Because God is not far from anyone, no one has an excuse for not knowing God. Believers should not think that people are in a fair or neutral condition when they do not know God, because they are overlooking God who created everything and gave them life, breath, and everything. They do not know God because they do not seek God. The Bible explains this with sound reasoning.
The Closeness God
“God is not far from each one of us” comes from the apostle Paul’s speech in Athens at Mars Hill, the Areopagus (Acts 17:27). The apostle Paul spoke by reasoning from an inscription to the “unknown God” that the Athenians admitted not to know God by their worship of the unknown God (17:22–23). Paul taught the God whom they did not know. The apostle built on the truth that God who made everything does not need anything from man (17:24–25a). God gives life, breath, and everything to humanity (17:25b). God has made every nation and ethnicity having determined their times and boundaries to seek Him and find Him because God is not far from anyone (17:26–27). Everyone can find God because God is not far from anyone (17:27b).
God is not far from His offspring, humanity, whom He created (Acts 17:28). Furthermore, God does not conform to the imaginations of men (17:29). Therefore, God no longer overlooks ignorance of who He is and commands all people to repent (17:30). God will judge the world by righteousness that is by a man (17:31). God has given assurance of this by resurrecting that man from the dead (17:31).
Reasoning by God
The apostle Paul reasoned by the God who created everything. The apostle did not reason to God but from God. The apostle took the high ground on Mars Hill and transcended all other excuses and destroyed every stronghold raised against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:3–6). Paul did not start with evidence of God’s existence because the evidence is apparent to those who sincerely seek and denied by those who do not seek. The God who created everything and gave humanity life, breath, and everything cannot be far from those made in His likeness. Those who demand evidence are relying on a diversion intentionally or not. The apostle would not bend or follow any such diversion because those who do not seek God will not find Him. The apostles provided evidences to those who believed in God or were seeking, because they could find for seeking (cf. Acts 2; 13).
God cannot be far from those for whom He cares. God is not far from anyone, so God does not overlook ignorance of who He is. Therefore, God commands all people to repent from the agnosticism of not knowing God, because God being the source of goodness and justice must judge the world in righteousness that is by a man. God has given assurance of this by resurrecting him from the dead (Acts 17:22–33).
No Evidence for Deniers
The Bible does not offer evidence of God’s existence for those not seeking Him. God has made His attributes plain and clear for everyone to see (Romans 1:18–21; cf. Genesis 1:1). God’s existence and identity is not the debate. God has given more than enough evidence but not so much to overcome one’s choice to recognize and follow God.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For 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. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18–20 ESV; cf. John 3:16–21).
The evidence is apparent to those who will seek and accept what they find. The faithful see evidence of God everywhere (Psalm 16:11). The apostle Paul noted, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).
Wisdom to Evangelize
The apostle reasoned from God to Christ and His resurrection. The response to Paul’s speech was mostly positive. Some mocked Paul’s conclusion of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead. Some wanted to hear more again. Some believed and joined Paul (Acts 17:32–34). The apostle Paul’s reasoning was persuasive all over the world from nation to nation to whom he proclaimed God and the gospel of Christ.
No adult can claim ignorance as an excuse for not knowing God. Paul’s speech on Mars Hill gives wisdom on how to speak about God and Christ in a world denying God — in an atheistic world, a pagan world, a new age world, a philosophical world. The wisdom of God from the apostle is to recognize that God is not far from each person and reason upon this essential truth. Christians always have an evangelism starter by talking about God, who gave everyone life, breath, and everything, so God is not far from anyone (Acts 17:27). For this, Paul instructed the faithful, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:5–6).
Excellent thoughts. I especially appreciate you pointing out that “Paul did not start with evidence of God’s existence because the evidence is apparent to those who sincerely seek and denied by those who do not seek.”