Outside of scripture, it seems that God’s general revelation is the source of redemptive analogies worldwide.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands.
Day after day pours forth speech,
And night after night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there [spoken] words [from the stars];
Their voice is not heard.
Yet their voice [in quiet evidence] has gone out through all the earth,
Their words to the end of the world.
In them and in the heavens He has made a tent for the sun.
This belief, that people already know something about God even before they hear of either Jewish law or the Christian gospel, was a cornerstone of Paul’s theology of evangelism.
For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense. – Romans 1:20
He expressed it in a Lycaonian town called Lystra —
In generations past He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; yet He did not leave Himself without some witness [as evidence of Himself], in that He kept constantly doing good things and showing you kindness, and giving you rains from heaven and productive seasons, filling your hearts with food and happiness.” – Acts 14:16-17
In his famous letter to the Roman Christians —
When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them. – Romans 2:14-15
According to the Hebrew scholar Gleason Archer, Solomon’s statement means that humankind has a God-given ability to grasp the concept of eternity, with all of its unsettling implications for moral beings —
He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
How many will rise up in reproach of indifferent believers – let us strive to be – for our generation – those who care enough to go and tell —
The Queen of the South (the kingdom of Sheba) will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and look, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up [as witnesses] at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and look, something greater than Jonah is here. – Luke 11:31-32