are neutralized on the spiritual battlefield.

If you have experienced this bewildered state, you can disarm the deceiver with this unchanging Bible truth: God’s grace will never fail you.

Christ’s grace saved you. His face smiles upon you even when you stumble. His grace has reserved a place in heaven for every believer that no sin or sins can alter.

His throne is adorned with grace and mercy. As the Son of man, Christ understands your plight. He will never turn you away. The instant you call on Him and thank Him for His forgiveness, discouragement has no room to stand. Go boldly to Him.

Father God, I take authority over the enemy’s tool of discouragement in my life. I give You all my mistakes, failures, and recurring sins. Thank You for grace that will never fail.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 153). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 26 The Wellspring of Worship

Scripture reading: 1 Samuel 15:1–23

Key verse: John 21:15

When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

Joni Eareckson Tada, the gifted author and artist who was paralyzed in an accident as a teenager, was once asked to share her favorite Scripture. Her response was precise:

“My favorite verse in the Bible is Jesus’ terse question to Peter: ‘Lovest thou Me?’ ” (John 21:15).

Herein is the heart of an obedient life—love and devotion for God. Obedience to Christ was not designed as a chore. While we may initially submit due to fear or a sense of obligation, God desires compliance from sheer delight in Him.

David exclaimed, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Ps. 40:8).

Can you join in that joyful refrain? Is obedience to God a drudgery, motivated by fear of retribution? Do you comply only so you will not feel guilty? The wellspring of genuine Christianity and true worship is a passion to please the Savior who redeemed you and now indwells you through His Spirit.

Fear or duty will carry you only so far, but love for God will carry you through everything. Obedience still may be hard at times, but it will never again be toilsome. Lovest thou God? If your answer is yes, obedience will be spontaneous.

I delight to do Your will, O God. Your law is within my heart. Give me a passion to please You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 153). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Christianity’s Identity Crisis | Reformed Reasons

In this episode I rant about the fact that Christianity has become so up for grabs that it is quickly losing its true identity. I discuss the craziness from J. D. Greear’s voting for democrats to people thinking that you can be saved and have true knowledge of Christ and Christianity without the bible.

The post Christianity’s Identity Crisis appeared first on Reformed Reasons.

Source: Christianity’s Identity Crisis

Major Media on Julian Assange | Stephen Lendman

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Major media cheered his unjustifiable April 11 police state arrest, shifting his loss of freedom in Ecuador’s London embassy to incarceration at Britain’s Gitmo — prelude to handing him over to Trump regime hardliners for unjustifiable crucifixion.

Charged with 18 counts of truth-telling about US high crimes of war, against humanity, and other wrongdoing, potential life imprisonment in America’s gulag awaits him — for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism.

The NYT, neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other US major media called him no free-press hero, slamming him with a broadside of pejoratives, denigrating him like Edward Snowden was vilified.

WaPo said his arrest was “long overdue.” Demanding “accountability,” the Wall Street Journal accused him of targeting “democratic institutions or governments.”

The NYT said “(h)e deserves his fate,” calling him “an odious person,” falsely accusing him of “act(ing) as a conduit for Russian intelligence services…and help(ing) (to) spread the conspiracy theory (sic) that the leaked (Dem) email’s” weren’t hacked.

Indeed not! Not by Russia, Assange, WikiLeaks, or anyone else, what the Times and other major media continue going all out to claim otherwise.

They maintain a drumbeat of fake news claims about Russian US election meddling to help Trump triumph over Hillary — what the world community, US intelligence, undemocratic Dems, and establishment media know never happened but won’t say.

Times editors continue pushing the myth about “material stolen from the computers of Hillary Clinton’s campaign” by WikiLeaks — despite nothing stolen from anyone, not by Assange, WikiLeaks, Russia, or anyone else.

As CIA director, Mike Pompeo lied calling WikiLeaks “a nonstate hostile intelligence service” — polar opposite reality.

Its mandate is all about investigative journalism the way it should be conducted — beholden to truth-telling on major issues, publishing information the public has a right to know from sources kept anonymous to protect their rights and security.

It mandate and principles are “based are the defense of freedom of speech and media publishing, the improvement of our common historical record, and the support of the rights of all people to create new history” — based on accurate truth-telling.

It publishes information from reliable sources it believes to be credible. It doesn’t solicit material but handles what’s gotten responsibly and securely.

On Friday, Wall Street Journal editors failed to debunk claims by federal authorities, falsely accusing Assange of aiding the theft of government documents, adding:

He “solicited” and “encouraged sources” to provide classified information — a bald-faced Big Lie.

Journal editors accused him of “conduct (that’s) either malicious or singularly reckless,” reciting a litany of prosecutorial Big Lies about his lawful actions.

In its landmark June 30, 1971 6 – 3 ruling on the Pentagon Papers, the US Supreme Court held that “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government,” adding:

“And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell” — Justice Hugo Black for the majority.

Published by the Washington Post and NYT at the time, Daniel Ellsberg explained his landmark revelations as follows, saying:

“I felt that as an American citizen, as a responsible citizen, I could no longer cooperate in concealing this information from the American public. I did this clearly at my own jeopardy, and I am prepared to answer to all the consequences of this decision.”

Accused of stealing and holding secret government documents, he was acquitted of all charges on May 11, 1973.

Chelsea Manning is a modern-day Ellsberg. So is Assange for publishing material she revealed and other information about government wrongdoing, honorable actions by both individuals — deserving high praise, not prosecution.

A Final Comment

From the bowels of London’s Belmarsh prison, Britain’s Gitmo, Assange hand wrote a message to supporters by letter, sent to UK journalist Gordon Dimmack, saying the following:

“I have been isolated from all ability to prepare to defend myself, no laptop, no internet, no computer, no library so far, but even if I do get access it will be just for half an hour with everyone else once a week.”

“Just two visits a month and it takes weeks to get someone on the call list and the Catch-22 in getting their details to be security screened.”

“Then all calls except lawyer are recorded and are a maximum 10 minutes and in a limited 30 minutes each day in which all prisoners compete for the phone. And credit? Just a few pounds a week and no one can call in.”

“A superpower that has been preparing for 9 years with hundreds of people and untold millions spent on the case. I am defenseless and am counting on you and others of good character to save my life.”

“I am unbroken albeit literally surrounded by murderers. But the days when I could read and speak and organize to defend myself, my ideals and my people are over until I am free. Everyone else must take my place.”

“The US government or rather those regrettable elements in it that hate truth liberty and justice want to cheat their way into my extradition and death rather than letting the public hear the truth for which I have won the highest awards in journalism and have been nominated seven times for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

“Truth ultimately is all we have.”

Julian’s message hits home hard. For independent journalists like myself, driven to research and report truthfully on major world and national issues at a time I call the most perilous in world history, what’s happening to him, Chelsea Manning, and others like them leaves others like myself vulnerable.

That’s the disturbing reality at a time fundamental speech, media, academic, and other freedoms are eroding in the West and elsewhere — what growing tyrannical rule is all about.

Who’s next to be framed and prosecuted by Police State America and other Western societies for the “crime” of truthfully reporting what ruling authorities want suppressed.

Source: Major Media on Julian Assange

Rep. Liz Cheney Says Govt Plot Against Trump ‘Sounds Like a Coup’ and ‘Could Well Be Treason’ — The Gateway Pundit

Rep. Liz Cheney (D-WY), daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was attacked by several Deep State actors on Sunday after she said on ABC’s This Week that the plot against President Trump by high level law enforcement officials “sounds an awful lot like a coup. And it could well be treason.” Cheney is a member of the GOP House leadership, serving as Republican Conference Chair, the third ranking position.

Cheney was interviewed by ABC’s Martha Raddatz who asked her about the relationship between President Trump and Speaker Pelosi. Cheney said the bad blood between the two exhibited last week stemmed from the Democrats’ frustration that the Mueller report did not give them what they wanted to impeach Trump. When Raddatz brought up Trump retweeting a video of Pelosi stammering at a press conference, Cheney did not take the bait and instead brought up the plot against Trump, employing the words “coup” and “treason”.

Transcript via ABC News:

RADDATZ: Pete Buttigieg is calling what he witnessed in Washington this week between President Trump and Nancy Pelosi a horror show. What’s your reaction to this back and forth?

CHENEY: You know, what I see every day — I’m obviously in the House of Representatives, and what I see every day is a speaker of the House who is increasingly losing her grip on the leadership of her conference. And I think you’ve seen her being increasingly strident. You’re seeing her lashing out. And you’re looking at the Democrats who had put all their eggs in the basket of the Mueller report hoping that it would provide them evidence they needed to move to impeachment. It didn’t.

But so now what they’re doing is basically taking all the oxygen out of the room, refusing to do any of the things we were elected to do and instead continuing these attacks and partisan investigations, partisan issuance of subpoenas.

RADDATZ: And the president attacks back. Is that the right thing to do?

CHENEY: Look, I think that, you know, what we have seen…

RADDATZ: Retweeting these videos.

CHENEY: I think what is crucially important to remember here is that you had Strzok and Page, who were in charge of launching this investigation, and they were saying things like we must stop this president. We need an insurance policy against this president. That, in my view, when you have people that are in the highest echelons of the law enforcement of this nation saying things like that, that sounds an awful lot like a coup. And it could well be treason. And I think that we need to know more. We need to know what was Jim Comey’s role in all this? These people reported to him. Andy McCabe, reported to him. What was Comey’s role in that? And that is what the attorney general is going to be focused on and should be.

RADDATZ: Let me talk about this, because you saw what the president did with Attorney General Barr. He said he could declassify all this intelligence. Do you worry that sources and methods might be revealed? Do you have any problems with him saying declassify this intelligence even though he won’t give the Mueller report — an unredacted Mueller report to Congress?

CHENEY: Look, first of all, the Mueller report has been delivered to Congress, every single piece of it that could be within the law. The amount that’s been redacted that’s available for key officials in Congress to see, the amount that’s been redacted, is something like less than 2 percent. So, it has been turned over.

Secondly, I have complete confidence in Attorney General Barr in terms of this decision that he’s going to make.

And thirdly, as I said before, he has to have the ability to look at what happened. Think about what happened. Think about the fact that we had people that are at the highest levels of our law enforcement in this nation saying that they were going to stop a duly elected president of the United States, saying they needed an insurance policy against him. That is something that simply cannot happen.

We have to have confidence in our law enforcement. And the attorney general has got to get to the bottom of what happened, how it was that those people were allowed to misuse and abuse their power that way.

There’s a saying about barking dogs: “If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that holla is the one ya’ hit.”

Looks like Cheney hit a bunch of dogs:

Fired by President Trump former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, “Elected officials keep making casual, ignorant, idiotic accusations of “treason.” Trump does it. Just saw Liz Cheney do it. Read the Constitution and knock it the hell off.”

Walter Shaub, former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, “The accusations are anti-American because they reflect the viewpoint that the president is the state. The mob shouting “treason” has no interest in the constitution. They are sheep in search of an authoritarian leader, and their language tells you how far they’re willing to go.”

Former CIA operative John Sipher:

NBC’s Ken Dilanian:

There are sure to be more howls heard later today and this week.

via Rep. Liz Cheney Says Govt Plot Against Trump ‘Sounds Like a Coup’ and ‘Could Well Be Treason’ — The Gateway Pundit

FBI tapes show Martin Luther King Jr had 40 affairs and ‘laughed’ as friend raped parishioner | Daily Mail

The legacy of U.S. civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr could be facing a ‘painful reckoning’ after a biographer unearthed tapes detailing the scale of his affairs and sexual exploits.

Secret FBI tapes that accuse Martin Luther King Jr of having extramarital affairs with ’40 to 45 women’ and even claim he ‘looked on and laughed’ as a pastor friend raped a parishioner exist, an author has claimed.

The civil rights hero was also heard allegedly joking he was the founder of the ‘International Association for the Advancement of P***y-Eaters’ on an agency recording that was obtained by bugging his room, according to the sensational claims made by biographer David Garrow – a Pulitzer prize-winning author and biographer of MLK.

Writing in British magazine Standpoint, Garrow says that the shocking files could lead to a ‘painful historical reckoning’ for the man who is celebrated across the world for his campaign against racial injustice.

Along with many US civil rights figures, King was subject to an FBI campaign of surveillance ordered by Director J Edgar Hoover in an effort to undermine his power amid fears he could have links to the Communist Party.

Martin Luther King, who married Coretta Scott in 1953, is said to have carried out numerous affairs with dozens of women during his lifetime

The civil rights hero pictured with his wife Coretta was also said to be heard joking he was the founder of the ‘International Association for the Advancement of P***y-Eaters’

The FBI surveillance tapes detailing his indiscretions are being held in a vault at the U.S. National Archives and are not due for release until 2027.

How J. Edgar Hoover kept incriminating evidence against the great and the good of American society

The first FBI director was responsible for making the intelligence service what it is today but used tactics which many thought were unethical.

Hoover was mainly concerned about what he considered to be ‘subversion’ and tens of thousands of suspected radicals were interviewed under his directorship.

J. Edgar Hoover was criticised for using underhand tactics against radicals

Some believe Hoover exaggerated the potential dangers of these subversive characters.

He has also been criticised for going too far and overstepping his brief.

Hoover founded a covert ‘dirty tricks’ program under the name COINTELPRO to disrupt the Communist Party.

He went after big-name stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Malcolm X, Ernest Hemingway, Muhammad Ali, Jane Fonda and John Lennon.

He spied on the celebrities using methods such as wire-tapping, infiltration, forging documents and spreading false rumours.

Some have even alleged COINTELPRO incited violence and arranged murders.

In one particularly controversial incident, a white civil rights worker was killed by a member of the Ku Klux Klan who happened to also be an FBI informant.

The FBI then spread rumours that she was a Communist and abandoned her children to have sex with black people involved in the civil rights movement.

FBI records later showed that Hoover personally communicated these rumours to President Johnson.

Even President Nixon said he did not fire Hoover because he feared he had too much dirt on him.

Hoover’s actions came to be seen as abuses of power and the tenure of the FBI director was later limited to ten years.

But David Garrow, a biographer of King who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1987 book Bearing the Cross about the Baptist minister, has unearthed the FBI summaries of the various incidents.

In an article to be published in Standpoint, Garrow tells how the FBI planted transmitters in two lamps in hotel rooms booked by King in January 1964, according to The Sunday Times.

FBI director J Edgar Hoover ordered the surveillance of King in an effort to undermine his power amid fears he could have links to the Communist Party.

The intelligence service carried out surveillance on a number of civil rights figures and suspected communists and they had an interest in smearing their reputation.

The recording from the Willard Hotel near the White House shows how King was accompanied his friend Logan Kearse, the pastor of Baltimore’s Cornerstone Baptist church who died in 1991, along with several female parishioners of his church.

In King’s hotel room, the files claim they then ‘discussed which women among the parishioners would be suitable for natural and unnatural sex acts’.

The FBI document says: ‘When one of the women protested that she did not approve, the Baptist minister immediately and forcefully raped her’ as King watched.

He is alleged to have ‘looked on, laugh and offered advice’ during the encounter.

FBI agents were in the room next door but did not intervene.

The following day, King and a dozen others allegedly participated in a ‘sex orgy’ engaging in ‘acts of degeneracy and depravity’.

When one woman showed reluctance, King was allegedly heard saying that performing the act ‘would help your soul’.

Senior FBI officials later sent King a copy of the incriminating tape and called him an ‘evil abnormal beast’ and his sexual exploits would be ‘on record for all time’.

The letter also suggested he should commit suicide before his wrongs were revealed to the world.

King’s philandering has long been suspected, however Garrow, who spent several months digging through the archive material, said he had no idea of the scale or the ugliness of it and his apparent indifference to rape until he saw the files.

He said: ‘It poses so fundamental a challenge to his historical stature as to require the most complete and extensive historical review possible.’

Crowds gather to listen to Martin Luther King speak in Selma

Among the revelations is a claim by a prostitute who said she was involved in a threesome with King, which she described as the worst orgy she had ever experienced.

His wife Coretta often complained he was hardly with her and even said he would spend less than 10 hours a month at home.

Who is David Garrow?

David Garrow’s biography of King earned him a Pulitzer Prize

The American historian and author, 66, has frequently written about the civil rights movement in the US.

His 1986 biography about King, Bearing the Cross, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography.

He has taught history at a number of universities across the US and also written about Barack Obama and reproductive rights.

The distinguished researcher detailed some of King’s affairs in his original biography but he said he was not aware of its scale until now.

He also published The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr, a work that analyses the relationship between the intelligence service and the civil rights leader.

According to one FBI report, King even said: ‘She should go out and have some sexual affairs of her own.’

There is even a suggestion in the files that King fathered a daughter with a secret girlfriend in Los Angeles.

Both the mother and child are alive but refused to talk to Garrow.

Dr King was assassinated in 1968 by James Earl Ray but many conspiracy theories suggest that the government was involved.

Small-time criminal Ray was caught trying to board a plane at London Heathrow on a fake Canadian passport. He pleaded guilty to the killing and quickly recanted, claiming he was set up.

The conviction stood and Ray died in prison at the age of 70 in 1998. He had been serving a 99-year jail term.

Marking the anniversary of Dr King’s assassination last year, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation in honour of Dr King, saying: ‘In remembrance of his profound and inspirational virtues, we look to do as Dr King did while this world was privileged enough to still have him.’

The president was heavily criticised by some speakers at MLK commemorations around the time of the anniversary as they complained of fraught race relations and other divisions since he was elected.

Thousands marched and sang civil rights songs to honour the fallen leader in April 2018.

Among the largest gatherings was a march through the Mississippi River city where the civil rights leader was shot dead on a motel balcony.

In the immediate aftermath of Dr King’s assassination there were race riots across the country, from Washington DC to Chicago and Baltimore.

‘I have a dream’: MLK delivered his famous speech in 1963

A national day of mourning was later declared by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson following Dr King’s death.

From 1971 onwards Martin Luther King JR Day has been observed to remember him.

But it wasn’t until 2000 that all 50 states took part in the national holiday, the last three being Arizona, Utah and New Hampshire.

In 2016 the US Treasury Secretary announced that images from the iconic I Have A Dream speech would be among several to feature on the back of American bank notes from 2020.

The incendiary tapes are being held at the US National Archives in Washington DC and are due for release in 2027

Source: FBI tapes show Martin Luther King Jr had 40 affairs and ‘laughed’ as friend raped parishioner

‘Time for some statue removals?’ Twitter reacts to MLK sex life claims, rape comments | RT USA News

US civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. allegedly “looked on and laughed” as a Baptist minister friend raped a woman, according to FBI records accessed by an American historian.

