Thu, Aug 09, 2018

Romans 1:18-32

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ROMANS

            Please turn in your Bibles this evening to Romans chapter 1 as we continue our study of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome.

            Last time we begin our study in this letter and we saw Paul make his opening salutation to the Romans in Romans 1:1-7. 

            Then Paul moved into his introduction in Romans 1:8-17. It is here we see the theme of this epistle, THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST or the Good News that Jesus brings to a world full of bad news, a world that has man dead in his trespasses and sins and the Good News of our redemption through Jesus!

            Now, as move into Romans 1:18-3:20 Paul speaks of the condemnation of man, he shows that all are guilty before God, none are righteous, not even one! 

            If you would, picture Paul as a prosecuting attorney and we, man is on trial before the Judge, God! You see, apart from Christ, we are all sinners separated from God and Paul is showing us that!

            Now, as we go through this section on condemnation, Paul is going to present his case against the unrighteous heathen and how nature itself shows the glory of God. Thus, the unrighteous heathen are condemned by nature, and we will see that in Romans 1:18-32.

            One writer summed up this section like this. He wrote,

            Paul says the wrath of God hangs over the heads of all who are ungodly. People are without excuse for denying God, because they have the witness of creation about His unseen attributes, eternal power, and divine nature. They go on in their excuses, claiming to be wise and attributing to God likenesses of corruptible man and animals. God has given people over to a depraved mind, where-by they act out all sorts of evil and wholeheartedly join others who practice evil.

- Woodrow Kroll, Romans – Righteousness in Christ, p. 21

 

            People often wonder how people could do some of the atrocities that are happening at alarming rates today. They wonder how we can flaunt our sin like there is nothing wrong with it. Paul will answer those questions in this portion of Romans.

            Then Paul moves on and presents his case against the self-righteous moralist and how God has placed in the heart of every person what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad. Thus, the self-righteous moralist is condemned by his conscience, and we will see that in Romans 2:1-16.

            Then Paul moves on and he concludes his condemnation of man as he presents his case against the super-religious person who tries to live by the Law and fails miserably. Thus, the super-religious person is condemned by the commandments of God, and we will see that in Romans 2:17-29.   

            And then, interestingly enough, Paul places God on the stand to condemn man and in Romans 3:10-18 we see a 14-count indictment against man by God.

            Now some of you may be thinking, “This is really going to be an encouraging section to go through. A real lifter of my soul!” It may not be a “feel good” section, but it is not meant to be. The reason you turn and receive the Good News is because you have the bad news upon your life, you are guilty before God for your sins and you will be punished, the wrath of God will come upon your life. 

            You need to know that before you turn to Jesus as your Lord and Savior. This, I feel, is a very important section we are starting as Paul condemns the unrighteous heathen, the self-righteous moralist and the super-religious person before the Judge – God!

            And I do understand that there are many that don’t like this judgment that is spoken of. They are offended by it and thus, they dismiss it. Let me be clear on this. Just because you don’t agree with it does not make it go away.

            Let me share this with you and then we will get to our text. One writer put it like this and I think he shows us why the church today is so against this judgment of God, they have been taught it over the years! He wrote,

            Harry Emerson Fosdick, the leading voice of Modernist Christianity during the twenties and thirties, expressed some very unorthodox thoughts in the opening chapter of his famous book A Guide to the Understanding of the Bible. To summarize his views: Primitive man had a devilish concept of God. Noah’s God destroyed the earth with a flood. Abraham’s God was a bloodthirsty God who wanted a human sacrifice. The God of Moses was the horrible God of volcanic fire, speaking to him from Sinai. Little by little man has advanced as the centuries rolled on. David began to have high ethical thoughts of God, but they were mixed with the terrible imprecatory Psalms that call down wrath upon the enemy.

            By the time of the prophets, God was really improving. He now hated unrighteousness and spoke out against the crimes committed by men. And when Jesus came along, the idea of God took on the marvelous concepts of fatherhood and brotherhood, the greatest idea up to that time. But Jesus also had the repugnant idea of Hell. This, Fosdick argued, must be abandoned in order to continue the upward curve of development.

