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Creation's Message

Tom Pennington • Romans 1:19-20

  • 2014-11-23 AM
  • Romans
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Man has always been fascinated with various aspects of God's creation and one of those is with the stars. Astronomers have identified about 88 constellations; 40 of those date from ancient times and we don't really know when or how those original constellations were identified and named. All we know is that they come to us through the Sumerians and then through the Greeks.

In the mid-19th century an Englishwoman named Frances Rolleston tried to answer the mystery of the constellations. She came up with a theory and later wrote a book in which she argued that the constellations as we know them are actually vestiges of a primal gospel that God presented to man before He gave us His written revelation. A few years later in 1882 an American pastor by the name of Joseph Seiss embellished her theory and wrote a book entitled, The Gospel in the Stars. Ten years later, in 1893 English theologian E. W. Bullinger wrote, The Witness in the Stars and that idea has been around since that time. In fact, even in my lifetime, back in 1989 D. James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, further popularized this idea in his book, The Real Meaning of the Zodiac.

These books all argue that God has woven the gospel message into His creation, specifically, into the stars. Now, I think those ideas were for the most part, well-intentioned, but at the same time they are completely wrong. They are contrary to the Scripture. God has revealed the gospel only through special revelation, that is, through the Scripture. That's why when Paul finally gets to Romans 10 he says, "How shall they hear this good news without" what? "a preacher," without someone to tell them.

Now, I think the foundation of what became a bad idea, The Gospel in the Stars, began with a good idea and that is, that it is true that God has revealed certain truths about Himself through what theologians call general revelation. That is, there are truths God has revealed generally, or universally, to all men, even those who don't have a Bible. It is general revelation that Paul uses in Romans 1 to indict all immoral pagans. They can never say, not one person can ever say, I didn't know anything about God because I didn't have the Scripture. In fact, in the passage that we come to today in Romans 1, Paul tells us that all men know enough about God from observing creation to leave them completely without excuse when they stand before their creator at the final judgment.

Now, let me remind you of the flow of Paul's thought. After some introductory comments in the first 15 verses, in verses 16 and 17 he introduces us to the theme of this letter. It is the gospel and, of course, at the heart of the gospel is the message of justification by faith alone, in Christ alone, and he introduces that in verses 16 and 17, and then he moves, beginning in verse 18, to show us that that gospel message is absolutely crucial, because apart from the gospel all men stand, even now, under the wrath of God. Let's read it together, Romans 1:18-23. After introducing the gospel message in verses 16 and 17, he says,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness 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, and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Now, beginning with this text that we have just read and running through chapter 3 verse 20, Paul sets out to prove man's universal need for the gospel. He sets out to show us that every human being, without exception, needs the righteousness that God promises in the gospel, the righteousness that comes to the sinner as a gift from God, received by faith alone. Every man needs that message and he begins with the immoral pagan. That's really the message of chapter 1, beginning in verse 18 and running down through verse 32. This is the person who doesn't claim to worship the true God of the Bible and against such a person, notice verse 18, "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven." Literally, Paul says, "the wrath of God is being revealed," present tense. In other words, there is an expression of God's wrath happening right now on this planet.

Now, the rest of chapter 1 falls naturally into two parts, as it springs from that idea that begins verse 18. First of all, Paul answers the question, why is God's wrath revealed against immoral pagans? That's verses 18 to 23, the paragraph we just read together. Why is God's wrath revealed? The second part of this chapter is, how is God's wrath revealed against immoral pagans? And that's answered in verses 24 down through verse 32. So first of all then, Paul anticipates and answers the question, why is God's wrath revealed? And he explains two reasons in this paragraph that God is angry with every immoral pagan. And we noted this last time, first of all, He is angry because of the immoral pagan's willful rebellion against God's law, his willful rebellion against God's law. And that rebellion falls into two basic categories. First of all, ungodliness. Notice verse 18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness."

Now, we defined this last time and noted that it really is made up in its constituent parts, ungodliness, of three things. It is a lack of fear of God, it is a lack of love for God, and it is a lack of worship of God. Those are the three things that God our creator demands of every human being and we have not done that, and therefore we are ungodly. Now ungodly doesn't mean irreligious. In fact, as we will discover in this text most ungodly people are very religious, but they are ungodly because they do not fear the true living God, they do not love the true living God, and they do not worship the true and living God. So, ungodliness.

