All scripture taken from The King James Version, 1769.
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
The wrath of God, sounds ominous and... it is. I did a study once that showed me that the ungodly were those who found themselves outside of a covenant relationship with God. This alone is why they are called ungodly, the lack of relationship and not sin being the divider. That the unrighteous, or sinner by another name, is someone who breaks the terms of the covenant relationship they have with God, whether Christian, Jew, etc. Paul points out to us that, whether you are in a covenant relationship or not, you are responsible for the "insight" that God has given you. It is this "truth" that God wants you to honour. What about the ungodly and the unrighteous? Both come under the wrath of God if they do not hold the truth up but cast it aside. This is their unrighteousness, both groups.
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Even the ungodly, not they are bad but that they are outside of a covenant relationship, have no excuse for not honouring God. God has shown himself to them on some level.
The scientist who is an atheist is held to account for the reason he does not accept God. He doesn't know God exists? No excuse, if he would look around him he would see the attributes of God reflected in nature, in the atomic and sub-atomic world, in the grand display of the universe. Paul says that God's majesty, power, etc... are reflected in the universe. As with all things though, they must be seen through the eyes of faith. Since Adam in the garden the word has gone out, believe, and those who don't are at peril for their existence.
Covenant people have a more sure word. The prophets of God spoke what God has shown them. They relayed the vision and/or commands to their respective covenant people. Yet faith is still the active key. Without faith it is impossible to please God. They must worship God as they have been directed. If they do not they also are at peril.
21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
The ungodly group and the covenant group, that hold the "truth" in unrighteousness, are without excuse. However much they knew, little or great, they did not glorify God for who he is. They were not thankful for all the things they knew God has given to them. Imagination is a wonderful aspect of the human mind. It helps see things that don't exist... yet, but are possible. This is the domain of the scientific and artistic mind. Even a child can imagine things wondrous and great.
So what is the problem with imagination? Those who do not want to honour God use that very same faculty to "create" an alternative reality that is devoid of God as he has revealed himself to them. Understand that this is an intentional act. God's Spirit has revealed God in some way and they twist this knowledge, freshly gained, down a different path. The greater the revelation, the broader the scope of the covenant, the further the "righteous" can fall away. This act of falling away is the height of foolishness. In time their minds become darkened and the light they were shown goes out. The so called wise have become fools.
How so? They bring God down to their level instead of letting God bring them up to his. (On the other hand there are those who are so arrogant that they believe they can become or are equal with God, that was Satan's pride/problem). I find it difficult to imagine making an idol then bowing down to it as if it could do anything. Yet Israel in the long gone past, in their land, made idols to bow down to. They adopted the creation of other peoples and bowed down to them as well. It starts with God revealing some aspect of himself to a person or a people and then the person or people twist that revelation until they have an idol to which they can bow down.
24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
The first step in this voyage of the damned is sexual sin. This is the run of the mill stuff. Sadly what would pass for normal sexual practices in our day. Do not think that God is the one who makes them dishonour themselves through experimental and/or deviant sexual encounters, inside and outside of marriage. Mankind has within them, in the natural animal make-up, the desire to have this type of sex. What many do not understand, it is God who refrains us from being sexually permissive/abusive. Those who do not want to honour God, as he has revealed himself to them, simply do what comes naturally. Nothing is more natural than sinning. It is the carnal mind set free from the restraining influence of God's Holy Spirit.
In time the sexual partner takes the place of God. Sexual orgies are the worship they now offer to their god and eventually to each other as worship. Will they see how far they have fallen? How corrupt their worship has become, serving a creature (a man or a woman) rather than the living God? Perhaps God will open a door for them to repent. He is a loving God and does not want any to perish. Yet if they continue in their disrespect for God, then...
26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
How far can a man or a woman fall? Sexually... still a long way to go. Women will have sex with other women. Men will have sex with other men. Again, it is not God who makes them dishonour their bodies in this way. God removes his retraining influence so that they can become aware of the darkness that is within them. Sexually some would have sex with children and others with animals. Their imagination eventually becomes corrupt continually. Such was the case in the days of Noah... all things normal (such as weddings) but corrupted (as sexual actions) at the same time. Sodom and Gomorrah? The same! We know how those two events turned out.
(I would like to point out that Satan and his demons do go about inflaming the passions and imagination of people as well. There is the line set by "the restraining influence" he cannot cross. This retraining influence will be taken out of the way during the end times. The enemy's activities will become more evident during the reign of the anti-Christ.)
28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
In the preceding paragraphs these acts were for the dishonouring of their bodies. More than simply dishonouring their bodies they also open themselves up for the spread of diseases. Paul explains that their minds are also affected in the same way. With the imagination of the carnal mind set free from the restraining influence of God there is no depth to which they cannot eventually sink. Not convenient? Rather say it is destructive of self, others and the world at large.
What will they do? What are they like?
29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; (they are) whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Doesn't sound like a loving environment to me. All that sexual love making does not translate into better relationships between people. Far from it, it cheapens the God given relationship God wants between two people. It is a list of evil intentions and actions.
31Without understanding, covenantbreakers,
The first result of this decline and fall? They become covenantbreakers. This is true of all those who embark on this denial and twisting of God's revelation of self. From the Atheist to the Saint, all who hold the "truth" given to them in unrighteousness will become covenantbreakers. Not only their covenant, their truth, they have with God but with all others as well. They simply don't understand how evil the act of betraying God is. They can't... the knowledge is not within them. They are in deep darkness and there is no light in them.
...without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Secondly, they are without natural affection. Every relationship is twisted and perverse. These people cannot be pleased. Nothing is good enough. Nothing can make up for a perceived wrong. There is no thought about forgiving someone. They want a destructive justice upon anyone who they believe has harmed them... or disrespected them. They abuse their wives, husbands, children, parents: physically, sexually, mentally and spiritually. They give "no-quarter" to anyone.
32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Do not think that you must reach the bottom of the spiral before a person becomes worthy of death. Go back to the very beginning. It starts with people not honouring God, according to the revelation given them. Then God releases them, bit by bit, to do what the natural animal within wants. During this whole process, at every step, they know that those who do such acts are worthy of death. Knowing this they do those acts themselves. Then their minds make excuses for their acts and they eventually fool themselves into believing that they can get away with it. After a while they even derive pleasure from others doing the same things. The stories shared, with winks, at the water cooler. The movie theaters crammed with people looking for the next scene of porn or pain. The list goes on.
The wrath of God? It is the act of releasing you, bit by bit, to your own carnal desires and you receive "the recompense" of those actions... ending in a final judgement for the unrepentant.
We are all responsible to walk in the light that God has given us. If not, God's support will be withdrawn. Not to punish us but to help us come to a realization of how we have stumbled and fallen short. God's grace is sufficient to reach out and help us repent. But you must desire to repent. It may start with simply acknowledging your need and asking God for help. He loves you. He is faithful. He is not a covenant breaker. He is merciful and paid the price so you could come back. The foolish will always make excuses. Don't suffer the fate of a fool. Repent and honour God as he has shown you.
Webite administrator: Joseph A Raymond
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada