Without Excuse? (PART 2)

Surprisingly enough, the Bible makes it perfectly clear that the entire world is 'without excuse' in its ignorance of the existence of God. Isn't that an amazing assertion? "For that which can be known about God is plain to them," we read, in Romans 1:19, "because God has shown it to them." 

But the question remains: how so? How has God "made it plain"; so plain in fact that the whole world is without excuse? That's what we began exploring last week. 

First and foremost among the proofs are the works of God. In "the things that are made" we read in Romans 1, the attributes of God can be "known and understood" by even the most primitive of indigenous people groups. 

That's where we left off last week. But let's go on; because the second great proof is just awesome. 

2. 'Proof' of God's existence can be found in the Word of God. Make no mistake about it, dear family; there is powerful evidence of the Living God right in the midst of His Word! How many times have you found yourself sitting under the preaching of God's Word only to be telling yourself in the end: "He's talking to me!" "How did he know?" No, no one's been talking to the preacher about you—God forbid!—that's just the way the Word of God works. 

The Bible calls it "the living Word" in 1 Pet 1: 23. And in Hebrews 4 it is not only "living", it is "active"! But—wait!—we're not done yet! Not only that, but it is "a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Heb 4:12 

Wow! The Bible: a discerner! The NIV translates it as: "it judges...". What a staggering thought! That means, dear ones, that whenever you are openly and honestly reading this Word; it has been reading you! There is something 'living' and 'active' and 'sharper than a double-edged sword' about this Word that is proof that its Author is real! 

This particular 'proof' of God is actually how I came to Christ. I was an arrogant, self-absorbed intellectual buffoon who wanted nothing to do with Christ or with God, and so very proud of my 'literary' education! 

One day a Christian on campus approached me: "So...you're a lit-major huh? Well then! I'm sure you've read the most influential book ever written." I knew what he meant: here was yet another obnoxious Christian trying to peddle the Bible to me. "I can't say I've read much of the Bible really", was my irritated reply. 

"Oh really! Then, how could you consider yourself a literature major? I suggest you go home and read the Gospel of John, right away!" 

I grudgingly replied that I might consider it. You have to understand that, up until that time, I had never once considered the Bible to be anything but a shallow collection of trite religious platitudes. 

But that evening I scrounged up a Bible and blew the dust off it; just to add one more piece of 'literature' to my 'vast' and 'impressive' education. I turned to the first chapter of John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God..." John 1:1 

 Okay. Good enough. But the next sentence caught me off guard: 

"...and the Word was God." Well! I had to admit that that was not quite as 'shallow' as I'd expected. If the Word was "with God" how could it "be God"? Already, after only a single verse, I wasn't comprehending this book. 

The next few verses were equally mystifying; "He was in the beginning with God". "'He' who? Who's 'He'? I thought we were talking about this thing called 'the Word'"? 

As I read on, I became increasingly surprised—and I was telling myself—that I was not, after all, 'comprehending' this book. And that's when I came to verse 5: 

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." 

The words just pierced me like a sword! Their import? Crystal! I was darkness! The most uncomfortable feeling came over me that day, that while I was reading this Book, it had been reading me! That was my very first encounter with the Living Word of God. 

Later I wound up with Sharilyn at a Bible study in a college dorm room at Cal State Fullerton. I cannot remember how I had managed to let that happen. But there I was, and I was hating every minute of it. It made me feel so uncomfortable! These were not my people; these were not my ways; this was not my lifestyle. I spent most of the evening despising my surroundings. 

But there in the midst of a packed out living room was a young 19-year-old evangelist preaching from God's Word. He was expounding from the 4th chapter of Daniel: about the humiliation of King Nebuchadnezzar. And as I stood there in the back, just seething inside, those words from Daniel 4 did it again: the arrogant king; so proud of himself; so impressed with his own might; boasting of his own power and his own kingdom in defiance of God, until he was suddenly "struck down" and sent crawling on all fours! 

"He's preaching to me!" was the first thought I had. "How does he know?" And then a voice within, just as clear as can be: "This story is about you. You...are...that...king!" 

That evening after the Living Word had "read" me once again, I gave my life to Christ. 

Oh, yes! This mighty Word of God is wonderful proof that its Author is real; that He is alive and well, and that we, dear family—all of us!—are surly without excuse! 

 

See you Sunday!             RAS

 

Without Excuse? (PART 3)
Without Excuse?