he Biblical Doctrine of General Revelation: Mankind’s Guilty Knowledge of God
All people are naturally inclined to some form of religion, yet they fail to worship their Creator, whose general revelation makes him universally known. Sinful egoism and aversion to our Creator’s claims have driven humanity into idolatry, the error of giving worship and homage to any power or object other than God (Is. 44:9-20; Romans 1:21-23; Col 3:5). In their idolatry, apostate humans ‘suppress the truth’ and have ‘changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image like corruptible man ...(Rom 1:18) They smother and quench, as far as they can, the awareness that general revelation provides of the transcendent Judge and Creator, and they transfer the ineradicable sense of deity to unworthy objects. This in turn leads to drastic moral decline and misery, as a first manifestation of God’s wrath against apostasy. (Rom 1:18,24-32). God will not allow human beings to suppress entirely their sense of God and of His judgment. Some sense of right and wrong, as well as of accountability to God, always remains...everyone is endowed with a conscience that ...condemns them, telling them that they ought to suffer for wrongs they have done. when conscience speaks in these terms it speaks with the voice of God.
In one sense, fallen humanity does not know God, since what people believe about the objects of their worship falsifies and distorts the truth about God. In another sense all human beings do know God, but in guilt, with uncomfortable inklings of the judgment they cannot avoid. Only the gospel of Christ can speak peace to this aspect of the human condition. ~ Geneva Study Bible