Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Truths that are Self-Evident

 

 

He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:29-31 NKJV)

 

Things that are not so Obvious

Our Declaration of Independence has these words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  However, later in that document native Indians are called merciless Indian savages  After the constitution of the United States of America was adopted, the fourteenth amendment had to be added which allowed all people born in the US to be citizens of the US and the fifteenth amendment had to be added so that all citizens could vote. I am not sure that in a practical way those who signed the original constitution of the United States believed what they had fought for in the Revolutionary War.  Supposedly all men were created equal but all men were not treated as equals in the early years of the United States.  Obviously, those self-evident truths were not so self-evident.

 

Other Things that are Self-Evident

Those of us who think we have a handle on logical thinking would say that spiritually there are some things that are just as self-evident.  The Declaration of Independence refers to a Creator.  He is not defined but His existence seems to be obvious.  I believe the things that God created and the principles of science that seem to be so necessary for life, leave one with the obvious conclusion that there is a God.  Cars don’t “just happen.”  Buildings don’t appear out of nowhere.  Highways have to be designed and constructed.  In the same way, this world with its myriad of living creatures didn’t just appear out of nowhere.  There had to be a designer and He had to be good at what He did.  To me this is self-evident.

 

If there is a creator, then there has to be accountability to that Creator.  When we read the Old Testament, we get the impression that if we do good (whatever that means) we will prosper.  If we are wicked we will not.  (see Psalm 1).   However, when we continue through the Psalms, we find out that often the wicked prosper and the good do not.   (See Psalm 37 and Psalm 73).   Job suffered because he was righteous not because he was wicked.  And in the New Testament we are constantly reminded that in the world we (who are true disciples) will have tribulation.  However we are told to be of good cheer, the Lord has gotten victory over the society that had become so evil that it rejected the Lord.  (See John 16:33). 

 

So the first thing that is self-evident is the fact that there is a creator.  The next thing that is not so self-evident is that God is a just and righteous judge.  Because of the suffering in the world and the prosperity of many who are wicked many think that God is cruel.  However, I don’t think God is cruel.  I think God loves His creation.  But I think it is self-evident that there is a real evil spiritual adversary called the devil.  That there is evil in this world is self-evident.  Some of it is so bad that mankind could hardly be that bad on its own.  But the Lord tells the religious rulers of his day that they were of their father the devil.  He says, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44 NKJV).  It is self-evident that more people believe the "liar" than believe the "truth" in our day and many of them call themselves Christians.  They are religious but they have never been "born from above."

 

One other Thing that is Self-Evident

This God who created us and who loves us whether we want to believe that or not is also going to judge us.  There is going to be accountability.  Paul preached that accountability to the philosophers in Athens Greece.  I believe that many are denying self-evident truths because they think God will overlook their sin  They think that when they die, they will not be held accountable.  That God will judge us righteously is not self-evident but I believe that to be true by faith in the Lord’s promises.

 

The real problem with the Athenians had to do with worshiping man’s make-believe gods instead of the “unknown God” that had died for their sins, had been buried and who was raised again the third day.  That “unknown God” did not come to condemn the world, but He came that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).  But the God of creation who has made Himself known in a personal way through the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to judge the world in righteousness.  People are going to be held accountable for their sin.

 

A question was raised by Abraham in the Old Testament.  He said, “Will not the judge of all the earth do right (Genesis 18:25)?”  For those of us who have confessed our sin and turned to the Lord for salvation, the punishment of our sin has  been born by the Lord at the cross.  For those who reject that sacrifice, it seems self-evident to me that to be righteous, the Lord will have to judge the Christ rejecter for his or her own sins.  To do otherwise would not respect the terrible sacrifice and suffering of the Lord on the cross.

 

Conclusion

It is self-evident that we have a creator.  It is self-evident that we are sinners and that there is evil in the world.  It may not be so self-evident that God loves us but He does.  Now the question is, how will we be judged when we meet God?   Will our sins be forgiven because of the death of Christ or will we have to suffer for our own sins for eternity?

 

Bruce Collins

 

Meditation for the week of July 15, 2018

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