            Fosdick was, of course, reflecting much of the thinking of modern man, whether religious or secular: a loving God cannot be a God of judgment or Hell – enlightened man is progressively shedding such backward ideas.

            Lord Bertrand Russell said essentially the same thing in his Why I am Not a Christian:

            There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment. Christ certainly as depicted in the Gospels did believe in everlasting punishment, and one does find repeatedly a vindictive fury against those people who would not listen to His preaching. . . . You do not, for instance, find that attitude in Socrates. You find him quite bland and urbane toward the people who would not listen to him, and it is, to my mind, far more worthy of a sage to take that line than to take the line of indignation.

            The idea of a God of wrath and judgment is offensive to modern man’s sensibilities.

            Any who are sympathetic to some of the thinking just expressed do not like what is stated in the text we will now study. The only salve I can offer is that this is not my message – it is the Spirit’s message given through the Apostle Paul. To the church at Rome (and to us).

- R. Kent Hughes, Romans – Righteousness from Heaven, pp. 31-32

 

            And think about it. If someone murdered your family, would you want the judge to let him go free because holding the person accountable for his actions would be barbaric? Of course not! And it would not be barbaric to put him in prison, but it would be righteous, the right thing to do.

            And if we would want judgment to come upon those who have wronged us, why would we say that Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth can’t? That is foolishness.

            Because God is holy, He is righteous, He must judge sin and that is what we will see as we go through this section on condemnation here in Romans 1:18-3:20.

            With that as our background, let’s begin reading in Romans chapter 1, beginning in verse 18 and see what the Lord has for us this evening as we study His Word.

 

ROMANS 1

VERSES 18-23

            I want you to notice something here because some feel that God is unfair. He is not. In Romans 1:17 Paul spoke of the fact that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith and then, here in Romans 1:18 we see that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

            God wants to save sinful man and He has done everything possible to do that, except force man to come to Him. Thus, if you reject the righteousness of God that is found in Jesus Christ and imputed into our lives by faith, then you will receive the wrath of God in your life. (See II Corinthians 5:21)

            And please understand that God does not fly off the handle in a fit of rage against sinful man. That is not what the Scriptures teach.

            In this verse the word wrath is used and there are two different Greek words that speak of wrath.

            One of them is THUMOS and we get our English words, thermal and thermometer from. The idea with this word is a red-hot anger as we blow up and lash out. Paul did not use this Greek word for the wrath of God.

            Paul used the Greek word ORGE and it means, “to grow ripe for something.” And the idea here is that the sin of man grows, and grows and when it is ripe, God will deal with it.

            This is a kind of wrath that builds up over time. Think of it like blowing up a balloon and as it grows and grows and finally the balloon bursts.

            And look at what we see today. Man is flaunting his sin all over the place and it would seem that the judgment of God can’t be close behind!

            I like the story that Donald Grey Barnhouse told regarding this, it does drive home the point. Barnhouse recounts the story of a group of godly farmers in a Midwest community being irritated one Sunday morning by a neighbor’s plowing his field across from their church. Noise from his tractor interrupted the worship service, and, as it turned out, the man had purposely chosen to plow that particular field on Sunday morning in order to make a point.

            He wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper, asserting that, although he did not respect the Lord or honor the Lord’s Day, he had the highest yield per acre of any farm in the county. He asked the editor how Christians could explain that. With considerable insight and wisdom, the editor printed the letter and followed it with the simple comment, “God does not settle [all] His accounts in the month of October”

            How true that is and how thankful for that we should be!

            Now what is this wrath of God against? It is against ungodliness or the first table of the Law, those things that deal with our relationship with God. It is against unrighteousness or the second table of the Law that deals with our relationship with our fellow man.

            And the problem is that they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.The Greek word that Paul uses for suppress refers to a helmsman steering a boat against the current. The point is this. God is wanting to steer people in the right direction, towards Him, in obedience to His Word. But the ungodly are determined to hold the rudder of their lives against the current or the evidence of God’s truth and steer in the opposite direction.

