Article 2 of the Belgic Confession of Faith says “We know Him (God) by two means: First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe; which is before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to see clearly the invisible things of God, even his everlasting power and divinity, as the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20. All which things are sufficient to convince men and leave them without excuse. Second, He makes Himself more clearly and fully known to us by His holy and divine Word, that is to say, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to His glory and our salvation”.
This distinction between general and special revelation focuses more on the extent and purpose of revelation. General revelation is referred to as “general” revelation because it has a general content and is revealed to a general audience. Through general revelation to all men, God communicates His existence, His power, and His glory, such that men are left without excuse for their rejection of Him. Regarding general revelation, John Calvin in his Institutes says:
“There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity [divinitatis sensum]. This we take to be beyond controversy. To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty”.
Basically God has done a tremendous work in all men, by implanting knowledge about Himself in them. And this knowledge must then be willfully and deliberately suppressed in order to deny that there is in deed a creator.
John Murray says this about General revelation, “We must not tone down the teaching of the apostle in this passage. It is a clear declaration to the effect that the visible creation as God’s handiwork makes manifest the invisible perfections of God as its Creator, that from the things which are perceptible to the senses cognition of these invisible perfections is derived, and that thus a clear apprehension of God’s perfections may be gained from his observable handiwork.”
The reality that there is a Creator who made all that we see around us and constantly sustains it, shows us that He must be a being of awesome power, and His divine nature points to His faithfulness, and His kindness, and His graciousness. Romans 1:20, and Psalm 19:1-4 make it clear that there is no reason (except a general hatred for God and a lustful thirst for autonomy) for anyone to deny the existence of God.