A KNOWING OR TO KNOW
..who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Romans 1:19
From Paul’s words, it is clear that there is no excuse for an atheist. There is enough revelation of God in all of nature to dispel any doubt that He exists. One would have to choose not to see it. A person’s sinful nature, no matter how brilliant their intellect, suppresses the truth.
World missions have gone a long way to reach the yet-unreached people groups. In the far reaches of the jungle however, before missionaries ever reach their borders, they already have proof of God’s existence. The revelation of Him through nature should be enough to cause them to worship Him. So why send missionaries? An awareness of God is not the same as having a personal experience with Jesus Christ. Without someone to tell them of Jesus Christ, to open the scriptures and read it to them, they will not connect with a Savior who longs to forgive them and live inside of them. While they can know a lot about God by studying their natural habitat, it is a far cry from a personal ‘knowing’.
The ‘grid’ God uses for who is a true Christian and who is not remains consistent whether God is regarding a person in a thatched hut in the jungles of Indonesia or a western world businessman who sits in a church pew every Sunday. Both can know a lot about God from their surroundings but the question is this ~ has each one acknowledged their need of a Savior?
As someone who has experienced the joys and liabilities of living life in the public eye for over 30 years, I have had first hand experience with the differences between others thinking they know you and really knowing you. For any person with a degree of fame, others can study their career. They can know their discography, every song on every recording, the years of a certain project’s release, and even the words to every song. They can learn the names of their family members through studying Wikipedia, read their biography (if they have one) and come out feeling like they ‘know’ the person. But this is far different than having a personal relationship with the singer. For a fan that is obsessive, that difference is often ignored.
Could it be that you are one who considers yourself very knowledgeable about God, and because of that, you believe that this qualifies you to call yourself a Christian? You may have stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon and marveled at God’s power but still fail to know, firsthand, the power of the cross for your sin. You marveled at the Creator but still deny the One who wants to be atonement.
If the topic of God is just of interest to you, beware. If the person of God, in Jesus Christ, is precious to your soul, be encouraged. We are not to be like the Pharisees; well studied but full of dead men’s bones.
Thank you for the day You pierced my heart with the truth of my sin and my need of You. Amen