WHAT IS GENERAL REVELATION?

By Jeff Dominguez

Photo courtesy of Diosming Honrada Masendo

“DOES GOD EXIST?”

Perhaps this is the most debated question of all time. From its beginnings from the Age of Enlightenment (17th Century) up to the present, people still argue if God exists. But come to think of it, does God really exist? And if He does, what is the proof?

Of course, the Bible has an answer to this; and the Bible’s answer is YES. What is the proof? The proof is the first of the two types of Divine Revelation: GENERAL REVELATION.

The existence of God is the very message of general revelation. According to Millard Erickson in his book, Christian Theology, general revelation is God’s communication of Himself to all persons at all times and in all places. In a simpler sense, it is God’s revelation of Himself to everyone. Given this, it means that God is not hiding from humanity. He is not a divine spiritual being that mankind speculates to exist. HE IS REAL, HE IS TRUE, AND HE EXISTS. Through general revelation, God declares His presence to all mankind.

Two major passages in the Bible speaks of general revelation: Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:18-31.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
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,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.”

Psalm 19:1-6

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 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.”

Romans 1:18-20

Although these passages speak of general revelation, they are not the same. Let’s explore.

Psalm 19:1-6 is a beautiful description of God’s existence. According to it, the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of His hands. This opening line alone immediately reveals that the created universe is the proof of God’s existence. Creation itself is telling us that there is a Creator. In the next verses, the Psalmist explains how this is done. Verse 2 reveals that it is continuous (day to day, night to night). Verses 3 to 5 reveals that it is so universal that no one has not heard of it (goes through all the earth). Lastly, verse 6 reveals that it is general even in methodology (utilizing heat). Again, Psalm 19:1-6 reveals to us that creation itself is the proof that there is a Creator. As humans, we can also create things like a table from wood or kitchenware from raw metals. But no matter how hard we try, we cannot create something out of nothing. Only a powerful and divine being can do that, and that is what the world around us is trying to tell us ever since. This leads us to Paul’s message in Romans 1. Paul agrees with Psalm 19 that God’s presence is very evident in the created world. He even emphasized that general revelation is plain and can be clearly perceived. This leaves humanity without any excuse to not acknowledge the existence of God.

So, if this is the case, then why the debate?

Why do many people still don’t believe in the existence of God?

According to Paul, EVERY HUMAN BEING KNOWS IN HIS HEART THAT GOD EXIST.

For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

Romans 1:21-23

Worst, instead of acknowledging this truth, MAN SUPPRESSED IT.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

Romans 1:18

To suppress means to forcibly hide or deny. It is a willful decision to reject the truth. Therefore, there’s no debate. The problem is not lack of evidence; the problem is REBELLION. Man is rejecting the truth. As my professor in seminary taught me,

“Man stands ungrateful and rebellious against God not because he does not know Him,but because he doesn’t like the God that has revealed Himself.”

This is why at the Day of Judgment, no one can use the excuse that nobody told him about God. General revelation is not just a declaration of God’s existence, it is also a warning. A warning to stop rebelling against God. A warning that we are all accountable to our Divine Creator. However, I want to clarify that general revelation is not meant to scare us. God revealed Himself to us because He wants to have a relationship with us. Love is the motivation behind it. He wants us to see the beauty of the Creator as reflected in the beauty of His creation. God is not scaring us away; instead, He is calling us to Him.

May this article open your eyes to the truth and believe in the existence of our great and divine Creator.

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