Another expression of our rebellion against God's law is unrighteousness. Notice again verse 18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men." As we defined it last time, unrighteousness is the lack of conformity, in our thinking and in our speaking and in are behaving, to the law of God, a lack of conformity to God's law and ultimately, therefore, to the character of God on which His law is based. So, God's wrath is being revealed from heaven because of the pagan's willful rebellion against God's law. A rebellion manifested in ungodliness and unrighteousness.

Now, there's a second reason God's wrath is being revealed and that is the immoral pagan's willful ignorance of God's person. Not only is he willfully rebellious against God's law, he is willfully ignorant of God's person. Now, last time we began to examine this point by just looking at the brief summary of it that Paul gives at the end of verse 18. Notice how he describes all men as those "who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." By truth here, as is clear in context, and we will see today, Paul means the truth about God that He has revealed in His creation. Sinful man holds that truth down, he stifles it, he tries to silence His voice. In other words, men are willfully ignorant of God's person. Why? Why would man respond that way? Well, verse 18 explains, "who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." We suppress the truth that we know about God because we love our sin.

Now, that's where we left off last time and today as we continue to examine the pagan's willful ignorance of God's person, we move from the brief summary at the end of verse 18 and we consider Paul's detailed explanation of this point in verses 19 to 23. The key issue here that frames the foundation for the argument is, look again at verse 18, the end of verse 18, how can Paul say that someone who doesn't have the Scripture is suppressing the truth? I mean, how can you suppress something you don't have? That's the immediate question and so Paul sets out to answer that question, and he begins answering it by saying, God has revealed Himself, the fact that God has revealed Himself is why I can say they suppress the truth.

Every sinner knows about the one true God. Look at verse 19, "because that which is known about God is evident within them." In a moment Paul is going to explain what the sinner knows about God and he's going to explain how he knows, but here in verse 19 he simply asserts the simple, incontrovertible fact that he knows, "it is evident with in them." "It is evident within them." The Greek word translated evident means visible, clear, plainly seen, open. It is a fact that every sinner knows because God has revealed the truth about Himself to them. Look at how verse 19 goes on, "because that which is known about God is evident," is clear, is visible, is plain, "within them." How can Paul say that? "For," because here's why, "God made it evident to them." Here is the reason the sinner knows. Literally, the Greek text says, "For God caused it to become known to them." "God caused it to become known to them." God has made certain truths about Himself clear, visible, and plain.

Now that is a defining statement by the apostle Paul because think about the people in our world who either deny or doubt the existence of God. What do they say? The atheist denies the existence of God and he does so based on the lack of evidence. The agnostic doubts the existence of God and on what basis does he doubt? Because there simply isn't enough evidence. God's response in both cases, to the atheist and the agnostic, is that's simply not true. He has made certain things about Himself patently clear to every human being.

Years ago John Blanchard wrote a book with a fascinating title. I love this title, perhaps you've heard of the book. It's called, Does God Believe in Atheists? Now think about that for a moment. The answer from Romans 1 is, absolutely not. God doesn't believe in atheists. There is not one person who is an unbiased, convinced atheist. Instead, according to the apostle Paul, to arrive at the position of an atheist or an agnostic you have to suppress what God has made evident to you. You have to suppress what you already know about the true God.

So, when did God reveal this truth about Himself to them and what exactly did He reveal and how did He reveal it? Well, Paul answers all those questions in verse 20, "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." Now notice, Paul first of all answers when God revealed Himself. He deals with the issue of when God revealed himself. Verse 20 begins, "For since the creation of the world." Now the Greek word world, cosmos, is used in a lot of different ways in Scripture and here even the leading Greek lexicon agrees that it's used in a broader sense than merely the planet Earth. It's used of the universe, everything in the universe, since God created the universe. In other words, from the beginning of human history, from the time when evening and morning marked the first day, certain truths about God have been clearly seen. That's when God revealed Himself.