            I realize that there is a push in the church today to steer people away from people being sinners, to negate the fact that the wrath of God will come upon them if they stand in their own righteousness, which are like filthy rags. But we need to be faithful to God’s Word and not be swayed by what man is saying, as they are trying to steer us away from God!

            Look at what we see in the New Testament alone regarding the wrath of God. In John 3:36 we are told, He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. 

            In Ephesians 5:6 we are told, Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 

            In II Thessalonians 1:7-8 Paul tells us, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

            And there are many more, in fact Jesus spoke more of Hell and judgment than anyone else, but I think you get the point; God’s wrath will come upon the ungodly, upon sinners, upon those who have not received the Gospel, Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

            That is the bad news; the Good News is that Jesus has come to save us, sinners. Do you see the contrast between the two? 

            One brings death and the other life, and who in their right mind would say they would rather spend eternity in Hell separated from God instead of spending eternity with Him? You would be a fool! And tragically, many are as they reject Jesus!

            Remember what this section here in Romans 1:18-32 is all about. It is dealing with the unrighteous heathen who are condemned by creation itself! 

            You see, the Psalmist tells us The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.  Psalm 19:1-6.

            As you like at life, creation, you see that there is a God. And yet, people refuse to see the hand of God and it is so obvious. Let me show you what I mean.

            I am sure many of you if not all of you remember Carl Sagan. Some years ago, Carl Sagan was receiving a lot of money from the government for his S. E. T. I. (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project, which used radio telescopes to listen for patterns in radio waves coming from outer space to try and determine if there was intelligent life out there trying to communicate with us.

            The main criterion was that the radio waves had to have order or a pattern to them to prove intelligent life was trying to communicate with us. They searched for years and found nothing.

            One day Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith, a Christian and brilliant man with several earned Ph.D.’s said to Sagan, “Carl, get rid of your radio telescope and come with me into the laboratory and look through the electron microscope and I’ll show you a digital code on the helix of DNA that is ordered and proves that there is outside intelligence.”

            Carl Sagan refused to look into the microscope. They have suppressed the truth that God has shown them and thus, they are without excuse!

            Let me give you another example of the foolishness of man. This has to do with the discovery of DNA, the building blocks of life. We are told about the men who discovered this,

            Indeed, both Crick and Watson have been outspoken in their belief that the discovery of DNA’s structure has helped overturn belief in the God of the Bible. Francis Crick has repeatedly said that he sees DNA as a confirmation of evolution, which discredits “the god hypothesis.” His co-discoverer, James Watson, says that our understanding of DNA has helped to debunk religious “myths from the past.”

            Watson boldly told the London Telegraph in a recent interview, “Every time you understand something, religion becomes less likely. Only with the discovery of the double helix and the ensuing genetic revolution have we had grounds for thinking that the powers held traditionally to be the exclusive property of the gods might one day be ours.”

            Many of the world’s leading scientists will hear this message today at a huge gathering of luminaries (including Watson himself) who traveled to Cambridge to praise the ongoing impact of Watson and Crick’s discovery.

            The culmination of the day, after a series of speeches on molecular medicine, cancer, aging, etc., is a lecture titled “Genes and human nature” by Matt Ridley, author of the bestseller Genome. Ridley will speak about the broader implications of human genome research, and it is not hard to guess what he will say.

            Scientific American describes Ridley as “an avid proponent of the Darwinian view of the world, [who] perceives the genome not as a cookbook or a manual but as a quintessentially historical document—a three-billion-year memoir of our species from its beginnings in the primal ooze to the present day.”

            Around the world, believers in “goo-to-you” evolution, like Matt Ridley, are repeating the mantra that the human genome holds the key to unlocking the mystery of human nature and the evolution of life on Earth.

