Summary: America is in trouble because we have a very disturbing spiritual climate that prevails in America today. This is the reason I have subtitled today’s message as Has God Abandoned America?
God Gave Them Up! Romans 1:24-32
Romans Series (Part 4)
Sermon by Don Emmitte, Grace Restoration Ministries
Take any day and go to any news source and you are likely to read headlines that are at best disturbing. Without playing the part of the doomsday prophet, it is not far off the mark for me to say America is in trouble. And though it is tempting to make this a political issue, the candidates certainly have been doing so, it is not politically based. The condition of America does not hinge on the party in power. Our issues rest in our spiritual condition. America is in trouble because we have a very disturbing spiritual climate that prevails in America today. This is the reason I have subtitled today’s message as Has God Abandoned America?
As we face unprecedented difficulties in so many areas of life, it is natural to ask this question. Francis Schaeffer believes the answer to this question is the key to understanding what is happening in the Western world. In his book, Death in the City, he writes:
There is only one perspective we can have of the post-Christian world of our generation: an understanding that our culture and our country is under the wrath of God. America is under the wrath of God. We no longer enjoy the favored status of protection from God. He has given us up to our own devices and base desires.
The basis for such a harsh conclusion is based in his interpretation of our text for today. In this paragraph the Apostle Paul sets forth the terrible consequences of a man who refuses God. God’s judgment upon this man is He abandons man. It is the most severe of any judgment possible. Paul saw the same political and economic situations developing in his day as we do in ours. It prompts him to declare God gave them up! Listen to the severity of his declaration. One writer says this phrase sounds “like clods of dirt falling on top of a coffin lowered into a grave.” There is a sound of finality, judgment, and death in them. Our question today must be has God really abandoned America?
Take Your Bibles Please…
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:24-32 ESV).
There are three principles for us to see in these verses in this regard…
First, When God Abandons Man, He Gives Them Up to a Domination of Desire (vv. 24-25).
The word “uncleanness” indicates a moral and spiritual uncleanness. It ought to be understood as immoral and violent behavior. It is behavior that brings dishonor to the human body. All of this happens in the “desires of their hearts,: which indicates that these things are the thoughts and desires of their life.
They have not merely fallen into the trap of immorality; they have pursued it since they have wanted it. God has placed within all of us certain basic desires. These desires were given to us for our basic good. Nothing God has created within man is inherently bad. But, these desires have now come to rule man. They have brought man to his ruin. They were never intended to be the center of man’s life; however, a result of God giving man up is that these desires come to dominate their life. One man might be dominated by the desire for food; another, the desire for alcohol or drugs; another, the desire for sex; another, the desire for popularity or position; and yet another, the desire for money or possessions. These desires become the master of their lives.
Has God abandoned America? If we are to answer that question objectively, we ought to think about another question first: What dominates the people of America? Does God or the desires of their hearts for pleasure at any price dominate them? Well, it’s an easy answer to come to. We are a nation drowning in our desire for pleasure at any cost. In fact, even though we are literally dying from these practices, we are searching desperately for more. The insatiable desire of America is for more and more.