Writing in a piece due to be published shortly in Britain’s Standpoint magazine, King biographer and historian David Garrow said he came across the accusation in FBI summaries of archived agency tapes still held under court seal, the Sunday Times writes.

Garrow also reportedly found sordid details from FBI recordings made when it bugged King’s room at a Washington hotel in 1964, including that he had affairs with dozens of women. One of the memos based on the tapes claims the civil rights leader joked to his friends that he “had started the ‘International Association for the Advancement of P***y-Eaters.’”

In an editorial explaining its decision to publish Garrow’s claims, Standpoint described King as “the Harvey Weinstein of the civil rights movement.”

Manchester Square column from June’s Standpoint – out this Thursday – on why we decided to publish David J Garrow’s #MeToo revelations about Martin Luther King, as reported in today’s Sunday Times pic.twitter.com/54Jl98i2x2

— Standpoint Magazine (@StandpointMag) May 26, 2019

Twitter users weren’t sure what to make of the outrageous claims, with some suggesting it might be time to take down memorials honoring King, with others suggesting it’s a poor attempt at character assassination.

A number of commenters wondered if his statues would be removed now like monuments to the Civil War South generals, especially as the accusations hit a nerve with the movement against sexual harassment.

Time for some statue removals?

FBI tapes show Martin Luther King Jr had 40 affairs and ‘laughed’ as friend raped parishioner | Daily Mail Online https://t.co/aeLcPX7OhL

— Nick DiPaolo (@NickDiPaolo) 26 мая 2019 г.

While some expressed shock over the revelations, others commented that the fact that King was no saint is well-known.

Martin Luther King Jr had 40 affairs and laughed as friend raped woman https://t.co/D1y3DJeusg via @MailOnline What seriously? Are there truly no HEROIC male role models, FBI didnt stop the rape?? Tony Robbins, MLK starting to make TRUMP look like a saint!

— Dr.Laraki@health.com (@DrLaraki) 26 мая 2019 г.

They always knew this. The public was lied to about who Martin Luther King was to make his agenda more palatable.

— Lochlan (@weldingbear2) 26 мая 2019 г.

While others were outraged over the smearing campaign.

Posthumous character assassination..

— Anders Barasa (@BarasaAnders) May 26, 2019

Source: ‘Time for some statue removals?’ Twitter reacts to MLK sex life claims, rape comments

Romans 1:19-20 Commentary Series

God’s Revelation

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. (1:19–20)

First of all God is justified in His wrath against sinners because of the revelation of Himself to all mankind. Romans 1:18–2:16 pertains especially to Gentiles, who did not have the benefit of God’s revealed Word as did Israel. Israel, of course, was doubly guilty, because she not only rejected God’s natural, universal revelation of Himself in creation and conscience but even rejected His unique written revelation through Scripture.

the gift of revelation

because that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them. (1:19)

Paul’s point here is that, even apart from His written revelation, that which is known about God is evident within even pagan Gentiles, for God made it evident to them. The Lord testifies through Paul that His outward, visible manifestation of Himself is universally known by man. It is evident within them as well as without them. All men have evidence of God, and what their physical senses can perceive of Him their inner senses can understand to some extent. The Philistines both saw and acknowledged God’s power, as did the Canaanites, the Egyptians, and every other people who have lived on earth. The rebels who built the tower of Babel both saw and acknowledged God’s greatness, as did the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. All men know something and understand something of the reality and the truth of God. They are responsible for a proper response to that revelation. Any wrong response is “inexcusable.”

Theologian Augustus Strong wrote, “The Scriptures … both assume and declare that the knowledge that God is, is universal (Rom. 1:19–21, 28, 32; 2:15). God has inlaid the evidence of [that] fundamental truth in the very nature of man, so that nowhere is He without a witness” (Systematic Theology [Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson, 1979 reprint], p. 68). Unregenerate man has “no help and [is] without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12), not because he has no knowledge of God but because he naturally rebels against the knowledge of God that he has. As Paul has already attested (Rom. 1:18), sinful mankind naturally suppresses God’s truth with his own unrighteousness.

No one can find God on his own initiative or by his own wisdom or searching. Yet God has never left man to his own initiative and understanding but has graciously provided abundant evidence of Himself. He has sovereignly and universally made Himself evident to men. No person, therefore, can plead ignorance of God, because, entirely apart from Scripture, God has always revealed Himself and continues to reveal Himself to man. God is perfectly just and therefore could not rightly condemn those who are totally ignorant of Him. As Paul unequivocally asserts here, no person can rightly claim ignorance of God, and therefore no person can rightly claim that God’s wrath against him is unjust. Every person is accountable for the revelation of God that may lead one to salvation.

Tertullian, the prominent early church Father, said that it was not the pen of Moses that initiated the knowledge of the Creator. The vast majority of mankind, though they had never heard the name of Moses—to say nothing of his book—know the God of Moses nonetheless (cf. An Answer to the Jews, chap. 2).

A disease left Helen Keller as a very young girl without sight, hearing, and speech. Through Anne Sullivan’s tireless and self-less efforts, Helen finally learned to communicate through touch and even learned to talk. When Miss Sullivan first tried to tell Helen about God, the girl’s response was that she already knew about Him—just didn’t know His name (Helen Keller, The Story of My Life [New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1905], pp. 368–74).

That which is known could be rendered “that which is knowable.” Obviously, finite man cannot know everything about God even with the perfect revelation of Scripture. Paul’s point is that that which is capable of being known about God apart from special revelation is indeed known by fallen mankind. The characteristics of God that are reflected in His creation give unmistakable testimony to Him.

While ministering in Lystra, Paul told his Gentile audience about the God “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” He went on to explain that “in the generations gone by [God] 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” (Acts 14:15–17). The very goodness of life testifies to the goodness of the God who provides it.

On his next journey Paul told the pagan philosophers on Mars Hill at Athens,

While I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist. (Acts 17:23–28)

In other words, God controls the nations, their boundaries, and their destinies. He controls time, the seasons, and every other aspect both of heaven and earth. Even more remarkable than that, Paul says, because God has graciously chosen to make Himself known and approachable, “He is not far from each one of us.”

John speaks of Jesus Christ as “the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” (John 1:9). He was not speaking about the saving knowledge of God, which comes only through faith, but of the intellectual knowledge of God, which comes to every human being through God’s self-manifestation in His creation. Every person has a witness of God, and therefore every person is accountable to follow the opportunity to respond to Him in faith.

the content of revelation

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)

Next Paul specifies the content of the revelation of Himself that God makes known to all mankind. Since the creation of the world, he declares, God has made His invisible attributes visible. The particular attributes that man can perceive in part through his natural senses are God’s eternal power and His divine nature. God’s eternal power refers to His never-failing omnipotence, which is reflected in the awesome creation which that power both brought into being and sustains. God’s divine nature of kindness and graciousness is reflected, as Paul told the Lystrans, in the “rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17).

The noted theologian Charles Hodge testified, “God therefore has never left himself without a witness. His existence and perfections have ever been so manifested that his rational creatures are bound to acknowledge and worship him as the true and only God” (Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983 reprint], p. 37).

God’s natural revelation of Himself is not obscure or selective, observable only by a few perceptive souls who are specially gifted. His revelation of Himself through creation can be clearly seen by everyone, being understood through what has been made.

Even in the most ancient of times, long before the telescope and microscope were invented, the greatness of God was evident both in the vastness and in the tiny intricacies of nature. Men could look at the stars and discover the fixed order of their orbits. They could observe a small seed reproduce itself into a giant tree, exactly like the one from which it came. They could see the marvelous cycles of the seasons, the rain, and the snow. They witnessed the marvel of human birth and the glory of the sunrise and sunset. Even without the special revelation David had, they could see that “the heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Ps. 19:1).

Some birds are able to navigate by the stars. Even if hatched and raised in a windowless building, if shown an artificial sky, they immediately are able to orient themselves to the proper place to which to migrate. The archerfish is able to fire drops of water with amazing force and accuracy, knocking insects out of the air. The bombardier beetle separately produces two different chemicals, which, when released and combined, explode in the face of an enemy. Yet the explosion never occurs prematurely and never harms the beetle itself. No wonder David declared that “power belongs to God” (Ps. 62:11) and that Asaph (Ps. 79:11) and Nahum (1:3) spoke of the greatness of His power.

Robert Jastrow, an astrophysicist and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has said:

Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world.… The essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. Consider the enormousness of the problem: Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks what cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter and energy into the Universe? And science cannot answer these questions.…

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been there for centuries. (God and the Astronomers [New York: Norton, 1978], pp. 14, 114, 116)

With giant telescopes such as the 200 inch-diameter instrument at Mount Palomar in California astronomers can observe objects 4 billion light years away, a distance of more than 25 septillion miles! (James Reid, God, the Atom, and the Universe [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1968).

At any given time, there are an average of 1,800 storms in operation in the world. The energy needed to generate those storms amounts to the incredible figure of 1,300,000,000 horsepower. By comparison, a large earth-moving machine has 420 horsepower and requires a hundred gallons of fuel a day to operate. Just one of those storms, producing a rain of four inches over an area of ten thousand square miles, would require energy equivalent to the burning of 640,000,000 tons of coal to evaporate enough water for such a rain. And to cool those vapors and collect them in clouds would take another 800,000,000 horsepower of refrigeration working night and day for a hundred days.

Agricultural studies have determined that the average farmer in Minnesota gets 407,510 gallons of rainwater per acre per year, free of charge, of course. The state of Missouri has some 70,000 square miles and averages 38 inches of rain a year. That amount of water is equal to a lake 250 miles long, 60 miles wide, and 22 feet deep.

The U. S. Natural Museum has determined that there are at least 10 million species of insects, including some 2,500 varieties of ants. There are about 5 billion birds in the United States, among which some species are able to fly 500 miles non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico. Mallard ducks can fly 60 miles an hour, eagles 100 miles an hour, and falcons can dive at speeds of 180 miles an hour.

The earth is 25,000 miles in circumference, weighs 6 septillion, 588 sextillion tons, and hangs unsupported in space. It spins at 1,000 miles per hour with absolute precision and careens through space around the sun at the speed of 1,000 miles per minute in an orbit 580 million miles long.

The head of a comet may be from 10,000 to 1,000,000 miles long, have a tail 100,000,000 miles long, and travel at a speed of 350 miles per second. If the sun’s radiated energy could be converted into horsepower, it would be the equivalent of 500 million, million, billion horsepower. Each second it consumes some 4 million tons of matter. To travel at the speed of light (ca. 186,281 miles per second) across the Milky Way, the galaxy in which our solar system is located, would take 125,000 years. And our galaxy is but one of millions.

The human heart is about the size of its owner’s fist. An adult heart weighs less than half a pound, yet can do enough work in twelve hours to lift 65 tons one inch off the ground. A water molecule is composed of only three atoms. But if all the molecules in one drop of water were the size of a grain of sand, they could make a road one foot thick and a half mile wide that would stretch from Los Angeles to New York. Amazingly, however, the atom itself is largely space, its actual matter taking up only one trillionth of its volume.

Except to a mind willfully closed to the obvious, it is inconceivable that such power, intricacy, and harmony could have developed by any means but that of a Master Designer who rules the universe. It would be infinitely more reasonable to think that the separate pieces of a watch could be shaken in a bag and eventually become a dependable timepiece than to think that the world could have evolved into its present state by blind chance.

Even a pagan should be able to discern with the psalmist that surely the One who made the ear and the eye is Himself able to hear and to see (see Ps. 94:9). If we can hear, then whoever made us surely must understand hearing and seeing. If we, His creatures, can think, then surely the mind of our Creator must be able to reason.

Men are judged and sent to hell not because they do not live up to the light evidenced in the universe but because ultimately that rejection leads them to reject Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit “will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment,” Jesus said; “concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me” (John 16:8–9). But if a person lives up to the light of the revelation he has, God will provide for his hearing the gospel by some means or another. In His sovereign, predetermined grace He reaches out to sinful mankind. “As I live!” declared the Lord through Ezekiel, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezek. 33:11). God does not desire “for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). He will give His elect the privilege of hearing the gospel and will bring them to Himself. “You will seek Me and find me,” the Lord promised through Jeremiah, “when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

Because the Ethiopian eunuch was sincerely seeking God, the Holy Spirit sent Philip to witness to him. Upon hearing the gospel, he believed and was baptized (Acts 8:26–39). Because Cornelius, a Gentile centurion in the Roman army, was “a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people, and prayed to God continually,” God sent Peter to him to explain the gospel. “While Peter was still speaking, … the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message,” and they were “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:2, 44, 48). Because Lydia was a true worshiper of God, when she heard the gospel, “the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul” (Acts. 16:14).[1]

Natural Revelation

Romans 1:18–20

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

No one likes to talk about the wrath of God, particularly if it is thought of in relation to ourselves. But if we have to think about it, as our study of Romans 1:18–20 obviously forces us to do, we find ourselves reacting generally in one of two ways. Either (1) we argue that wrath is somehow unworthy of God, a blotch on his character, and therefore a mistaken notion that should be abandoned at once by all right-thinking people; or (2) we reply by denying that we merit God’s wrath, that we do not deserve it.

The second reaction is the more serious of the two. So it is the one Paul tackles in the development of his argument for the need we all have of the Christian gospel.

Romans 1:18–20 contains three important concepts, which together explain why the wrath of God against men and women is justified. The first is wrath itself. It is being revealed from heaven against the ungodly, Paul says. The second is the suppression of the truth about God by human beings, a point picked up and developed more fully in verses 21–23. The third idea is God’s prior revelation of himself to those very people who suppress the truth about him. These concepts need to be studied in inverse order, however. For when they are considered in that order—revelation, suppression, and wrath—they teach that God has given a revelation of himself in nature sufficient to lead any right-thinking man or woman to seek him out and worship him, but that, instead of doing this, people suppress this revelation. They deny it so they do not have to follow where it leads them. It is because of this willful and immoral suppression of the truth about God by human beings that the wrath of God comes upon them.

Revelation of God in Nature

There has been so much debate about what theologians call “natural revelation” that it is important to begin a discussion of this subject with some important definitions and distinctions. First, a definition: natural revelation means what it sounds like, namely, the revelation of God in nature. It is sometimes called “general revelation,” because it is available to everybody. Natural revelation is distinguished from “special revelation,” which goes beyond it and is the kind of revelation we find in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the revelation of the Bible’s meaning to the minds of those who read it by the Holy Spirit.

When Paul talks about a knowledge of God made plain to human beings, as he does in this text, it is the general or natural revelation, not a specific scriptural revelation, that he has in mind.

The second concept that needs to be defined here is “knowledge of God.” This is necessary because we can use the words know or knowledge in different ways.

  1. Awareness. To begin on the lowest level, when we say that we know something we can be saying only that we are aware of its existence. In this sense we can say that we know where somebody lives or that we know certain things are happening somewhere in the world. This is true knowledge, but it is not extensive knowledge. It is knowledge that affects us very little. It does not involve us personally.
  2. Knowing about. Knowing about something goes a step further, because knowledge in this sense may be detailed, extensive, and important. This is the kind of knowledge a physicist would have of physics or a doctor of medical facts. To come more to the point, a theologian can have knowledge about God, a theology by which he might be called a very learned man—and still not be saved.
  3. Experience. The word know can also be used to refer to knowledge acquired by experience. To go back to the two previous categories, we could have this kind of knowledge of where a person lives if, for example, we had actually lived in his or her home ourselves. Again, a doctor could have knowledge like this if he were actually to experience the diseases he treats or undergo the operations he performs. Knowledge of a disease by having it is obviously quite different from merely having read of its causes and symptoms and how to treat the ailment.
  4. Personal. The last kind of knowledge is the highest and most important level. It is what we would call personal knowledge, the kind of knowing we can only have of God, of ourselves, or of another human being. When the Bible speaks of knowing God in a saving way, this is what it has in mind. It involves the knowledge of ourselves in our sin and of God in his holiness and grace. It involves the knowledge of what he has done for us in Christ for our salvation and an actual coming to know and love God through knowing Jesus Christ. It involves head knowledge, but it also involves heart knowledge. It expresses itself in piety, worship, and devotion. It is what Jesus was speaking of when he prayed, “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Some people grow impatient with definitions of this sort and wish that the teachers making them would just get on with explaining the Bible. But distinctions are necessary in this case, since they alone isolate the particular kind of knowledge of God available to men and women in nature for which God holds them accountable.

In the context of our text, this is not knowledge in the last of the four senses mentioned; if it were, all persons would be saved. Nor is it even (except in a very limited sense) knowledge about God or knowledge by experience. It is basically awareness. Nature reveals God is such a way that, even without the special revelation of God that we have in the Bible, all men and women are at least aware that God exists and that they should worship him. This awareness of God will not save them. But it is sufficient to condemn them if they fail to follow nature’s leading, as they could and should do, and seek out the true God so revealed.

Eternal Power and Divine Nature

The apostle is precise here as he explains what the natural revelation involves. It consists of two elements: first, “God’s eternal power” and, second, God’s “divine nature” (v. 20). The second means quite simply that there is a God. In other words, people have no excuse for being atheists. The first means that the God, whom they know to exist, is all-powerful. People know this by definition, since a god who is not all-powerful is not really God. We can express these two ideas philosophically by the term “Supreme Being.” “Being” (with a capital “B”) refers to God’s existence. “Supreme” denotes his ultimate power. What Paul is saying is that nature contains ample and entirely convincing evidence of the existence of a Supreme Being. God exists, and we know it. That is his argument. Therefore, when people subsequently refuse to acknowledge and worship God (as we do), the problem is not in God or in a lack of evidence for his existence but in our own irrational and resolute determination not to know him.

I need to add several more important things at this point, and the first concerns the extensiveness of this nevertheless incomplete revelation. I have pointed out that the revelation of God in nature is the limited disclosure of God’s existence and supreme power. There is no revelation of his mercy, holiness, grace, love, or the many other things necessary for us to learn if we are to know God savingly. Still, we are not to think of this limited revelation as minimal, as if somehow its limited quality alone can excuse us. According to the Bible, this natural revelation of God, though limited, is nevertheless extensive and overwhelming in its force.

In the Old Testament the great counterpart to Romans 1:18–20 is the first half of Psalm 19 (vv. 1–6). It speaks of the revelation of God in the heavens:

The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language

where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,

like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens

and makes its circuit to the other;

nothing is hidden from its heat.

In these verses it is the “glory” or majesty of God that is said to be revealed in nature. But the emphasis here is on the universal nature of the revelation rather than on its content. It is heard in every human “speech” and “language.” It is known in “all the earth” and “to the ends of the world.”

