Earthly vs. Spiritual
This chapter started with Paul as an accountant, then an athlete, and finally, realizing he is an alien in a foreign land.
1st 3 words of v. 18 and last 4 words of v. 19 tell the story.
"For many walk...who mind earthly things."
These are 1 dimensional humans - they see life from one limited perspective. The only question they ever ask is, "How will this affect me now on earth." They cannot see over the horizon. They have earthly values.
ill.--Miley Cyrus talks of her rejection of her parent's conservative values, and says the Bible is full of fairy tales. She then states something very revealing:
Sexually, Cyrus said she is “down with” anything. She views her sexuality and even her gender identity as fluid. “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult—anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me,” she said. “I don’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”
Question for her: Why not involve an animal? On what basis does she decide that? Besides, if there’s no God and she’s just a result of evolution, then she is merely an animal anyway. And those she interacts with sexually are just animals—so why not any animals? In other words, she has decided to draw a line for some reason—but what reason? It’s actually because in her heart she knows God exists (Romans 1), she knows she is different from the animals as she is made in God’s image (Genesis 1)—and she has a conscience (as seared as it is because of her sinful rebellion) because the law is written on our hearts (Romans 2).
Question for her: Why only those over the age of 18? On what basis did she decide that? If there’s no God, why have any age restriction? On what basis would she argue against pedophilia? Why not do whatever anyone wants to do?
Warning: Where Miley Cyrus is now in her thinking is where our culture is heading as more and more people abandon Christian morality based on the Bible and decide to make their own rules/laws. Yes, the culture is becoming like that described in the book of Judges.
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)
And it won’t stop where Miley Cyrus is currently. Romans 1:21-32 gives a picture of what will happen.
And a final warning for all to heed: Romans 1:18 says such people will “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Those who rebel against God’s laws cannot stand those people who stand on the absolute authority of the Word of God. It’s a clash of worldviews. Because of our sin nature, those who reject God and His Word will increasingly look on Christians as the enemy. We are seeing just that today in our culture. Those who want to do “what is right in their own eyes” don’t want freedom of religion; they are increasingly demanding that Christians accept what they do as okay or Christians shouldn’t be allowed to have freedom in the culture.
The message God gave to Israel is also a message for Miley Cyrus and all who reject Him:
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
ill.--What next? We have so many plans for this life, but haven't thought past death.
This is the earthly mind.
We must live with eternity in view!
vv. 18-19 Paul is weeping in the middle of this book about joy. But his tears are not for himself, but for those he calls here the enemies of Christ...and I don't think he's talking about his persecutors, who were trying to kill off Christianity. He's speaking of professing Christians who are dominated by things of the earth. In actuality, they are enemies of the cross.
1 John says love not the world, and if you do, the love of the Father is not in you!
v. 19 'whose end is destruction'
The Bible puts emphasis on final destination. And this verse is a strong condemnation of those who claim to be saved but don't act like it. Paul weeps for them, because if they don't look into the mirror before it is too late...they will pay for it!
Now, I don't want to create false doubts in the hearts of any true believers, but how many have their name on our roll books, but won't hear their name called when the roll is called up yonder?