- https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/dna-structure/dna-what-does-it-prove/

 

            But is it just that simple? What kind of information do we have in DNA? Listen carefully. We are told,

            As all readers know, I’m sure, the instructions imprinted into DNA are responsible for how every cell develops and functions throughout its existence. DNA, which contains the “blueprint” for all living things, is incredibly complex. Indeed, I don’t think we appreciate just how phenomenally complex and intricate it is. . . . “If unraveled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billion miles, from here to Pluto and back.” [emphasis added]. That’s ten billion miles of DNA “instructions” hard-wired into a single human body to integrate and perform all its myriad of interrelated systems and functions! And the evolutionists would have us believe that 10 billion miles of DNA just randomly formed over eons so a single human body could develop and function as a human body? Seriously, how can any advocate of evolution not be laughed out of any classroom or forum anywhere in the scientific world?

            And that 10 billion of miles of DNA coding is just for one human being. Multiply that 10,000,000,000 miles of DNA per human being by over 7,000,000,000 (the number of humans on the earth) to total the aggregate miles of human DNA now present on the earth. Then multiply that total figure by all the DNA in all the species of animals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, plants, etc. now living on the earth. How many billions and trillions of miles of DNA does that add to the total of DNA “instructions” found throughout all the living things on earth? If we attempted that calculation, we would begin to run out of zeros to describe the total DNA in all the living things on earth right now.

            And all this incredibly complex and voluminous design-work to make DNA happened by accidental, random chance, as evolutionists maintain? Sure. Just like an aircraft carrier accidentally forms itself on a boatyard dock “over time” without any blueprints or outside human intelligence acting on it to build it. Or how a 100-story skyscraper, with all its many integral support systems, just randomly forms itself on a city block without any engineering blueprints or intelligent forethought. Or how a supercomputer just accidentally comes into existence in a room without any blueprints or anyone building it. I think you get the point. How can aircraft carriers, skyscrapers and supercomputers all come into existence without any engineering “blueprints” or outside intelligence building them? They can’t! And yet they have to be able to come into existence by random chance for evolution to have any chance of being believable.

            None of these three large objects have made the jump from “non-living” to “living” creatures. Evolutionary theory always says in the primordial past that there was a time when there was no living thing on the earth, so complex non-living things must come into existence on their own if evolution can ever “jump” from non-living things to living creatures–a far greater feat.

- https://stevenmcollins.com/the-complexity-of-dna-proves-a-creator-god-is-real/

 

            Once again they have suppressed the truth that God has shown them and thus, they are without excuse!

            Then Paul says that they did know God, through creation, they refused to glorify Him as God. Think about this for a minute. Why was man created in the first place? 

            We were created to bring glory to God, and rebellious man doesn’t want to do that and thus, he runs to and fro trying to find happiness, trying to find satisfaction to life but he will never be satisfied until he does what he was created for, to worship God, bring Him glory! 

            In Revelation 4:11, in the KJV we are told this very thing, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” 

            Folks, it is as the Westminster Shorter Catechism declares, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” I like that, and it is true! Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not! 

            I like the observation that Donald Grey Barnhouse makes regarding this issue as he wrote, “Will God give man brains to see these things and will man then fail to exercise his will toward that God? The sorrowful answer is that both of these things are true. God will give a man brains to smelt iron and make a hammer head and nails. God will grow a tree and give man strength to cut it down and brains to fashion a hammer handle from its wood. And when man has the hammer and the nails, God will put out His hand and let man drive nails through it and place Him on a cross in the supreme demonstration that men are without excuse.” 

            What more can you add to that, it is powerful. I guess Paul made a fitting conclusion to what Barnhouse said, Professing to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:27. 

            And look at what man worships today, HIMSELF! They worship the creation instead of the Creator!

            And please understand that there are consequences to unbelief. You see, because they rejected God, and man has this built in need to worship, man tries to fill that void by the following . . .

 

VERSES 24-25

            I can’t tell you how sad a statement that is. That God gave them up, He allowed them to have what they wanted, the lusts of their flesh, the lusts of their hearts, dishonoring their bodies, all kinds of uncleanness.

            And you will see as we continue on here in Romans chapter 1 that God gave man up three times. First, in Romans 1:24 God gave them up to uncleanness. Then, in Romans 1:26 God gave them up to vile passions. And finally, in Romans 1:28 God gave them over to a reprobate mind!