Another classic Old Testament passage about natural revelation is the interrogation of Job recorded in chapters 38 and 39 of that book. God is the interrogator, and his point is that Job is far too ignorant even to question God or presume to evaluate his ways. In the context of that negative argument—“See how little you know”—God unfolds an overwhelming list of evidences for his wisdom, power, and great glory, which Job (like all people everywhere) should know and before which he should marvel:

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?

On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone—

while the morning stars sang together

and all the angels shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors

when it burst forth from the womb,

when I made the clouds its garment

and wrapped it in thick darkness,

when I fixed limits for it

and set its doors and bars in place,

when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;

here is where your proud waves halt’?”

Job 38:4–11

God’s interrogation of Job goes on in that fashion for two chapters. Then, after Job responds by a confession of his own ignorance, God launches into the same type of questioning for one chapter more. These chapters stress that God is all-powerful and all-wise, and the evidence they present for these divine attributes is nature.

Kindness in Nature

There may be one other matter to be mentioned, though I must be careful not to claim too much for it here. When Paul and Barnabas came to Lystra in Lycaonia on their first missionary journey, the people wanted to worship them because they thought they were gods as a result of a miracle they did. Paul rebuked their error and began to teach them better, in one place speaking of God’s revelation of himself in nature in these words: “God … made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:15b–17).

If these words are to be taken at their face value—and why should we not take them that way?—they say that God has also revealed his kindness in nature. Theologians call this common grace. Instead of sending us all to hell at this instant, as he has every right to do, God takes care of us in a common, general way so that most of us have food to eat, clothes to wear, and places to live. True, the evidence for common grace is not unambiguous. There are bad things in this world, too: hurricanes, terrible diseases, and so on. But generally the world is a reasonably pleasant place. So it is not only God’s glory, power, and wisdom that we see in nature, according to the Bible. We see God’s goodness or kindness as well, and this attribute especially increases our guilt when we refuse to seek God so that we may thank and worship him.

Awareness Within

The second idea I need to add here is that God’s revelation of himself in nature does not stop with the external evidence for his existence, power, wisdom, and kindness—the attributes I have mentioned—but it has what can be called an internal or subjective element as well. That is, not only has God given evidence for his existence; he has also given us the capacity to comprehend or receive it—though we refuse to do so. The text says, “What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them,” and “God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (vv. 19–20, italics mine).

Charles Hodge writes of these verses, “It is not of a mere external revelation of which the apostle is speaking, but of that evidence of the being and perfections of God which every man has in the constitution of his own nature, and in virtue of which he is competent to apprehend the manifestation of God in his works.”

John Calvin says that we are “blind” to God’s revelation but “not so blind that we can plead ignorance without being convicted of perversity.”

Let me use an illustration. Suppose you are driving down the street and come to a sign that says, “Detour—Turn Left.” But you ignore this and drive on. It happens that there is a police officer present, who stops you and begins to write out a ticket. What excuse might you have? You might argue that you didn’t see the sign. But that would carry very little weight if the sign was well placed and in bright colors. Besides, it makes no difference. As long as you are driving the car, the responsibility for seeing the sign and obeying it is yours. What is more, you are accountable if, having ignored the sign, you recklessly race on and either harm yourself and your passengers or destroy property.

Paul’s teaching fits this illustration. He is saying, first, that there is a sign. It is God’s revelation of himself in nature. Second, you have “vision.” Although blind to much, you can nevertheless see the revelation. Therefore, if you choose to ignore it, as we all do apart from the grace of God, the disaster that follows is your own fault. Your feelings of guilt are well founded.

Let me try this again. Paul is not saying that there is enough evidence about God in nature so that the scientist, who carefully probes nature’s mysteries, can be aware of him. (Carl Sagan has done this as well as anybody, but he acknowledges no Supreme Being.) Paul is not saying that the sign is there but hidden, that we are only able to find it if we look carefully. He is saying that the sign is plain. It is a billboard. In fact, it is a world of billboards. No one, no matter how weak-minded or insignificant, can be excused for missing it.

There is enough evidence of God in a flower to lead a child as well as a scientist to worship him. There is sufficient evidence in a tree, a pebble, a grain of sand, a fingerprint, to make us glorify God and thank him. This is the way to true knowledge. But people will not do this. They reject the revelation, substitute nature itself or parts of nature for God, and thereby find their hearts increasingly darkened.

John Calvin gives this just conclusion: “But although we lack the natural ability to mount up unto the pure and clear knowledge of God, all excuse is cut off because the fault of dullness is within us. And, indeed, we are not allowed thus to pretend ignorance without our conscience itself always convicting us of both baseness and ingratitude.”

Suppressing the Truth

When Calvin speaks of baseness and ingratitude, he brings us to the second point of Paul’s argument in this section of Romans, the point that justifies and leads to God’s wrath. We have already been talking about this. It is human rejection of the revelation God has given.

Paul’s description of what people have done in regard to natural revelation is in the phrase “who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (v. 18). In Greek the word translated “suppress” is katechein, which means “take,” “hold,” “hold fast,” “hold back,” “keep,” “restrain,” or “repress.” In a positive sense the word can be used to mean holding to something that is good, as when Paul speaks of holding on to the word of life (cf. Phil. 2:16). In a negative sense it means wrongly to suppress something or hold it down. This is the way Paul is using it here. Thus, the newer translations of the Bible speak in Romans 1:18 of those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (nasb), “keep truth imprisoned in their wickedness” (Jerusalem Bible) or “stifle” truth (neb). Why do we do this? It is because of our wickedness, because we prefer sin to that to which the revelation of God would take us.

This leads to the matter we are going to study in the next chapter, what R. C. Sproul has called “the psychology of atheism.” It leads to an explanation of why natural revelation by itself does not work, in the sense of actually bringing us to God.

But before we turn to that topic, I need to say that if, as Paul maintains, the revelation of God in nature is fully adequate to condemn people who do not allow it to bring them to worship and serve this true God, how much more terrible and awful is the case of the vast numbers of people, particularly in our country, who have not only the natural revelation to lead them to God but also have the Bible and the proclamation of its truths in virtually every town and hamlet of our land and (by means of radio and television) at almost any hour. “Without excuse”? The people of Rome were without excuse, and they had nothing but nature. No Bible! No churches! No preachers! What about us who have everything? If we reject what God tells us, we are a thousand times more guilty.

No excuse! “How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3).

The Psychology of Atheism

Romans 1:18–20

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

In 1974 theologian R. C. Sproul produced a book from which I have drawn the title of this study: The Psychology of Atheism. Sproul’s book (later reissued as If There Is a God, Why Are There Atheists?) is an attempt to understand why people reject God either philosophically, becoming philosophical atheists, or practically, becoming practical atheists. (Practical atheists may say that they believe in God, but they “act as if” God does not exist.) Sproul’s answer is that atheism has nothing to do with man’s supposed ignorance of God—since all people know God, according to Romans 1—but rather with mankind’s dislike of him. People do not “know” God, because they do not want to know him.

Sproul writes:

The New Testament maintains that unbelief is generated not so much by intellectual causes as by moral and psychological ones. The problem is not that there is insufficient evidence to convince rational beings that there is a God, but that rational beings have a natural antipathy to the being of God. In a word, the nature of God (at least the Christian God) is repugnant to man and is not the focus of desire or wish projection. Man’s desire is not that Yahweh exists, but that he doesn’t.

The Sovereign God

But why are people so determined to reject God? Up to this point we have looked at three great ideas in our study of Romans 1:18–20: (1) the wrath of God, which is directed against all the godlessness and wickedness of men; (2) the suppression by human beings of the truth about God revealed in nature; and (3) the prior revelation of God’s eternal power and divine nature through what God has made. But we have seen that the historical sequence of these ideas is the reverse of the above listing. First, God has revealed himself. Second, people have rejected the truth thus revealed. Third, the wrath of God is released upon them because of this rejection.

Still, the question remains: Why do so-called rational beings react in what is clearly such an irrational manner? If the truth about God is as plainly understood as Romans 1:18–20 maintains it is, why should anyone suppress it? The answer, of course, is what I began to talk about in the previous chapter and am now to carry further in terms of Sproul’s thesis. Men and women reject God because they do not like him. They may like a god of their own imagining, a god like themselves, and therefore say that they like God. But the truth is that they do not like the God who really is.

Paul’s words for this universal dislike of God are “godlessness” and “wickedness” (v. 18). “Godlessness” means that people are opposed to God. They are not like God and do not like him. “Wickedness” refers to what people do because of this determined opposition. They reject the truth about God, thereby trying to force God away.

What is it that people do not like about God? The answer is, nearly everything. Let me show this by a look at some of the most important of God’s attributes.

The first thing men and women dislike about God is his sovereignty, his most basic attribute. For if God is not sovereign, God is not God. Sovereignty refers to rule; in the case of God, it refers to the Being who is ruler over all. Sovereignty is what David was speaking about in his great prayer recorded in 1 Chronicles 29:10–13.

Praise be to you, O Lord,

God of our father Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power

and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,

for everything in heaven and earth is yours.

Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom;

you are exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honor come from you;

you are the ruler of all things.

In your hands are strength and power

to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,

and praise your glorious name.

God shows his sovereignty over the material order by creating it and ruling it according to his own fixed laws. Sometimes he shows his sovereignty by miracles. God shows his sovereignty over the human will and therefore also over human actions by controlling them. Thus, he hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that Pharaoh refuses to let the people of Israel leave Egypt; and then God judges him. In a contrary way, God melts the hearts of some individuals and draws them to Jesus.

But why should the sovereignty of God be so objectionable to human beings? If we look at matters superficially, we might think that all people would quite naturally welcome God’s sovereignty. “After all,” we might argue, “what could be better than knowing that everything in the world is really under control in spite of appearances and that God is going to work all things out eventually?” But it is only when we look at externalities that we can think like that. When we peer below the surface we discover that we are all in rebellion against God because of our desire for autonomy.

This was Adam’s problem. It was the root sin. God had told Adam that he was to be as free as any creature in the universe could be. Adam was to rule the world for God. Moreover, he was free to go where he wished and do as he wished. He could eat whatever he wished, with one condition: As a symbol of the fact that he was not autonomous, that he was still God’s creature and owed his life, health, fortune, and ultimate allegiance to God, Adam was forbidden to eat of a tree that stood in the midst of the Garden of Eden. He could eat of all the trees north of that tree, all the trees east of that tree, all the trees south of that tree, all the trees west of that tree. But the fruit of that one tree was forbidden to him, upon penalty of death. “When you eat of it you will surely die,” was God’s warning.

Nothing could have been more irrational than for Adam to eat of that tree. God had never lied to him, so he could believe God. Moreover, Adam owed God utter and unquestioning obedience in this and every other matter. Besides, he had been warned that if he ate he would die. There was nothing to be gained from eating! There was everything to lose! Still, as Adam looked at the tree it was a great offense to him. The tree stood for a limitation on his personal desires. It represented something he was not allowed to do. So Adam said in effect, “That tree is an offense to my autonomy. I do not care if I can eat of all the trees north of here, east of here, south of here, and west of here. As long as I allow that tree to remain untouched, I feel less than human. I feel diminished. Therefore, I am going to eat of it and die, whatever that may mean.”

So Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and death, the punishment for sin, came upon the race.

That is the condition of every human heart. We hate God’s sovereignty because we want to be sovereign ourselves. We want to run our own lives. We want to roam free, to know no boundaries. When we discover that there are boundaries, we hate God for the discovery.

We react like the rulers of the nations in Psalm 2: “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off their fetters’ ” (vv. 2–3).

We say, “We will not have this God to rule over us.”

The Holy God

It is not only the sovereignty of God that is repugnant to us in our natural, sinful state, however. We oppose God for his holiness as well. One reason is obvious: We hate holiness because we are not holy. God’s holiness exposes our sin, and we do not like exposure. But there is more to it than that. Let me explain.

Holiness is one of the greatest of all God’s attributes, the only one that is properly repeated three times over in worship statements (“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty …” [Isa. 6:3; cf. Rev. 4:8]). We think of holiness as utter righteousness, that God does no wrong. But although holiness includes righteousness, holiness is much more than this and is not basically an ethical term at all. The basic idea of holiness is “separation.” For example, the Bible is called holy (the Holy Bible), not because it is without sin, though it is inerrant, but because it is set apart and different from all other books. Religious objects are holy because they have been set apart for worship. In reference to God, holiness is the attribute that sets him apart from his creation. It has at least four elements.

  1. Majesty. Majesty means “dignity,” “authority of sovereign power,” “stateliness” or “grandeur.” It is the characteristic of strong rulers and of God, who is ruler over all. Majesty links holiness to sovereignty.
  2. Will. A second element in holiness is will, the will of a sovereign personality. This makes holiness personal and active, rather than abstract and passive. Moreover, if we ask what the will of God is primarily set on, the answer is on proclaiming himself as the “Wholly Other,” whose glory must not be diminished by the disobedience or arrogance of men. This element of holiness comes close to what the Bible is speaking of when it refers to God’s proper “jealousy” for his own honor. “Will” means that God is not indifferent to how men and women regard him.
  3. Wrath. Wrath is part of holiness because it is the natural and proper stance of the holy God against all that opposes him. It means that God takes the business of being God so seriously that he will permit no other to usurp his place.
  4. Righteousness. This is the matter mentioned earlier. It is involved in holiness not because it is the term by which holiness may most fully be understood but because it is what the holy God wills in moral areas.

Here is our problem. Precisely because holiness is not an abstract or passive concept, but is instead the active, dynamic character of God at work to punish rebellion and establish righteousness, the experience of confronting the holy God is profoundly threatening. Holiness intrigues us, as the unknown always does. We are drawn to it. But at the same time we are in danger of being undone, and we fear being undone, by the resulting confrontation. When Isaiah had his encounter with the holy God in the passage referred to above, he reacted in terror, crying, “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (Isa. 6:5).

When God revealed himself to Habakkuk, the prophet described the experience by saying, “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled …” (Hab. 3:16).

Job said, “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).

Peter exclaimed when he caught only a brief glimpse of Jesus’ holiness, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8).

The point I am making is this: If confrontation with the holy God is an unpleasant and threatening experience for the best of people—for the saints and prophets of biblical history, for example—how much more threatening must the holiness of God be for outright and unregenerate sinners. For them the experience must be totally overwhelming. No wonder they resist God, make light of him, or deny his existence. A. W. Tozer has written, “The moral shock suffered by us through our mighty break with the high will of heaven has left us all with a permanent trauma affecting every part of our nature.” Tozer is right. Therefore, the holiness of God as well as God’s sovereignty drive us from him.

The Omniscient God

In his study of atheism, Sproul has a particularly good chapter on God’s “omniscience.” This term means that God knows everything, including ourselves and everything about us. We do not like this, as Sproul indicates. He proves his point by looking at four modern treatments of the fear of being known, even by other human beings.

The first is by Jean-Paul Sartre, the French existentialist. Sartre has analyzed the fear of being beneath the gaze of someone else in a number of places, but the best known is in his play No Exit. In this play four characters are confined in a room with nothing to do but talk to and stare at each other. It is a symbol of hell. In the last lines of the play this becomes quite clear as Garcin, one of the characters, stands at the mantelpiece, stroking a bronze bust. He says:

Yes, now’s the moment: I’m looking at this thing on the mantelpiece, and I understand that I’m in hell. I tell you, everything’s been thought out beforehand. They knew I’d stand at the fireplace stroking this thing of bronze, with all those eyes intent on me. Devouring me. (He swings around abruptly.) What? Only two of you? I thought there were more; many more. (Laughs.) So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture chambers, the fire and brimstone, the “burning marl.” Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is—other people!

The final stage directive says that the characters slump down onto their respective sofas, the laughter dies away, and they “gaze” at each other.

The second modern treatment of the fear of being known by others is from Julius Fast’s Body Language. This book is a study of nonverbal communication, how we express ourselves by various body positions, nods, winks, arm motions, and so forth. There is a discussion of staring, and the point is made that although it is allowable to stare at objects or animals, even for long periods of time, it is not acceptable to stare at human beings. If we do, we provoke embarrassment or hostility or both. Why? Because we associate staring with prying, and we do not want anybody prying into what we think or are.

The third modern study of the significance of the human fear of exposure is Desmond Morris’s The Naked Ape. The naked ape is, of course, the human being, the only animal who has no hair or other covering.

The fourth person whose works Sproul studies is the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. He wrote of a human need for hiddenness or solitude.

What emerges from these studies of modern attitudes toward exposure is a strange ambivalence. On the one hand, we want people to look at us, to notice us. If they ignore us, we feel diminished or hurt. At the same time, if they look too long or too intently, we are embarrassed and upset, because we are ashamed of who we are and do not want others to know us very well. If this is the case in our reaction to other human beings, who never really know us deeply even when they pry, and who are in any case sinners like ourselves, how much more traumatic is it to be known by the omniscient God, before whom all hearts are open, all desires known?

Exposure like this is intolerable. So human beings suppress their knowledge of God—because of his omniscience as well as because of his other attributes.

The Immutable God

At the very end of Sproul’s book there is a short “conclusion” in which the author tells how, after he had written the bulk of his study, he remembered a sermon by the great New England preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards, entitled “Men [Are] Naturally God’s Enemies.” Sproul wondered how Edwards handled the subject he had been dealing with. So he hunted up the sermon and found Edwards saying that human beings hate God as “an infinitely holy, pure and righteous Being.” They hate him because his omniscience is a “holy omniscience” and his omnipotence is a “holy omnipotence.”5 So far, Edwards seemed to be making the same points Sproul was making.

Then Edwards said, “They do not like his immutability.”

Immutability? thought Sproul. Why immutability?

Immutability means that God does not change. But why should human beings dislike that about God? Edwards explained that it is “because by this he never will be otherwise than he is, an infinitely holy God.” As he thought about this, Sproul began to understand what the great theologian was saying. Men and women hate God for his immutability because it means that he will never be other than he is in all his other attributes.

If the time could come when God might cease to be sovereign, like a retiring chairman of the board, then his sovereignty would not seem particularly bad to us. We are eternal creatures. We could wait him out. When he retires, we could take over.

Again, the holiness of God would not be so offensive to us if the time might come when God would cease to be holy. What God forbids now he might someday condone. Tomorrow or next week or next month he might begin to think differently and change his mind. We could wait to do our sinning.

Omniscience? The time might come when God’s memory would begin to fail and he would forget bad things he knows about us. We could live with that.

But not if God is immutable! If God is immutable, not only is God sovereign today; God will be sovereign tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. God will always be sovereign. In the same way, not only is God holy today. God will always be holy. And not only is God omniscient today. God will always be omniscient. God will never change in any of these great attributes. He is the sovereign, holy, omniscient, and immutable God. He always will be, and there is nothing you or I or anyone else can do about it.

