Traveling as much as God has afforded me that possibility, I get to see a lot of the world, and all the different cultures that come along with it. I love to take part in cultural activities and presentations that each country has. There are many cultures that have very deep and rich customs which show respect to their history, their ancestors, and nature.
Recently I attended just such an event. They started with a very warm welcome, some enjoyable introductory music, then opened in a prayer. It gave tribute to the god who provided them with the history and nature that surrounded us, then went almost one by one to thank each element of the nature around us. It made my heart feel heavy and sad. Once again, it was so clear to me they almost had it. Everything around them pointed to God, but instead they stopped just short of worshipping, thanking, and acknowledging Him. They worshipped, thanked, and acknowledged ALL His creations, but not Him!
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:19-20 KJV
It’s true, there are many things that are hard to understand about God, some incomprehensible. We have all sat in a conversation where the discussion on nuclear physics, the stock market, sports, or hunting left us feeling like we weren’t even speaking the same language, lacking the ability to follow. But this isn’t that. Certainly, there are many things about God we don’t understand, but like a friend of mine always says, “God put the cookies on the low shelf.” It is extremely easy to see God, the Creator, in all His creation.
Paul says that God’s creation can perceive, can notice, their mind can be guided to see God and His hand, His power. So we, God’s creation, no matter where we live, should be able to understand and see there was a Creator to all of it.
Sad is the fact that in these foreign lands they fall just short of seeing the Creator in the creation and worship the creation. But sadder yet is to watch lands, often not so foreign, where people who have ample opportunity to hear the Gospel, for people who have maybe even responded to it at some point, clearly fall short of worshipping God and invest their time, money, and devotion to His creation.
In either case, Paul calls this inexcusable and indefensible. One day we will stand before a Holy and Just God, and those of us who know Him, who have accepted His gift of salvation will stand ashamed having focused our life unprofitably. Others will, who have seen Him in His creation, wait eagerly to hear the story of Jesus, knowing that the God of creation is who we ought to worship, but just waiting on how. And so they wait, until those who know the truth can focus their time and energy on bringing it to them.
It is my prayer that God uses me to introduce the Savior to those who are “almost there.”
Dr. Ronald J. Barnes, Jr.
President / CEO
September 5, 2022