Notice what God revealed about Himself. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes." Stop there. "His invisible attributes." Now, God is by nature a spirit and therefore He is invisible. The Scripture is clear about this again and again. For example, John 1:18, "No one has seen God at any time." Colossians 1:15, speaking of Christ, says, "He is the image of the invisible God." First Timothy 1:17, Paul breaks out in doxology about God and he calls Him, "the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God." So God then is invisible, however, Paul here argues that the invisible God has made certain of his invisible attributes visible. In fact, there's a wordplay in the Greek text, which is, that's basically what he says. He's made His invisible attributes visible.

Now, what exactly has He made visible? What of His invisible attributes, those qualities that are true of Him, that are invisible, what of that has He made visible? Well, notice, first of all, "His eternal power." That's really a reference to two separate attributes of God. His eternity and his power. His eternity; it is clear that the God who made this world is eternal. You say, how can that be clear from the creation? Well, think about it. We all understand and know from the record of human history we study in human history, and even if we haven't studied history, we live in some remote jungle somewhere, we know there have been generations before us, and yet the world goes on, it's sustained. So there is indication in the world that the One who made all these things is not susceptible to the same decay and death that the creation is, He is eternal. But specifically he says, "His eternal power," that reality in God that enables Him to do whatever He decides to do, His power. That's clear. How is that clear? Well, think about it. I mean, look around you. The obvious grandeur of the earth, the vastness of the heavens makes it clear that the One who made and sustains all these things must have power beyond our ability to conceive.

Let's just take one example. Take, for example, one of the more common occurrences on the planet and yet one of the most potent examples of God's power, the thunderstorm. We know those all too well here in North Texas. Think about a thunderstorm for a moment. At any given moment there are nearly 2,000 thunderstorms occurring on the earth's surface. Scientists estimate that the average thunderstorm releases the energy equivalent to a 20 kiloton nuclear weapon. Now folks, we can't even begin to imagine the kind of power it takes to sustain a single thunderstorm, much less 2,000 thunderstorms every moment, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for the entire period of human history, and yet that is just one little expression of the power of God. In fact, in Job 26:14 Job calls the entire universe and everything God does in the universe, every expression of his power, "the fringes of His ways." What we see in the universe hasn't even begun to tap the power of God. It's, "the fringes of His ways." Job calls it, "a faint whisper." What we see of the power of God is like a faint whisper and so he says, "who can understand the thunder of His power?" If everything we see is just a whisper, who can understand what His power is really like? So God has revealed His eternal power.

Also notice, Paul says, in verse 20, "His divine nature." This a comprehensive term. The Greek word that's used describes those qualities that are normally associated with deity. In other words, Paul is saying, man knows there is a God. He knows that there is an eternal, immensely powerful, supreme being who made all of these things. And, oh by the way, Paul argues in a different place that creation shows us that that supreme being is a personal being and not a force. When he is speaking to the Athenians on Mars Hill in Acts 17 he argues this way, he says, even the poets, even your poets, the Greek poets, have admitted that we are the children of God, that man is the offspring of God, and so Paul says, "Being then the children of God, as men, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature," there's our word, "we ought not to think that the Supreme Being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man." You follow Paul's logic? He's saying, look around you, it's obvious that we, human beings, are the high point of God's creation on this planet. That's patently obvious, and therefore, that means God must be a personal being like us, He's not like an inanimate object that He's made, He's not like an animal. He has to be like us in that way, a person, a personal being. So God then has revealed his invisible attributes, specifically, His eternity, His power, and His deity, His divine nature.

Next in verse 20, Paul addresses how God revealed Himself. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen." They've been perceived, they've been noticed by all men, but notice Paul takes this a step further. Not only are these truths about God perceived, or noticed, but they are understood and specifically they are understood through, or by means of, what has been made. In other words, all men understand those things about God by looking at what He's made. So the sinner then, looks at everything God has made and everywhere he looks he sees God's eternal power. He sees His divine nature, but he not only sees it, Paul says, he understands it, he grasps it, he comprehends it.