We may suppress the truth about God out of a wicked rejection of his sovereignty, saying, “We will not have this God to rule over us.” But whether we appreciate his rule or not, God’s sovereignty is precisely what we need. We need a God who is able to rule over our unruly passions, control our destructive instincts, and save us. We may hate God for his holiness. But hate him or not, we need a holy God. We need an upright standard, and we need one who will not cease from working with us until we attain it. We may hate God for his omniscience. But we need a God who knows us thoroughly, from top to bottom, and who loves us anyway. We need a God who knows what we need. We may hate God for his immutability, since he does not change in any of his other attributes. But we need a God we can count on.

Without Excuse

Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

No human being is infinite. Infinitude belongs exclusively to God. Yet, in spite of our finite nature, human beings do seem to have an almost infinite capacity for some things. One of them is for making excuses for reprehensible behavior. Accuse a person of something, and regardless of how obvious the fault may be, the individual immediately begins to make self-serving declarations: “It wasn’t my fault,” “Nobody told me,” “My intentions were good,” “You shouldn’t be so critical.” The two least spoken sentences in the English language are probably “I was wrong” and “I am sorry.”

Some people try to brazen things out by denying the need to make excuses. Walt Whitman once wrote, “I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood.” The French have a saying that has a similar intent: “Qui s’excuse, s’accuse” (”He who excuses himself, accuses himself”). But that is an excuse itself, since it means that the person involved is too great to need to make apologies.

Our text says that in spite of our almost infinite capacity to make excuses, we are all “without excuse” for our failure to seek out, worship, and thank the living God.

“I Didn’t Know God Existed”

The first of our excuses is that we do not know that God exists or at least that we do not know for sure. Every era has had its characteristic excuses for failure to seek and worship God, but in our “scientific age,” this is certainly a very common rationalization. We remember that when the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin returned to earth from his short time in space, he said with typical atheistic arrogance, “I did not see God.” The fact that he could not see God was supposed to be proof of God’s nonexistence. Unfortunately, what Gagarin said is typical of many millions of people in our time, both in the communist East and the capitalistic West. It is the argument that science either has disproved God or else has been unable to give adequate evidence for affirming his existence.

It should be clear by this point, however, that if the Bible is from God, as Christians claim, then whatever we may think about the matter, God at least does not agree with our assessment.

We say, “There is no evidence for God.” Or, “There is insufficient evidence for God.”

God says that quite the contrary is the case. God says that nature supplies evidence that is not only extensive but is also “clearly seen” and fully “understood.” In other words, there is no excuse for atheism.

The alternative put forward today is that the universe is eternal because matter is eternal, and that all we see has come about over a long period of time as the result of chance or random occurrences. This is the view of Carl Sagan, who affirms the eternity of matter. “In the beginning was the cosmos,” cries Sagan. But think through the problems. Suppose everything we see did evolve over long periods of time from mere matter. Suppose our complex universe came from something less complex, and that less complex something from something still less complex. Suppose we push everything back until we come to “mere matter,” which is supposed to be eternal. Have we solved our problem? Not at all! We are trying to explain the complex forms of matter as we know them today, but where did those forms come from? Some would say that the form or purpose we see was somehow in matter to begin with. But, if that is the case, then the matter we are talking about is no longer “mere matter.” It already has purpose, organization, and form, and we need to ask how these very significant elements got there. At some point we must inevitably find ourselves looking for the Purposer, Organizer, or Former.

Moreover, it is not just form that confronts us. There are personalities in the cosmos. We are personalities. We are not mere matter, even complex matter. We have life, and we know ourselves to be entities possessing a sense of self-identity, feelings, and a will. Where could those things come from in an originally impersonal universe? Francis Schaeffer has written, “The assumption of an impersonal beginning can never adequately explain the personal beings we see around us, and when men try to explain man on the basis of an original impersonal, man soon disappears.”

Until recently, the most popular fallback from these truths has been the argument that whatever the difficulties may be for supposing an evolution of what we see from mere matter, such is nevertheless possible, given an infinite amount of time and chance occurrence. But there are two problems here.

First, what is chance? People talk as if chance were an entity that could bring about the universe. But chance is merely a mathematical abstraction with no real existence. Suppose you are about to flip a coin and were to ask, “What are the chances of its coming up heads?” The answer is fifty percent (ignoring the possibility that it may stick in the mud on its side). Suppose further that you do flip the coin and that it comes up heads. What made it come up heads? Did chance do it? Of course not. What made it come up heads was the force of your thumb on the coin, the weight of the coin, the resistance of the air, the distance from your hand to the ground, and other variables. If you knew and could plot every one of those variables, you would be able to tell exactly what would happen—whether the coin would land either heads or tails. You do not know the variables. So you say, “Chances are that it will come up heads fifty percent of the time.” But the point I am making is that chance didn’t do it. Chance is nothing. So to say that the universe was created by chance is to say that the universe was created by nothing, which is a meaningless statement.

What about there being an infinite amount of time? As I have pointed out, even with an infinite amount of time nothing with form or purpose comes into being apart from an original Former or Purposer. But supposing it could. Even this does not explain the universe, for the simple reason that the universe has not been around for an infinite amount of time. Science itself tells us that the universe is in the nature of fifteen to twenty billion years old. It speaks of an original beginning known popularly as the Big Bang. True, fifteen to twenty billion years is a long time, more time than we can adequately comprehend. But such time is not infinite! That is the point. And if it is not infinite, then an appeal to infinity does not explain the existence of our very complex universe.

“I didn’t know God existed”? Can anyone really affirm that in face of the evidence for the existence of God in nature? The Bible says we cannot, and even a secular analysis of the options supports the Bible’s statement. Ignorance is no excuse for failing to seek and worship God, because we are not ignorant.

“I Have Too Many Questions”

There are people who might follow what I have said to this point and even agree with most of it but who would nevertheless excuse themselves on the ground that they still have too many questions about Christianity. They recognize that the God we are talking about is not just “any god” but the God who has revealed himself in Scripture. And when they think about that they have a host of questions. They suppose that these are valid excuses for their rejection of the deity. For example:

  1. What about the poor innocent native in Africa who has never heard of Christ? Every preacher gets asked this question. In fact, it is probably the question most asked by Christians and non-Christians alike. But it is also true that Romans 1:18–20, the text we have been studying, answers it. The implication behind this question is that the “innocent” native is going to be sent to hell for failing to do something he has never had an opportunity to do, namely, believe on Jesus Christ as his Savior, and that a God who would be so unjust as to condemn the “innocent” native cannot be God. And that is true! God must be just, and God would be unjust if he condemned a person for failing to do what he or she obviously did not have the opportunity of doing.

But that is not the case in regard to the so-called innocent in Africa. To be sure, the native is innocent of failing to believe on Jesus if he or she has never heard of Jesus. But it is not for this that the native or anyone else who has not heard of Jesus is condemned. As Romans 1 tells us, the native is condemned for failing to do what he or she actually knows he or she should do, that is, seek out, worship, and give thanks to the God revealed in nature. Everyone falls short there. A person might argue that the native actually does seek God, offering in proof the widespread phenomenon of religion in the world. Man has rightly been called homo religiosus. But that is no excuse either, for the universality of religion, as Paul is going to show in the next verses, is actually evidence of man’s godlessness. Why? Because the religions that man creates are actually attempts to escape having to face the true God. We invent religion—not because we are seeking God, but because we are running away from him.

To repeat what we have seen in the last two studies: (1) all human beings know God as a result of God’s revelation of himself to us through nature, but (2) instead of allowing that revelation to lead us to God, we repress the revelation and instead set up false gods of our own imaginations to take the true God’s place. The reason, as we have also seen, is that (3) we do not like the God to which this natural revelation leads us.

  1. Isn’t the Bible full of contradictions? This is an excuse we also often hear, but it is as unsubstantial as the first one. We are told that as the data from science has come in, so many errors have been found in the Bible that no rational person could possibly believe that it is God’s true revelation. It follows that at best the Bible is a collection of insightful human writings, so no one can intelligently buy into Christianity on the basis of the biblical “revelation.”

The problem with this argument is its premise. It assumes that the accumulation of historical and scientific facts has uncovered an increasing number of textual and other problems, but actually the opposite is the case. As the data has come in over the decades, particularly over the last few decades, the tendency is for the Bible to be vindicated. Time magazine recognized this in a cover story in the December 30, 1974, issue. The story was captioned “How True Is the Bible?” In this essay the magazine’s editors examined the chief radical critics of the recent past—Albert Schweitzer, Rudolf Bultmann, Martin Dibelius, and others—but concluded:

The breadth, sophistication and diversity of all this biblical investigation are impressive, but it begs a question: Has it made the Bible more credible or less? Literalists who feel the ground move when a verse is challenged would have to say that credibility has suffered. Doubt has been sown, faith is in jeopardy. But believers who expect something else from the Bible may well conclude that its credibility has been enhanced. After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest scientific guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived—and is perhaps the better for the siege.

Even on the critics’ own terms—historical fact—the scriptures seem more acceptable now than they did when the rationalists began the attack.

It is hard to see how anyone can use the alleged “contradictions” in the Bible to justify a failure to seek out and worship the Bible’s God, especially after he or she has investigated the evidence thoroughly.

  1. If there is a God and the God who exists is a good God, why does he tolerate evil? The argument has two forms. One form is philosophical, asking how evil could have entered a world created and ruled by a benevolent God. The other is personal and practical, asking why things happen to me that I do not like or why God does not give me what I ask him for or do what I tell him in my prayers I want him to do.

The philosophical problem is difficult. If we ask how evil could originate in an originally perfect world, there is no one, so far as I know, who has ever answered that puzzle adequately. If God made all things good, including Adam and Eve, so that nothing within them naturally inclined toward evil in any way, then it is difficult (if not impossible) to see how Adam or Eve or any other perfect being could do evil. But I must point out that although Christians may not have an adequate explanation for the origin of evil (at least at this point in the history of theological thought), our difficulty here is at least only half as great as that of the unbeliever. For the unbeliever has the problem not only of explaining the origin of evil; he has the problem of explaining the origin of the good as well. In any case, our failure to understand how evil came about does not disprove its existence any more than it disproves the existence of God.

The second form of this problem is personal and practical. It is the form of the question that probably troubles most people: “Why does God tolerate evil, particularly in my life? Why do bad things happen to me? Why doesn’t God answer my prayers as I would like?”

Part of the answer to this problem is that if we got what we deserved, we would be suffering not merely the evils we now know but rather those eternal torments that are to be the lot of the unregenerate in hell. In other words, instead of saying, “Why do bad things happen to me?” we should be saying, “Why do good things happen to me?” All we deserve is evil. If our life has any good in it, that good (however minimal) should point us to the God from whom all good comes. That we do not follow that leading, but instead complain about God’s treatment, only increases our guilt. It shows us to be precisely what Paul declares we are in Romans 1:18: godless and wicked.

Let me illustrate how this works. After I had preached the sermon that is printed as chapter 16 of this volume (“The Psychology of Atheism”), I received an unsigned note in which someone objected to my comments about the natural man’s hatred of God’s sovereignty. He (or she) said, “Preach sermons to your congregation, not to the radio audience. Deal with the hard questions. The difficulty is not that I am not sovereign but that the sovereignty of God does not seem good. When the answers to my prayers seem to make no sense, what then am I to think of God? Deal with that one.”

The tone of this note was a bit insulting, as you can see. But the problem is not that it was insulting to me. The problem is that it was insulting to God. Moreover, it was itself a refutation of the point it was making. The questioner was saying that he or she had no difficulty with the concept of God’s sovereignty, only with what God does—if God exists. But, of course, what is that if not a challenge to God’s sovereignty? It is a way of saying, “God, I am not going to believe in you unless you come down from your lofty throne, stand here before little me and submit to my interrogation. I will not acknowledge you unless you explain yourself to me.” Could anything be more arrogant than that? To demand that God justify his ways to us? Or even to think that we could understand him if he did? Job was not challenging God’s sovereignty. He was only seeking understanding. But when God interrogated him, asking if he could explain how God created and sustains the universe, poor Job was reduced to near stammering. He said, “I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).

It is interesting that the same week in which I got this note, demanding that God explain himself on our level before we believe on him, I got another letter that was quite different. This person described a particularly horrible week that he had just gone through. But then he said, “Seeing the situation in the light of God’s sovereignty made it possible for me to ask forgiveness for my anger and open my eyes to what God wants me to see, namely, that my life will frequently be ‘disordered,’ but he will never let it get out of control.” Do you see the difference?

Is it right to have questions about why God acts as he does? Of course! Who has not had them? It is right to believe and then seek understanding. But to use an inability to understand some things as an excuse for failing to respond to what we do know is that deliberate repression of the truth about which Paul was speaking in our text.

“I Didn’t Think It Was Important”

The weakest excuse that anyone can muster is the statement that “I just didn’t think it was important.” That is obviously faulty—if God exists and we are all destined to meet him and give an account of our actions some day. Nothing can be as important as getting the most basic of our relationships right: the relationship of ourselves to God. And yet, for one reason or another—perhaps just because the press of life’s many demands seems more important—we push this greatest of all issues aside.

How do you think that is going to sound when you appear before God at the last day?

“I didn’t think it was important”?

“I didn’t think you were important”?

“I didn’t think my repression of the truth about you mattered”?

A little later on in Romans, Paul tells what is going to happen in that last day. Men and women are going to appear before God with their excuses, but when they do, says Paul, “Every mouth [will] be silenced and the whole world [will be] held accountable to God” (Rom. 3:20). Even in this day there are no valid excuses, as Paul declares in Romans 1:20. But in that day the excuses will not even be spoken, so obvious will it be that all human beings—from the smallest to the greatest—are guilty of godlessness.

Since today is not yet that final day, there is still time to turn from the arrogance that pits finite minds and sinful wills against God.

Do you remember Methuselah? He lived longer than any other man—969 years. His name means “When he is gone it shall come.” “It” was the great flood of God’s judgment. That flood destroyed the antediluvian world. But the reason I refer to Methuselah and his longevity is that he is a picture of God’s great patience with those who sin against him. During the early years of Methuselah’s life God sent a preacher named Enoch to turn the race from its sin. Enoch preached that judgment was coming: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14–15). After Enoch died, Noah continued the preaching. For the entire lifetime of Methuselah, all 969 years, the flood did not come. God was gracious, “patient … not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). But, though patient, God was not indifferent to sin, and at last Methuselah died, and wrath did indeed come.

We live in a similar age today. Today is the day of God’s grace. But wrath is gathering. We see it about us like the rising waters of the flood. Do not wait to be overtaken by it. Do not make excuses. Admit that you are “without excuse” in God’s sight and quickly take refuge in the Savior.[2]

18. For revealed, &c. He reasons now by stating things of a contrary nature, and proves that there is no righteousness except what is conferred, or comes through the gospel; for he shows that without this all men are condemned: by it alone there is salvation to be found. And he brings, as the first proof of condemnation, the fact,—that though the structure of the world, and the most beautiful arrangement of the elements, ought to have induced man to glorify God, yet no one discharged his proper duty: it hence appears that all were guilty of sacrilege, and of wicked and abominable ingratitude.

To some it seems that this is a main subject, and that Paul forms his discourse for the purpose of enforcing repentance; but I think that the discussion of the subject begins here, and that the principal point is stated in a former proposition; for Paul’s object was to teach us where salvation is to be found. He has already declared that we cannot obtain it except through the gospel: but as the flesh will not willingly humble itself so far as to assign the praise of salvation to the grace of God alone, Paul shows that the whole world is deserving of eternal death. It hence follows, that life is to be recovered in some other way, since we are all lost in ourselves. But the words, being well considered, will help us much to understand the meaning of the passage.

Some make a difference between impiety and unrighteousness, and think, that by the former word is meant the profanation of God’s worship, and by the latter, injustice towards men; but as the Apostle immediately refers this unrighteousness to the neglect of true religion, we shall explain both as referring to the same thing. And then, all the impiety of men is to be taken, by a figure in language, as meaning “the impiety of all men,” or, the impiety of which all men are guilty. But by these two words one thing is designated, and that is, ingratitude towards God; for we thereby offend in two ways: it is said to be ἀσέβεια, impiety, as it is a dishonouring of God; it is ἀδικία, unrighteousness, because man, by transferring to himself what belongs to God, unjustly deprives God of his glory. The word wrath, according to the usage of Scripture, speaking after the manner of men, means the vengeance of God; for God, in punishing, has, according to our notion, the appearance of one in wrath. It imports, therefore, no such emotion in God, but only has a reference to the perception and feeling of the sinner who is punished. Then he says that it is revealed from heaven; though the expression, from heaven, is taken by some in the sense of an adjective, as though he had said, “the wrath of the celestial God;” yet I think it more emphatical, when taken as having this import, “Wheresoever a man may look around him, he will find no salvation; for the wrath of God is poured out on the whole world, to the full extent of heaven.”

The truth of God means, the true knowledge of God; and to hold in that, is to suppress or to obscure it: hence they are charged as guilty of robbery.—What we render unjustly, is given literally by Paul, in unrighteousness, which means the same thing in Hebrew: but we have regard to perspicuity.

19. Inasmuch as what may be known of God, &c. He thus designates what it behoves us to know of God; and he means all that appertains to the setting forth of the glory of the Lord, or, which is the same thing, whatever ought to move and excite us to glorify God. And by this expression he intimates, that God in his greatness can by no means be fully comprehended by us, and that there are certain limits within which men ought to confine themselves, inasmuch as God accommodates to our small capacities what he testifies of himself. Insane then are all they who seek to know of themselves what God is: for the Spirit, the teacher of perfect wisdom, does not in vain invite our attention to what may be known, τὸ γνωστὸν; and by what means this is known, he immediately explains. And he said, in them rather than to them, for the sake of greater emphasis: for though the Apostle adopts everywhere Hebrew phrases, and ב, beth, is often redundant in that language, yet he seems here to have intended to indicate a manifestation, by which they might be so closely pressed, that they could not evade; for every one of us undoubtedly finds it to be engraven on his own heart. By saying, that God has made it manifest, he means, that man was created to be a spectator of this formed world, and that eyes were given him, that he might, by looking on so beautiful a picture, be led up to the Author himself.

20. Since his invisible things, &c. God is in himself invisible; but as his majesty shines forth in his works and in his creatures everywhere, men ought in these to acknowledge him, for they clearly set forth their Maker: and for this reason the Apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrews says, that this world is a mirror, or the representation of invisible things. He does not mention all the particulars which may be thought to belong to God; but he states, that we can arrive at the knowledge of his eternal power and divinity;3 for he who is the framer of all things, must necessarily be without beginning and from himself. When we arrive at this point, the divinity becomes known to us, which cannot exist except accompanied with all the attributes of a God, since they are all included under that idea.

