Without Excuse

By Scarlett Stough

Because the power of God is visible in God's creation, we are all without excuse for our disbelief in the God who created all things.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Romans 1:18-20

If you want to read a description of the sad state of our world today, read Romans Chapter One and compare to the news reports you read or see. Look around your neighborhood. These words are more relevant today than when they were written and first read.

When Paul writes to the church at Corinth, he explains that the message of the cross, the way God chose to perfectly harmonize his justice and his mercy, is God's power to save those who believe this message.

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:17-18

One of the many characteristics of the "terrible times in the last days" is "having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:5). The very power of the Gospel, the Good News, to save those who believe is denied. The power of the Holy Scriptures to instruct us in holy living is denied. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead which shows the power of God is denied. The church is being weakened by the failure to preach the power of God by the power of God. Revelation Chapters One through Three record Jesus' words to his church. Even in these warnings, he gives us hope. We can turn away from false teachings and ungodly living to follow him and his teachings.

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.
Revelation 3:2-3

Those who do repent, turn back to God and follow the teachings of Jesus, believing and acting on the salvation which is by the grace of God, will be acknowledged before God (Revelation 3:4-6). These words are for all the churches even though this letter was addressed to the one in Sardis.

The Spirit of God will give us power to be courageous, to love God and others, and to discipline one's own mind and conduct (2 Timothy 1:7).

Peter tells us we "through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5). He encourages us to endure the difficulties of this time because we "are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:9).

In his second letter Peter tells us:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 1:3-4

Though society around us is drawn deeper into spiritual darkness, we can still live in the light Jesus has brought to us. Only through divine power, not our own, will we escape "the corruption in the world."

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