09202015WeCanKnowThatGodIsDonRuhl


We Can Know that God Is 

Romans 1.18–21

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 20, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Kevin Michael – Our God, He Is Alive! (523),

Prelude

  1. A question of supreme importance, 
    1. Does God exist?
    2. That leads to other important ones:
      1. What does His existence mean for me?
      2. Shall I see Him one day?
  2. If God exist, 
    1. then I must come to know why He made me.
    2. If God does not exist,
      1. nothing really matters.
      2. Nothing has any significance.
  3. The question of God’s existence is so important 
    1. that even those deny that He even exists,
    2. are willing to debate the matter publicly,
      1. whereas they will not debate the existence of
      2. Santa Claus or Satan.
  4. Outside of having a direct encounter with God, 
    1. we have to deal with evidence.
    2. Since we cannot presently see Him, and
      1. since we have to examine the evidence,
      2. we must reason to discover His existence.
  5. Is there any evidence for the existence of God? 
    1. Many are the evidences, but
    2. I want to just look at one thing today.

Persuasion

  1. The Existence of Morals Demands the Existence of God 
    1. If you observe human behavior,
      1. you will discover a truth
      2. that the God of heaven revealed hundreds of years before Christ,

        6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
        Because you have rejected knowledge,
        I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
        Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
        I also will forget your children.
        (Hos 4.6)
      3. Then after Christ arrived, the Bible again revealed
        1. the source for the degradation of human behavior,
        2. that the rejection of God led to these things,

          24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting… (Rom 1.24–28).
    2. This is what happens when men
      1. reject the existence of God, and
      2. reject the idea that the universe, including man, was created for a purpose.
        1. Modern scientists intentionally turn a blind eye
        2. to the idea that the universe has a purpose.
    3. If nature has no purpose,
      1. neither do we.
      2. What does that do to a person’s thinking?
        1. A person no longer sees his purpose as glorifying his Creator, but
        2. as fulfilling whatever he wants it to be,
          1. whether the pursuit of money, pleasure, or whatever.
          2. The decline of morality in the Western World testifies to man’s rejection of a Creator and to man’s rejection of purpose.
  2. Morales Come from God 
    1. If God exists,
      1. if the universe, including you and I, has a purpose,
      2. then we are driven to live morally.
    2. If God does not exist,
      1. if the universe, including you and I, does not have a purpose,
      2. then absolute morals do not exist.
        1. Whatever morals we have,
        2. we have invented.
    3. You can see the power of this argument
      1. by what atheists currently argue.
      2. They claim that you can be moral without God.
        1. Open your eyes and see
        2. that as people reject God’s existence,
          1. their morality, or lack of it, shows it.
    4. Why should we live morally according to the atheist?
      1. Who determines what behavior is repugnant and
      2. what behavior is good and even necessary?
        1. I would argue that the atheist lives with the benefit of
        2. the influence of Christianity upon society for two millennium.
          1. However, the more we get away from the leftovers of Christianity,
          2. the more we will witness the breakdown of society.
            1. If you want to know why Western Society is breaking down,
            2. just listen to Romans 1 again.
              1. Earlier I began at verse 24, but
              2. I will back up in the text and
                1. show you why people dishonor their bodies,
                2. why they elevate animals over humans,
                3. why they turn to same-sex marriage,
                4. why they get a debased mind, and
                5. many other problems that I did not read earlier from verses 29–32.
      3. At verses 14 and 15, Paul began to explain why he wanted to preach in Rome.
        1. In verse 16, he declared that he was not ashamed of the Gospel.
        2. Verse 17, he was not ashamed because in it we find the righteousness of God.
      4. We need that righteousness of God for these reasons,

        18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things (Rom 1.18–23).
    5. Atheists see a problem, so they…
  3. Atheists Inadvertently Acknowledge a Standard Beyond Man 
    1. Have you noticed that atheists will often criticize the God of the Bible?
      1. They especially do not like the God of the Old Testament.
      2. They criticize the church.
        1. However, how can they object to anything?
        2. They believe that God and the church does not measure up!
          1. God and the church do not measure up
          2. according to what? What standard?
    2. They argue that the community has evolved
      1. by coming up with the best ways to progress society.
      2. So, what if I want to follow something else?
        1. The atheist has to acknowledge moral law,
        2. otherwise, he knows that society would fall into chaos.
          1. Yet, what moral law shall we follow?
          2. They accuse of us imposing our views on them, but
            1. do they not impose their views and their values on us?
            2. And they are using the government to do so!
              1. They know we have to have moral law.
              2. I’m just asking from where do we get it?
    3. Notice this from now on:
      1. When the atheist does do something wrong, and is caught,
      2. he does not merely say, “So what?”
        1. No, he tries to explain his behavior.
        2. He tries to justify himself.
        3. He might blame someone else.
          1. Do you get the point?
          2. He knows that objective, moral law,
            1. that is higher than man,
            2. exists.

Exhortation

  1. There is a God in heaven. 
    1. Yet, this truth bothers many people.
    2. They do not want God to exist.
      1. To them, it is worth taking the risk, the eternal risk,
      2. that God does not exist.
  2. Truly, this is not an intellectual issue. 
    1. It is a matter of the will.
    2. They busy themselves with objecting to His existence, but
      1. they do not expend energy in denying
      2. Satan, or anything else.
        1. They know that if God does exist,
        2. they must submit to the life He proscribes.
          1. They know further that means
          2. a time of accounting is coming.
  3. Acts 17 explains that we shall all appear before Him. 
    1. Paul revealed to the Athenians
      1. that there is a God who the world and everything in it,
      2. that He is Lord of heaven and Earth,
      3. that a time of accounting approaches,

        30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17.30–31).

        1. The first fear of the atheist is that he must repent.
        2. The second fear of the atheist is that God will judge him.
    2. However, Paul delivered that message
      1. that the Athenians, knowing of the impending Judgment,
      2. will repent and prepare for that Day.
  4. Right now the God of heaven calls to you 
    1. that you might change your life, and
    2. that you might go to Him for forgiveness.