So that they are inexcusable. It hence clearly appears what the consequence is of having this evidence—that men cannot allege any thing before God’s tribunal for the purpose of showing that they are not justly condemned. Yet let this difference be remembered, that the manifestation of God, by which he makes his glory known in his creation, is, with regard to the light itself, sufficiently clear; but that on account of our blindness, it is not found to be sufficient. We are not however so blind, that we can plead our ignorance as an excuse for our perverseness. We conceive that there is a Deity; and then we conclude, that whoever he may be, he ought to be worshipped: but our reason here fails, because it cannot ascertain who or what sort of being God is. Hence the Apostle in Heb. 11:3, ascribes to faith the light by which man can gain real knowledge from the work of creation, and not without reason; for we are prevented by our blindness, so that we reach not to the end in view; we yet see so far, that we cannot pretend any excuse. Both these things are strikingly set forth by Paul in Acts 14:17, when he says, that the Lord in past times left the nations in their ignorance, and yet that he left them not without witness (ἁμάρτυρον,) since he gave them rain and fertility from heaven. But this knowledge of God, which avails only to take away excuse, differs greatly from that which brings salvation, which Christ mentions in John 17:3, and in which we are to glory, as Jeremiah teaches us, ch. 9:24.[3]

19–20 The creation bears clear witness to its Maker, and the evidence is “plain to them.” Here Paul enters into a discussion of what is usually designated as natural revelation in distinction from the special revelation that comes through the Scriptures. Four characteristics are noted. First, it is a clear and perceivable testimony, as the word “plain” implies. Second, from the use of “understood” (v. 20), the revelation does not stop with perception but is expected to include reflection, the drawing of conclusions about the Creator. Third, it is a constant testimony, maintained “since the creation of the world” (cf. Ac 14:17). Fourth, it is a limited testimony in that it reflects God in certain aspects only, namely, “his eternal power and divine nature.” One has to look elsewhere for the full expression of his love and grace, i.e., to the special revelation of Scripture and especially to the revelation of God in his Son (Jn 1:14). Natural revelation is sufficient to make humanity responsible: “For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator” (Wis 13:5; cf. Ps 19:1–4; Isa 40:12–31). But such knowledge is not by itself sufficient to accomplish salvation. The element of power is common to the two spheres of nature (v. 20) and grace (v. 16). Acquaintance with it in the former area should have prepared people to expect it in the latter. But they have failed and are left “without excuse.”[4]

19  Verses 19–20 have two purposes. On the one hand, Paul justifies his assertion that people “suppress” the truth (v. 18b). On the other hand, he wants to show that people who sin and are correspondingly subject to God’s wrath are responsible for their situation. They are “without excuse” (v. 20b). He accomplishes both purposes by asserting that people have been given a knowledge of God: “for what can be known55 about God is manifest among them.” For Jews, as Paul will acknowledge later (2:18, 20), this knowledge of God comes above all through the law of Moses. Here, however, he is interested in the knowledge of God available to all people through the nature of the world itself. Therefore, what Paul says in the following verses, though not limited to Gentiles (since Jews, too, have knowledge of God through nature), has particular relevance to them.

The last clause of v. 19 explains “is manifest”: what can be known of God has been made visible because God has “made it known.” Only by an act of revelation from above—God “making it known”—can people understand God as he is.

20  The “for” introducing this verse shows that Paul continues the close chain of reasoning about the knowledge of God that he began in v. 19. He has asserted that what can be known of God is visible among people generally and that this is so only because God has acted to disclose himself. Now he explains how it is that God has made this disclosure. Two different connections among the main elements in the verse are possible: (1) “his invisible attributes … have been seen through the things he has made, being understood”; (2) “his invisible attributes … have been seen, being understood through the things he has made.”60 Probably the latter makes better sense because, on the former rendering, the word “being understood” is somewhat redundant. The subject of this complex clause, “his invisible attributes,”62 is further defined in the appositional addition, “his eternal power and his deity.” What is denoted is that God is powerful and that he possesses those properties normally associated with deity. These properties of God that cannot be “seen” (aorata) are “seen” (kathoratai)—an example of the literary device called oxymoron, in which a rhetorical effect is achieved by asserting something that is apparently contradictory. God in his essence is hidden from human sight, yet much of him and much about him can be seen through the things he has made. Paul is thinking primarily of the world as the product of God’s creation (see, e.g., Ps. 8), though the acts of God in history may also be included.

But just what does Paul mean when he claims that human beings “see” and “understand” from creation and history that a powerful God exists? Some think that Paul is asserting only that people have around them the evidence of God’s existence and basic qualities; whether people actually perceive it or become personally conscious of it is not clear. But Paul’s wording suggests more than this. He asserts that people actually come to “understand” something about God’s existence and nature. How universal is this perception? The flow of Paul’s argument makes any limitation impossible. Those who perceive the attributes of God in creation must be the same as those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness and are therefore liable to the wrath of God. Paul makes clear that this includes all people (see 3:9, 19–20).

The last clause of v. 20, “so that they are without excuse,” states a key element in our interpretation of vv. 19–20. For Paul here makes clear that “natural revelation,” in and of itself, leads to a negative result. That Paul teaches the reality of a revelation of God in nature to all people, this text makes clear. But it is equally obvious that this revelation is universally rejected, as people turn from knowledge of God to gods of their own making (cf. vv. 22ff.). Why this is so, Paul will explain elsewhere (cf. Rom. 5:12–21). But it is vital if we are to understand Paul’s gospel and his urgency in preaching it to realize that natural revelation leads not to salvation but to the demonstration that God’s condemnation is just: people are “without excuse.” That verdict stands over the people we meet every day just as much as over the people Paul rubbed shoulders with in the first century, and our urgency in communicating the gospel should be as great as Paul’s.[5]

19 Verses 19–20 have two purposes. On the one hand, Paul justifies his assertion that people “suppress” the truth (v. 18b). On the other hand, he wants to show that people who sin and are correspondingly subject to God’s wrath are responsible for their situation. They are “without excuse” (v. 20b). He accomplishes both purposes by asserting that people have been given a knowledge of God: “for what can be known55 about God is manifest among them.” For Jews, as Paul will acknowledge later (2:18, 20), this knowledge of God comes above all through the law of Moses. Here, however, he is interested in the knowledge of God available to all people through the nature of the world itself. Therefore, what Paul says in the following verses, though not limited to Gentiles (since Jews, too, have knowledge of God through nature), has particular relevance to them.

The last clause of v. 19 explains “is manifest”: what can be known of God has been made visible because God has “made it known.” Only by an act of revelation from above—God “making it known”—can people understand God as he is.

20 The “for” (Gk. gar) introducing this verse shows that Paul continues the close chain of reasoning about the knowledge of God that he began in v. 19. He has asserted that what can be known of God is visible among people generally and that this is so only because God has acted to disclose himself. Now he explains how it is that God has made this disclosure. Two different connections among the main elements in the verse are possible: (1) “his invisible attributes … have been seen through the things he has made, being understood”; (2) “his invisible attributes … have been clearly seen … being understood through what he has made” (CSB and most versions). Probably the latter makes better sense because, on the former rendering, the word “being understood” is somewhat redundant.60 The subject of this complex clause, “his invisible attributes,” is further defined in the appositional addition, “his eternal power and his deity”: God is powerful and he possesses those properties normally associated with deity.62 These properties of God that cannot be “seen” (aorata) are “seen” (kathoratai)an example of the literary device called oxymoron, in which a rhetorical effect is achieved by asserting something that is apparently contradictory. God in his essence is hidden from human sight, yet much of him and much about him can be seen through the things he has made. Paul is thinking primarily of the world as the product of God’s creation (see, e.g., Ps. 19:1–6), though the acts of God in history may also be included.

But just what does Paul mean when he claims that human beings “see” and “understand” from creation and history that a powerful God exists? Some think that Paul is asserting only that people have around them the evidence of God’s existence and basic qualities; whether people actually perceive it or become personally conscious of it is not clear. But Paul’s wording suggests more than this. He asserts that people actually come to understand something about God’s existence and nature. How universal is this perception? The flow of Paul’s argument makes any limitation impossible. Those who perceive the attributes of God in creation must be the same as those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness and are therefore liable to the wrath of God. Paul makes clear that this includes all people (see 3:9, 19–20).

The last clause of v. 20, “so that they are without excuse,” states a key element in our interpretation of vv. 19–20. For Paul here makes clear that natural revelation, in and of itself, leads to a negative result. This text asserts that God has revealed something of himself to all people in the world he has made. But it is equally obvious that this revelation is universally rejected, as people turn from knowledge of God to gods of their own making (vv. 21–23, 25). Why this is so, Paul will explain elsewhere (Rom. 5:12–21). But it is vital if we are to understand Paul’s gospel and his urgency in preaching it to realize that natural revelation leads not to salvation but to the demonstration that God’s condemnation is just: people are “without excuse.” That verdict stands over the people we meet every day just as much as over the people Paul rubbed shoulders with in the first century, and our urgency in communicating the gospel should be as great as Paul’s.[6]

1:19–21 / Verses 19–21 are critical for the argument because they assert that the problem of human guilt is not God’s hiddenness and therefore humanity’s ignorance, but rather God’s self-disclosure and humanity’s rejection of it. The Greek conjunction dioti (niv, since) at the beginning of verse 19 carries a causal force. Thus, men are without excuse. Twice (vv. 19, 21) Paul says that God can be known. Several commentators translate the Greek word gnōston (niv, known) as “knowable,” thus suggesting that even if humanity did not know God, it could have known God. “Knowable,” of course, also lessens humanity’s guilt. Paul, however, indicates that humanity did know at least something of God (see v. 21: they knew God), and his argument depends on its having known him. Moreover, in the Greek nt, gnōston normally means “known” as opposed to “knowable”; its root, in fact, means not knowledge about something, but knowledge of it by experience. Paul is therefore saying that all persons have experienced God … and could have experienced more. Creation bears God’s fingerprints, and through it humanity has experienced something of God’s wisdom, power, and generosity. The idea here echoes Paul’s Areopagus speech (Acts 17:27–28) that God is not far from his creatures.

A word may be in order at this point about natural theology. Is Paul saying that it was possible for humanity to know God apart from revelation in Jesus Christ? Again in 2:14 he seems to hint of a natural morality among the Gentiles who had never been taught the Mosaic law. These passages have been the subject of confusion, due in part to lack of definition of terms. As it was developed during the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, “natural religion” meant the ability of unaided human reason to perceive and know God. But Paul is not exactly speaking of unaided human reason. His starting point is not humanity (as epitomized by natural theology), but God who makes himself known through creation. His topic is thus revelation, although revelation through nature and morality rather than through Jesus Christ, or revelation via creation as opposed to revelation via salvation history. Ultimately Paul is less interested in how the world knows God than that it has experienced God and is hence without excuse.

The guilt of humanity, then, is due not to want of truth, but to the suppression of the truth (v. 18). If guilt were due to ignorance it would be an intellectual problem, but in reality it is a problem of the will, which is sin. The fundamental problem of humanity was not, as the Greeks thought, a problem of reason, but a problem of the will (v. 27). The proper response would have been to glorify God and give thanks to him. But when humanity rejected what God had declared of himself in creation it became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened (see also Eph. 4:17–18). Having denied God they denied themselves and nature. This became the first step in substituting a counterfeit for God, which is idolatry.

Loss of touch with reality leads to confusion, from which terrible ironies arise. The mystery of revelation consisted in a paradox: God’s invisible qualities … have been clearly seen. This sounds like an oxymoron, for how can something invisible be seen? Nevertheless, God has continued to make known his invisible attributes, both his power and deity, through the created order, and no one can claim ignorance of them. A conception of humanity groping to a higher understanding of God seems foreign to Paul. Knowledge of God begins with God: God has made it plain to them.

Again in verse 21 Paul employs the causal dioti (niv, for although) to summarize verses 19–20. Humanity’s knowledge and experience of God did not lead people, as it should have, to glorify God or give thanks to him, but to “futility,” “foolishness,” and “darkness” (v. 21). Paul broaches the idea that he will develop below, namely, that humanity substitutes a false god for the true God. According to the prophets this was the reason for the fall of both the Northern (2 Kings 17:15) and Southern (Jer. 2:5) Kingdoms. In an earlier epistle Paul spoke of the Gentiles as “slaves to those who by nature are not gods” (Gal. 4:8). Luther rightly spoke of the problem of imaginary gods. “How many there are even today who worship him not as if he were God but as if he were as they themselves imagine him for themselves!” (Lectures on Romans, p. 25). In a withering criticism of religious aspirations Feuerbach asserted that “god” is simply a projection of the human imagination. This is supremely illustrated by Milton’s Satan, who, seeing the Son of God at the Father’s right hand, suffered a “sense of injur’d merit,” and “thought himself impaired” (PL 1.98; 5.662). Plotting to usurp the Son’s position, Satan commits the folly of a creature revolting against its creator and becomes, in the words of C.S. Lewis, himself more a “Lie than a Liar, a personified self-contradiction” (Preface, ch. 13).[7]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 1, pp. 76–82). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: Justification by Faith (Vol. 1, pp. 137–160). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[3] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (pp. 67–71). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 48). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Moo, D. J. (1996). The Epistle to the Romans (pp. 103–106). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[6] Moo, D. J. (2018). The Letter to the Romans. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (Second Edition, pp. 114–117). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[7] Edwards, J. R. (2011). Romans (pp. 50–52). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Romans 1:19-20 Sermon Series

Reasons for the Wrath of God, Part 1

Wicked World, Angry God—June 14, 1981

Romans 1:19–20

Turn with me in your Bible to the 1st chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Tonight we’re going to examine, verses 19–23. Now this is such a tremendous section of Scripture with so much import and impact that we want to think carefully and closely along with the Spirit of God as He writes through the Apostle Paul. I really believe that this passage answers many, many questions that are constant questions asked by folks about the meaning of the Gospel and the nature of God and the destiny of man.

Let me read to you verses 19–23 and you follow along as I read. We ought to begin I guess at verse 18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown 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; Because, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”

Some years ago the head of the department of evangelism for one of the largest denominations in America said this, “We don’t need to evangelize the people of the world, who have never heardthe message of salvation. We only need to announce to them that they’re already saved.” End quote. Today we are living in a day in Christianity when there is a rising trend in what is called universalism. That is the belief that ultimately everybody’s going to be saved, that God is too kind andtoo gracious and too good to cast people into an eternal hell, so ultimately everybody is going to wind up in heaven. We shouldn’t be concerned about judgment, we shouldn’t be concerned about hell, God is too good to send people there, forever. And the upshot of it is that we don’t have to worry about evangelism either. We don’t have to get too upset about spreading the Gospel around to the ends of the earth; after all they can’t be responsible for what they don’t know. So just leave them alone and they’ll make it.

Now this is not the view of the Apostle Paul. This is not the view of our Lord. Our Lord said, “The harvest is great, and the laborers are few. Pray, the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” And the harvest of which our Lord spoke was a judgment harvest. He saw humanity as this mass of people about to be cut and judged, and the need for laborers to enter that harvest to warn them was on His mind. The Lord spoke more about hell than anybody else in all of the Bible. In fact He spoke more about hell than everybody else put together in the New Testament. The men of God who have lived through the history of the church are men who have understood that God is a God of judgment, that the wrath of God is indeed revealed against ungodliness. John Knox, on his knees for lost souls in the little country of Scotland pleaded with God and said, “Give me Scotland or I die.” Hudson Taylor as a young man looked across the thousands of miles to the unreached multitudes of China and cried out to God, “I feel that I cannot go on living unless I do something for the lost in China.” Henry Martyn after landing in India said, “Here I am in the midst of heathen, midnight and savage oppression, now my dear Lord let me burn out for Thee.”

Adoniram Judson the great missionary to Burma spent long exhausting years in translating the Bible, in the midst of it he was dragged away to prison and while he was in prison his dear wife died. And after his relief he was stricken with disease and breathed out this prayer, “Lord, let me finish my work, spare me long enough to put the saving Word into the hands of this people.” So concerned was James Chalmers for those without the Savior that it is said of him, quote, “In Christ’s service he endured hardness, hunger, shipwreck, exhausting toil and did it all joyfully. He risked his life a thousand times and was finally clubbed to death, beheaded and eaten by men whose friend he was and whom he sought to enlighten.” Robert Arthington couldn’t go overseas to reach the lost, but through sacrifice he enabled others to go. He lived in a single room and cooked his own meager meals and gave five hundred thousand of his dollars to foreign missions. And he wrote, “Gladly would I make the floor my bed, a box my chair and another box my table rather than that men should perish for want of the knowledge of Christ.” You see they understood what it means to die without God and Christ. They understood that men were inevitably headed to judgment; they understood that men were under the wrath of God. And unless you understand that you do not understand the greatest impetus that you have for concern and compassion.

And so the Gospel begins at verse 18, that’s where the main body of Romans starts and it begins with the wrath of God, revealed on all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. And as Paul says in Ephesians 2:3, “Men are children of wrath.” And in other words they are born unto wrath, wrath is their nature if you will, wrath is their inevitable end, wrath is their destiny. They are heirs of wrath, they are inheritors of wrath. God’s smile has turned to a frown. And as the Psalmist said, “Who knows the power of God’s wrath?” Thomas Watson, that great Puritan wrote, “As the love of God makes every bitter thing sweet so the curse of God makes every sweet thing bitter.” Now Paul says man then is under wrath, severe wrath.

Now the question that comes up in this passage is this, does man deserve this? After all we couldn’t help being born. Why should we be born having nothing to say about it and then spend forever in hell? We didn’t ask to be born, we didn’t ask to be born to sinful parents, we didn’t ask to be born into a sinful world, we didn’t ask to be placed in a predicament of judgment. How can we be held responsible? And that is precisely the question that Paul answers in this text. The wrath of God is revealed on all men, because of their ungodliness and unrighteousness. That’s verse 18. And verses 19–23 tell us why, why God is justified in being angry over the sin of man.

