Many people today believe that in order to be a Christian one must forget everything he has been taught in school and/or college concerning science and a host of other subjects. Is this true? Of course not, but there are many scholars who say it is so. An unbeliever could quote the testimonies of a host of eminent scholars who say Christians live in la-la land and haven’t a clue what life is all about. Yet, to be honest, I could quote just as many eminent scholars and famous people in government and business who would disagree. Imagine eminent scientists and scholars who teach in universities around the world who actually believe in God in a secular world such as we live in today.
If there truly is a God, why doesn’t he make himself known? Is that too difficult for him to do? Is this too much to ask? Actually, it wouldn’t be very difficult for God to make himself known to us, and, no, it is not too much to ask for him to do so. Well, why doesn’t he, and, if there really is a God, how did it all get this way?
Believe it or not, Paul tells us all about what occurred in Romans chapter one. Men today dwell in the wrath of God. Now there is a religious phrase for you. Aren’t we going through Fritz Ridenour’s book: “How to be a Christian Without Being Religious”? Yes, we are, but facts are facts, but the problem is: men have used this phrase in a way that probably would not suggest what Paul claims the wrath of God actually is. You may read it all for yourself in Romans 1:18 and following.
At one time in our ancient past, men actually knew God. He would call to them and they would answer, but men worshiped one another more than God. We loved his creation, but had no time for him. Well, God gave us over to do what we desired (Romans 1:24), and this, friends, is the wrath of God. It is God letting us reap the fruits of the mistakes we make.
We went on making up stories of how things occurred. We would rather imagine what occurred than believe the truth, so God again gave us up (Romans 1:26) to believe as we wished (read dwell in his wrath). We simply didn’t want him in our knowledge. We didn’t want to be morally subject to a higher power, so God gave us up (Romans 1:28) to do as we desired. Therefore, when we show that we have no time for God, when we would rather believe what we imagine to be true rather than what actually is, when we don’t think we need to answer to anyone for what we do—when we do these things (all our choices, mind you), we are actually dwelling in the wrath of God. It is God letting us reap the just fruits of our own choices.
Paul was a Jewish rabbi who hated what we refer to today as Christianity. He went about trying to expunge the faith, even into lands outside of Jewish authority. Paul knew the Law like you and I know the alphabet, but it didn’t lead him to trust the Gospel. The Gospel isn’t a bunch of rules—don’t do this, you mustn’t touch that etc. The Gospel isn’t a set of manmade ideas—one cannot put God in an intellectual box and claim: “This is Christianity!” Paul found out that the Gospel is really for those who don’t deserve it (Romans 1:5). It is the good news of Jesus taking the responsibility for all the wrong we have done and in return giving us all the life we could never earn. This isn’t religion, folks. This is God at work, doing as he pleases in his creation, whether or not we like what he is doing. Sure there are a lot of “bad guys” out there, but we are going to find in the next few blogs that Paul is really saying, it doesn’t make any difference. We do the same things as those “bad guys” and God doesn’t grade on a curve. Just because we aren’t as bad as someone else doesn’t give us the right to the promises that are found in Jesus our Savior. It is all by grace that God’s goodness is extended to any of us.
The point of Romans chapter one is, we don’t have to check our brains at the door in order to believe in God. Men have led us astray and we are living in the fruit of believing and following men who really didn’t appreciate God’s presence, truth or his authority. As it was in the beginning, so it is today, the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17), and therefore we should not be ashamed of Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:18), because it is God’s power, coming against the power that holds us in the grip of those who have led and continue to lead us astray. God is real; make no mistake about that, and if we want to know him, we need to at the very least be open to the proposition that he will speak to us if we let him.