            What we see here is that God gave man over to all that he wanted to do, it was directed at man’s entire personality!

            And in the end, we see that self-worship is born. Man has become God and they now believe whatever they want to believe. They choose what is right and what is wrong, not Almighty God! And instead of the worship of the Creator they worship His creation, themselves.

            And Paul just has to end with an Amenor Let it be that is, the worship of God and not His creation!

            Now I realize that many will not accept this, but when you see statistics like this, something is going on and I believe it is all linked to taking God out of the schools, removing prayer, the study of the Bible and the consequences of this is unbelievable.

            If anyone bothers to take an inventory of removing prayer and the Bible as a standard for morality, the evidence is right before their eyes. Someone eloquently said the philosophy of the school room in one generation will become the philosophy of government in the next. We are witnessing that today.

            When prayer was taken out of the school system in 1962, you can see that it is beyond a coincidence that every social indicator took a nose dive once this happened. Once prayer and the Bible were removed from our standard, look out!

            Add in the fact that relativism was added and the gray area of no absolute right or wrong became individual standards of vacillation, and it should not surprise anyone of the following results!

 

Young People

  1. For 15 years before 1963 pregnancies in girls ages 15 through 19 years had been no more than 15 per thousand. After 1963 pregnancies increased 187% in the next 15 years.
    2. For younger girls, ages 10 to 14 years, pregnancies since 1963 are up 553%.
    3. Before 1963 sexually transmitted diseases among students were 400 per 100,000. Since 1963, they were up 226% in the next 12 years.


The Family

  1. Before 1963 divorce rates had been declining for 15 years. After 1963 divorces increased 300% each year for the next 15 years.
    2. Since 1963 unmarried people living together is up 353%
    3. Since 1963 single parent families are up 140%.
    4. Since 1963 single parent families with children are up 160%.

 

Education

  1. The educational standard of measure has been the SAT scores. SAT scores had been steady for many years before 1963. From 1963 they rapidly declined for 18 consecutive years, even though the same test has been used since 1941.
    2. In 1974-75 the rate of decline of the SAT scores decreased, even though they continued to decline. That was when there was an explosion of private religious schools. There were only 1000 Christian schools in 1965. Between 1974 to 1984 they increased to 32,000.
  2. That could have an impact if the private schools had higher SAT scores. In checking with the SAT Board, it was found that indeed the SAT scores for private schools were nearly 100 points higher than public schools.
    b. In fact, the scores were at the point where the public schools had been before their decline started in 1963 when prayer and Bible reading/ instruction was removed from the schools.
                c. The scores in the public schools were still declining.
  3. Of the nation’s top academic scholars, three times as many come from private religious schools, which operate on one-third the funds as do the public schools.

 

The Nation

  1. Since 1963 violent crime has increased 544%.
    2. Illegal drugs have become an enormous & uncontrollable problem.
    3. The nation has been deprived of an estimated 50 million citizens through legal abortions just since 1973, with 1 million additional yearly.

- http://www.city-data.com/forum/religion-spirituality/1065260-effects-removing-religion-public-schools.html

 

            Those are some pretty staggering numbers. But when you remove God from the lives of people, from a nation, there is only a downward trend. This nation was founded upon Judeo/Christian beliefs and the blessings that God bestowed upon this nation were unbelievable.

            But now, since this nation turned from God, God has given them over to uncleanness and we see the moral decay of this nation, the sexual immorality that is taking place and now we are getting children involved in these activities, these sins!

            And the moral depravity gets worse as God continues to give man over! Look at what is next.

 

VERSES 26-27

            Like it or not, the reason for homosexuality is not that they were born homosexuals but because they have rejected the true and living God and thus, God gave them over to what they desire, the lusts of their flesh. God gave them over to do those things that are not natural!

            And think about the days that Paul wrote this letter and who he wrote it to, the Roman church!

