Home > Uncategorized > Excuses, Excuses: God Gives Us All We Need to Know Him

Excuses, Excuses: God Gives Us All We Need to Know Him

By Richard Zowie

(Note: This column originally appeared in Saworship.com)

In my four years in the Army, I learned some fascinating things. As we studied weapons, such as the M-16 rifle, we learned how to disassemble it, clean it, reassemble it, and fire it at targets up to 500 meters away. We also learned its maximum effective range and the range of other weapons that many soldiers used from time to time.

I was late to a class one time and told the sergeant teaching the class that I had lost track of time.

The sergeant made an “OK” sign with his hand, connecting his index finger and thumb into a circle. “Do you know what this is, PFC Zowie?” he asked.

I had no clue. “No, sergeant.”

“This is the maximum effective range of an excuse.”

That distance, of course, is zero.

Excuses were worthless to this sergeant, and they tend to be worthless in many areas of life. God doesn’t think much of excuses, either, especially excuses people might give for why they don’t believe in Him or acknowledge His existence. Some, such as atheists, insist there is no God. Others, such as agnostics, either say that God’s existence can’t be proven or disproven or that they don’t know if He does exist. Others simply don’t know and don’t care and wish to be left alone.

But according to the words of Apostle Paul in the first chapter of Romans, all these excuses are worthless. God gives us all the evidence we need for His existence. In fact, more than enough.

Paul, in Romans 1:17-25, talks about how God actually reveals Himself to mankind. Consider these words:

17 – For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

18 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

19 – Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 – 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.

These verses tell us that the arguments of atheism, agnosticism or “I don’t care”-ism don’t work. God gives us all the clues we need to show He’s real. Whether you follow God or not, He reveals Himself to us.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites in the wilderness saw God provide for them time and time again. King Ahab saw fire fall from heaven and consume Elijah’s sacrifices; the king then told his wife Jezebel what he saw. Nebuchadnezzar heard a Jewish boy named Daniel interpret a dream that the king himself could not even remember telling. The Gospels tell us of the countless people who witnessed Jesus’ miracles.

Granted, miracles of Biblical times might not manifest themselves today the way they did then, but God still shows Himself.

* In 2006, I saw my wife come back from the brink of death to fully recover from a strep infection that had put her into septic shock, resulted in temperatures escalating to 105.8 and caused her for several weeks to have to breathe with the assistance of a machine as her lungs were extremely weak. The doctors, who did an amazing job treating her and giving her antibiotics, told me that she was as sick as a person could get without dying.

* We also hear reports in our times of people who have life-threatening cancer that inexplicably disappears.

* I have a family member who was an alcoholic who used to drink a case and a half of beer every day. This person became a Christian and has been sober for more than 20 years. He is a godly Christian who is married, has children, is a businessman and is very active in his local church.

* God also gives us evidence of His existence through nature. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” These declarations can be readily seen. Once I went to a planetarium once and saw astonishing images of constellations, nebulae and distant galaxies. One of my older sisters, Misti, used to take photographs of sunsets. The colors she would capture in her pictures were nothing short of mesmerizing. Pinks, purples, golds, oranges, coppers, yellows and other indescribable hues danced across the photos, showing the visual palaces of God’s creation.

* Outside of nature, we have examples such as the internal combustion engine. This can power an automobile to long distances and high speeds and are equipped with devices to make driving as smooth and carefree as possible. But the internal combustion engine is an elementary machine compared to the amazingly-sophisticated machinery within a single-cell organism. The DNA of such an organism, if printed out, could span countless pages. If a human being created the engine, it is not logical to believe that a Supreme Being created the organism? If a simple engine could not have invented itself, how could a single-celled organism have done that?

Whenever I hear people say they only believe what they can see, I tell them to open their eyes. Proof is everywhere.

We are indeed without excuse, as verse 20 tells us. God gives us all we need to know Him and want to learn more about Him, and it’s our responsibility to respond to the obvious evidence and seek Him out.

But, suppose that God chose to supernaturally prove Himself to us, as so many would love for him to do? I recall a pen pal once telling me that if God would simply come down and physically manifest Himself, then they would believe in Him.

Would this really help?

According to Luke 16, no.

Jesus tells the familiar story in this chapter about the rich man in hell. The rich man, we learn, lived royally and sumptuously while Lazarus, the poor, diseased beggar, lived off of whatever scraps fell from the rich man’s table. Both die; Lazarus goes to paradise while the rich man goes to hell. The two men’s destinations had nothing to do with their financial status, though. Lazarus placed his faith in God while the rich man had placed his faith in his money. Perhaps Lazarus even tried to talk to the rich man about God. The rich man, who already was filthy rich, may have wondered what useful advice this beggar could’ve possibly offered him. after all, doesn’t money buy happiness?

In the unspeakable agony of hell, the rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn the rich man’s younger brothers about this horrible place.

But instead of miraculously bringing Lazarus back from the dead, Abraham tells the rich man in verse 29 that his brothers have Moses and the prophets (what we would know as the Old Testament), and that his brothers should hear them instead. In other words, through the writings of Moses and the prophets, God gave the Israelites the information they needed to secure eternal life. All they needed to do was search the scriptures and find God there.

“But, you don’t understand, Father Abraham!” the rich man might’ve countered. “My brothers don’t believe in the writings of Moses and the prophets. They are rational men who want some type of scientific proof that God really exists. If you send Lazarus to them, they WILL believe!”

Abraham’s response is one we should really consider. He says in verse 31: “…If [your brothers] hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

In other words, if they forsake the evidence that is plainly before them, then they won’t consider something supernatural. Remember, people saw Jesus perform miracles and walked away without believing in Him; some of them instead insisted that Jesus used the power of the devil to perform miracles or griped that He was performing miracles on the Sabbath. Countless Israelites died in the wilderness because they wouldn’t follow God despite the miracles they’d already seen. Pharaoh continually hardened his heart despite all the miracles he’d seen Moses perform. Jezebel, despite hearing what King Ahab said regarding his account of Elijah’s miracle, still chose to follow her own gods. Revelation tells us that despite people witnessing the supernatural events of God in the end times, most will still reject Christ.

And today, what if such a miracle happened? Many would insist that the “miracle” of God has some sort of rational scientific explanation. Others might want to see another miracle. Some, such as King Herod in Luke 23:8, might look it as entertainment only, perhaps the way people do towards illusionists like David Copperfield. Others would have little interest, their minds already made up to follow after their own desires rather than God’s.

When persons choose not to follow God or acknowledge the evidence clearly before them, they are sending themselves into dangerous spiritual ground. Romans 1:21-25 explains:
21 – Because that, 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.

22 – Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 – And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 – Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 – Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
If a person chooses not to believe in or follow God despite all the overwhelming evidence God gives and turns their backs on the Holy Spirit’s promptings for the final time, Scripture teaches that God allows that person to go into their own way of thinking. A reprobate mind, which could’ve been used to serve God, is deemed useless.

Spiritual common sense slowly fades to the point to where the totally illogical will soon sound perfectly logical. This is how people develop outlandish and often blasphemous perspectives on God: they reject the evidence God puts before them, and as a result, God allows Satan full discourse to come in and conform them to ungodliness. We often wonder how people can call evil good and good evil. When they fall into corrupted thinking, this is how they can do that. The further a person falls away from a loving, rational God, the further from rationality they fall.

Many will stand before God in judgment at the day of the Great White Throne Judgment, when Jesus judges unbelievers for the final time. Their works will be reviewed, including all the chances they had to receive Christ as their personal savior. They will discover that they were without excuse.

If you’d like to know more about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, drop me a line at mytwoshekels@gmail.com.

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