• All around us there are people who claim to be atheists, agnostics, those who believe in some other God.
  • Others believe none of the Bible is true, some of the Bible is true or the entire Bible is true.
  • God states in His Word in Romans 1:19-20 that He personally causes EVERY person in EVERY PLACE in ALL TIME to know that He is God.
  • Does that mean that God doesn’t believe in Atheists?


INSIGHT – There are so many claims about God and the universe.

  1. People all over the world feel a need to worship someone or something:”Since the beginning of time, the same mysteries have puzzled people on every continent; the same fears have beset them. They have attempted to explain the mysteries and allay the fears in the same way.” – Michael Jordon in his book ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GODS with over 2500 deities of the world. – 1993 ISBN-10: 0816029091
  2. The inner need to find God has been placed there by God and Theologians call the “General ​ Revelation” and reveals God’s existence and power through natural means.
    • It reaches all people in every place. (Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17).
    • It encompasses the entire earth.
    • Its revelation refers to the general truths that can be known about God through nature.Psalm 19:1-4 declares, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”According to this passage, God’s existence and power can be clearly seen through observing the universe. The order, intricacy, and wonder of creation speak to the existence of a powerful and glorious Creator.
    • It employs universal means like the heat of the sun and human conscience.Romans 2:14-15, “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.” 
  3. This revelation illustrated:Just after 1853 Japan opened its country to foreign trade. One of the first missionaries visited and was asked why he had come. He told a small crowd that He had come to tell them about Jesus and how God came to earth to die for sinners and that He had risen from the dead. After the people left one man approached the missionary and bowed and humbly said, “Thank you for telling me about Jesus. I’ve always known he was there, I just didn’t know His name.”


INSIGHT – God’s word says:

