God Gave Them Up
“Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
“28And 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; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 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.“
Thanks for the kind words and responses to these articles/lessons. While I and writers like myself do not seek the praise of men, it would be lying to say that it is not appreciated when we get it. The book of Romans is a hard book for many Christians; it deals with a lot of topics; it deals with a lot of history, and it is filled with doctrine. It deals with Israel, and it deals with secular governments and our reaction and responsibility to them. It is not a book that one reads and then moves on; it must be read and then explored.
In this article today, we will look at one of the most harrowing passages that mankind will ever read. These verses are a culmination of wrong choices and the consequences that follow.
The path to belief in Jesus and the realities of heaven and hell begin at home. We are told in the Scriptures that a child needs to be disciplined for bad behavior. Revelation 3:19 tells us that God disciplines those He loves. Proverbs 29:15 tells us that “the rod and reproof give wisdom.” Proverbs 6:23 tells us that “reproof gives life.” A child needs to know that there is right and wrong and that those actions come with consequences.
Over the past generation in response to the apparent harshness of the parent of the 50s, 60s and 70s, parents began coddling children; and we have come to the point where bad behavior is being rewarded, laziness is being accepted, and outright disrespect is being tolerated. Thus, we have a generation of children growing up thinking God is just as tolerant of sinful behavior as their parents.
Here is an enlightening little tidbit: God’s grace has limits. He will allow you to push so far, and then He just lets you get what you are asking for.
You see, God restrains evil; He keeps it at bay, and through the very presence of the Holy Spirit on earth, limits evil. But as we come to the end of Romans 1, we see a generation that has traded the Creator for the creation, a generation that has traded Godly wisdom for man-made foolishness, and a people who no longer accept that man is intrinsically evil. In fact, they begin to accuse God of being evil – at least the ones that still think He exists.
- God gave them Up, verse 24
God simply lets them receive the consequences of their actions and choices. He allows sin to run rampant. He allows the spiritually unchecked mind to follow all of its imaginations; and this is where we are today. In one of the Alex Cross movies, the police corner a criminal, and just before he dies, he says this: ‘the mind is a terrible thing.’ This is partially true; the truth is that the mind, unchecked by God, His Holy Spirit and His Holy Word, is a terrible thing. But I would be surprised to hear that in a Hollywood movie.
In verse 24 of our text, God gave them over to uncleanness. Whom did He give over? The answer is in verse 25 – those who exchanged the truth of God for the lie. What is the lie? The lie is that we can be our own gods. The same lie that the devil told Eve, Genesis 3:5, ye shall be as gods. We have the illusion that we have control of our own destiny and future. So, God let them have it by simply stepping out of their way. He stopped restraining evil with His loving grace, and now we are reaping the ‘benefits’ of this plan of action.
One of the fruits of God giving people up to their own ways is the growth of the homosexual segment of society. Let us not kid ourselves; homosexuality is not new. It has been around since man has been around. It was rampant in Israel at times when they got away from God. It was a very open part of the Roman Empire and male prostitution was rampant. History tells us that some of the Caesars were homosexuals.
I can say that in my 53+ years I have seen more effeminate young men in the last 5 years than I did in the previous 48. One cannot enter a store, go to a mall, or walk in a crowd for very long without seeing effeminate men. Some men are more feminine than most of the women around them. On the ying side of that yang, there is a rampant growth of lesbianism, especially among young women and even among middle-aged divorced or widowed women.
These are the results of God ‘giving people up’ to the lie that they want to accept. This is what happens when homosexuality becomes institutionalized in society.
My little country of Barbados was threatened by the IMF that they would withhold monies if they did not decriminalize homosexuality. It did not take long for homosexuality to become ‘accepted,’ so to speak.
In 1973 it was still deemed a mental disorder; so here we are not even 50 years later, and it is on every TV show, and it is to the point that if you want to get ahead in the entertainment industry, one must ‘come out,’ and then you are accepted as authentic; and Oprah or Ellen has you on to tell your story.
- The Road is Steep, verses 26-28
Mankind, apart from God and His Holy Word, has no clue how bad we truly are. Sadly, there are many Christians that don’t want to accept that the mind and the heart without God are terrible things.