Now, that is another really key point to note, because Paul says not only is there general revelation out there, but God has given every person the capacity to receive that general revelation. We could put it this way, God has put billboards all over the planet that placard who He is and He's given every person the glasses to be able to see it. They get it. They understand it. The problem then is not a lack of evidence. It's that man universally chooses to reject that revelation. Back to the end of verse 18, "he suppresses the truth in unrighteousness." That is, what Paul is saying in verse 20 is crucial to understand. You know, probably every month, someone asks me a question something like this, you know, I understand Tom, people have to hear the gospel in order to be saved, but what about the aborigine? What about the Native American who never heard the gospel? What about the animist in some deep dark jungle somewhere? What about him? Listen, Paul says in verse 20 that every person who has ever lived, from the tribal warrior in the most isolated jungle to the most educated citizens of the world's greatest cities, every human being knows certain things about the true God, and he knows it because of what he sees in the creation. He knows there is a God who created it all.

In fact, you see this borne out even in statistics. You know, if you look at the world almanac and you sort of track who believes what across the planet, what you'll discover is, of the seven billion people on this planet, six out of every seven, six out of seven, believe there is a God, there is a supreme being. Where did that come from? God made it evident to them. And the other one out of seven? It's not that he doesn't see, it's that he suppresses that truth. He denies it, he stifles it, he ignores it. So, he knows there is a God. He knows that God is eternal. That His life transcends our short lifespan. He knows that God is all-powerful and he knows that God is a personal being like himself. He knows those things because God has made them evident to him. He not only sees them clearly in creation, he understands those truths.

By the way, Scripture makes this plain in other places as well. Turn with me to one of my favorites, Psalm 19. In Psalm 19 David talks about God's revelation and in the first six verses he talks about general revelation, what God has made known his creation, and then in verses 7 to 14 he talks about special revelation, what God has revealed in His Word. But notice what he says about general revelation, what God has made known in His creation. David writes in verse 1, Psalm 19, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." He says, listen, simply look up, look up. If it's daytime you see the sun and the atmosphere. If it's nighttime, you see the stars and you see the moon, and that creative work of God is declaring, literally, is declaring the glory or the weightiness of God, the things that makes God impressive, and "the work of His hands."

Now, notice this message is relentless, verse 2, "Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge." If you're awake, whether it's daytime or nighttime, you're getting the message. It's relentless, everywhere you look, any time of day or night, and you don't have to speak a certain language to hear it, verse 3, "There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard." In other words, it's not like creation communicates in one language that only one people group somewhere gets. Instead, it doesn't verbally express itself at all and so it communicates to everyone. Notice verse 4, "Their line," or possibly their sound, the creation cries out. That's gone out, "through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world." There is not a place on this planet you can go where day after day, night after night, God's creation isn't screaming at you about what makes Him glorious, what makes Him weighty. It's amazing.

Turn over to Jeremiah, Jeremiah 5. The prophet Jeremiah is dealing with the sins of both Israel, the northern tribes, as well as Judah, the southern tribes, and he says in Jeremiah 5:21,

'Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
Who have eyes but do not see;
Who have ears but do not hear.
Do you not fear me?' declares Yahweh.
'Do you not tremble in My presence?'

Now, what evidence is God going to give them, what impetus, to fear Him and to tremble. He goes to creation. He goes to general revelation. He pulls one example from creation, "For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, an eternal decree, so that it cannot cross over it. Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it." God says, just look at one thing, just look at how I've establish boundaries for the ocean, and as a result of looking at that you should fear Me, you should tremble before Me. It shows My greatness, it shows My power, it shows My deity. Verse 23,

'But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and departed.
'So they do not say in their heart,
"Let us now fear the Lord our God, 
[and he is going to give us another reason that, from general revelation, that we ought to fear God.]
He gives rain in its season,
Both the autumn rain and the spring rain,

Listen, the rain God gave us yesterday, and just a touch of relief from the drought we've been experiencing, that is God, as we read in Psalm 65 this morning, caring for this planet. That is, you know that image of the last part of Psalm 65 is God, like a farmer, making furloughs and causing everything to grow. He goes on to another point, "Who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest." God's provision, God's care, this should cause us to fear Him, and it's visible to us in general revelation.

Now, these passages and others that we haven't looked at, teach that our knowledge of God and spiritual realities comes not through reason alone or through experience, but because God has chosen to make Himself known. In other words, through revelation, and God's revelation takes two forms. Special revelation, and that is for us today the Scripture, and general revelation, that is how He has spoken generally to all men who don't have the Scripture, and how has He spoken in general revelation? In Romans 1 we only see primarily one way and that is through the creation, but that is not the only way that God speaks in general revelation. He speaks through the creation, but he also speaks secondly, in conscience. Romans 2, he's put the law of God, verses 14 and 15 of chapter 2, in the heart of every man; they have an understanding of right and wrong. God's written that, woven that, into the fabric of man's soul.

