The God of All Men
“preach as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.” ― Richard Baxter
If you recall, 2 weeks ago we walked through Psalm 13...
…and the title of that Sermon was - “How Long O Lord?”
The Psalm was one that we all agreed - we felt like we could have written it ourselves.
And the reason is because WE ALL live in a fallen world…EVEN David - who wrote the Psalm...
He started out Psalm 13 by saying - How long O Lord, will you forget me forever?
See, David, like most of us, had been waiting on the Lord…and he had come to the end of his rope!
See - Anytime that we come to a point in our lives when we feel like we need God to help us, or need God to answer us...
...I think we - AS CHRISTIANS - go into that with:
expectations that God owes us!
And i think what ends up happening - is that when we DON'T get the response we want,
or our circumstances don't turn out how we had hoped...many people end up tossing their faith in God out the window...and just say - well, I guess God DOESN'T exist...
And in thinking back to Psalm 13, which walked thru 2 weeks ago, we saw that David was at a ROUGH time in his life...
His son was out to kill him...and take over his kingdom...
And what ends up happening is something that David DIDN'T WANT to happen...
David's son is killed.
Now, for a LOT of people - that could ultimately end in them concluding that God doesn't exist...
What we learned from that Psalm, was that, for Christians - their WAITING is working FOR THEM...
See the Bible doesn’t promise us that if we trust in Christ, our life will get easy!
NO - it actually PROMISES the opposite… (*Christ cured disease - raised the dead - WE CELEBRATE finding cure for cancer…?)
The BIBLE says - Follow Christ - trust in Christ - and the result will be:
persecution (this has been PROVEN - historically)
The Bible promises that if you trust in Jesus Christ, your life will BECOME a MESS...
But - the Bible also promises that IF you put your trust in Christ, YES life will become a MESS, BUT God WILL WORK - IN the mess...
And so - AGAIN - thinking back to Psalm 13, we saw in that text, a man who had been RUN OVER by life...
And so for some people (a lot - EVEN Christians) - when life RUNS us over, it can easy for us to jump to the conclusion (start to DOUBT that God exists):
There is NO God…God doesn’t exist.
He wouldn’t allow this to happen to me...
Well - let’s see what the Bible says about this thinking...
To the choirmaster. Of David. 1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. 4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord? 5 There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. 6 You would shame the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge. 7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
NOW - going into this - what we have to know - is that the world believes that (IT) itself defines what reality is...That MANKIND defines God...
David shows us here in Psalm 14...That - GOD DEFINES REALITY...and more specifically, God defines MAN...
And here's what we see:
SLIDE: The Fool says "God doesn't exist". God says, "All men are fools".
The Fool says "God doesn't exist". God says, "All men are fools".
So - first thing - The initial response here to the claim that God doesn't exist IS NOT some lengthy evidential proclamation that He DOES exist!
The Bible spends ZERO time trying to convince ANYONE that God exists!
It's simply ASSUMED
2nd: If you came in here today thinking you're awesome...God has something to tell you - You're not! (Church sign?)
God says - ALL Men are FOOLS!
Not just some....not just this group or that group…but what?
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Paul references this text in Romans 3* (ALL men)
The world would read this text and would no doubt say:
What do you mean "NO ONE DOES GOOD"...I just walked in a "Breast Cancer Awareness" March
I just donated money to a worthy charity
The world says -
(I) define what is GOOD
(I) DEFINE reality...THEREFORE - when God doesn't SHOW UP and ACT how (I) say that He should..I will just declare that He doesn't exist!
now - God - in the text here, doesn't spend time telling us to just look at the sky and we'll believe in Him...NO ...
- He just starts to explain to us the REALITY of mankind...
And we ALL fall into the picture that God paints here - through David.
This really is telling us that - Everyone is guilty before God...no exceptions.
Everyone that you know is guilty before God.
You are guilty
I am guilty
the bus driver is guilty before God.
The clerk at the nearby store is guilty
Your kid's teacher is guilty
Lebron James is guilty before God.
Your kids are all guilty before God... ...and this should awaken us to the reality of who we are...apart from God's grace.
This fact is not in any curriculum of any public school... ...and it's more important than everything else that they teach...put together.
**Disney - Kids asking 1000 questions (not knowing - We THINK we know but we don’t!)
See - Kids will try to tell their parents WHAT REALITY IS!
They DEFINE for themselves what “GOOD” means
well to a kid - Good is ANYTHING that brings them pleasure WHEN they WANT IT!
Kids are - IMMATURE
they don’t understand the concept of:
waiting / patience
THIS IS HOW WE ARE WITH GOD!
The world tries to tell the world what REALITY IS!
The world tries to DEFINE for the world - what REALITY is!
Where kids will DEFINE the world ONLY in RELATION TO THEMSELVES....
The world will DEFINE the world ONLY in RELATION to THEMSELVES...
Mankind will DEFINE “Good” only in relation to mankind...
