“You Will Never Be Able to Say – You Didn’t Know!”
By: Lou Yeboah
That’s right! Your rejection of the gospel will be inexcusable. You have heard the gospel. Your unbelief is not out of ignorance, but out of rebellion against God and against His Word. I tell you, you are just like Israel, who knew the truth, but chose not to obey it. You are guilty before God just as Israel was and deserving of divine wrath. This is the essence of [Romans 1:18-32]. For God says, “All the daylong I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” [Romans 10:21]. It’s not that God just displays His truth in the heavens, it comes home. It’s received. We get it, but we suppress it, that’s why the apostle Paul said that every mouth will be shut on that day because there is no defense against this [Romans 3:19]. You know it, yet you suppress it. You are created in the image of God, yet you are ungodly. You have the law of God written on your heart, yet you are unrighteous.
“Woe to you Chorazin and Bethsaida, for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you [Matthew 11:21-22] because to disobey God’s commands is a spiritual and eternal death. You see, the more evidence you have of Christ’s reality, the more severe your judgment for not repenting. Your doom will be more miserable than the pagans. I tell you it would have been better for you to have never known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to you.” There is no excuse for unbelief. There is never an excuse for unbelief!
When you stand before the judgment seat in the last day, God will not judge you on the basis of what you did not know but on the basis of what has been revealed to you. Just imagine standing before God and trying to make excuses for your stubborn disobedience of His Word. What will be your excuse? Have you not heard? Indeed you have [Romans 1:19-23]! For the righteousness of God has been revealed to everyone through nature [Psalms 19]. You have no excuse. Your conscience knows the righteousness of God as you see God in nature. You have “heard” of God’s righteousness. How dreadful it will be to be without excuse! [2 Thess. 1:7-9].
The end of the matter: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.
I tell you Paul certainly does not tell us what we want to hear, but rather what we need to hear. The Bible does not sugar coat the message, but tells it in a straightforward fashion. There is no fine print hidden at the end of the Bible. This truth is made known in large print at the beginning. I would remind you; this teaching is placed at the very beginning of the book of Romans. Paul does not hold back this news until the end because it is so unpalatable. Rather, he front-loads the subject of divine wrath at the very outset of the book of Romans. This mention of divine anger against sin is very direct, emphatic, and even abrupt. The apostle makes no apologies. There is no attempt to tone down this reality that threatens all who are without the gospel. This is the sheer, unvarnished truth from God coming through the pen of the apostle Paul.
“But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it… [Deuteronomy 30:14-20]