            Please understand that homosexuality was an accepted part of life for both men and women in Rome. For some 200 years the rulers of the Roman Empire openly practiced homosexuality and they often did this with young boys!

             When Paul wrote this letter, Nero was the Emperor and he took a boy named Sporus and had him castrated, then married him (with a full ceremony), brought him to the palace with a great procession, and made the boy his “wife.” Later, Nero lived with another man, and Nero was the “wife.” God has indeed given them over to these vile passions!

            And what Paul wrote back then, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God is speaking to us as well today! When you look at the destruction of a nation, it seems that many times homosexuality is the final sin that brought it down.

            Let me show you how turning from God brings a nation down. We are told,

            In his book When Nations Die, Jim Nelson Black lists three aspects of decay: social decay, cultural decay, and moral decay. Three important trends demonstrate social decay. They are “the crisis of lawlessness,” the “loss of economic discipline,” and “rising bureaucracy.”

            History provides ample illustrations of the disastrous consequences of the collapse of law and order. “In ancient Greece, the first symptoms of disorder were a general loss of respect for tradition and the degradation of the young. Among the early symptoms was the decline of art and entertainment. The philosophers and pundits distorted the medium of communication. Rhetoric became combative and intolerant; intellectuals began to deride and attack all the traditional institutions of Hellenic society.”

            New thinkers in the society argued for “fundamental change” and called for giving the youth a “voice in society.” Without traditional guidelines, the young men grew wild and undisciplined destroying the old order. Slowly Greece devolved into a disreputable and lawless nation. The Romans conquered Greece in 146 B.C. By placing everything under military authority, they were able to restore order and bring back the rule of law. . . .

            Four important trends demonstrate cultural decay. They are the “decline of education,” the “weakening of cultural foundations,” the “loss of respect for tradition,” and the “increase in materialism.”

            In his study The Civilization of Rome, Donald Dudley says that no single cause, by itself, would have brought the empire to its knees. Instead, the fall came through “a number of weaknesses in Roman society; their effects may be variously estimated, but in combination they must have been largely responsible for the collapse.”

            The cultural decay of a nation leads inexorably to social and cultural decline. And the patterns are similar from one civilization to another. Samuel Eisenstadt wondered if the similarities were apparent or if they were historical and legitimate. After studying the work of a half dozen historians, he concluded that the similarities were actual. He concluded that “despite the great difference in cultural background–most of these empires have shown similar characteristics, and that these characteristics provide the key to an understanding of the processes of their decline.”

            The Roman poet Livy wrote that greed and self-indulgence led Romans to dangerous excesses. He said, “For it is true that when men had fewer possessions, they were also modest in their desires. Lately riches have brought avarice and abundant pleasures, and the desire to carry luxury and lust to the point of ruin and universal perdition.” . . .

            Three important trends demonstrate moral decay. They are the “rise in immorality,” the “decay of religious belief,” and the “devaluing of human life.”

            The classic study of Roman civilization, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, written by English historian Edward Gibbon was published in that famous year of 1776. He “observed that the leaders of the empire gave into the vices of strangers, morals collapsed, laws became oppressive, and the abuse of power made the nation vulnerable to the barbarian hordes.”

            British historian Catherine Edwards demonstrated that our current examples of immorality are not a modern phenomenon. In her study of the “politics of immorality” in ancient Rome, she says that contraception, abortion, and exposure were common ways to prevent childbirth in Rome. Husbands refused to recognize any child they did not believe to be their own. “Until accepted by its father, a Roman baby did not, legally speaking, exist.”

            Life became cheap in the latter days of the Roman Empire. Burdensome regulation and taxes made manufacturing and trade unprofitable. Families were locked into hereditary trades and vocations allowing little if any vocational choice. Eventually, children were seen as a needless burden and abortion and infanticide became commonplace. In some cases, children were sold into slavery.

            Manners and social life fell into debauchery. Under Justinian, entertainment grew bawdier [vulgar] and more bizarre. Orgies and love feasts were common. Homosexuality and bestiality were openly practiced. Under Nero, Christians were blamed for the great fire in Rome and horribly persecuted.

