Posted by Pastoral Musings on August 23rd, 2010
The Wrath of God Revealed
Introduction: Have you ever wondered about the evil that is in the world? Have you ever wondered why people are as they are? Do you ever ponder and ask yourself about the eternal destiny of those who have never heard of Jesus? Today we shall attempt to answer these questions. The answer in a nutshell is that man has descended. Darwinism says that man descended from a common ancestor, but is ascending in power, knowledge, wisdom, and goodness. Scriptures speaks of man descending from a common ancestor as well, but also descending from the pure worship of the Creator to the degrading and defiling worship of self and created things. For this reason the wrath of God is revealed.
:18-22a Wrath due to suppressed knowledge
:19-20 Knowledge of God evident in to all men in all ages Psalm 19:1-3;Acts 14:17;John 1:1-4,9
:21-22a Vain, worthless thoughts and darkened minds. Professing wisdom, yet becoming fools.
Why? The downward spiral of intelligence due to rejecting truth. Psalm 111:10 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise… In other words, beginning at the wrong starting point and taking the wrong road, man arrives at the wrong destination. It works that way every time one rejects the truth of God. It is inevitable.
:22b-32 The progressive revelation of God’s wrath
:22-25 the first exchange-the first abandonment by God. Exchanging God’s glory for the non-glory of idols. Exchanging truth for lies. Acts 17:22-28 Often this passage is spoken of as simply referring to Gentiles and their failure to honor God. This view neglects two things: 1. That it treats all of humanity since the fall. Following the fall, man became very wicked, so God sent the flood. Well before the establishment of Israel as a nation, even during Abraham’s day we find Sodomites and idolaters. 2. Israel was guilty of idolatry cf Exodus 32; Jeremiah 2:11 Having abandoned the truth of God and worshiping creatures, God abandons man to worship creation even more through sexual degradation. “Lusts of their hearts” James 1:14 cf Jeremiah 17:9 Man is abandoned to do as his heart desires Ephesians 2:1-3 ALL of us…
(It is here that we find the reason that the ignorant heathen are damned. It is because they are not ignorant of God. They know He is there, and they know He is eternally powerful and Divine, yet refuse to seek Him.)
:26-27 the next exchange- the second abandonment by God. Man continued in his worshiping of creation instead of the eternal God who is to be praised forever. Because of this, God abandons him to more degrading passions. “Burned” cf. The amazingly strong desire of the Sodomite men in Genesis 19 who, though stricken with blindness still try to find the door to Lot’s house so that they can gang rape Lot’s male guests. Ephesians 4:17-19 abandoned themselves to work all uncleanness… It should be noted that homosexuality is more than a matter of “plumbing” or “love” , but a matter of misdirected worship.
28-32 the final exchange- the final abandonment by God. They refused to approve the knowledge of God in their consciences, so God abandoned them to unapproved minds. What an exchange! They traded the knowledge of God for the absence of God. Without God in our hearts and minds our thinking is futile. There’s simply no worthwhile knowledge. Psalm 14:1-4a It’s not that there’s no knowledge of good; it’s simply that the knowledge one has will always tend toward evil in some manner or another. Consider Genesis 6:5 and the continual goal of wrong in their thoughts.
Finally, they are filled :29-31 cf Galatians 5:19-21 Though they know God’s righteous decree, they not only practice these things, they approve, encourage, applaud, and take hearty pleasure in others who do these things.
(The reason that we see so much evil in this world is that man is an idolater. Whether the idol is money 1Timothy 6:10;Colossians 3:5, fame,pride,etc 1John 2:15-16 , man works evil due to his own lusts James 3:16.)
Romans 1:16-18 This condemnation is why the gospel is necessary. It is why the gospel is good news. It is why God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel- we have none apart from faith in Him.