Why Retain the Knowledge of God

Yesterday I came across a discussion thread in a group I belong to on Facebook. The poster asked if we thought mankind was becoming more peaceful as our technological knowledge increased and we gain an abundance of material wealth. I do not believe this to be the case and said so. I do not believe this to be the case because human society as a whole is bent on replacing God with technology. I am reminded of Romans 1:28 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things that are not fitting:”

Rejecting knowledge of God, retainSo-called “modern society” does not want to retain a knowledge of God. It actively seeks to push God out of any and all public venues and to silence those of us who desire to speak of Him. At least, to speak truth of Him. Those who are willing to promote a god that will save everyone regardless of their deeds; they may speak. But their god is not the God of the Bible. Not the creator of the universe, not the God who will sit with Jesus in judgment of mankind. Their god is an idol they have created to serve their needs and desires, because they do not want to retain the knowledge of the true God.

Lets take a closer look at Romans 1, starting with the remainder of the passage begun above:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[a] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[b] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

The passage begins with “And”: a conjunction. A conjunction ties this passage back to the one before it, so we should go back and look at that before we can gain a complete understanding of what is being taught. But in these verses, the Apostle Paul presents a list of actions and their penalty. That penalty is stated to be “death”.

The Greek word used here is “thanatos”: which means a separation of soul and body, the latter ceasing to function and turning to dust, the former, being immortal, living on but living on separated from God. All human beings, saved and unsaved, have a spiritual component: our immortal soul. The only difference between saved and unsaved is what happens to that soul when our earthly body dies. Thanatos – death, indicates eternal separation from God, goodness, and light. Eternal isolation and darkness. “Koimaomai” is used to describe the inactive state of a saved soul after the physical body dies. It means “sleep”. When this soul awakens, it will awaken in the presence of God.

Some will look at this list and scoff, “These are petty things, God would not condemn us for being ‘disobedient to parents’, for example. For ‘murder’ yes, but being ‘deceitful’? Surely not.” And yet these so-called petty sins are in the same list as murder and sexual immorality (read the whole passage),  so obviously, God does consider them all violations.

The issue here is that mankind seeks to rank sins, making some of little consequence and others major consequence. God does not do this. To God, sin is sin (1 John 5). Which sin you live in doesn’t matter because the root of all of these is rebellion against God. Rebellion was the original sin committed in the Garden of Eden and has been with mankind ever since. Rebellion against God is what motivates mankind to do all the things on that list, whether it’s telling lies or murdering someone, it’s all the same to God: rebellion.

Will God condemn you to eternal separation from Him for telling a lie? No. If you have rejected Jesus as Lord you have chosen to be condemned regardless of how you live your life.

The Innate Sense of God

It is interesting that sociologists claim all human societies, no matter how far removed and isolated from the rest of humankind, develop a sense of god/creation. Romans 1:19-20 explains this, “19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,”

God has hardwired mankind to see Him in His creation. How man interprets that awareness and expresses his worship of that awareness varies, but all humans recognize the face of God in the world around us.

Modern man, however, chooses to deny the existence of God and instead worship his own accomplishments and knowledge in the form of science. Science is the art of studying processes and determining predictable ends. Building a societal model to retain no knowledge of the God who created those processes will, I assure you, have a predictable end.

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