Now some men through the history of the world have recognized God’s right to be angry. That is right. Some who are even pagan have understood that God had a right to be angry with them. Let me give you an illustration, turn in your Bible to First Samuel 4, First Samuel 4. Now at this particular time in the history of Israel, Israel is paying no attention to God, none whatsoever. Oh there’s a little bit of religious tokenism but there’s no genuineness. But all of a sudden Israel is confronted with their perennial enemy the Philistines, and they are worried. And so somebody says, look, we don’t want to fight the Philistines on our own, somebody go get God. That’s pretty good thinking actually. And at that point in their history God is symbolized in the Ark of the Covenant, which is up in Shiloh. And God as it were in His presence dwelt on the Ark of the Covenant between the wings and the cherubim. And so when they wanted to be assured of the presence of God they had to have the Ark of the Covenant, so they said, go get God. And so they got very religious, they ran up and got God, the little box.

Now to the pagans this was just an idol, just the Israelite idol. And so they came down and they’ve got God, they’ve got the little box. Verse 5 of First Samuel 4, “And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.” God is here! Talk about the arrival of the cavalry, in the battle with the Indians wouldn’t be anything compared to this. God is here. The day is won. And of course the shouting was deafening, in verse 6, “When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, what meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp.” The God of Israel has arrived, they’ve gotten their God, “And the Philistines were afraid; and they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! For there had not been such a thing heretofore. Woe unto us! Who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods?” That little box is a powerful thing. Why’d they say that? Because they remembered a little bit about Egyptian history, and they remembered about the entire Egyptian army being drown, and they remembered prior to that all the plagues. And then one of them stood up and gave the old pep talk speech in verse 9, “Be strong, and acquit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that you be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you; acquit yourselves like men, and fight.” Now let’s get our act together and get out there and winthis battle. And you know what happened? The Israelites were in a—in a euphoria, they thought the day was won. Verse 10 says, “The Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten.”

Now wait a minute, that’s not the way the script was supposed to read. The Israelites were supposed to win, they have God. But God is not a utilitarian genie, you don’t just rub your little lamp and say, now God go do Your thing, I’m in trouble, haven’t paid any attention to You for a long time but I need You now. God doesn’t operate like that. Thirty thousand footmen of Israel were killed. The ark of God was stolen and the two sons of Eli, Phin … Hophni and Phinehas were killed. Devastation, the sons of the high priest are dead, thirty thousand footmen die, and they take the ark.

Now if you think that’s a problem for the Jews you haven’t begun to imagine what kind of problem it is for the people who have God on their hands. Now the Philistines have God. Now if you want to knowwhat happened come over to 5:1. Eli the high priest who was big and fat and old was so upset about his sons dying he fell off his little stool and broke his neck and died. So now the high priest is dead. So devastation has occurred in Israel. And now the Philistines have got the ark of God on their hands, and they’re running around with the presence of God. And so they decided this is the Israelite God, we’ll put Him with our god, and so they took Him in verse 2 it says, “And put him in the house of Dagon.” Dagon was a Philistine god that was half fish and half man, the fish god. And so they just took the ark and put it in with Dagon. It was in the town of Ashdod, they rose up early in the morning, went back and Dagon was fallen on his face bowing toward the ark of the Lord. And they were pretty puzzled by that they must have thought there was some localized earthquake or something that knocked him over and so they set him up again. The next day they came back, verse 4, this time he was fallen on his face again only this time his head and both the palms of his hands were cut off, and only his stump was left. And God was saying, I don’t tolerate any competition. Well now they knew they were in trouble. To run through the text, all of a sudden the hand of the Lord was heavy on them, verse 6, and He destroyed them, and smote them with internal tumors.

There are all kinds of translations of this verse; some of your Bibles might say hemorrhoids, that’s probably the worst translation. Some Bibles say emerod and it sounds like a perfume. Tumors and tumors internally, in the inner part or secret part as the end of verse 9 says. All of a sudden the people got tumors. And then the text says the ones that didn’t get tumors were attacked by mice carrying a deadly plague, and thousands upon thousands of the people died and the ones that didn’t die from the plague of the mice received the tumors. So the people in Ashdod said, let’s get rid of this thing. And they said, what are we going to do with it? They said; well let’s take it to Gath. Which wasn’t a big favor for the people in Gath, that’s the next town along the line in the Philistine area, and there was a famous man from Gath you might remember, his name was Goliath. They took it to Gath and the Gathites had the same problem. And then they said, take it to Ekron and the Ekronites cried out and said, don’t bring that thing here. And they were passing it all over the place, and everybody was in the same boat, they were all either dying from the plague or getting the tumors. Now this is judgment.

Now what is the pagan response going to be? Are they going to say, what kind of a God are You? Well this isn’t fair. No. No, in, in chapter 6 they got all of their diviners and priests together and they said, what are we going to do? In verse 3 they said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty;” now listen to this, “but by all means return him a (what?) trespass offering.” Ask you a simple question, to what does a trespass offering admit? Sin. These uneducated, unschooled pagans knew that they somehow in some way were getting exactly what they deserved for they had violated this God. Even they recognized that God had a right to judge them, and so they sent back what they understood to be a trespass offering. So even pagans understood that God had a right to judge them. They said we acknowledge the sin, we have dishonored You and we deserve exactly what we receive.

When Achan stole the goods out of Jericho and buried them in his tent, Joshua confronted him and said, you better confess your sin and he did, he confessed his sin and then and only then did God smite him and take his life and all his family who were implicated in the crime. But before judgment fell there was a confession that it was deserved.

Now listen to me, God never judges unless judgment is deserved. He’s a God of absolute justice. And if God judges and God pours out wrath then there is every confidence in my heart to know that that is exactly what is right and proper in that situation.

Now let’s go back to Romans 1. How can a man be held responsible for his sin? How could those pagans be held responsible? How could those Philistines be responsible? I mean they didn’t have the Old Testament law. How could God possibly slaughter them with plagues and inflict them with tumors, and how could God drown the entire Egyptian army, and how could God slay all of the firstborn of the land of Egypt? And how could God wipe out whole cities of the Canaanites, and how could God bury Sodom and Gomorrah? I mean how can God judge people, I mean what if no one ever told them about the truth, how can He hold them responsible? How can so much wrath be deserved? The answer comes beginning in verse 19, and there are four reasons for the wrath of God, four reasons and they have a fifth result and we’ll talk about that in the next section. But there are four reasons, I call them revelation, rejection, rationalization and religion. Let’s begin with revelation, verse 19 and 20. The reason God can reveal His wrath against them is “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them.” How? “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 (what?) excuse.” Now here’s first point, the first reason for the wrath of God is revelation. Men were given the truth of God. Men were given the truth of God. The Philistines, they knew the truth of God. The Canaanites, they knew the truth of God. The Egyptians, they knew the truth of God. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plains, they knew the truth of God. All men know the truth of God.

The great theologian Augustus Strong wrote, “God has inlayed the evidence of the fundamental truth in the very nature of man so that no where is he without a witness.” Now there is a verse in Ephesians 2:12 that says that unregenerate man is without God in the world, but the signification of that phrase is that he is forsaken by God, not that he is ignorant of God. He is without God not because he doesn’t know of God but because he will not receive God and therefore God forsakes him.

Now this section refers primarily to the Gentiles, because it assumes only what we call natural revelation, it’s not talking about the Scripture, which was applicable to Israel and Israel of course not only rejected natural revelation but special revelation. Not only did Israel reject creation as the evidence of God but they even rejected the Scriptures. But here we see primarily the Gentile world, and what he says is that they could know God because God has manifested Himself unto them. But back in verse 18 as we saw last time they have suppressed the truth. The word hold meaning suppress. So man cannot plead ignorance. Entirely apart from special revelation through the Scripture which so many have never heard admittedly God has made Himself known and continues to do so by means of His creation. Men on their own initiative I grant you could not know God but verse 19 says, “God has shown himself unto them.” God would never send someone to hell who didn’t have an opportunity to know Him. God is a God of justice; God is a God of equity.

Tertullian the great early church father has much to say about this conviction that God can be revealed in creation. He says, “It was not the pen of Moses that initiated the knowledge of the Creator. The vast majority of mankind though they had never heard the nameof Moses, to say nothing of his Book know the God of Moses nonetheless. And nature (he said) is the teacher, and the soul is the pupil. One flower of a hedge by itself, I think and I do not say a flower of the meadow, one shell of any sea you like and I do not say a pearl from the Red Sea, one feather of a murre fowl to say nothing of a peacock, will they speak to you of a Creator? If I offer you a rose will you scorn its Maker?” In other words creation manifests God. And even for those who appear unable to perceive that creation there is the manifestation of God, within them.

The great story of Helen Keller, the deaf, mute and blind woman. Absolutely no capacity to communicate, until Anne Sullivan spent hours upon hours, days upon days and months upon months to unlock communication, and when Anne attempted to tell Helen Keller about God her response was, “I already know about Him, I just didn’t know His name.”

Let’s look at the verse again, verse 19, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them.” Now that which may be known of God is basically gnosos and it means what is knowable about God. Obviously we can’t know everything about God even through special revelation, but what is knowable is revealed. What may be known of God, what is knowable, what is apprehendable to the senses of man can be known,—mark this, apart from Scripture. That’s what it’s saying.

And verse 20 tells us the content of what may be known. It says, “His eternal power and Godhead.” And it says, “It is revealed,” look at verse 19, “in them; and God has shown it unto them.” In them, in their midst, in them, in their minds. By the way any revelation has to ultimately reach the mind or we don’t comprehend it, right? So God has revealed Himself to us.

The commentator Hodge has written, “God therefore has never left Himself without a witness, His existence and perfections have ever been so manifested that His rational creatures are bound to acknowledge and worship Him as the true and only God.” End quote.

So what is knowable about God, now mark it, His divine power and divine nature has been revealed to all men so they’re without excuse. And not only … now watch this, not only is it revealed unto them as an external reality but in them as an apprehended perception. They see it and they know it to be Him.

Turn with me to Acts for a moment, the 14th chapter. Acts 14:16, and here Paul is speaking and talking about God and how God reveals Himself, and in verse 15 he talks about “the living God, who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them;” And then he says, “Who in time past allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless, he left not himself without witness, (how?) in that he did good,” did He make a good earth? Yes. He “gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons,” and He “filled our hearts with food and with gladness.” In other words the very goodness of life speaks of the goodness of God, the food and the rain and the seasons, and the joy of ‘living all speak of a beneficent, loving, gracious Creator.

Now go to the 17th chapter of Acts, and Paul preaching to the philosophers on Mars’ Hill in Athens, verse 23, says you have here an unknown God, which by the way was reflective of their understanding of the true God though they didn’t know His name. You ignorantly worship Him, so I’m going to tell you about Him, you know He exists and you’ve got an unknown God statue just to cover Him but you don’t know who He is, but I’ll tell you who He is, “He’s the God who made the world” verse 24, “and all things in it, he’s the Lord of heaven and earth, he dwells not in temples made with hands, He is not worshiped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” They were always customed … accustomed to bringing food and sticking it at the feet of their idols, he said you don’t have to feed this God. “He is made of one blood all nations of (you have) men to dwell on the face of the earth, he has determined the times before a pointed, and the bounds P of their habitation.” In other words He controls the nations, their boundaries, He controls time, He controls destiny, He controls everything.

“That they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after him,” in other words if men would just feel after Him, if they would just see that He is and reach out for Him, “they would find him, because he is not (what? He’s not) far from every one of us. For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” He is right there and He has manifested Himself in an undeniable way. Listen to this remarkable passage of Scripture, John’s gospel, 1:9, listen to what it says, just listen, Christ is that Light, that is lighting all men. Did you hear that? Does that mean all men are saved? No. What it does mean is, that all men are illumined with the knowledge of God. Christ is the Light that is lighting all men. No one has an excuse, that is the meaning of verse 20.

You say, well wait a minute, you mean everybody in the world has an opportunity? Yes. Somehow in some way, listen to me, God is a God of goodness and grace, God is a God of love and equity and justice, and God does not pour out wrath on people who never had a choice, who never had an opportunity. They all have the knowledge of God around them, He’s shown it unto them and in them they have internally perceived it to be Him. And Christ is the Light that is lighting all men. You say, well how did this revelation come? Well look back at verse 20. The invisible things of Him. That is His attributes, God is invisible. The things about God that are invisible, the essence of His nature, the reality of His existence, His qualities and attributes. Namely His eternal power and His divine nature. You say, what do those mean? Well eternal power simply means never failing omnipotence, His omnipotence; His tremendous power is available to men, and His divine nature, that is that He is wise, that He is good, that He is loving, all of the elements of God’s nature are visible. I can tell you God is a God of beauty by looking at this world, can’t you? I can tell you God is a God of goodness, because there’s goodness in life, I can tell you He’s a God of love because there’s love. I can tell you all about His nature; He’s a God who is wise because of the intricacy of the design of His creation. You can know His divine nature and you can know His eternal power. That’s what he’s saying.

Through the creation of the world these things are not muddy but they’re what? Clearly seen, being easily understood by the things that are made. You say, well in the time that the Bible was written people didn’t have science, I mean could they see things? Oh they could probably see some things clear … clearer than we can see them. We’ve just about blotted out nature with concrete. In ancient times before the microscope and the telescope men were able to reflect on the vastness of the universe. They were able to understand the fixed order of heavenly bodies. They could pick up a flower and see how marvelously the petals were arranged. They could look at how the leaves attached themselves to the stem. They saw the cycle of the water as it evaporated into the clouds and was carried over the land and deposited, they understood the mystery of human birth, they saw it. And they saw a growth, they knew the glory of a sunrise and the majesty of a sunset, they knew the, the rolling and the roaring of the seas and the rushing of the rivers and the trickle of a brook and the flight of a bird and the caterpillar that came out a butterfly. And they looked up and saw what the Psalmist saw in chapter 19 when he said, “The heavens declare (what?) the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” They knew what the Psalmist had in mind also in the 94th Psalm and the 9th verse, “He who planted the ear, shall he not hear? He who formed the eye, shall he not see?” In other words—they said, if, if we can hear then whoever made us must understand hearing, if we can see He must see, if we can think He must think and you can carry it all the way out. Sure they understood God. They understood about His nature from what they saw in their world. In Psalm 143:5 says the Psalmist, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.” I sit here and I contemplate what You’ve done, he says. Even in the nonsophisticated world then, by our standards they sat in awe of the creation.

Look at Job, you just read through Job and see the staggering statements of that Book about the creative power of God and the revelation of His nature. But just think about some things, let me just tell you how you can see God in creation. Do you know that some birds navigate by the stars, when they migrate? And do you know that if you raise birds, these kinds of birds, from eggs inside a building, they’ve never been out of the building, and if you show them an artificial sky, and this has been done in scientific experiment, representing a place their species have never been they will immediately orient themselves to the proper place to which to migrate. Now you tell me how they know that. There is a special fish that I’ve enjoyed reading about called the archerfish, it gets its food like all other fish, it just swims around and opens its mouth and takes its food. But they have the amazing ability to fire drops of water with great accuracy and knock insects out of the air. And did you know that there is a little thing called the bombardier beetle? Who produces chemicals which mix perfectly and at the right moment explode in the face of his enemy, but the explosion never occurs prematurely andnever blows him up. Think about the hydrological cycle of water which just absolutely staggers my mind. Water is lifted against gravity from the sea thousands of feet into the air and there it is suspended, just suspended, collected in clouds and then the clouds are floated over the land and they’re dropped.

Now we can’t invent a machine to do that, so God has one and it’s the sun and it does it all an it’s only ninety-three million miles away. No wonder the Psalmist says, “Power belongs to God.” No wonder he says, “The greatness of his power.” No wonder Nahum says, “The Lord is great in power.” And Isaiah says, “The Lord God is everlasting strength.” And no wonder the Psalmist in chapter 65 says, “Who by his power establishes the mountains.” You know ah, scientists have always tried to say it’s all evolution and it’s all explained by certain circumstances and so forth apart from God, but they’re really running out of the ability to say that, they’re fast losing their case.

Robert Jastro, for example who is an astrophysicist and currently the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for space study says this, “Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the Biblical view of the origin of the world. The essential elements in the astronomical and Biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. “It wasn’t evolution at all,” says Jastro. “It asks what cause produced this effect, who or what put the matter or energy into the universe? And science cannot answer.” He goes on, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak and as he pulls himself over the final rock he is greeted by a band of theologians who’ve been there for centuries.” Great statement. In other words, when you study science the conclusion is God created the world. And today with the two hundred inch telescope at Mount Palomar astronomers can look into space for four billion light years. If you don’t understand that try twenty-five sextillion miles. Do you know how much space that alone would make, as far as they can s e? Seven times ten to the sixty-seventh power cubic inches of space. If someone had been examining this large of volume at the rate of one million billion cubic miles a day since the universe began, he’d be just a little shy of halfway done. And the universe that we see with that telescope is a small piece of actual space. Can you imagine the power? Then some pea brain comes along and says, well a once there was a one celled thing, said to itself, let’s be two. And away they went.

A press bulletin from the University of Alberta in Canada said, “It may be surprising to people in a temperate climate to hear, that there are on the average of eighteen hundred storms in operation at any time, and the energy expended in these storms amounts to the almost inconceivable figure of (one billion two … ah,) one billion three hundred million horsepower. A large caterpillar machine has four hundred and twenty horsepower requiring a hundred gallons of fuel a day. How much fuel does God have to operate storms with a horsepower of one billion three hundred million everyday?”

A Canadian physicist wrote, “A rain of four inches over an area of ten thousand square miles would require the burning of six hundred and forty million tons of coal to evaporate enough water for such a rain. And to cool again the vapors thus produced and collect them in clouds would take another eight hundred million horsepower of refrigerationworking night and day for ahundred days.”

Agricultural specialist for example have found the average farmer in Minnesota, free of charge, gets four hundred and seven thousand five hundred and ten gallons of water per acre per year. That’s what the Lord gives him. Nearly half a million gallons of water a year for his farm, no charge.

Where does God get all the power to be moving this stuff around? Missouri has seventy thousand square miles, and thirty-eight inches average rainfall. That amount of water is equal to a lake twenty-two feet deep, two hundred and fifty miles long and sixty miles wide. And God moves that water around just in that one state alone.

The U.S. Natural Museum says insect species now number ten million. And I know and they were all at your last picnic, right? Do you realize there are two thousand five hundred kinds of ants? And one colony alone can have one hundred million ants. Do you know there are five billion birds in America? Some can fly five hundred miles across the Gulf of Mexico. Did you know that mallards can fly sixty miles an hours, eagles a hundred miles an hour and a falcon can dive at a hundred and eighty? I know you didn’t know that cod fish can lay nine million eggs, but they can.

The earth is twenty-five thousand miles in circumference, it weighs six septillion five hundred and eighty-eight sextillion tons, and hangs in empty space, and spins at a thousand miles an hour with perfect precision so that time is kept to the split second and at the same time careens through space around the sun in an orbit of five hundred and eighty million miles at a thousand miles a minute.

