About Natural Revelation

Natural Revelation

Natural revelation is when God reveals evidence of Himself through nature, providence, and human conscience.  Theologians and philosophers also call it general revelation.

Creation proclaims a clear message to all people. According to the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans (c. 56-57 A.D.), “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:19-20)

Jesus Christ, in teaching His disciples about loving their enemies, pointed out that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45)  This is a perfect explanation of God’s providence, His love for all of His creation. He provides for every person and every creature, regardless of whether they know Him or not or love Him or not.

The third avenue of general (natural) revelation comes through human conscience. People universally have a sense of right and wrong. This leads into our understanding that God is perfect (good), and that there is rebellion against Him (evil). But, for the sake of understanding natural revelation, that people have conscience is evidence that God exists.  I can recommend a couple of online reads on this topic:

  1. The Argument from Conscience by Peter Kreeft
  2. Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis (Book I, Chapters 1—5)

We live in an astounding universe on an amazing planet.  Most people love the creation. Some people make protecting it their life work.  But as one misses the forest for the trees, people miss the Creator for the creation. Since they cannot see Him or prove, through empirical means, that He exists, they live the whole of their momentary existence alone, without Him.

We think this begs the question, “You love the creation. Do you love the Creator?”

Special Revelation

Creation proclaims the existence of God. Special revelation, contained in the pages of the Bible, is the message of God. Over the span of 1,500 years, God’s Spirit led men like Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Daniel, and other prophets to write the books of the Old Testament. These 39 books cover subjects of history, law, poetry, and prophecy.

In the Old Testament, we have a full account of the creation of the heavens, the earth, and all creatures therein. The book of Genesis tells how the first man and woman were perfect, sinless, and walked with God in Eden. Sadly, they broke God’s one prohibition, “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.”  Their disobedience introduced sin into the race of people and separated them from life in the presence of Holy God. Our existence was immediately cursed, and we have wallowed in sin and experienced sickness, addiction, sorrow, and death ever since.

However, even at the moment God punished the human race, He promised that there would be a redeemer who would crush evil and restore humanity’s relationship with God. The remainder of the Old Testament chronicles how God teaches, through the Jews, the terrible cost of rebellion and by prophecy, prepare the Jews for the coming Savior, the Son of God.

Jesus Christ

The second part of the Bible is called the New Testament. Comprised of 27 books and letters, it speaks of God’s penultimate revelation that came through Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to redeem mankind—rebellious, sinful, unbelieving mankind—by taking the wrath of God they deserved upon Himself. That’s when He, the sinless Son of God and Son of Man, was crucified on a Roman cross, buried, and on the third day, resurrected back to life.

There is much more to this story of redemption. As wonderful as the natural world is, our hope is not found in the creation, but in the Creator, Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Jesus are promised eternal life with Him forever.  Indeed, while natural revelation will hopefully inspire someone to seek God, the revelation one finds in the Bible inspires a person to follow Him.