            Similar patterns can be found in other civilizations. In Greece, the music of the young people became wild and coarse. Popular entertainment was brutal and vulgar. Promiscuity, homosexuality, and drunkenness became a daily part of life. And all moral and social restraints were lost leading to greater decadence.

            In Carthage, worship turned from Baal to the earth goddess Tanit. “Sacrifices to the goddess of fertility were supposed to ensure productivity, long life, and even greater profits.” Ornately carved funeral monuments depicting infant sacrifice can be seen today along with thousands of tiny stone coffins to infants sacrificed to the pagan goddess.

            The parallels to our own nation are striking. No, we don’t sacrifice infants to a pagan goddess, but we have aborted nearly [60] million babies on the altar of convenience. And various sexual practices are openly accepted as part of an alternative lifestyle. It’s no wonder that many believe our country is a nation in decline.

- http://www.leaderu.com/common/nationsdie.html

 

            When you look at our nation, you may be wondering how soon before we fall!

            And dealing with this topic of homosexuality, wow, it is a hot topic today, even in the church where many churches are promoting this lifestyle as being approved by God. It is not!

            In Matthew chapter 19, where Jesus is questioned regarding divorce, He goes back to the book of Genesis and says that God made them male and female, He joined them together, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve! 

            Thus, to go contrary to that means you have rejected God! And folks, think about it, if a person was born a homosexual or lesbian, if it was not a choice, do you really believe God would pour out His wrath upon them? Of course not! 

            You see, Paul even tells us that they gave up that which was natural, a marriage between a man and a woman, and did that which was unnatural, sex between a man and man or woman and woman! Thus, God’s judgment has come upon them!   

            And hear me out on this because we are made to believe that this a normal relationship. But statistics tell us that on average 43% of homosexuals say they have had 500 or more sexual partners in their lifetime, and only 1% of homosexuals say they have had four or less sexual partners in their lifetime.

            According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 77% of homosexuals say they have met sexual partners in a city park; 62% in a homosexual bar, 61% in a theater, 31% in a public restroom. Only 28% of homosexuals said that they knew their partners for at least a week before participating in homosexual sex.

            And look at how Satan has seduced people to do these things that are unnatural, that are evil. In fact, think about this. It is not uncommon for homosexuals to have over 300 partners a year! 

            Way back in 1981 the Chicago Tribune reported this: that a San Francisco coroner estimated that ten percent of his city’s homicides were probably related to sado-masochistic sex among homosexuals! 

            And listen to this: The average life-span of a heterosexual man is 75 years, for the heterosexual female it is 79 years.

            Now compare that to the homosexual male, their life-span is only 42 years and if they have AIDS it is only 39 years. 

            For the Lesbian it is only a life-span of 45 years! 

            As much as some like to blame Christians for this, it is their life-style, not Christians that shorten their life-span!

            And look how Satan rips them off and brings people to the lowest, the filthiest levels and tells them this is good, this is normal, but it is not! 

            Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate homosexuals, I love them as I do all people, I just don’t agree with the choices they have made, nor does God, which is far more important than how I feel!

            May we wake up before it is too late and God’s judgment falls, may we repent of our sin and get right with our Maker!     

 

VERSES 28-31

            First of all, this word, debased speaks of “that which has not stood the test.” It was used of coins that were substandard and therefore rejected. 

            God set the standard for us to live by and it is found in His Word, the Bible. But man has rejected it and God gave them over to do things that will not stand the test, they will fall short of His standard, far short. It speaks of not only wickedness towards God but also towards man as these things will affect those around us!

            Paul put it like this, . . . to do those things which are not fitting. The Greek literally says, “against the schematic.” What is the schematic or design? It is clearly obvious, that a male and female were designed by God to go together. Right? That is a no brainer but tragically for many today, they are confused over this. But when you take God out of the picture, anything goes!

            And we are not only talking about sex between a male and female or man and woman, but a married couple. You see, the only sex that God approves of, and He created sex for man, don’t make that mistake and think sex is evil, it is not, it is just that Satan has perverted it, but God approves sex between a husband and wife.

