Francis Chan, in his YouVersion reading plan, “crazy love” (patterned after his book by the same title, I suspect), put these two verses together in devotions for the same day:
First, Romans 1:20…
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. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Romans 1:20 NLT
…then, Psalms 19:1-4…
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
Psalms 19:1-4 NLT
We could add to this similar passages, like 2 Peter 1:16-18 (the testimony of eyewitnesses), and Acts 17:24-30 (from Paul’s message to the Athenians). Certainly, God has given us evidence for His existence, and an explanation of His very nature.
However, this reminded me of a passage that I have referred back to for some time. The section of 2 Peter 3:1-7 tells an important message, but let’s look at verses 2-6 (click on the preceding link to read the whole thing):
I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.
2 Peter 3:2-6 NLT
The fact is, despite God sending out His message, many choose to not see it – not because it is not clear, but because they don’t want to. Whether these consider themselves “mockers” or “false prophets”, they have built up their point of view, and spread it to others, regardless of any evidence to the contrary.
(Note that I am not trying to offend those in these categories by calling them names. I believe that most people in the first of these categories would agree with those definitions – they are gleefully mocking God, or know that they are lying. Still, there are a few who are sincere and confident in the wrong things. For them, I hope that we can engage in a courteous discussion.)
Conversely, I know that some look at the message of Jesus Christ, and think the same things about Christians. And, let’s face it, some who call themselves Christians are mockers (whether or not they are trying to kick that habit), and some are false prophets. So, I respect those who see Christianity as invalid – even if I don’t agree.
However, if you have been wrestling with whether or not God’s message is true (or maybe you have made up your mind), I challenge you…no, I implore you: Would you just take a little time – maybe a month – to set aside your pre-conceptions and simply look into the evidence around you? If you were not carrying baggage of 1) what you have been taught, 2) what you want to be true, or 3) what is popular to follow, what would the reality of the world around you actually say to you?
This may seem like a big risk – for me to challenge you to honestly seek the truth from what is evident around us, whether that be the earth we live upon, the universe in which it was placed, the history that brought us to now, or the testimony and experiences of others. After all, there are some aspects of reality that even the most gifted of philosophers struggle to explain. I could cite as my confidence the many who have looked around them and – despite these challenges – come to the understanding of who God is, and found Him to be both real and amazing. However, I would rather put my confidence in God, who said the following:
For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Luke 11:10 NLT
Other passages that give me confidence that God will answer an honest search for Him, include those below:
- Jeremiah 29:13
- Deuteronomy 4:29
- 1 Chronicles 28:9
- 2 Chronicles 15:2
- Proverbs 8:17 (talking about searching for wisdom)
I won’t force you to share the results of your search (although you are welcome to do so), but I trust that you will be able to find the truth. After all, can we wish anything better upon each other than to know the truth?
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.