And so - if what you do HELPS someone else - it’s a GOOD THING
If what you do doesn’t OFFEND someone else - it’s a GOOD thing...
So - according to the WORLD - That which is GOOD is defined OUTSIDE of God.
BUT what does GOD say?
THERE IS NONE who does Good, NOT EVEN ONE!
How can He say this?
Because God DEFINES what is Good...
23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
This is saying that ANYTHING done in life - that does not come from a heart that has FAITH in Jesus Christ - is SIN...
that does not SPRING FORTH from a FOUNDATION of faith in Jesus Christ…is SIN.
this is saying that EVERY SINGLE thing that an UNBELIEVER does…IN THEIR unbelief...
When an unbeliever helps the old lady cross the street....sin
When an unbeliever drives their friend and drops him or her off at the Bible Study.....sin
When an unbeliever goes down to the homeless shelter and passes out food to the poor.....sin
In God’s EYES - it’s sin...
And KNOW this!
We ALL - at one time or another - were UNBELIEVERS!
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
ALL of US - in the same boat!
All of us - Children of wrath!
God’s wrath....why? Because of our SIN...
NOW - some will say - “Well, you believe this to be true…but I choose not to believe...”
You may say = “I haven’t seen enough EVIDENCE to convince me to believe in this”
4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord?
Here we go: For those who DO NOT BELIEVE in Christ....
is lack of EVIDENCE the problem?
is lack of KNOWLEDGE the problem?
Let’s see - According to Romans 1
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
So here we see that there is “A TRUTH” that men suppress...
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
19 because that which is known about God is plain to them; (ok, so this truth that is suppressed is something known about God)...
...for God has shown it to them (this truth is clear to them/us. This isn't a matter of - I just didn't understand).
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
20 For His invisible attributes (Ok, so here Paul gets specific and tells us the truth that is known, and YET suppressed)... 20 For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made, so that they are without excuse.
They are without excuse...
So what do we see here? What has God told us?
The Fool says "God doesn't exist". God says, "All men know God exists".
He says - OK, yes, there are people who will say - God does NOT exist. BUT I SAY - they KNOW that I exist...
BECAUSE MY creation makes it CLEAR that I Exist!
And so for those who say - God DOES NOT exist...
According to God - they DO know He exists…they just DENY him with their Atheism and in their unrighteousness...
And so according to God - it’s not a matter of - LACK OF EVIDENCE!
God says -
the evidence is PLAIN and CLEAR...
THROUGH what has been MADE...
**We’ve all been driving to that Restaurant that we like and we’re NOT REALLY sure if it’s open...
AND THEN - we SEE IT!
That FLASHING…NEON…sign - OPEN - OPEN…**
EVERYTHING in Creation - is FLASHING - GOD IS REAL!
and so - regarding evidences all around us that POINT to God...
SLIDE: Evidence for God: Universe, Science, Morality
Evidence for God
Evidence for God
The Universe - FLASHES - (screams) - God is REAL
Science - FLASHES - God is REAL
Morality - FLASHES - God is REAL
SLIDE: 1. Evidence for God: The Universe
Evidence for God
Evidence for God
1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,
A lot of people look at the universe, see it’s VASTNESS, know that we’re here on this tiny planet...
There HAS to be life on other planets…WHY would God make the universe SOOO big if we were the only ones IN IT??!!
The answer is this - IF the universe was ALL about us…then yes, the question is valid...
But the universe isn’t about US!
The universe is about God and HIS bigness!
The verse says - the Heavens declare the GLORY of God!
the greatness of God
the majesty of God - - and WHO created the universe?
God created the universe SO THAT the UNIVERSE would POINT to HIM!
When we look at the macro level of creation and we start to really see how big this universe is... we start to get a glimpse of how Big our God is...
1.3 million earths will fit inside the Sun
The largest known star is VY Canis Majoris - you can fit 9.3 BILLION Suns inside Canis Majoris....
That's just a SMALL sample of the macro level...
Then there's the Micro level... and we think about the INNER workings of a CELL...
We think about how small an ELEMENTARY particle REALLY IS!
SLIDE: Logarithmic Scale
On a Logarithmic Scale, a human being 6 feet tall falls right in the middle, SIZE wise, between an ELEMENTARY PARTICLE and the size of the known universe!
Now THAT’S SMALL!
Think of HOW BIG the universe is...
It was MADE to declare God’s GLORY! - FOR YOU!
You KNOW the universe is there....the Universe doesn’t KNOW you are!
The universe wasn’t made in the image of God - YOU WERE!
AND so - we see that the universe POINTS to GOD - for your benefit!
When you look at the universe - do YOU thank God for it!?
As Romans chapter 1 said - Do you honor God for it?
But it’s not the ONLY evidence for God...
SLIDE: Evidence for God: Science
Evidence for God
Evidence for God
Now, a lot of people believe that you have to choose between SCIENCE or God...
