WHEN GOD GIVES UP
ROMANS 1:18-32 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH 24 OCTOBER 2021
One great truth has been with us since the beginning of time. God cannot tolerate sin!
His wrath is against all unrighteousness and immorality. His will must prevail, and all things in the world must conform to His will. He bears with those who are led into sin long and patiently, hoping that they will repent. He must reign. And, eventually, those who do not conform to His will, will be crushed into eternal ruin by the almighty power and rule of God.
There is a wrath from God. It is a punishment from God. Mankind must expect this wrath and punishment if he remains blind to God and continues to worship his own thoughts and idols instead of God.
Martin Luther spoke of God’s love as God’s own work. He spoke of God’s wrath as God’s strange work. It is not a punishment that God simply brings on mankind, but one which mankind brings on himself because of his own disobedience to God’s Word.
When we look at the world, we see that suffering often follows sin. When laws are broken, disaster strikes. Think about this: the farmer knows the laws of agriculture. He knows what it takes to make the crops grow and produce a bountiful harvest. But what if he ignores those laws of agriculture? His crop is going to fail. And then, think about the architect. He knows the laws of architecture. He knows how a building must be constructed so that it will remain strong and usable for many decades. But what if he does not follow the laws of architecture? His building may look good on the surface but may collapse before it becomes useful.
The principle is the same in any endeavor. Break the laws of health and your body will suffer. Break the laws of God – suffer the consequences of His wrath.
Romans 1:18-32 tells us about what happens when men reject God and follow their own desires. God gives them up or gives them over to their sin.
1. They knew God but did not honor Him as God. (18-25)
God’s wrath is revealed to those who suppress the truth. He has made Himself known to us through His creation. His power is well known. They have no excuse for not knowing God (20). Verse 21 describes the way of life of a man who is so completely immersed in the world that he has ceased to be aware of God at all. He has no honor for God. He has no thanks to give to God.
This man professes to be wise (22). Some have become so superior in intelligence that they do not need God, so they don’t give honor to God as God. There is no thanksgiving for the blessing they receive. Where do they suppose blessings come from? In many cases, the thought is: it is simply good luck that caused the good thing to happen to me.”
Whenever men begin to think they can live without God because of their wisdom, they actually become fools. Man’s foolishness consists in making man the maser. Instead of waling and looking out to God, the sinner walks, looking into himself. And like anyone who does not look where is going, he is destined to fall.
2. God gave them up because they exchanged the truth for a lie (26-27)
Paul wrote to the Roman church in an age of degradation. It was an age when things were out of control – wars, violence, illegal or unethical affairs in government, and on and on.
It was an age of unparalleled luxury. People were so weary of ordinary things that they were eager for new sensations. Crime often became the release from boredom.
It was an age of unparalleled immorality. Men and women alike would sooner live with only one eye than to live with one man or one woman. Of the 15 Roman emperors, 14 of them were homosexuals.
Compare that age to our times today. We know of constant turmoil, constant wars, violence in our city streets. Today’s luxuries cause us to become bored. We always seek something more to satisfy us. We crave something new, and exciting – something sensational. We come to the point that nothing shocks or surprises us anymore.
In today’s world, there are possibly as many divorces as there are marriages. People live together before marriage as a trial. We see men with men, women with women marrying so that the union has two husbands or two wives.
The saddest thing about all that is that some churches in today’s world actually condone these actions in order not to judge anyone.
God gave people up to live in their passions. Sin is always a lie. The passions and the desires look good. The person thinks those good-looking things will make him happy. But, in reality, in the end, those things ruin lives – because of their deceit – ruins the lives both here in this life and in the world to come.
3. God gave them up because they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer (28-32)
They ignored God and His power over them. They continued in the various sins listed in verses 29-31. All of these are sins that result in a depraved mind. All these are sins and are not proper and are against God’s will.
These are people who know the commands of God. But they practice the things that will result in death. That is, spiritual death, and at last, eternal separation from God. They do these things and approve of them as acceptable for their lives, again, ignoring God. They not only sin, but they also give their approval to others who practice sin.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” When man begins to ignore God and His will and God’s way, he walks right into his own destruction. The way we want to live our lives may seem right, but if we have not included God in our lives we have headed for disaster.
God loves each person whom He has created. And it is His desire that we all live good lives and that in the end, we will not perish. But God is a Just God. That does not mean that He will ignore our sins without our doing anything to seek forgiveness. It does men the He has said, “Obey My commands or you will face destruction.” In other words, He will give us over to wallow in our sins if we continue to insist upon turning our backs on Him.