Truth About God
I previously emphasized two things about evangelism. First, the goal is to help people enter into a love relationship with God, that they would love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Second, the main means for doing this involves using the truth in love. This requires that we have a good grasp of truth as revealed in the Word of God, and that we are choosing to use it with the purpose of promoting the highest good possible. We cannot guarantee how people will react to such truth, but we can guard our own motives and actions. With these points in mind, it should be clear that truth, specifically about God is of great importance. I have had well-intentioned people tell me that theology is not important. However, theology involves formulating our understanding and consequent representation of who God is, what He is like – His nature and character. This is important as we attempt to introduce people to God and encourage them to love Him. If we are introducing them to a questionable or repulsive Person, we might manage to scare them into erroneously giving Him permission to save them from hell, but we are working against convincing them that He is someone to truly love. Of course, the truth cannot be bent or twisted to falsely describe Him in accordance with our preferred understanding of someone they will tend to love. We are to represent Him as He has revealed Himself in Scripture and provide appropriate answers for their questions or concerns.
As the apostle Paul lays a foundation in the opening portions of the epistle of Romans (Ro.1:15-25), we see his declaration that he is “eager to preach the gospel” and that he is “not ashamed of the gospel” (vss.15 & 16). He then proceeds to make many significant references to God. He states that the gospel, the truth about what God has done in history, is “the power of God” for (unto) salvation (vs.16). A proper representation of the truth about God’s redemptive provisions and activities can have a powerful impact upon the heart and mind of rebellious human beings.
Paul continues by stating that properly understood, “the righteousness of God” is revealed in His plan and acts of redemptive (including the atonement and our view of it). It is important to know, and let others know, that God does what He does because it is the right thing to do in any given situation.
We then learn something about God’s reaction to sin. Verse 18 reveals that “the wrath of God” is revealed from heaven against ungodliness and unrighteousness. This, as well, is a manifestation of His righteousness. It is good for sinners to know this. As stated earlier, we cannot simply construct a view of God that we think will appeal to them, consequently leaving out information about God’s righteous response to sin. In other words, we must resist the tendency to preach only the “nice stuff.”
The passage continues with a very important point. The essential problem the human beings find themselves in is because they have rejected “that which is known about God.” God has designed human beings in such a way that certain essential knowledge of God is standard equipment within them and can be seen all around them. This is one reason why we can say with confidence that they (whoever we are dealing with) are “without excuse” (vs.20). “God made it evident to them” (vs.19). In Ecclesiastes 3:11 we read, “He has also set eternity in their heart…”
God is not hiding; man is. As we are to make truth about God known, God has also done so. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…” (vs.20). Consequently, the problem is that people reject truth that is available and must be challenged to, again, come face to face with truth about God and with the truth about their sin of rejecting God and the truth he revealed. We are told, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (vs.21). They did not honor God as God! Instead, they honored themselves as God as stated in verse 25. “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
 I refer to this as “well-intentioned” because I understand that they were attempting to say that creating division and animosity in the body of Christ over theological points of difference is not healthy.
 It is true that some questions and concerns will simply be expressed as justifications for continuing to resist God. We must still be equipped with answers and attempt to discern when it is time to put our efforts elsewhere in an attempt to avoid allowing a mocker to waste our time and energy.