“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
Romans 1:18-19, 21-22, 24-25 NKJV
The pleasure and the pain
We here in America cherish our freedom. When we use that word, we are not thinking of it in its most honorable uses, such as the freedoms fought for by valiant soldiers, or won through mass movements for social justice.
What we are really talking about is the freedom to do whatever we want, without consequences, or anyone telling us that we should not do it. The unhindered hunger to feed our most base appetites, regardless of who is used or abused.
In our culture today, it is considered hateful to even whisper of moral issues with even a hint of a contrary view. One is labeled “phobic”, or a hater. In reality, unbridled sin brings disaster into the lives of people.
I have learned that God sets forth His commandments and laws to assist us, as we have no sense of the potential destruction in unhindered behavior. When God tells us in His word that something is bad, it really is.
We are approaching a time when God will no longer seek to convict people of their sins. In that time, they will be given over to do their most lurid wishes. Romans chapter one, is an example of what happens when the Lord gives people over to their own lusts.
People will no longer consider God as reference or guidance, but go forth based upon their appetites. Their own desires become their pleasure and their pain, as it becomes the wrath of God.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Romans 1:28-32 NKJV
The desire for sin will, or even has, infect every aspect of human life. Even in the church, those who choose righteousness will be troubled by those who choose to walk in the flesh. The mission of the Gospel will give way to personal agendas, as wolves creep into the pews.
I try to imagine a world where people managed to get everything they wanted. That would be unsafe and unlivable, and no one would have freedom.
I have found that God’s righteous statutes give me something essential: boundaries. I know where the red line is. I know what the will of God is from His unchanging word, and I have peace as I remain within its boundaries. I also know where I end and others begin.
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes!”
Psalms 119:1-5 NKJV
Let us rejoice in our knowledge of God’s laws and His limits. Let us also remember the love behind it. He is not some cosmic killjoy spoiling our fun, but a loving Father who is keeping us from destruction.
Let us also minister lovingly to those who have been captivated by the wiles of the devil and enticed. All too often we use Romans one as a hammer to pound those who practice sins different from our own. We must instead remember that they are victims of a cunning liar, as we go and tell them about Jesus.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
And such were some of us. Let this be our guide that we go and show the love of Jesus without hypocrisy.
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