So what does that teach him about God? Well, it teaches him that God has a standard, God has a law, has an expectation. Also, his conscience, what happens when he keeps that law? His conscience affirms him. When he breaks it, his conscience accuses him. So what does that teach us about God? That God is a God of justice. In fact, if you look at the end of chapter 1 of Romans and verse 32, Paul is going to make the point that men through their conscience know the ordinance of God, and they know, "that those who practice such things are worthy of death." In other words, man understands God is morally restrictive and that He will punish those who break His law, and their conscience reminds them of that every time they sin.

But that's not all that God reveals in general revelation. Not only does He speak through creation, not only does He speak through conscience, but in general revelation God also speaks through providence, through His good gifts to His creatures. Turn to Acts 14. This is a great text for Thanksgiving. Acts 14, here we have one of the classic examples of Paul preaching to a pagan audience. The other one, of course, is Acts 17 at Mars Hill. You know that what Paul normally did when he arrived at a city is he usually started in the synagogue by preaching the gospel to Jews and to Gentile proselytes, and because both the Jews and the Gentile proselytes believed there was one true God, where did Paul normally start? He started by saying Jesus is the Messiah. Let me prove to you that the One promised in the Scriptures is in fact Jesus of Nazareth, but that's not where he started with a pagan audience.

Now, you're familiar with the story here, they show up, Paul and Barnabas show up in Lystra, verse 8, there is a lame man and by God's power they heal this man, verse 10, and when the crowd saw it, they think they're gods, verse 12, "they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes," and the people are preparing to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas, verse 13. When the apostles heard what was going on, when they understood it, "they tore their robes," a universal sign of distress, "and they rushed out into the crowd, crying out," and here is what they said, "Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and we preach the good news to you that you should turn from these vain things," speaking of their idols, Zeus, Hermes, these are vain, worthless things, turn from those things, notice, to the true God, "a living God."

So where Paul starts is by saying there is one true God and then he goes to that God as the Creator. He is the God, notice the end of verse 15, "who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them." He's the living God, He's the creator God, He's the only God.

In generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own way; and yet He did not leave Himself without a witness.

Even where there was no Scripture, God had a witness. What was that witness? And here we come to God's providential care, to His common grace to all of His creatures. Here's how God witnessed to pagans and He still does. He does them good. "He gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons," and I love this, "satisfying your hearts with food and gladness."

Folks, we're going to experience that this week as will people all across our country. That is an expression of God's common grace. It's an expression of God's nature. It tells us that God is good, that He's generous, that He's kind. So then, from the light of general revelation every man knows that there is a God and according to Romans 1 he knows that that God is powerful, invisible, and according to Romans 2 he knows that that God is just and that there is a judgment coming for his sins, and according to Acts 14 he knows from general revelation that God is also good and generous.

Now, what results from God's revelation in creation? Go back to Romans 1. What results from this knowledge that he has? Verse 20 says, "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," here's the result, "they," that is, all human beings, and particularly here, immoral pagans, "are without excuse." Not one human being, whether he is locked in false religion, be it animism or atheism, can legitimately say that God has not provided sufficient evidence of His existence or His character. Think of it this way, general revelation is a divine billboard that has been set up in every place on this planet. As Boyce says, "There is enough evidence of God in a flower to lead a child, as well as a scientist, to worship God. There is sufficient evidence in a tree, a pebble, a grain of sand, a fingerprint, to make us glorify God, and thank Him."

Folks, God has given us an objective revelation of Himself and He's done so in general revelation, in creation, in conscience, and in providence. Now, it is true that man's ability to see that and to understand it as well as he ought to has been marred by the fall. In other words, our sinfulness causes us to misunderstand God's general revelation, but that doesn't change the reality that it exists, or our guilt. Think of it this way. Let's assume for a moment, sometime this week, you are in a hurry to get somewhere and you're in your car and you're blazing down the road at the legal speed limit of 55 miles an hour and you come to a school zone and there you see a sign on the side of the road, it's blinking at you, and it says School Zone Speed Limit 20 miles an hour, but you're in a hurry and so you don't see the sign, and you drive on at 55 miles an hour. The policeman pulls you over and he starts to give you a ticket. Now, you could argue, officer, I didn't see the sign. And what's he going to say? Too bad. Because if you're driving the car, with that driving comes the responsibility to look for the signs and to obey them.

