In Romans 1 and 2, there is a discussion of the spiritual conditions of both the Jews and the Gentiles. The conclusion is found in Romans 3:23 which points out all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Although the Jews were God's chosen people, the Gentiles throughout their history did receive messages and manifestations from God. For example, God's power was seen by the Egyptians (Ex. 1-14) when He sent the plagues on them and delivered the children of Israel by parting the Red Sea. Later, when the children of Israel approached Jericho to spy on it, Rehab, a resident there, spoke of all the great deeds the people there had heard about which God had done. She said (Josh. 2:10-11), “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Further, Jonah carried the Word of God to wicked Nineveh, and the whole city repented (Jonah 3). Also, during the time of the United Kingdom, the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon and said in I Kings.10:9, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness." During New Testament times, Cornelius, a Gentile, (Acts 10) was a believer in God even before being taught further by Peter.
There was also a constant and universal message which the Gentiles had always received which was the message of the heavens declaring the glories of God. Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork." It is not uncommon for people to look up at the sky during the day or night and come away with a reaction. Recognizing that "design demands a designer," it is often concluded the universe was designed by someone. It is further concluded the designer of all of this must be powerful beyond imagination and knowledgeable beyond belief. This powerful creator must be divine; the heavens do declare the glory of God!
Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (NASB) Sadly, instead of receiving the message of God and His power, the Gentiles generally turned to idolatry worshipping the "creature" more than the "creator" (Rom. 1:21-25).
No one has an excuse for not believing in God. All of us are receiving the message of the heavens. The heavens tell us about a God; then we turn to the Scriptures and learn about the God and His will for mankind. Do you believe in God? If you don't, like the Gentiles spoken about in Romans, YOU ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE!
By Mike Johnson
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