"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteous of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 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. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:18-22).
Far from being ignorant, Paul makes it clear that the human race has received tremendous evidence concerning the existence and power of God since the creation and that the sinful actions of mankind are not a manifestation of "they don’t know any better", but rather are deliberate attempts to block God out of their consciousness.
Human History • Post-flood: • In most cases a tendency to degradation and not to progressive improvement manifests itself as time goes on. The farther back you go into the religion of a culture, the nearer you will come to the concept of the one true God. In South Africa, Australia, and elsewhere, among the native tribes, traditions still linger of a Creator of all things, but His worship has been entirely laid aside in favor of lower and more evil deities. (See: "Comparative Religion“)
Human History • Abraham: • Abraham’s nephew Lot arose the Moabites and Ammonites, from Abraham’s son Ishmael, come the various Arabian tribes (Genesis 25:12-18), added to this the various children borne to him by Keturah (25:1-4). Abraham’s grandson Esau, was the founder of the Edomite nation.
Human History • Moses: • As a result, the known world heard about God’s mighty acts (Exodus 9:16; Joshua 2:9-11). • Exodus 9:16 16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. • Joshua 2:9-11 9 and said to the men: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us…10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage…for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven…
Human History • Joshua: • Numbers 22:3 And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. • Once again, remember, many other nations, from India to the east and points west would hear about all these events. • Solomon: 1 Kings 10:1-9 6 Then she said to the king: “It was a true report… about your words and your wisdom.
Human History • The Prophets: • Joseph and Moses in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, and interacting with both Babylonian and Persian kings, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther among the Persians, John the Baptist and Herod, Paul before Festus, Felix, and Caesar, and of course, Jesus before Pilate.
Human History • The New Testament: • Before King Agrippa, Paul noted that the events which composed the Gospel message had not happened in some obscure place, "For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner" (Acts 26:26).
1. The Roman government and the Jewish leadership had been told that the Messiah had been born (Matthew 2:1-2). 2. John the Baptist drew great crowds (Matthew 3:5), interacted with the Jewish leadership and confronted Herod about his immorality. 3. Jesus was followed and questioned by the Jewish leadership, and stood before Pilate. 4. The apostles spread the gospel into every nook and cranny of the Roman Empire (Colossians 1:23), to such an extent that even the personal bodyguards of the Emperor had heard the gospel message (Philippians 1:13).
Bible Morality "32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:32). "14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them" (Romans 2:14-15).
Far from simply "not knowing any better", God makes it clear that we understand that all these nations did know better. Bible morality isn’t some strange, unheard of, quirky moral standard. The truth of the matter is that Bible morality is so "common sense", that all cultures have similar laws.
In Our Own Time Besides the wonders still seen in the physical creation (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20), and which have only been intensified by such inventions as the microscope, telescope, photography and other scientific advances, consider all the "testimony" that is available to the people who live on our planet today.
Y2K Millennium Fever: • All the hype about the end of the world with the dawn of the year 2000 has only made people more aware of the fact that the Bible does say that Jesus is one day coming back to judge mankind (Matthew 25:31; Acts 17:30-31) • Christmas/Easter: • Reminders of the fact that Jesus actually lived, died and arose again. • Movies:
Music: • Remind people that Jesus was actually born, that He was born of a virgin, that He wasn’t simply a religious leader, but rather that He is the King, Immanuel, the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
Conclusion Truly, even to our society, God could say, "For even though they knew God" (Romans 1:21). 21 ….they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.