Summary: This sermon answers some of the excuses that we make in our failure to acknowledge, seek and worship the true and living God.
Recently, I read the following announcement that presumably appeared in a church bulletin:
To make it possible for everyone to attend church next Sunday, we are going to have a special “No Excuse Sunday.” Beds will be placed in the foyer for those who say, “Sunday is my only day to sleep in.” Eye solution will be available for those with tired eyes—from watching television too late on Saturday night. We will have steel helmets for those who say, “The roof would cave in if I ever came to church.” Blankets will be provided for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who think the church is too hot. We will have hearing aids for those who say, “The Pastor speaks too softly,” and cotton wool for those who say he preaches too loudly. Score cards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present. Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday. There will be 100 TV dinners for those who cannot go to church and cook dinner also. One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to seek God in nature. Finally, the sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.
We smile at this announcement. Some of us may even recognize ourselves in the announcement! Some people have all kinds of excuses for not attending church.
These are not unlike the excuses we make for not believing God. Today, I want to talk about the excuses we make for failing to acknowledge, seek, and worship the living God.
"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."
We seem to have an almost infinite capacity for making excuses. In the book, The Sports Hall of Shame, a place kicker for the Dallas Cowboys named Raphael Septian is mentioned. He was a good kicker, but he was an even better master at making excuses when he missed a kick.
For example, when he was kicking against the Houston Oilers one day, he missed four out of five field goal attempts. When asked why, he said, “Well, I was too busy reading the scoreboard.”
Then, when he was in Texas stadium, he missed a kick and the reporters asked him why and he said, “The grass was too tall.”
The problem is, Texas stadium doesn’t have any grass—it’s artificial turf!
And then when he missed another field goal, he said, “The thirty second clock distracted me.”
Another time he said, “My helmet was too tight and it was squeezing my brain and I couldn’t think.”
But once (and this is his all-time greatest excuse), when yet another field goal attempt went wide, he turned to his holder, quarterback Danny White, and said, “No wonder it went wide. You placed the ball upside down!”
Today’s text says that in spite of our almost infinite capacity for making excuses, we are all without excuse for our failure to acknowledge, seek, and worship the true and living God. Today, I want to try and answer some of the excuses that we make in our failure to acknowledge, seek and worship the true and living God.
I. “I Didn’t Know God Existed”
The first of our excuses is that we do not know that God exists—or at least, that we do not know for sure that he exists.
Every era has had its characteristic excuses for failure to seek and worship God, but in our “scientific age,” this is certainly a common rationalization.
Do you remember when the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin returned to earth from his short time in space? He said with typical atheistic arrogance, “I did not see God.” The fact that he did not see God was supposed to be proof of God’s nonexistence.
What he said is typical of many people. It is the argument that science either has disproved God or else has been unable to give adequate evidence for affirming his existence.
Now, I want to stress what I hope is clear to many of you. Since the Bible is God’s Word, we need to align our views with what God says in his Word. Ultimately, all our views must be submissive to the Word of God.