            In fact, Paul put it this way in Hebrews 13:4, Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. 

            And then Paul lists some 23 things that are manifested in the life of a person who rejects God, the true and living God. This is a result of what happens when you turn from God; it is a downward spiral, not upward. Now, as you read the news, listen to the news or witness these things for yourself, man is like an animal today. People can do the most heinous crimes without blinking an eye. They act just like animals!

            You may not agree with me, but I see it like this. Man, who is in fellowship with God has the Spirit of God dwelling in Him. He is not controlled by the lusts of his flesh but by the Spirit of God. 

            Man, who has rejected God, turned from God, is just like the animals that roam this earth, they don’t have the Spirit of God in them and they live to satisfy the flesh!

            Look at this list!

 

            unrighteousness (injustice);

            sexual immorality (fornication, adultery, and other forms of illicit sex);

            wickedness (active evil);

            covetousness (greed, the incessant desire for more);

            maliciousness (the desire for harm on others; venomous hatred);

            full of envy (jealousy of others);

           full of murder (premeditated and unlawful killing of another, either in anger or in the commission of some other crime);

           full of strife (wrangling, quarreling, contentiousness);

           full of deceit (trickery, treachery, intrigue);

           full of evil-mindedness (ill-will, spite, hostility, bitterness);

            whisperers (secret slanderers, gossips);

            backbiters (open slanderers, those who bad-mouth others);

            haters of God (or hateful to God);

            violent (despiteful, insulting);

            proud (haughty, arrogant);

            boasters (braggarts, self-paraders);

            inventors of evil things (devisers of mischief and new forms of wickedness);

            disobedient to parents (rebellious to parental authority);

            undiscerning (lacking moral and spiritual discernment, without conscience);

            untrustworthy (breaking promises, treaties, agreements, and contracts whenever it serves their purposes);

            unloving (acting in total disregard of natural ties and the obligations that go with them);

            unforgiving (irreconcilable or implacable);

            unmerciful (cruel, vindictive, without pity).

 

            Now you may be thinking that you don’t do those things, but notice what Paul says next!

 

VERSE 32

            Where does all this violence, immorality, cruelty and degradation come from? It happens when men abandon the true knowledge of God, and the state of society reflects God’s judgment upon them for this.

            Make no mistake about it. The end result of the unrighteous heathen, who are condemned by nature itself before God, is that the judgment of God will come upon them, they are guilty before God, and their righteousness is like filthy rags.  

            Now, some of the unrighteous heathen may be feeling good at this point because they do not partake of these activities, which is hard to believe, but I will give them that at this point.

            But Paul takes it a step further. You see, it is not only those that do these things, but those that watch them, they are approving of them and they are guilty before God! Either way, the unrighteous heathen are guilty before God!

            Like I have said, and some may be offended by this, but man apart from God is like a wild animal. He is controlled by his fleshly appetites. Let me show you what I mean.

            Years ago, a fellow wrote to Ann Landers and said:

            “Dear Ann, please help me I am confused. I’m having an affair with two different women at the same time. And I want to get married but I don’t know which one to marry. Please advise me but don’t give me any of that morality stuff.”

            She wrote back, “Dear two timer, you say that you don’t want any of that morality stuff, but that’s the only thing that separates man from the animal kingdom. Therefore I advise you to write to a veterinarian for advice.”

            How true that is and how far from those standards we are today in this nation!

            And please understand this; their sin is in direct contradiction to the revealed will of God, to His Word! 

            It is easy to be conformed to this world, but it is far better to be transformed by the Word of God as we read and apply these things to our lives. 

            Let me leave you with these words from Paul as He said, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:8-9.

            Let these things fill your life and overflow into your actions instead of the ugliness of this world! Be transformed and let others catch what you have – Jesus!

            Peter reminds us in I Peter 1:15-16, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’

            May we follow God’s Word for our lives, living with a Biblical worldview instead of a secular one, which leads a person away from God! May we be holy before God, honoring Him with our lives!

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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