But let's say for a moment the situation is a little different. Let's say it's a stretch of road you always drive, every day, and so you know the sign is there, you know what the speed limit is, but you sort of intentionally shield your eyes and your mind from that because you're in a hurry and what you're doing is more important than obeying the speed limit. That's the picture, according to Romans 1, of every human being. It's not that he doesn't see the sign. God's put the sign-up and he just doesn't see it, bless his heart. No, it's he ignores it, he suppress it. He says I don't want to know about the speed limit, because I want to speed. I'm in a hurry and what I'm doing is more important. So we're all left with no excuse. God has put up the sign about Himself in creation. He's given us the capacity to see it and people see it, all people see it, and ignore it. The Belgic confession puts it this way, "The creation, preservation, and government of the universe are before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to see clearly the invisible things of God, even His everlasting power and divinity, as the apostle says. All these things are sufficient to convince men and to leave them without excuse."

Paul's point is that the problem is not a lack of evidence, but willful ignorance. So even though a pagan may never hear the gospel, he has no excuse because he has rejected what he already knows. God has clearly revealed certain things to him and he suppresses those things, he denies it, he rejects God's evidence, and he chooses instead what verse 25 calls, "a lie." Therefore, he justly experiences today, right now, the wrath of God's abandonment, and in the future he will justly face God's wrath of eternal judgment, chapter 2 of Romans.

So listen carefully, this is so important to understand. General revelation will never lead to salvation, but only to condemnation. It doesn't save a man, it doesn't save a woman, all it does is make them without excuse. That's why Paul says we've got to tell them about Christ. "How shall they hear without a preacher?" Douglas Moo puts it this way, "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." Folks, the people in your family that you may rub shoulders with this week who aren't in Christ, your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends at school, they see, they know there is a God, and they suppress that knowledge because they want their sin and they are without excuse, and someday they will stand before God justly bearing the weight of that sin and the only way they will ever know that they can be reconciled to their creator is if you and I tell them.

Now this week is Thanksgiving. I want you to consider a couple things in light of the text we've studied together this morning as you gather with your family and friends. Three things I encourage you to do. Number one, celebrate the one true God who has made Himself known. There's only one God and He's revealed himself. I love the way Francis Schaeffer puts it, "He is there and He is not silent." He could've been silent, but He's not. He's revealed Himself. Number two, celebrate what God has graciously revealed about Himself to all men in general revelation. As you gather with your family and friends think about what God has made known to every person on the planet, His existence, His divine nature, His immortality, His power, His righteousness, His justice in a future judgment, His amazing goodness and generosity, even to those who are His enemies. Thirdly, celebrate especially what God has made known to us in His special revelation, in the Scripture. Thank God that we don't just have the light of creation because all that would do is condemn us. That in the Scripture He's told us how we, His creation, can be reconciled to Him, our Creator, through the life and death of His Son Jesus Christ, that by repenting of our sins and believing in Him we can know our Creator, we can be reconciled to Him, and pray and look for opportunities to share with others the gospel, not the one written in the stars, it's not written there, but the one written here in this book.

Let's pray together. Our Father, we are amazed at Your wisdom. Thank You that You have placarded the truth about Yourself across the universe, and that no one misses it. Father, I pray for those here today who are not in Christ, who do not know You through Your Son, that they would see the sobering reality of their true relationship to You, that they sit here this morning with Your already having decided they are without excuse. Father, may this be the day they run from their sin to Christ.

Father, I pray for us who know You through Your Son, this week as we gather with our family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, fill our hearts with true gratitude, true gratitude that You exist and that You have made Yourself known to us. We thank You for what You've revealed even in the creation about Yourself, but O God, we thank You for what You've revealed in Your word, that we can be reconciled to You, that we can know You. Father, fill our hearts with true Thanksgiving. We pray in Jesus's name, amen.