  1. ROMANS 1:18-32
    • GOD CREATES US AND PLACES THE KNOWLEDGE THAT HE IS GOD IN EVERY PERSON But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature.
    • THEY SUPPRESSED THAT BELIEF IN GOD “So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
    • THEY WHO KNEW GOD BUT WOULDN’T WORSHIP HIM OR GIVE HIM THANKS 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks.
    • THEY BEGAN TO THINK OF FOOLISH IDEAS TO EXPLAIN AWAY GOD And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
    • GOD STEPPED ASIDE FROM CONVICTING THEM IN THEIR MIND AND CONSCIENCE AND THEY ACTED OUT THEIR SINFUL THOUGHTS  24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.
    • THEY TRADED WHAT THEY KNEW WAS TRUTH IN FAVOR OF LIES  25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
    • GOD AGAIN STEPPED ASIDE AND QUIT CONVICTING THEM OF THEIR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS TO DO EVEN MORE SHAMEFUL THINGS  26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
    • THEY DECIDED IT WAS FOOLISH TO BELIEVE OR FEAR GOD  28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God,
    • GOD AGAIN STEPPED ASIDE AND DIDN’T HINDER THEM FROM SINNING AND THEIR LIVES AND RELATIONSHIPS BECAME FULL OF SIN  He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.
    • THEY KNEW THAT GOD WAS GOING TO JUDGE THEM BUT CONTINUED TO SIN AND WORSE, THEY ENCOURAGED OTHERS TO SIN WITH THEM  32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. “SO THEY HAVE NO EXCUSE”
    • ROMANS 1:18 – “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”
      • The term the wrath of God (ὀργὴ θεου`, orgē theou) refers his settled hatred for sin expressed or continually revealed.
      • Romans 1:18-3:20 will demonstrate the truth of Romans 1:17, namely, that all men need the righteousness of God and that they can only obtain it through faith alone.
      • Further, people (ἀλήθεια, by their by their unrighteousness (ἀδικία, adikia). Here “unrighteousness” is not so much a general reference to the way in which they suppress the truth, but a reference to the sinful acts themselves, which are used to hold the truth from one’s sight.
      • Nothing could be more futile than to think that we can extinguish or destroy the truth through the means of sin. In the end, all we end up doing is confirming the truth.
      • But what truth do they suppress? Undoubtedly it refers to the truth about God, i.e., His power, authority, and the fact that we are accountable to him as Creator (Romans 1:19-20).
      • Of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, suppress (κατεχόντων, katechontōn) or hinder the truth
    • ROMANS 1:19 – “Because what can be known about God is plain to them; because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made.”
      • The phrase, ‘what can be known about God?’ (τὸ γνωστὸν του` θεου`, to gnōston tou theou) is literally, “the knowledge of God.”
      • It is obvious from the whole tenor of the passage, that the knowledge here is personal, but not saving knowledge of God (cf. Romans 1:21,32).
      • It is probably the knowledge that God has implanted in us, connected to the Imago Dei (perhaps conscience), and which is sparked or brought to memory through the evidence of creation.
      • Once again, the suppression of this “knowledge” invites the wrath of God for it leaves man without excuse.
    • ROMANS 1:20 – “So people are without excuse” ROMANS 1:21-23 – “Even though people knew God in terms of his existence, power, and divine nature, they did not acknowledge him, nor did they give thanks to him or for him.”
      • Verses 21-23 begin with for (γάρ, dioti) and give an explanation as to why men are without excuse.
      • Rather, having suppressed the knowledge of God, they have become futile in their thoughts (ἐματαιώθησαν ἐν τοι~ς διαλογισμοι~ς αὐτῶν, emataiōthēsan en tois dialogimois).The term “futile” (the verb and especially the noun) is connected to idolatry in the Greek Old Testament and this is probably the background underlying Paul’s thinking here.
      • Therefore, to suppress the knowledge of God is to engage in the futility of idolatry. It is, in short, to give oneself to “nothing,” a non-entity, since an idol is in reality “nothing.”
      • The extent of their futility is clearly evident in that they exchange God himself for images of reptiles, four-footed animals, birds, and even human beings (v. 23).
      • While idols can reduce the demand on a guilty conscience, they cannot save, as God repeatedly warns (Isaiah 41:9-10, 21-24; 44:6-23, etc.). Idolatry is the replacement of God, and true knowledge of Him, with any other, de facto inferior, object of worship.
      • The ironic thing about all this is that people arrogantly annex for themselves the claim (φάσκοντες, phaskontes) of wisdom when they replace the worship of God who is immortal for the worship of his creation which is mortal.
      • In reality they have become fools (ἐμωράνθησαν, emōranthēsan [cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18-25], lovers who will not stay at home, worshippers of something less than even themselves.
    • ROMANS 1:21 – “For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22: Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.”
      • The ironic thing about all this is that people arrogantly annex for themselves the claim (φάσκοντες, phaskontes) of wisdom when they replace the worship of God who is immortal for the worship of his creation which is mortal.
    • ROMANS 1:23 – “and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling a mortal human being and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.”
    • ROMANS 1:24 – “Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.”
      • God’s wrath is directed at all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of people (πάσαν ἀσέβειαν καὶ ἀδικίαν ἀνθρώπων), that is, their sinful transgressions against God and their corrupted behavior exhibited within human relationships. In short, all of human life is polluted with sin.
      • The expression “God gave them (παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεός, paredōken autous ho theos) over” means that the process envisioned in Romans 1:18-32 is not simply the natural course of events, but an ongoing history directed by a sovereign God who makes decisions which affect people, societies, and cultures.
