Man has from the beginning tried to make excuses for his sin. The man blamed the woman and the woman blamed the serpent. (see Gen.3:12,13) The woman did indeed have “some” grounds of excuse (since she was deceived) (see I Tim.2:14) even though she was in the transgression, but the man had none since he knowingly disobeyed the commandment of GOD. (the reason for why he did that is another subject but the fact that he willingly disobeyed the commandment of GOD cannot be disputed.)
While natural man is always trying to dismiss his sin by some means, whether it be psychological (the way he was raised); environmental (his surroundings); his ignorance (I didn’t know), or by trying to balance or cancel it out with his supposed good deeds, the fact is that all men are absolutely accountable for their sin and would be even more wicked than they presently are except that they are restrained from it by GOD. The utter unrestrained propensity for wickedness, in men, has only been demonstrated in the earth, once: when men, with cruel and wicked hands crucified the spotless LAMB of GOD according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of GOD. (see Acts.2:23) None eye did pity HIM.
These men schemed to put HIM to death even as the LORD related in the parable of the man who planted a vineyard. (see Mark 12:1-11) They who were supposed men of integrity hired liars to defame HIM and testify against HIM. (see Mat. 26:59) even as they did later against HIS apostles. (see Acts 6:11) They conspired to destroy HIM because they knew that HE was the antithesis of their treasured religion and they desired their own righteousness above the true worship of GOD. (see Rom. 10:1-4)
The LORD plainly testified that these Jews, (and actually all men) did know who the LORD JESUS was. Yea even the devils recognize HIM. Paul clearly states that when men “knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom 1:21) “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Rom 1:19-20)
There are some today who try to tell us that the reason that many men perish in their sins is simply because they haven’t been told about HIM. As if it is true that we could save them all if we could just somehow preach the gospel to all of them. They usually use this line of thought as a premise to gather funds in order to be able to “send” men into the earth in order to dispense the sufficient knowledge which would surely rescue them. Yet Paul quoted the prophet Isaiah, saying, “Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.” (Rom 10:18-19)
The fact is that the problem that men have with embracing CHRIST as LORD, has nothing at all to do with what they know. According to Paul all men know HIM (see Rom.1:21) but they do not glorify HIM as GOD. Sunday schools and bible colleges spew out thousands who can tell you in no uncertain terms who HE is, some even in great detail. They know HIM but they do not necessarily love HIM nor follow HIM. Religious leaders of all stripes know HIM, they generally (whatever their religion is) speak about how great a prophet and example that HE was. Even the Hindu holyman, Ghandi, praised HIM for HIS peaceable nature and excellent example of non-violence. He knew HIM.
That which CHRIST came to do in the earth was not hidden from the eyes of men. HE displayed HIMSELF for all to see. Even those in regions of darkness who have never even heard HIS name spoken, yet know HIM according to Paul. Yet the truth is that even though men may know HIM, yet they do not fall down and worship HIM in SPIRIT and TRUTH because their problem is not one of a lack of knowledge.
The need of sinful men is not anything that can be supplied by any other man, nor applied through the intellect they may possess. The LORD said to Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) This is not an operation that can be brought about my man in any fashion but is the work of GOD alone. Thus the LORD described it to Nicodemus, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
Men take great pride in what they know. There have probably been more arguments and fights over the years over what men claim to know than any other thing. You can get a group of religious men together and before long they will be railing against one another over what they know. Is it any wonder that Paul spoke to the early Christians saying, “Knowledge puffeth up.” (1Cor 8:1) and “if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1Cor 8:2)
So no man can boast in what he knows nor can any man ever say that HE did not know that JESUS CHRIST is sent from GOD. They may rebel against that knowledge, they may ignore it at their own peril, or they may even confuse their “knowledge” of HIM with being one of HIS followers. Religious men are convinced that their own understanding of HIM will be sufficient when HE comes to claim HIS own.
Yet HE was quite clear that those who are HIS sheep not only know HIM but hear HIS voice and come when HE calls and not according to their own whim. HE said that a man is not HIS follower who does not do what HE says. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49)
Upon what foundation is your hope resting?
1 Behold the sure foundation stone Which God in Zion lays,
To build our heavenly hopes upon, And his eternal praise.
2 Chosen of God, to sinners dear, And saints adore the name;
They trust their whole salvation here, Nor shall they suffer shame.
3 The foolish builders, scribe and priest, Reject it with disdain;
Yet on this rock the church shall rest, And envy rage in vain.
4 What though the gates of hell withstood? Yet must this building rise;
’Tis thy own work almighty God, And wondrous in our eyes.
Isaac Watts, #141 Gadsby’s