“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 1:20
There are two things we can learn from the Copernican revolution: one is that the world revolves around the sun in our galaxy, the other is that the world does not revolve around any of us. It is a big step in our understanding the truth that we are not the center of life, the cause of life, or even a major factor in making the world spin. Billions of people have lived throughout history and even the most famous world-changing individuals are relegated to the dusty pages of a few history books.
Our earth is so large that from our perspective the edge of it (the horizon) looks more like a line than the curve that it is. Our sun is so large that it would take millions of earths to fill its volume. The power of the sun makes the effect of our most powerful nuclear weapons appear miniscule. Yet, it only takes one corrupted cell, smaller than a pinhead, to cause our bodies to develop cancer, malfunction, and die.
Eventually we all die, and the world will turn again. Every man that has ever walked the earth has died. No one doubts that the power that started the universe or the power that keeps us alive is greater than we are to control. Even the most heathen religions in the world recognize a force greater than themselves by which they are held captive. Life and death happens to us all. God was the beginning, and he will be the end.
The Bible explains the personality of God as righteous and even records his purpose for our lives. He was before we were, and is the one that gave us life. In him is life, and without him is death.
Our accountability to God
“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. ” – Romans 1:21
Humans alone, among all of God’s creation, are given the capability and responsibility of choice (Deut 30:19, Gen 1:26). They are free to choose within the righteous boundaries God sets before them. Outside these boundaries is complete independence. Independence from limitation, independence from God, independence from life itself: for without God there is not life. This disobedience to God results in death.
God alone is able to hold us accountable for our actions for it is by His power that we exist. It is easy to turn to a fellow member of humanity and say, “Who are you to judge me?”. For typically, we each hold no authority over the choices of each other. Where authority is present in our world, it is because the authority has a power over the lesser in some sense. The umpires have authority over the players since they enforce the rules. The governors have authority over the citizens since they are for our protection. Just as any parent has the authority over their children to raise and provide for them, so does God have authority over humanity. It is his right to do with his creation as he pleases, and yet he is good in that he chooses to bless life and provision upon all who obey.
By looking at the magnitude and magnificence of creation it is evident that we are not the beginning and end of life. We are merely players in it. Therefore we are without excuse as to the presence of God and his authority. Whether we choose to deny him or partner with him, it does not refute the fact that he is and has power over eternity. In fact, we are free to deny God; however, we must face the consequences. The choice of the first man to deny God has left the world in a corrupted state.
The corrupted state of the world
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” – Romans 1:29
The current corrupted state of the world did not originate with God, but was the result of the disobedience and ingratitude of man towards God. When man chose to be independent of God’s provision then he has been forever cursed by his own actions.
In result, God established a time in which to rectify the disobedience of man towards himself. This future Day of Judgment will happen to us all, and we will all face it after we die (Hebrews 9:27). It is at this time that we will be able to face God, and our eternal continuation in life will be judged.
The justice of God
If an umpire refuses to enforce the rules, not only does he weaken the power of the rules, but he displays his own lack of integrity for his position. In the same way God cannot allow the rules of righteousness and life to be broken without recompense, or his integrity and the power of the rules will be destroyed.
God cannot simply let our disobedience continue since it would mean that he would have to be in support of disobedience himself. God’s justice and integrity declares punishment for sin, and restitution for the wrong-doing in the world. The evil works of man, even those that go unpunished by our human judicial systems, will not escape the judiciary of God. Every man is tried before God for righteousness or wickedness.
To those who are righteous and were obedient to God, eternal life, but to those who were disobedient to God, condemnation and wrath. Unfortunately, no one is good enough to pass onto eternity in good standing with God (See “Am I good enough to go to heaven?” to see if you are good enough).
However, because of God’s love for us, we are offered an escape from our dire situation of future condemnation and from sin without sacrificing God’s justice. This salvation is found in the Bible and through Jesus Christ. (See “How do I get saved?”)
Without our salvation, then we will be subject to God’s wrath for eternity. Read what the Bible records about those who are not found righteous before God:
“But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;” – Romans 2:8-9