“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 HCSB)
Romans 1:19 tells us that God personally delivers the evidence for His existence and allows everyone to see that evidence for themselves. The nature of that evidence is given to us in the following verse…
“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” (Romans 1:20 NIV).
We can associate this “design evidence” with a philosophical assertion known as the Teleological argument for God’s existence. That line of reasoning is expressed in the following manner…
- The existence of a design implies the existence of a designer.
- Creation shows evidence of design.
- Therefore, there is evidence of a designer of creation.
With this in mind, we can say that “creation” (or “nature”) represents a kind of window through which we can see the reality of God’s existence. For instance, every thinking human being is quietly reminded every day that the existence of creation assumes the existence of a Creator. Just as an artist, musician, or craftsman can be known by the existence of his or her work, the reality of the Creator’s existence can be verified by the existence of His work as well.
Romans 1:20 tells us that this evidence is so clear that human beings are literally “without excuse.” This means that no one will ever be able to truthfully claim that he or she was unaware of the Creator’s existence. While many are undoubtedly uncomfortable with the idea of a Creator, no one will ever be able to truthfully assert that the evidence didn’t exist.
This is important in light of what comes next…
“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead” (Romans 1:21-22 NLT).
When it comes to rejecting the truth of God’s existence, the Scriptures indicate that everything ultimately comes down to a single motivating factor: people don’t acknowledge God’s existence because they really don’t want to. In other words, this rejection is volitional, not evidential. We’ll consider the objective behind that response next.