I am a fan of the CSI shows and of Criminal Minds. Many of the episodes are based on actual crimes. Let that sink in; Criminal Minds has been on TV for 15 years; they do 20+ episodes per year. That is over 300 crimes that they could build shows on. We still have all the CSIs, the Special Victims Unit, and a host of other crime shows that we never seem to run out of stories for. This does not count those outside of North America. Mankind is evil.
The sex trafficking trade in North America is booming. Just the other night, I was listening to talk radio, and one of the guests was saying how some of the sex trafficking is being done by the kids’ peers in school. Sixteen- and seventeen-year-old boys and girls even, selling each other out. We have gone from homosexuality hidden in backrooms and dark places to teenagers selling their classmates for sex. This fall has been rapid, and it has not hit bottom yet.
In the last 20 years here in Ontario, we just raised the ‘age of consent’ to 16 from 14 to help combat sex trafficking. Imagine that; not long ago the age of sexual consent was 14. This opened the door for pedophilia and the abuse of minors. Schools handed out birth control and taught our kids how to do safe sex. How many kids have died from safe sex? How many girls get pregnant on birth control? How many kids have sexually transmitted diseases?
The fall is steep once God lets us go. It is hard and painful. However, once you have accepted the lie that there is no God to answer to and that we are our own gods, we refuse to repent; so things get worse and worse, and we are like the frog in the cold-water pot. One gradually turns up the heat, and it cooks to death when all it had to do was jump out. We are drowning in bad sexual information. We have loveless and sexless marriages where there is no passion. We have sex thrown at us from all directions. It is portrayed as a thing to be used to prove your love, rather than an expression of one’s love inside the bounds of marriage.
In a battle against marriage, the world system has pushed marriage further and further down the agenda of life. We get out of high school and then go to college, then get out of college and establish a career, and then get married and have kids. Sadly, a lot of churches and Christian folks have fallen into this as well. Then we expect that our teenagers will stay sexually chaste for 15-20 years before they are married. We heap an almost unbearable burden on them. Generations before us knew that getting married younger was best for the people and society at large. Married men who are focused on pleasing their wives and providing for their homes tend to grow up faster and are less likely to be engaged in illegal activities.
What we have today is a horde of ‘manboys,’ 18plus-year-old boys who have no desire to grow up and no desire to contribute. No desire to serve anyone or anything but self and their appetites; and sadly, there are a lot of girls in the same boat.
- The Cascade Effect, verse 29-31
Once we get the sexual part of people corrupted, everything else follows. Once we begin to use people as tools to get sexual satisfaction without being invested in them as a husband and wife should be in each other, then we can do all manner of evil to our fellow man.
You see, the idea of marital sex is that there is a mutual investment in each other. The husband serves his wife as Jesus served the church; the husband cherishes his wife as Jesus cherishes the church; the husband views his wife as precious as Jesus views the church; the husband is prepared to give his life for his wife as Jesus did for the church. You get the pattern. The wife, in turn, honors her husband, follows him and builds him up. The sexual union is an affirmation of this mutual investment. But when sex is just a hormonal release, each using the other for pleasure at the expense of investment, then hearts become hard, minds and emotions become stymied, and we can simply become as evil as the day is long.
We simply stop valuing other people, even our own family. Pastors become predators, parents are unloving, teachers are not trustworthy, police are corrupt, and we degrade into sin upon sin, upon sin; and then we begin to make sin normal and righteous, living illegally. We want to protect our right to sin and remove the human consequences of sin.
In verse 32 we have these words, words that the world system hates and words that many churches don’t want to talk about: ‘God’s righteous judgments.’
The same God who flooded the whole world, the same God who killed Ananias and Saphira, the same God who sent poisonous snakes to kill thousands of Jews in the wilderness because of their rebellion, will soon come to judge this world. He will judge sin. He will deal with the ones who deny His existence and the ones who claim to be their own gods. For many that is going to be a long, hard day. They will have the fog of The Lie lifted, and they will see, sadly too late, that they pushed away a loving, gracious and kind God; One who sent His Only Son Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world and then made sure everybody knew by writing about it in an eternal book that no government could eradicate, no matter how hard they tried.
Hell will be a lonely place for the multitudes that go there. They will live there with their memories of how they rejected the love of God the Father.
Come to Jesus today. Tomorrow is a myth that does not exist.
Acts 4:8-12 “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’”
God bless you,
Pastor Sean Gooding
Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church