August 29, 2008

Are all people required to believe in God?

What do you think?

There are so many reasons given to believe in God that they are extraordinarily boundless in number and have filled up volumes of books. Since we were all created by God and for God, it is therefore sinful and foolish not to believe in the one true God who made us. To reject belief in God is to deny ultimate reality and truth. And as the following Scriptures show us, all people are required to believe in the LORD. As William Gadsby says in his catechism, "it is their great sin and folly who do not."

First, there is Paul's classic statement about our knowledge of God:

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 since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
(Romans 1:19-20 ESV).

David testified to the fate of all nations who do not remember God:

The wicked shall return to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God.
(Psalm 9:17).

Solomon summed up man's whole responsibility as respecting and obeying God:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Jesus promised salvation only to those who believe God's gospel:

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
(Mark 16:16).

Jesus required that all people believe in His Divinity:

I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.
(John 8:24).

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come to convict the world of unbelief:

And when he [the Spirit of Truth] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
(John 16:8-9).

Paul wrote of the condemnation which results from refusing to love and believe the truth of God:

Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

All this makes me deeply grateful for this verse:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
(1 Peter 3:18).

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