Did you know that the head of a comet may be from ten thousand to one million miles long and the tail as long as a hundred million miles and travel at three hundred and fifty miles per second?

Now where is the force for all of this? Halley ‘s Comet by the way has traveled without stopping for gas for seventy-six years.

Consider the human heart, it’s the size of your fist, weights less than half a pound. Your heart pumps eighteen hundred of gallons of blood a day. Your heart does enough work in twelve hours to lift sixty-five tons one inch off the ground. Consider the sun, the sun burns up four million tons of matter a second, if you could convert the energy the sun gives off to horsepower you’d wind up with five hundred million million billion horsepower. If that’s too big to handle that’s the same as one and a half million million billion corvettes. Think of the distance from the sun. The distance from the earth to the sun is ninety-three million miles, as I said, it’s takes the light from the sun traveling at a hundred and eighty-six thousand miles a second, eight and a half minutes to get here. The speed of light is a hundred and eighty-six thousand miles a second and if you take that speed of a hundred and eighty-six thousand miles a second going sixty seconds a minute, sixty minutes an hour, twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year that light travels over six trillion miles in one year. And yet if you were to go across our galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy where our star system is, going at a hundred and eighty-six thousand per second, six trillion miles a year it would take you a hundred and twenty-five thousand years to get across our galaxy, and ours is one of millions. Now if you’re screaming mercy I’ll quit.

Now consider how small we are. Atoms are not visible, we know they exist but to this day no one has ever seen an atom. They’re so small it takes three atoms to make up one water molecule, and if you were to take every water molecule in one drop of water and blow them up so each molecule was the size of a grain of sand you’d have enough grains of sand to make a road one foot thick, half mile wide and the road would go from LosAngeles to New York. But did you know the atom is mostly empty space? The actual material, and this fascinates me, in an atom takes up one trillionth of the atom’s volume. And what you really have is a lot of little orbits. Everything is mostly empty space, for example, if the average person had all the space squeezed out of him, how much volume do you think he’d occupy? Take a person who is six feet tall and all the actual mass that’s in him, when all the space is squeezed out he would fit on the head of a pin for he would occupy one, one hundred millionth of a cubic inch. So don’t argue when somebody says you’re nothing. But you want to hear something amazing? That one, one hundred millionth of a cubic inch would be so heavy that a full cubic inch of that would weigh a billion or more pounds. Incredible.

Listen, if God says He’s visible in His creation then He’s visible in His creation. You can see the eternal power. You can see the divine nature of God. You can look at creation and so can a Canaanite or a Philistine or an Egyptian or anybody living in any period of history up until today and he’s going to see that God is, there has to be a cause for all this effect. There has to be a designer for all this design. I mean when somebody tells me it just happened that makes no more sense than saying take your watch apart, put all the pieces in your pocket and see how long you have to shake your pants before you hear a tick. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Design speaks of a designer. And so you know God is, and if you know God is you know God is powerful, and you know God is divine. And that’s why the end of verse 20 says, “Men are without excuse.” Everybody living on the face of this earth has experienced God, His wisdom, His power, His generosity in every moment of their existence though they have not recognized Him He’s been there, He has bounded their lives, He’s been sustaining them, He’s been enriching them, He’s been giving Himself to them, and in their senses they have perceived Him. So that they are without excuse. And as the Old Testament says, “A wayfaring man, though he be a fool, need not err.” Yes general revelation is the foundation of all condemnation. General revelation is the foundation of all condemnation. Men have the opportunity, because God is evident everywhere.

That’s only the first of four points, but my time is gone, and the best is yet to come. Let’s pray together.

Listen, if God judges He judges justly with equity because man is without excuse. Much more so are you without excuse who know the Gospel and the name of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. “How shall you escape, if you neglect so great a salvation.” For the wrath of God is revealed against all who hold the truth and suppress it in unrighteousness. The Bible says that the way to God is through Christ, and He offers you that opportunity.

If you’re with us tonight and you do not know Christ open your heart, confess Him as Lord, believe the Gospel, the Good News that He came into the world and lived and died and rose again, for your sin, and enter into God’s life, and step out of the wrath of God.

Father I pray right now for any who are in our midst who do not know Christ, may this be the night of their redemption and salvation. For those of us who are Christians thank You for confirming again in our hearts the truth of Your power and divine nature so evident to us in the created world. Oh God, may we with boldness stand for You in a world of skeptics who know but suppress for the love of their sin the truth. Father, break through the hearts of some tonight, we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

This transcript, along with related media, can also be found here on the Grace to You website.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.

May 26, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

5. I have waited for Jehovah. After having testified in general that God is ready to show mercy to poor sinners who betake themselves to him, the Psalmist concludes that he is thereby encouraged to entertain good hope. The past tense in the verbs wait and trust is put for the present. I have waited for I wait; I have hoped for I hope. The repetition occurring in the first part of the verse is emphatic; and the word soul gives additional emphasis, implying, as it does, that the Prophet trusted in God even with the deepest affections of his heart. From this we also gather that he was not only patient and constant in the sight of men, but that even in the inward feelings of his heart he had maintained quietness and patience before God; which is a very evident proof of faith. Many, no doubt, are restrained by vain glory from openly murmuring against God or betraying their distrust, but there is hardly one in ten who, when removed from the inspection of his fellow-men, and in his own heart, waits for God with a quiet mind. The Psalmist adds, in the concluding clause, that what supported his patience was the confidence which he reposed in the divine promises. Were these promises taken away, the grace of God would necessarily vanish from our sight, and thus our hearts would fail and be overwhelmed with despair. Besides, he teaches us, that our being contented with the word of God alone affords a genuine proof of our hope. When a man, embracing the word, becomes assured of having his welfare attended to by God, this assurance will be the mother of waiting or patience. Although the Prophet here speaks to himself for the purpose of confirming his faith, yet there is no doubt that he suggests to all the children of God like matter of confidence in reference to themselves. In the first place he sets before them the word, that they may depend entirely upon it; and next he warns them that faith is vain and ineffectual unless it frame us to patience.[1]

5 With great anticipation the psalmist hopes in the Lord: “I wait [qiwwîtî] … my soul waits [qiwwe] … I put my hope [hôḥāle].” The repetition of the verbs for “hope” reveal the longing of his heart for a positive sign and a word from the Lord. In his desperate state (vv. 1–2) he has learned to be submissive to the sovereign Lord, who is the fountain of grace. In patient waiting, faith looks to the Lord to grant his grace (cf. La 3:25–26).

The “word” the psalmist is waiting for may be an oracle of salvation (Kraus, 2:872) or an act of salvation in fulfillment of God’s word of promise (cf. 107:20). From the concern with waiting like a watchman and from the concluding assurance that the Lord will redeem his people from their sins, I deduce that the “word” denotes a new act of salvation by which the godly person is upheld in faith.[2]

Ver. 5.—I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait. “Waiting for the Lord” is patiently bearing our affliction, whatever it may be, and confidently looking forward to deliverance from it in God’s good time. The expression, “my soul doth wait,” is stronger than “I wait;” it implies heart-felt trust and confidence. And in his word do I hope; i.e. his word of promise.[3]

5. “I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait.” Expecting him to come to me in love, I quietly wait for his appearing; I wait upon him in service, and for him in faith. For God I wait and for him only: if he will manifest himself I shall have nothing more to wait for; but until he shall appear for my help I must wait on, hoping even in the depths. This waiting of mine is no mere formal act, my very soul is in it,—“my soul doth wait.” I wait and I wait—mark the repetition! “My soul waits,” and then again, “My soul waits”; to make sure work of the waiting. It is well to deal with the Lord intensely. Such repetitions are the reverse of vain repetitions. If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people: they waited for the First Advent, and now they wait for the Second. They waited for a sense of pardon, and now they wait for perfect sanctification. They waited in the depths, and they are not now wearied with waiting in a happier condition. They have cried and they do wait; probably their past prayer sustains their present patience.

And in his word do I hope.” This is the source, strength, and sweetness of waiting. Those who do not hope cannot wail; but if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. God’s word is a true word, but at times it tarries; if ours is true faith it will wait the Lord’s time. A word from the Lord is as bread to the soul of the believer; and, refreshed thereby, it holds out through the night of sorrow expecting the dawn of deliverance and delight. Waiting, we study the word, believe the word, hope in the word, and live on the word; and all because it is “his word,”—the word of him who never speaks in vain. Jehovah’s word is a firm ground for a waiting soul to rest upon.[4]

[1] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 5, p. 133). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 922). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 3, p. 246). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 120-150 (Vol. 6, pp. 119–120). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

Sunday’s Hymn: All the Way My Savior Leads Me — Rebecca Writes



All the way my Saviour leads me—
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt his tender mercy
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in him to dwell—
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Saviour leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for ev’ry trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the rock before me,
Lo, a spring of joy I see!

All the way my Saviour leads me—
O the fullness of his love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above:
When my spirit, clothed, immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way!

—Fanny Crosby


Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

via Sunday’s Hymn: All the Way My Savior Leads Me — Rebecca Writes

5 Signs You’re Part of an Unhealthy Church — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

By Marielle Thomas

There is no such thing as a “perfect” church. Honestly, there will never be a perfect church because the people who occupy the church are imperfect.

The only thing perfect in church is the message and purity of the Gospel. Though there is no perfect church, there is such a thing as a healthy church. Which naturally means, there is such a thing as an unhealthy church. I have been in church literally my entire life, so I have seen the great, the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

After witnessing and having endless discussions about the church culture, I have compiled a list of five signs that signal you are a part of an unhealthy church.

1. Leadership Does Not Have a Clear Vision.

Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” A church whose leadership has not explained or formed a vision that states, “This is who we are, this is where we’re going, and this is how we’re going to get there,” is unhealthy in the highest form.

How can a church or any organization function or truly exist without vision?

Jesus was the ultimate vision-caster. He stated his vision for not only what the church should look like, but, ultimately, what the role of the church is and its purpose.

Unfortunately, I have seen churches that had no mission and absolutely no vision, and Scripture is 100 percent correct; the people did perish. If you don’t know what the mission and vision is of your church, chances are you are in an unhealthy church.

Additionally, if your church has a mission and vision statement, but you don’t see the mission and vision being executed within the church’s setup and organizational structure, programs and/or ministries that are offered, you are probably in an unhealthy church.

2. Leadership Can Never Be Challenged.

If you are part of a church where leadership can never be questioned or challenged, run!

I have witnessed this, and I can tell you this will not end very well.

Please remember, church leaders are there to cast vision and to steer the church in the direction to which God is leading. Church leaders are not and should not be dictators.

What I mean is this: Members should never fear asking a question against a proposed idea or direction from leadership in the church.

With that being said, there should also be a level of respect given when challenging church leadership. The key is to be concerned, not confrontational.

Ultimately, you should be able to ask questions regarding where your church is headed without feeling fearful of church leadership.

3. You Are Comfortable, but Never Convicted.

If you are attending a church and you have:

a) never been convicted,

b) never been offended in your sin when the Gospel is preached or taught,

hightail it out of there!

It is very dangerous when a church’s preaching and teaching team operates in what I call the “Ren and Stimpy Theology.” What I mean by this is every sermon and lesson that comes from the preaching/teaching team is always “happy, happy, joy, joy,” but there are never heart-piercing, convicting messages that will challenge people.

Church shouldn’t be designed to just make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but church should be there to bring conviction through the Word of God to bring correction in a person’s life.

Additionally, if your church is not balanced in its teaching, your walk with God becomes stunted; you will not grow.

If you have ever had to go to a hospital to get better, then you know that most times in your healing process, there is pain involved.

It’s the same thing with church; your healing process won’t be joyful all the time. There will be and should be times you are broken, convicted and offended in your sin.

Click here to read more.
Source: Church Leaders

via 5 Signs You’re Part of an Unhealthy Church — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

7 Threats From False Teachers — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

By Costi Hinn

False teachers and abusive leaders need to maintain their power. Therefore, they use a series of threats to keep people quiet and in line. Get out of line? You might hear one of the seven statements I’ve listed below.

7 Threats From False Teachers

Some people who aren’t false teachers or abusers do use some of these from time to time. For example, someone may be accused of behaving like a “Pharisee” because they’re relying on legalism to achieve their righteousness. That isn’t in the context here. This particular post is in the context of a pastor or church leader who is approached by a well-meaning church member concerning teachings that are not faithful to Scripture and are twisted for a desired end.

Don’t Put God in a Box

This phrase is usually directed at those who are trying to convince their church leader to keep his or her teaching in line with Scripture. You may hear this kind of statement after congregants push back against a pastor who gets up one Sunday and starts tossing out random prophecies that don’t come true (or make sense). Another example would be a concerned church member who says, “Pastor, that’s not exactly what God said He would do in His word.” The pastor would respond, “Don’t put God in a box.” The pastor may even tag on one of these other statements to beef up his domineering response.

Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed

This threat tends to be used when venerated leaders are opposed for their false and abusive teachings. Their defense? They claim to be “anointed” by God and immune from any accountability and that if you criticize them God will bring judgment upon you. Those who blindly follow them will usually echo this phrase as well as they warn a whistle-blower to keep quiet. Should you ever hear this threat you have nothing to fear. When you “mark” someone who is teaching false things, you are not touching the Lord’s anointed. You are obeying the Lord Himself (Romans 16:17-18).

Don’t Be a Pharisee

The Pharisees were not necessarily the best example of what true worship looks like. Even though they were very devout, they were legalistic, twisted God’s word, and burdened people with manipulative teachings that were not a part of God’s Law. They were known to control people with their spiritual arrogance and elitist mentality. Without question, they were a questionable group. Therefore, it’s not surprising when the term “Pharisee” is used in a pejorative manner. This threat from a false teacher gets used when someone holds them accountable for Scripture twisting or loose living. The false teacher will respond claiming, “Don’t be a Pharisee!” Ironically, it is false teachers and abusers who are pharisaic. They add to God’s word, they use their authority to exploit people, and are hypocrites.

Be Careful, Religion Put Jesus on a Cross

I remember seeing an outlandish service take place. There were false prophecies flying everywhere, people being “slain in the spirit,” manifestations of people’s bodies that included gyrations, roaring, foaming at the mouth and slithering like snakes. These manifestations appeared demonic but were claimed to be angelic. Some onlookers were very disturbed by the excessive actions taking place in the service and let it be known to the leaders. They were told, “Be careful. It was religion that put Jesus on a cross.” This threat means one thing: Don’t question anything or you’ll be labeled an “anointing killer.” It’s the perfect way to keep people in the dark; causing them to cower in fear that they’re like those who crucified Christ.

Click here to read more.
Source: Church Leaders

via 7 Threats From False Teachers — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Obama Judges Obstructing Justice: Nearly 40 Injunctions Against Trump After ONLY TWO Against Obama — The Gateway Pundit

Attorney General Barr last week ripped federal judges and their injunctions against President Trump.  These judges are taking ‘unprecedented power’ over the Executive Branch.

The Washington Times reported last week –

Attorney General William P. Barr on Tuesday railed against federal courts issuing nationwide injunctions blocking President Trump from implementing his policies, saying they wield “unprecedented power.”

In a speech before the American Law Institute, Mr. Barr said such injunctions block politicians of all stripes from enacting the voters’ will.

“One judge can, in effect, cancel the policy with the stroke of the pen,” he said. “No official in the United States government can exercise that kind of nationwide power, with the sole exception of the president. And the Constitution subjects him to nationwide election, among other constitutional checks, as a prerequisite to wielding that power.”

Mr. Barr pointed the finger squarely at the American Law Institute for contributing to the problem. He blamed a 2010 commentary it published saying individual cases are the same as aggregate litigation because in both cases the relief would apply to one or several individuals.

That’s wrong, Mr. Barr said, because it ignores prior legal precedent.

The Times reports [emphasis added] –

Since Mr. Trump took office, federal courts have issued 37 nationwide injunctions against his policies, Mr. Barr said. During President Barack Obama’s first two years, the courts issued two injunctions and only 27 were issued during the 20th century, according to Justice Department data.

President Trump has complained about Obama selected judges who are responsible for many, if not all of these injunctions.  Chief Justice Roberts decided to publicly rebuke the President for this line saying that in essence all judges are the same.  This response was definitely uncalled for and out of line by the Chief Justice and President Trump responded.

This was back in 2018 and by the time of AG Barr’s presentation last week there were 37 injunctions against President Trump.  This doesn’t count the injunctions since by an Obama judge aborting a Mississippi abortion law from being initiated last week and another Obama appointed judge preventing the President’s efforts to fund building the border wall which also happened last week.

We no longer have judges that judge, we have Obama judges that are activists.  Obama clearly did all he could to destroy America in every way.


via Obama Judges Obstructing Justice: Nearly 40 Injunctions Against Trump After ONLY TWO Against Obama — The Gateway Pundit

May 25-26, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

News – 5/25/2019

Military official: Iran can sink U.S. warships with ‘secret weapons’
Iran can sink U.S. warships sent to the Gulf region using missiles and “secret weapons,” a senior Iranian military official was quoted as saying by the semi-official news agency Mizan on Saturday. The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country’s Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month’s tanker attacks.

Satellite images reveal: Iran building border crossing to smuggle weapons
Iran is building a border crossing between Iraq and Syria that will allow the smuggling of weapons new satellite images have revealed, raising concerns that it could could expedite the transfer of weapons from Tehran to groups like Hezbollah. The images, taken by ImageSat International (ISI)…allegedly shown construction activity of permanent infrastructure 2.6 kms west of the official Al Bukamal Al-Qaim border crossing between the two countries.

‘Sabotaged’ tanker in Gulf of Oman leaked oil
A sizeable oil slick developed in waters where tankers were damaged off the United Arab Emirates on 12 May. Finnish company Iceye says one of its radar satellites detected a long trail leading from the Saudi-flagged vessel Amjad two days later. The crude oil tanker and three other ships suffered damage while anchored outside the port of Fujairah.

Trump approves $8bn Saudi weapons sale over Iran tensions
US President Donald Trump is approving the sale of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, citing Iranian threats to its arch rival. Mr Trump invoked a rarely used aspect of federal law to push through the $8bn (£6bn) deal – bypassing Congress. He did so by declaring that ongoing tensions with Iran amounted to a national emergency.

US judge blocks funds for Trump border wall plan
A US federal judge has temporarily blocked the use of defence department funds to build a border wall between the US and Mexico. The judge granted the injunction to block the use of $1bn (£786m) in Arizona and Texas because it had not been approved by Congress. President Donald Trump declared an emergency earlier this year, saying he needed $6.7bn to build the wall as a matter of national security.