      • The thought is truly a frightful one. It is reminiscent of Pharaoh turning his back on God and in turn having his heart judicially hardened by YHWH (Exodus 9:16; cf. Romans 9:17).
      • There comes a time in the divine mind when people, who revel in the sinful desires of their hearts, are to be handed over to their desire for impurity, in particular, to the dishonoring (του` ἀτιμάζεσθαι) of their bodies with one another.
      • One should not miss the ideological connection here between the Gentiles’ idolatry and sexual sin — a connection which was commonly made in the Judaism of Paul’s day.
    • ROMANS 1:25 – “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
      • Though there is no explicit grammatical tie with verse 24, verse 25 makes it clear that sexual perversion is closely linked with idolatry.
      • People have exchanged (μετήλλαξαν, metēllaxan) the truth about God’s existence and glory for the lie that he neither exists nor merits worship. Indeed, the irony of the whole thing is that they give religious worship and service to this lie (τ῅ ψεύδει, tō pseudei) when they give themselves to idolatry — the worship of the creation rather than the Creator.
      • For idolatry is not just the worship of useless idols, it is the express proclamation that the biblical God does not exist.
      • Such a thought is so abhorrent to Paul that he finds it necessary to invoke a blessing on God: “God is forever blessed!”
    • ROMANS 1:26 – “For this reason God gave them over (ἀποκαλύπτεται, apokalu„metia; cf. Romans 1:17) In his giving people over to their sinful folly (vv. 24, 26, 28).
      • “To dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.”
    • ROMANS 1:27-28 – “and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed In their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.”
      • The expression to see fit to acknowledge God is literally “they did not approve to have God in [their] knowledge.”
      • The word approve (ἐδοκίμασαν, edokimasan) means “to test,” “to examine,” “to come to a conclusion based on evidence.”
      • And the idea of knowledge (ἐπιγνώσις, epignōsis) always means “moral or religious knowledge” in the NT.
      • The point Paul is making, then, is this: Men and women tested the idea of God and having concluded that he would destroy their freedom (after all, He is the powerful Creator who has a legitimate claim on all his creation) made the conscious choice to dispel him from their thinking.
      • But since we are instinctively religious, we cannot go from God to nothing, for that would be impossible, but instead from God to idols. At least the latter makes no moral demands on one’s conscience and life.
      • People may have disapproved of God, but He has disapproved of them. Paul’s play on words is rich. He says that God gave us over to a depraved mind (ἀδόκιμον νου`ν, adokimon noun), literally, an “unapproved” mind, in order to do things that are not fitting, i.e., things not in accord with the will of God expressed in the created order.
      • Such is the divine response to rejection. We disapprove of God in our thoughts, so he gives us over to disapproved thinking!
    • ROMANS 1:29-32 – “They are filled with”
      • Unrighteousness (ἀδικίᾳ, adikia) is the same term Paul used twice in Romans 1:18. The fact that it heads up the list of vices shows its broad field of meaning and is probably intended by the apostle to remind the reader that the unrighteous condition of men is due to their suppression of the truth about God (Romans 1:18).
      • Wickedness (πονηρίᾳ, ponēria) means “baseness” or “maliciousness.”)
      • Covetousness, (πλεονεξίᾳ, pleonexia) means “avarice” or “greediness,” i.e., never being satisfied with what one has. It is a direct indictment regarding God’s ability to provide for his creation)…
      • Malice (κακίᾳ, kakia) means “to have ill-will toward someone,” “to be full of vice.”
      • Envy, (In the second section Paul continues by saying that people are rife, i.e., brimming with envy (φθόνου),
      • Murder, (φόνου),
      • Strife (ἔριδος)
      • Deceit (δόλου),
      • Hostility (κακοηθεία kakoētheias).
      • Gossips (ψιθυριστὰ psithuristas) who attempt to destroy others by undermining reputations.
      • Slander (καταλάλο, katalalous). It means to speak evil of someone.
      • Haters of God (θεοστυγει~ theostugeis) as evidenced particularly in their suppression of the truth about His existence, their moral baseness, and their passion for idolatry.
      • Insolent (ὑβριστὰ hubristas) may refer to more than impertinently insulting others of lower economic or social station in life, but can involve a measure of violence as well.
      • Arrogant (ὑπερηφάνου, huperēphanous) is used only in an unfavorable sense in Greek literature and refers to a haughty spirit, to the one who must always show himself/herself above others.
      • Boastful (ἀλαζόνα, alazonas) conjures up similar thoughts as well.
      • Contrivers of all sorts of evil (ἐφευρετὰ κακῶν, epheupetas kakōn). They are able to invent ways of doing evil against God and particularly against their neighbor.
      • Disobedient to their parents (γονευ~σιν ἀπειθει~goneusin apeitheis) — once again balking the created order.
      • Senseless (ἀσυνέτου, asunetous), that is, without moral understanding in keeping with truth, justice, and due regret for the heinous nature of their abominable thoughts and acts.
      • Covenant-breakers (ἀσυνθέτου, asunthetous) is used in the Greek OT of those who are treacherous with regard to God’s covenant. That is, they are unfaithful to him and to his covenant people.
      • Heartless (ἀστόργου, astorgous), i.e., having no natural affection for others even within their own family.
      • Ruthless (ἀνελεήμονα, aneleēmonas), i.e., completely devoid of any mercy.
      • They know God will judge these things but they practice them anyway.
      • He convicts all people, of all times, in every culture.
      • He convicts our consciences.
      • We should know that we stand before God “without excuse” because we have seen what God can do.
      • He is the God of Creation who convicts everyone everywhere that He is God.


