Limitation of General Revelation — Why We Need More

General revelation gives sufficient evidence for God's existence but we are not capable of seeing the evidence clearly without transformation.

Review of General Revelation

  • God reveals himself to everyone through (1) nature, (2) history, and (3) conscience.

Limitations of General Revelation

  • We are limited by our sin and selfishness.
  • We are limited by faulty logic leading to wrong conclusions.
  • We are limited by incorrect interpretation of history.
  • We are limited by false hypotheses to explain the nature we see.
  • We are limited by our human lens as we look at general revelation.

1. When we look at nature, we suppress the truth of God.

  • We twist the evidence of God and create idols that resemble our thoughts.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, both His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
For even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools,
and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the likeness of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18–23)

2. When we look at nature, we misinterpret the truth of God.

  • When the Apostle Paul heals the lame man, the crowds mistakenly thought that "the gods have become like men and have come down to us." (Acts 14:11)
  • Instead of worshipping God, they worshipped men.
  • Paul corrects the people in Acts 14:15–18.

3. Since we do not seek God, we ignore the truth about God.

  • General revelation is sufficient for man to know that God "is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:27)
  • But man does not seek after the true God. Instead, in Athens, the men made idols for themselves and attempt to worship an unknown god.

The solution of special revelation explained in Psalm 19

  • Special revelation is perfect (v.7)
  • Special revelation produces joy (v.8)
  • Special revelation gives insight (v.8)
  • Special revelation is true and lasts forever (v.9)
  • Special revelation is valuable (v.10)
  • Special revelation guides (v.11)
  • Special revelation reveals errors (v.12)
  • Special revelation protects again sin (v.13)

Summary of Revelation

  • General revelation informs.
  • Special revelation transforms.
  • Man does not lack information. Man needs transformation.