The world says - that regarding anything in life - the Explanation of Science cancels out the explanation of God...
And here’s the problem with that: Remember the Kettle analogy?
Someone asks: Why is the kettle boiling?
Answer? - Well...At the temperature of the boiling point, the liquid turns into a gas. The coils begin to heat up and the molecules of the water begin to move rather quickly....The molecules are then able to break the forces of attraction i.e. the hydrogen bonds to each other and escape as the gas molecule.
THIS is why the kettle in boiling!
AND THEN YOU SAY - Well - NO...
The kettle is boiling....
because I want a cup of tea
On one hand we see the SCIENCE explanation....but on the other hand we see a PERSONAL AGENT explanation!
NOW - If i was to look at you and say - YOU CAN’T USE both explanations...
because one explanation cancels out the other...
YOU WOULD SAY?
…that’s absurd! -
You would say that’s absurd because you know that each explanation actually complements the other.
THEREFORE we can say - I believe in Science AND i believe in God!
God is the personal agent - and THIS is the way that He has decided that water would boil.
NOT only that - but if we truly think about it - in an Atheistic universe…we would have no justification for TRUSTING science!
Listen to David Hume: 18th century Scottish Philosopher (Agnostic at best, borderline atheist)
“Inductive reasoning is not justified! We have no rational reason to expect the sun to rise tomorrow, no matter how many times it’s risen in the past. We cannot justifiably say our observations, no matter how careful, get us in touch with the causal relations in the world, or whatever physical laws there may be, or with whatever powers things may have due to their nature.”
And thing is: David Hume is EXACTLY right!
In a GODLESS - Orderless, Random, Unguided universe, we have NO JUSTIFICATION to expect that the next 5 seconds will be like the last 5 seconds!
The irony is this: Every atheist on this planet, will live his or her life in such a way that contradicts their own view of the world.
**What if I told you right now - “For the past 30 years of my life, I have not believed that God exists!” “And I still don’t”
- What would you think? What questions would you have?
NOW - look at the Atheist...
They claim that the universe was created by a random, unguided process, and YET -
they live their lives...
trusting in the order of the universe
resting in the consistency of the universe
resting in the stability of the universe
Only in GOD’s universe are we JUSTIFIED in trusting the Science that we do! Because as Christians we believe...
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
But the Universe and SCIENCE aren’t the only evidences FOR GOD...
SLIDE: Evidence for God: Morality
Evidence for God
Evidence for God
I think for the most part, people in general, BELIEVERS and UNBELIEVERS alike...
will admit that there is EVIL in this world!
All of these things - pointing to WHAT’S WRONG in this world...
AND - things that cause MOST people to stand up and say - YOU AUGHT NOT to DO THAT!
NOW - again - back to our premise today - those who say God doesn’t EXIST...
In an atheistic universe…there’s no justification to make any MORAL COMPLAINTS!
What MORAL standard does the atheist LOOK TO - to look out at the world and say - YOU aught NOT to do this or that?
Richard Dawkins: Famous Atheist
“In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
Famous Atheist Richard Dawkins...
And so in the Atheistic worldview...
that 10 year old girl who gets kidnapped, raped, and murdered...
while that was probably painful....in an Atheistic view of the world....it wasn’t WRONG...
Atheists WILL stand up - look at that situation - and say - THAT WAS WRONG!
And WHEN they do - when they say - THAT was wrong…they’re actually in that moment…standing on the Christian worldview...
And they CAN’T HELP IT....you know why?
Because EVEN the atheist is made in the image of God...
Even the atheist LIVES in God’s Universe!
And so for the Atheist - their Atheism isn’t due to a lack of KNOWLEDGE…or EVIDENCE...
For those who BELIEVE in here...
We all had to come to a point, where we got serious with the lives that we have been given...
And if we had questions…we HAD to ask them…we HAD to seek this thing called TRUTH because we HAVE to KNOW what is true....don’t we?
For our sake?
For our families sake?
For our kids sake?
5 There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. 6 You would shame the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge. 7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
We’ve seen today what God says ABOUT US!
How ALL of us - have become corrupt…how we ALL had forsaken HIM
How we ALL IGNORED giving honor to HIM...
But for those in here who BELIEVE....we’ve come to a place of REPENTANCE...
We’ve gotten real with who we are…before God...
We’ve understood that our SIN will be dealt with...
either by Christ on the cross...
or by us throughout eternity apart from God
We’ve all bowed the knee to Jesus Christ. Why?
What does v7 say? - Oh that SALVATION for Israel would come...
Salvation from WHAT?
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
We MUST KNOW -
that we NEED rescued!
AND we must know WHO RESCUES us - JESUS CHRIST…and TRUST in Him.
Let’s close with this:
“All men are fools”
“All men know God exists”
“Man’s only hope is in His salvation, Jesus Christ”
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
AND - most important of all - EVEN the atheist…can find SALVATION
See - God has created the Universe in such a way that