INSIGHT – In addition to God revealing Himself in creation and by convicting everyone everywhere (GENERAL REVELATION) He reveals Himself through miraculous means (SPECIAL REVELATION).

  • Special revelation includes physical appearances of God, dreams, visions, the written Word of God.
  • The Bible records God appearing in physical form many times (Genesis 3:8, 18:1; Exodus 3:1-4, 34:5-7), and the Bible records God speaking to people through dreams (Genesis 28:12, 37:5; 1 Kings 3:5; Daniel 2) and visions (Genesis 15:1; Ezekiel 8:3-4; Daniel 7; 2 Corinthians 12:1-7).
  • Of primary importance in the revealing of God is His Word, the Bible, which is also a form of special revelation. God miraculously guided the authors of Scripture to correctly record His message to mankind, while still using their own styles and personalities. The Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). The Word of God is inspired, profitable, and sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God determined to have the truth regarding Him recorded in written form because He knew the inaccuracy and unreliability of oral tradition. He also understood that the dreams and visions of man can be misinterpreted. God decided to reveal everything that humanity needs to know about Him, what He expects, and what He has done for us in the Bible.
  • The ultimate form of special revelation is the Person of Jesus Christ. God became a human being (John 1:1, 14). Hebrews 1:1-3 summarizes it best, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son … The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” God became a human being, in the Person of Jesus Christ, to identify with us, to set an example for us, to teach us, to reveal Himself to us, and, most importantly, to provide salvation for us by humbling Himself in death on the cross (Philippians 2:6-8). Jesus Christ is the ultimate “special revelation” from God.


INSIGHT – Each of us needs to consider the evidence and make difficult choices:

  • There is a God, or there isn’t.
  • That God created everything, or He didn’t.
  • That God convicts every person that there is a God or hasn’t.
  • That God wants to have a relationship with us, or He doesn’t.
  • That God has made promises to mankind and kept them, or He didn’t.
  • That God communicated with mankind through people and the Bible, or He didn’t.
  • That God became a man, or He didn’t.
  • That God came by miracle birth, or He didn’t.
  • That God who became a man did miracles, or He didn’t.
  • That God who became man, lived a sinless life and became the sacrifice for sinners, or He didn’t.
  • That God, the one who became a man and died on a cross arose from the dead, or He didn’t.
  • That God sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, God’s righteousness and the judgement to come. He indwells every Christian and empowers them to be on mission with God, or He didn’t.
  • That God continues to give evidence in history that the Bible is His word, through archeology, non-Christian writers, the number of texts of scripture etc. or He doesn’t.
  • That God changes people, or He doesn’t.
  • Not only can we know that there is a God but we can know Him personally, or we can’t.