When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in His sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.Romans 2:12-16
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.Eccl 3:11 (ESV)
Wow, now that is amazing. Every man and woman, boy and girl on this earth has God’s truth written on their heart. That is why Paul can say all are without excuse. I included the verse from Ecclesiastes because that is the verse that Don Richardson used when he came up with the concept of Eternity in Their Hearts for his book of the same name. It is like God has ensured that there are deposits of His truth in every culture in the world. Don Richardson worked among the Sawi and came across a number of redemptive analogies which matched Biblical truth. The Sawi had a concept of the Peace Child being needed when true peace was to be maintained between warring factions. A child from the other tribe would be given to the opposing tribe to live as a member of that tribe. Thus ensuring that peace was maintained. The tribe from which the child taken was not likely to attack the other tribe as one of their own was living there. Richardson used this concept to help the Sawi people to understand what God did for human kind in Christ.
The same thing happened with the Fayu where Klaus Peter Kugler and his family worked among a group of who praised the traitor Judas and thought the one who lied and cheated was a hero. Again it was a matter of finding the redemptive analogies. Those things that were in the culture already and matching Biblical truth. God has indeed placed eternity in the hearts of mankind. Every human on earth has something inside them that witnesses to their spirit about God’s truth but many block it out, choosing not to pay attention.
How did Klaus Peter managed to break through in a culture where deceit and stealing and all things wrong were praised? By simply living in a Christlike way and eventually he was given an opportunity to demonstrate an opposed world view. One day he saw the chief’s son steal his crocodile meat he had left hanging in his porch area. The chief’s son turned and looked at him as he made off with Klaus Peter’s meat. Lord, hope do i get through to these people? The Lord seems to tell him to give the chief’s son the other side of crocodile meat he had. So he took it as a present to the chief and his son and and told him that his God had told him to give the son this meat too because he must really need it. The one act of kindness turned the tribe to new way of life.
I have been on a prayer retreat during which we were asked to look back over our lives and spot the patterns of how God talks to us and what He uses to get our attention. One thing I noticed was how many times I had come into contact with the gospel during my life before I met Christ in August 1973. There was one girl friend who was a Christian and who had tried to influence me for the sake of the gospel. But like other times I spurned her input. When it finally happened for me in August 1973 it was like the truth was there buried all the time even though I had no input or teaching on these truths of God at all. I then noticed that I had avoided or rejected any hint of the possibility that the answer to life’s questions might be found in Christ. I wanted none of that. But it didn’t change the truth. Truth was still the truth. The choice was mine as to what I do with it. Just as the response to the Truth is your responsiblity too Dear Reader.
Repentance is the hammer which shatters the barrier that protects God’s Word from the uncommitted.Robb Thompson