Some of my readers have pointed out or made comment as of late that God makes himself known to all of mankind through various means, which Paul shows us is correct:
Romans 1:16-21 (KJV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 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:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
But I think it is important to understand something regarding this. Though, yes, all men are aware of God through His creation and his wrath, this is simply not enough.
Jesus called upon the disciples to be “fishers of men”, and to “Go…and teach all the nations”. The apostle Paul commended the Greeks for acknowledging that there was, perhaps, a god they had forgotten, and that they had created a statue in reverence to this unknown god. It took Paul, however, to reveal to them whom they were attempting to worship.
Mankind may well know that there is a higher power who holds sway over the earth, wind and sky, but it seems that this revelation may only be general in nature. An aborigine in the backwoods of a country may hold to their faith that someone, a “god” or deity, blesses or curses them. Or they may pray to said deity for a bountiful harvest or for healing of a sick family member. It seems apparent that through God’s creation this person might be aware of God’s presence, but it is still required that someone point him in the right direction: Toward the God of the bible.
Heck, even with more direct information it seems as though there is still a need for more direct information, as we see with Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch.
This is important because if salvation were as simple as “knowing of God” then there would be no need for us to be fishers of men. As christians we know that salvation comes through the act of repentance and the acceptance of Jesus as our lord. It must be a willing act, as no man can be saved by another: He must choose to repent and accept Jesus of his own accord. Merely knowing of God is not enough. There must be an action, and if no one has brought this action to a mans attention, he is still in his sin, and thus destined to eternal death. It is said that “good people go to hell every day”, and this is because the simple act of being good does not wash away the stain of sin from us, as we are born into sin and separated from God. Only through repentance and acceptance are we adopted into the family as children of the living God. This is why it is important that christians not rest on their laurels inside the walls of the church, but get out and spread the gospel. Souls are not won in the church pews but in the streets. The church is a place of rest and worship and fellowship for the believer. It is meant to be a force that creates believers through action, not by making the church more inclusive and inviting.
Its time we pick up our gear and start hitting the waters.