Nearly 25% of Americans are going into debt trying to pay for necessities like food
American have an average of $6,506 in credit card debt, according to a new Experian report out this week. But which expenses are adding to that balance the most? A full 23% of Americans say that paying for basic necessities such as rent, utilities and food contributes the most to their credit card debt… Another 12% say medical bills are the biggest portion of their debt.

North Korean missile test violated U.N. resolution, says Bolton
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Saturday North Korea’s recent missile launches violated a U.N. Security Council resolution and urged leader Kim Jong Un to return to denuclearization talks. It was the first time a senior U.S. official has described the tests as a violation of U.N. resolutions aimed at halting North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and came ahead of a four-day visit to Japan by U.S. President Donald Trump…

Indianapolis 500 officials will offer measles vaccine at race
IndyCar medical director said that a “very limited supply” of vaccines will be available to fans at the race.

Robots conduct daily health inspections of schoolchildren in China
Please stand in front of Walklake for your examination. This health checking robot takes just 3 seconds to diagnose a variety of ailments in children, including conjunctivitis, and hand, foot and mouth disease. Over 2000 preschools in China, with children aged between 2 and 6, are using Walklake every morning to check the health status of their students.

Italy, Croatia, Greece and Cyprus offer to send firefighting planes to Israel
Foreign ministry thanks countries for willingness to help Israeli crews working to contain hundreds of blazes amid during heatwave

Thousands Ordered to Evacuate as Fires Continue to Rage Across Israel
Thousands of Israelis may be forced to spend this upcoming Sabbath out of their homes; many no longer have a home to return to.

LGBT progressivism horrors: Parents to start physically maiming their own babies to slice off all “gender” organs in the name of progressivism and “equality”
If you wonder where “progressivism” is headed, look no further than the self-mutilation movement where LGBT followers physically maim their own bodies to become so-called “nullos” by cutting off their nipples and reproductive organs.

Outrage As Baptist Pastor Dan Freemyer Gives Benediction Prayer At Baylor Graduation Asking God To ‘Deliver Us’ From The Evil Of ‘Straight White Men’ And ‘Fossil Fuels’
A number of years ago, I created a category on NTEB called “The Church Of Laodicea“, for articles and stories about churches and pastors claiming to be Christian yet were incredibly either lukewarm or full-blown apostates. For a long time there was little to no stories involving Baptist churches. Sadly, over the past year, that has changed. Baptist churches are falling just as far and just as fast as the Liberal megachurches are.

Monsanto Faces More Than 13,000 Plaintiffs Amid Calls In Europe They Kept Dossiers On Influential People Both Pro And Anti Pesticide, Rigged Studies
Last week Activist Post reported that Monsanto had kept dossiers on influential people throughout France and other European countries. This week, it was revealed that the German chemical and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer disclosed that Monsanto, the controversial U.S. pesticide producer behind genetically modified organisms (GMOs) involved in more than 13,000 plaintiffs lawsuits alleging illness had kept “watch lists” of its opponents including journalists in key EU member states and in EU institutions.

Amid ‘extreme’ heat wave, officials close parks, restrict holiday bonfires
Police and firefighting officials are preparing for an “extreme” heat wave starting Wednesday and continuing into the weekend, shuttering popular hiking areas and limiting permits for the traditional bonfires that accompany the Lag B’Omer holiday that begins Wednesday night.

46 cases of MUMPS in county with highest illegal immigrant traffic

Hidalgo County, Texas, is ground zero for the most illegal aliens coming in among all places along the southwestern border. It is also experiencing an outbreak of mumps, with 46 reported cases countywide since March, an unprecedented number for any U.S. county. Yet you would never know about this if you rely on the national media beat reporters at the border to report on it.

Democrats’ passage of “Equality Act” is the first stage in their attempts to CRIMINALIZE Christianity and throw all practicing Christians in prison (while banning their speech)
One of the first things Americans need to understand about Democrats is that virtually every piece of legislation they propose is misnamed.

BREAKING: Leading Cardinal Declares Nancy Pelosi Gets NO COMMUNION!
The head of the Vatican court just declared that Nancy Pelosi cannot receive communion until she changes her stance on abortion.

Jason Chaffetz: Democrats claim they want election security – They really want to secure election victories
In the wake of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller confirming Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election, we are enjoying broad bipartisan consensus on the need to improve election security.

Israel braces for fresh fire flare-up as temperatures set to skyrocket
Help from four countries expected to arrive as officials warn brush fire outbreak could worsen with scorching heat and wind, day after dozens of homes destroyed in blazes

Al Jazeera Says Its Holocaust Denial Video Was A Mistake, But Has A Long History Of Anti-Semitism
The Al Jazeera news network and its AJ+ subsidiary have a long history of anti-Semitism. The network, which pushes Islamic rhetoric in Arabic but has wrapped itself in progressive liberalism in English, is controlled by the royal family of Qatar.

WATCH: Ilhan Omar Attacks Conservative People Of Faith On House Floor
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) attacked conservative people on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday over their advocacy for pro-life stances on abortion.

Headlines – 5/25/2019

Jordanians call for a third intifada to thwart ‘Deal of the Century’

Wildfire near Beit She’an spreads across border into Jordan

Fires consume iconic memorial forest for Holocaust victims near Jerusalem

Netanyahu thanks Egypt for sending firefighting helicopters, says PA offered aid

Devastating wildfires mostly contained as major heatwave begins to recede

State panel postpones decision on outside funding for PM’s legal defense

Liberman claims Likud members approached him about coalition without Netanyahu

Former justice minister for Likud warns of Netanyahu ‘dictatorship’

Tens of thousands expected in Tel Aviv protest against immunity push for PM

Israel’s Supreme Court said ready to take ‘extreme steps’ to stop curbing of its powers

Dozens of Ukrainian lawmakers want embassy moved to Jerusalem

Lebanese Cabinet Agrees on Critical State Budget for Debt-ridden Country

US blames Iran for Gulf tanker bombings, Iraq rocket attack

US orders new troops to Middle East to counter Iran ‘threat’

Amid Iran Tensions, Trump Announces Deployment of 1,500 Troops to Middle East

Trump Defies Congress And Invokes Emergency To Sell Arms To Saudis, Senators Say

Controversy in Iran amid reports Zarif met U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein

Rouhani says Iran won’t back down, ‘even if our land is bombed’

Oman says it’s working to ease US-Iran tensions

‘Sabotaged’ tanker in Gulf of Oman leaked oil

North Korean missile test violated UN resolution, Bolton says

North Korea says it won’t resume talks unless US changes position

French police open terror probe as over a dozen injured by package bomb

UK PM Theresa May announces resignation amid fury over Brexit handling

British PM May resigns, paving way for Brexit confrontation with EU

The Downfall of Theresa May, the Prime Minister Broken by Brexit

Kremlin says May’s time as PM ‘very difficult period’ in ties

Boris Johnson: UK will leave EU in October, deal or no deal

Undone by Brexit, May was one of the friendliest PMs in history for British Jews

Johnson leads race to succeed May, but he’s not the only pro-Israel would-be PM

Ambassador: Israel-UK alliance strong despite rise of anti-Semitism

Seeking to Challenge Rising Antisemitism in UK, Church of Scotland Adopts IHRA Definition of Jew-Hatred

Sweden to host international conference against anti-Semitism

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Border-Wall Plans

Trump row with Democrats takes harsh turn with impeachment at stake

Trump Questions Pelosi’s Mental Fitness as Battle Becomes Personal

Robert Mueller wants to avoid ‘political spectacle’ before Congress: Nadler

Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Dept. and C.I.A.

Trump says his approval rating could be 70% or higher if not for biased press

Does Assange indictment set dangerous precedent for journalists?

America’s Top Newspaper Editors Alarmed by Assange Indictment

San Francisco Police Chief Admits Mistakes In Raid On Freelance Journalist’s Home

Amazon Is Working on a Device That Can Read Human Emotions

Would you let Amazon 3D-scan your body for a $25 gift card?

Facebook plans to launch ‘GlobalCoin’ cryptocurrency in 2020

Dow rises nearly 100 points, but posts longest weekly losing streak since 2011

Despite a booming economy, many U.S. households are still just holding on

Nearly 25% of Americans are going into debt trying to pay for necessities like food

China accuses U.S. officials of misleading public on trade war

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Andalgala, Argentina

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Lautoka, Fiji

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Bamboo Flat, India

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohara, Japan

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 50,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 28,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 12,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 12,000ft

Dukono volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Record-breaking floods inundate parts of central US

Storm-weary residents of Plains to face more violent weather into Memorial Day weekend

Monster tornado that ripped 20-mile trail of destruction through Missouri capital was almost a mile wide

Malaria back with a vengeance in crisis-hit Venezuela

‘Here we go again.’ Federal judge blocks Mississippi’s ‘heartbeat’ abortion law

“Unplanned” Movie Blocked from Distribution in Canada

‘LGBTQ for Trump’ shirts for sale on president’s campaign site – and Twitter is losing its mind

Trump administration to reportedly allow federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples

Trump admin. proposes to remove ‘gender identity’ from Obamacare

Kenya’s high court unanimously upholds ban on gay sex

Jerusalem rabbi to ordain gay rabbinical student denied by US seminary

FAA investigating religious discrimination complaints after airports exclude Chick-fil-a

Baptist church connected to Baylor to allow ministers to perform same-sex weddings

5 Catholic priests charged in Michigan sex abuse investigation

Elderly Couple Files Religious Discrimination Suit after Apartment Complex Threatens to Evict Them for Hosting Bible Study

After landslide win for Modi, India’s Christians fear increasing marginalisation

News – 5/26/2019

Is Israel going to elections again?
“Liberman is looking for any excuse to bring me down,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday at an emergency meeting with Likud ministers, according to Kan. A source close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied a Channel 12 report that the Knesset would vote on Monday to disperse itself and initiate a new election.

Trump dismisses North Korean tests of ‘some small weapons’
US President Donald Trump has dismissed concerns about recent North Korean missile tests, appearing to contradict his own national security adviser. In a tweet issued shortly after his arrival in Japan on Sunday, Mr Trump called the missiles “small weapons”. US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Saturday that the tests violated UN resolutions on North Korea.

German Jews warned not to wear kippas after rise in anti-Semitism
The German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner has urged Jews to avoid wearing skullcaps in public. Felix Klein warned Jews against donning the kippa in parts of the country, following a rise in anti-Semitism. Mr Klein said his opinion on the matter had “changed compared with what it used to be”. “I cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany,” he told the Funke newspaper group.

In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc
For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services. But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed…at the National Security Agency…

Mayor says 2 dead after tornado roars through Oklahoma town
A likely tornado killed at least two people as it destroyed a motel, roared through a nearby mobile home park and caused significant damage in the Oklahoma City area, officials said Sunday. El Reno Mayor Matt White said during a news conference that “there have been two fatalities at this point in time,” adding that officials are currently working to notify relatives. White said search and rescue efforts are continuing.

Magnitude-8 earthquake strikes Amazon jungle in Peru
A large earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 struck the Amazon jungle in north-central Peru early Sunday, the U.S. Geological survey reported. The quake, at a moderate depth of 110 kilometers (68 miles) struck at 2:41 a.m., 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of the village of Lagunas and 158 kilometers (98 miles) east-northeast of the larger town of Yurimaguas.

U.S. Military to Trawl Through 350 Billion Social Media Messages
The U.S. military plans to analyze 350 billion social-media posts from around the world to help it track how popular movements evolve. A tender for the project, based at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, calls for screening messages from at least 200 million users from more than 100 countries in more than 60 languages to better understand “collective expression.”

Israelis homeless, reeling in aftermath of massively destructive wildfires
A wave of massive bushfires over the weekend, caused by an extreme heatwave, left dozens of families without homes as entire neighborhoods were engulfed by the flames. Some 16 people suffered smoke inhalation and 13 others had light burns, including some of the 1,000 firefighters – from National Fire and Rescue Authority – who battled at least 1,023 conflagrations across the country.

Ukrainian lawmakers urge new president to move embassy to Jerusalem
Ukraine might soon follow in the footsteps of the United States and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, after dozens of Ukrainian lawmakers co-authored a draft calling on the country’s new president to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital. Some 86 – out of 450 – members of the Ukrainian parliament (The Verkhovna Rada) already submitted the bill for a vote, according to reports in the country’s media on Friday.

BREAKING: Bans of Chick-fil-A Under Investigation By the U.S. Government!
The airport bans against Christian-owned Chick-fil-A are now under investigation by the Department of Transportation for possible religious bias. The airport bans started about 2 months ago at San Antonio airport.

Report Finds UN Employs 3,300 Pedophiles, Responsible for 60,000 Rapes in Last 10 Years
A former high-level official from within the UN has blown the whistle on a pedophilia network of massive proportions involving thousands of UN employees wreaking havoc on tens of thousands of innocent children.

WOKE: New Gillette Ad Features Dad Teaching Transgender Son How to Shave
Gillette’s latest ad shows a dad teaching his transgender son how to shave.

Trump administration to reportedly allow federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples
President Trump’s administration will reportedly reverse his predecessor’s policy of blocking federal funding for religious adoption organizations that refuse to serve same-sex couples.

Malaria back with a vengeance in crisis-hit Venezuela
If it weren’t for the Center for Malaria Studies in Caracas, Francelis Pacheco would have been unable to get treatment for a disease she has contracted around 20 times.

Monster tornado that ripped 20-mile trail of destruction through Missouri capital was almost a mile wide
A clearer picture emerged Friday of the size and scope of the powerful tornadoes that tore across Missouri on Wednesday night, leaving trails of destruction in their paths. The state’s capital, Jefferson City, was among the hardest-hit places, struck overnight by a tornado with a peak wind speed of 160 mph that has been given preliminary rating of EF3.

Storm-weary residents of Plains to face more violent weather into Memorial Day weekend
After severe weather outbreaks hammered areas from Texas to Kansas and Missouri earlier this week, more severe weather and flooding will threaten these same areas into the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Record-breaking floods inundate parts of central US
Evacuations are underway as flooding is impacting areas across Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and parts of Nebraska and Iowa.Nine fatalities have been reported as a result of the flooding. One driver attempted to cross a flooded roadway in Perkins, Oklahoma, two other bodies were found in a submerged vehicle near the Mississippi River in Missouri as well as other deaths.

2+2=5 Under The Democrat’s Equality Act
In George Orwell’s 1984, everyman Winston Smith is tortured and brainwashed into truly believing that 2+2=5.  Orwell’s message was that an unfettered State would eventually maintain the population in such propaganda-induced fear of its power that people would deny objective reality.

MS-13 blamed for body found in shallow grave in Long Island nature preserve
…Officials said during a press conference that a body found Friday afternoon at the Massapequa Preserve in Nassau County was believed to be an MS-13 murder victim.

Prominent South African Farm-Attacks Activist Annette Kennealy Is Beaten To Death With A Pipe And Hammer
Annette Kennealy (pictured above) was a prominent activist against white farmer attacks in South Africa. Kennealy, 50, was an activist against farm attacks and related murders. She was brutally murdered with a hammer late Monday.

Headlines – 5/26/2019

Iran can sink U.S. warships with ‘secret weapons’, military official says

Sending U.S. Troops to Middle East Is ‘Extremely Dangerous’ for Peace, Iran’s Zarif Says

Nasrallah says ‘deal of the century’ is behind recent Iran-US tension

Hezbollah: Trump plan could end hope for Palestinian right of return

PA top negotiator urges ‘all countries’ to snub US peace summit in Bahrain

Pete Buttigieg Says Palestinian Leaders Are No Partner for Peace and Israel Needs ‘Guidance’

16 rioters injured during weekly Gaza border protests

Police: Settlers hurl rocks and slash tires of response force in West Bank

Liberman pledges not to budge on Haredi draft law, warns of new elections

Liberman: We will not recommend any other candidate for prime minister besides Netanyahu

At rally, Gantz and Lapid vow they won’t let Netanyahu turn Israel into Turkey

Likud calls demonstration against new immunity bill ‘a joke’

Skullcap-wearing Jews unsafe in parts of Germany, anti-Semitism czar says

Violent Protests Erupt in Kashmir After Indian Forces Kill Militant

Trump downplays North Korean missile treat

Trump says not disturbed that N.Korea has ‘fired off some small weapons’

Trump says ‘I have confidence’ after past North Korea missile tests

Lindsey Graham: DOJ and FBI ‘blew through every stop sign’ during Trump-Russia investigation

Mark Meadows: Adam Schiff, Democrats are raging over ‘information coming that will curl your hair’

Trump and House committees reach deal to delay subpoenas of Trump’s financial records

Rural Americans would be serfs if we abolished the Electoral College

Doctored Nancy Pelosi video highlights threat of “deepfake” tech

Researchers can now use AI and a photo to make fake videos of anyone

EU vote faces new covert digital threats: report

CrossFit quits Facebook, Instagram, accuses social media giant of censorship, being ‘utopian socialists’

How Silicon Valley gamed the world’s toughest privacy rules

On autopilot: ‘Pilots are losing their basic flying skills,’ some fear after Boeing 737 Max crashes

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

The largest underwater eruption ever detected produced a brand new underwater volcano

For the Midwest, Epic Flooding Is the Face of Climate Change

Floods That Hit The Midwest In March Continue To Affect The Farm Economy

Crop planting behind schedule as Midwest farmers battle rain

Dozens of Missouri highways across the state closed because of flooding

Unrelenting heat wave to break records daily in Southeast into, beyond Memorial Day

Abortion clinics report ‘alarming’ rise in picketing, vandalism and trespassing

Pope weighs in as states debate abortion: It’s like hiring a ‘hitman to solve a problem’

‘Revolution’ in Poland as nation confronts priestly abuse

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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther


May 26 A Way of Escape

scripture reading: John 16:7–15
key verse: Matthew 6:13

And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

John Bunyan, the Puritan preacher and writer, said of temptations: “Temptations, when we first meet them, are as the lion that roared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them, we shall find a nest of honey within them.”

God is faithful. God assures you that you can enjoy the sweet taste of victory over temptations, whatever their nature. When temptation presents itself, God always comes to your aid. The temptation is never more than He can handle; therefore, it is never more than you can handle, no matter how weak and helpless you feel. Knowing you can deal with the tempter in God’s strength bolsters your spiritual morale.

God provides the way of escape for each temptation. The best way is by faith in the power and truth of His Word—the very tool Jesus used to overcome Satan’s snare. Truth defeats error every time you obey.

God also promises that you can endure it. The temptations may not—and probably will not—vanish. But you can bear up under their load, daily casting your burdens on the Lord who will “not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13 nasb).

Thank You, dear Lord, that the temptations I face are not greater than I can handle. You have provided a way of escape. Let me take it![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.