Saturday, July 25th
Denying Undeniable Evidence
Have you ever tried to persuade someone, but it seemed like no matter what you said, the person just wouldn’t be convinced? Maybe you even presented clear and undeniable evidence, appealing to their sense of logic to help them recognize the truth. You provided a clear explanation—and yet still the message didn’t get through. It may have seemed like the person had a wall up and everything just bounced off. Times like that can sure be frustrating!
Have you wondered if God is in a similar position when He seeks to reveal Himself to people? He has presented ample evidence for His existence, even ensuring that “His invisible attributes” are “clearly seen”. And yet people refuse to acknowledge God or worship Him for who He is (Romans 1:21, 25). Why is that?
As you looked at your list of what unbelievers are like in 2 Timothy 3:6-9 and compared it to unbelievers in Romans 1:18-32, you probably noticed some similarities. What jumped out to me is the similar wording that describes unbelievers in both passages:
- Oppose and suppress the truth (2 Timothy 3:8, Romans 1:18b)
- Have a depraved mind (2 Timothy 3:8, Romans 1:28)
What’s the connection between characteristics like these? To dig deeper, consider looking at some further key words and phrases in Romans:
- Look at Romans 1:18-32 and highlight the two statements “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God” and “God gave them over in the lusts of their heart”. What do unbelievers choose to do and what is the result?
- Find all instances of “know” (including known, knew) and put a “K” over them. Then highlight pink any instances of “exchange” (including abandoned) and highlight green any instances of “God gave them over”. What did unbelievers know? What did they exchange? And what did God give them over to?
As this passage explains, unbelievers choose to exchange the truth of God for a lie. And not because they don’t have evidence or see or know, but because they willfully make a determined decision to reject the truth. They suppress and oppose the truth (Romans 1:18). As they do this, God simply allows them to have their way and gives them over to the impurity that proceeds from their own deceitful and desperately wicked heart (see Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 15:18-20a).
Next time when you talk to someone about God—even before you talk to them—take heart in knowing that God has already taken the initiative to reveal Himself to that person. Don’t let frustration get to you. Pray for them that they will submit to the knowledge of God that has been revealed to them and pray that God may grant them repentance leading to knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:25) as you gently and respectfully share the truth with them.
Did you learn something new about characteristics of unbelievers as you did your homework today? What did you learn about God’s way of responding to people who choose not to acknowledge Him? How will you use what you learned?