“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20
“The dog ate my homework.” “I just lost track of time.” “I’m too busy.” “It’s just too hard.” “The devil made me do it.” We live in a world of excuses. Personal responsibility is at an all-time low. Criminals get released on technicalities and the court dockets are clogged with frivolous lawsuits. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Where does it end?
There is one place that excuses will not stand. Every argument will be silenced and the buck will not be passed. The blame will be placed squarely on the shoulders of the offender. That place is at the judgment seat of Almighty God. Romans 1:16-32 is all the motivation any Christ-follower should need to share the gospel with others. In this passage God makes one thing clear – every person on this planet will stand before Him without excuse. Whether you grew up in the Bible belt or in a tribal village you will stand before God without excuse.
How can this be? What about places where there is no Christian presence or Bible in the native language? How can they be held accountable before God? Romans 1:18-20 answers that question…because God has clearly revealed Himself (His power and divine nature) in what He has made. Notice that verse 18 says that God’s anger is against men who suppress the truth. Not reject, not ignore, but suppress. Suppress means to hold back or to hinder.
In other words, God has clearly revealed Himself to all men. And yet many continue to hold back that revealed truth. Today, more than ever, we have knowledge of what God has made. We have been to space and to the depths of oceans. With each passing generation we see more and know more. And with each passing generation the truth about the Creator is suppressed even more. The glory is given to a scientific theory instead of to the One who created it all. Just open most school textbooks and you will see the suppression of the truth.
So what does this have to do with the gospel? If all men are without excuse – all men- we must get to work! We have been entrusted with the gospel and it is our responsibility to make sure that every nation, tribe and tongue hear God’s message of forgiveness and grace. It is their only hope.
Dear Jesus, It is scary to know that all men will stand before You without excuse. Please use me to spread Your gospel wherever I am. Thank You for being patient with all of us who have suppressed the truth about You. I know it is Your desire that none would perish in their sin. Please use me to show others the truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.