‘For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
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, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:18-21).’
False Truth and False Freedom
It’s true to say there has never before been a time in history as the present. We have access to vast stores of knowledge that are instantly available at the click of a computer’s mouse. Almost without exception the information we seek is revealed on a screen before our eyes.
However, we cannot always be sure that what we read is true, but one such click instantly conveyed to me a paper about, ‘The *Age of Enlightenment’ which is also known as ‘The Age of Reason’.
It extended from the 17th to the19th century, and it was a time of so-called freedom, when through the means of intellectual and philosophical arguments those who had been trapped within the provinces of monarchical and church governance broke free and expressed their opinions and beliefs. Philosophers and scientists were free to think outside the box. Although not articulated as such, their new, but dubious creed, could have been encapsulated by the slogan: “Knowledge reveals truth and champions freedom.”
The above is a generalisation on my part; for ‘The Age of Reason’ had different spokespersons with their particular ideologies and beliefs. Initially the movement was based in Europe, but it spread to America with great impact. Science vied with religion in conflictual battles. The intelligentsia searched for experiential truth through experimentation, while leaning heavily upon scientific methodology. You might say the new religion was “Science”. Embedded within it was the pernicious germ of Darwinism which continues to deceive us today, just like the subtle words of the serpent to Eve (Genesis 3:13).
What they failed to discover was the real Truth (John 14:6), Jesus of Nazareth (John 18:5), and the freedom He brings from sin (John 8:36) and of the power of sin; and above all – escape from everlasting torment in hell (Mark 9:43-48)!
Little has Changed
Things haven’t changed greatly; for science is the religion of this present age. The adoration and worship of all things technological is rife. Astronomy and the exploration of space by probes and astronauts are the excitements and passions of our younger generation. Today’s mission is to save and restore the global ecology by reducing man’s adverse influence upon it. Paradoxically and diametrically we explore the possibilities of mining in Antarctica and under the oceans – even the harvesting of minerals from the Moon and Mars. These are the aspirations of entrepreneurs, some of whom do not seek personal gain and fame, but work for the better good of mankind.
Consequently ethical questions require answers and appropriate actions; for example, “Is it right to deploy thousands of satellites into space for the enablement of 5-G networks? Should we spend millions on developing gadgetry for controlling what happens in space? Should we seek military supremacy through the means of superior cyberspace weaponry? Or should we forget such things and recognise our weakness, and endeavour to live harmoniously with one another; thereby setting an example to the world?”
In all of these distractions we forget that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), and we are made to worship Him. We are blinded (Psalm 115:4-8) and ignorant of who we are, i.e., sons of God through Adam (Acts 17:29), and we are sinners in him. Judgment lies waiting at the door (Hebrews 9:27).
Sin, Judgment and Freedom
Sin! What is it you may ask?
Well, **sin is transgression against the law of God who is righteous, holy, pure and just. He is light (John 1:7-10) and there is no darkness in Him. He is Love (1 John 4:7).
When we disobey Him we rebel against Him and we deserve death (Romans 1:32), but if we believe and trust in His Son we are no longer condemned for our transgressions (8:1). This does not give us a licence to sin; on the contrary, we are bound in love and obedience to Him.
Some will ask if it’s ***fair and right that people should be condemned to everlasting hell if they don’t believe and trust in Jesus. I would ask them, “Who are we to question and judge God?” He made us and He has every right to do with us whatever He wants (Romans 9:21). We who sin fall far short of His righteousness (3:23) and are deserving of death (Romans 1:32) and punishment. It is only by His grace (Ephesians 2:8) that He saves ANY who repent and believe. He gives to them eternal life (Matthew 25:46).
Ignorance of His law is no excuse (cf. Romans 7:1). Just as in a civil court, anyone who breaks the law, if caught and found guilty, is served a sentence that must be satisfied.
To be found innocent when judged by the Son of God (John 5:22) at the end of time, a person must have repented of their sins and turned to God in faith (Ephesians 2:8.).
God ****reveals Himself to ALL through the glory of His creation, and by His Word and by His Son. No one can claim they are ignorant of Him and of His sovereign rule over them (Romans 1:18-21).
The good news is: To those who repent and believe (Mark 1:15) in His Son, He gives to them His Holy Spirit for their guidance and comfort (John 14:26). The Spirit rejuvenates their soul (John 3:3-8), and through new birth in Him they have eternal life (v. 16).
‘“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36).’”
*The Age of Enlightenment
**Sin and Its Consequences
***Exclusions from the Church
****How does God reveal Himself to His Creatures?