Everything we know about Christianity has been
revealed to us by God. To reveal means "to unveil." It
involves removing a cover from something that is concealed.
When my son was growing up, we developed an
annual tradition for the celebration of his birthday.
Instead of the normal pattern of distributing presents, we
did it by way of our homemade version of the television
game show "Let's Make a Deal." I hid his presents in
secret places such as in a drawer, under the sofa, or
behind a chair. Then I gave him options: "You can have
what's in the desk drawer or what's in my pocket." The
climax of the game focused on the "big deal of the day."
I arranged three chairs that were covered with blankets.
Each blanket concealed a gift. One chair had a small
gift, a second chair had his big present, and a third chair
had a crutch he had used after breaking his leg at age
For three years in a row my son selected the chair containing
the crutch! (I always ended up letting him
exchange the crutch for his real gift.) The fourth year he
was determined not to choose the chair with the crutch
under the blanket. This time I concealed his big present
alongside the crutch and allowed the top of the crutch to
peek out beneath the blanket. Spying the crutch tip he
studiously avoided choosing that chair. I got him again!
The fun part of the game was in trying to guess where
the treasure was hidden. But it was sheer guesswork,
pure speculation. Discovery of the real treasure could
not be made until the blanket was removed and the gift
So it is with our knowledge of God. Idle speculation
about God is a fool's errand. If we wish to know Him in
truth, we must rely on what He tells us about Himself.
The Bible indicates that God reveals Himself in various
ways. He displays His glory in and through nature.
He revealed Himself in ancient times via dreams and
visions. The mark of His providence is shown in the
pages of history. He reveals Himself in the inspired
Scripture. The zenith of His revelation is seen in Jesus
Christ becoming a human being-what theologians call
The author of Hebrews writes:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in
time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last
days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed
heir of all things, through whom also He made the
worlds. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
Although the Bible speaks of the "various ways" that
God reveals Himself, we distinguish between two chief
types of revelation-general and special.
General revelation is called "general" for two reasons:
(1) it is general in content, and (2) it is revealed to a general
General revelation provides us with the knowledge that
God exists. "The heavens declare the glory of God,"
says the psalmist. God's glory is displayed in the works
of His hands. This display is so clear and manifest that
no creature can possibly miss it. It unveils God's eternal
power and deity (Romans 1:18-23). Revelation in nature
does not give a full revelation of God. It does not give us
the information about God the Redeemer that we find in
the Bible. But the God who is revealed in nature is the
same God who is revealed in Scripture.
Not everyone in the world has read the Bible or heard
the gospel proclaimed. But the light of nature shines
upon everyone in every place, in every time. God's general
revelation takes place every day. He is never without
a witness to Himself. The visible world is like a
mirror that reflects the glory of its maker.
The world is a stage for God. He is the chief actor
who appears front and center. No curtain can fall and
obscure His presence. We know from one glimpse of creation
that nature is not its own mother. There is no such
"mother" as Mother Nature. Nature itself is powerless to
produce life of any kind. In itself, nature is barren. The
power to produce life resides in the Author of nature-God.
To substitute nature as the source of life is to confuse
the creature with the Creator. All forms of nature
worship are acts of idolatry that are detestable to God.
Because of the force of general revelation, every
human being knows that God exists. Atheism involves
the utter denial of something that is known to be true.
This is why the Bible says, "The fool has said in his
heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1). When the Scripture
so chastens the atheist by calling him a "fool," it is
making a moral judgment upon him. To be a fool in biblical
terms is not to be dim-witted or lacking in intelligence;
it is to be immoral. As the fear of God is the
beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height
The agnostic, likewise, denies the force of general revelation.
The agnostic is less strident than the atheist; he does
not flatly deny the existence of God. Rather, the agnostic
declares that there is insufficient evidence to decide one
way or the other about God's existence. He prefers to suspend
his judgment, to leave the issue of God's existence as
an open question. However, in light of the clarity of general
revelation, the stance of agnosticism is no less detestable
to God than that of the militant atheist.
But for anyone whose mind and heart are open, the
glory of God is wonderful to see-from the billions of
universes in the heavens to the subatomic particles that
make up the tiniest of molecules. What an incredible
God we serve!
1. Christianity is a revealed religion.
2. God's revelation is a self-disclosure. He removes the
veil that keeps us from knowing Him.
3. We do not come to know God through speculation.
4. God revealed Himself in various ways throughout history.
5. General revelation is given to all human beings.
6. Atheism and agnosticism are based on a denial of
what people know to be true.
7. Foolishness is founded on the denial of God.
8. Wisdom is founded on the fear of God.