Summary: Three deadlines God gives to us in Romans 1:21-32 and how they apply to our nation.
GOD’S THREE DEADLINES
Evangelist J. Harold Smith preached a sermon on God’s Three Deadlines and applied it to individuals. Today, I want to apply the title to our nation. I see in Romans 1:18-32 what happens when a nation leaves God. He gives them three deadlines. In each step away from God, the Bible says "God gave them up."
As I studied Romans 1:18-32, I found that three times "God gave them up" v. 24, 26, 28. In NIV it says, "God gave them over." This leads to two questions, (a) why did God give people up, (b) what happened to people when God gave them up.
Everyone knows my role in attempting to elect President Bush and President Reagan. These were God fearing men who tried to bring our nation back to righteousness, although they were not perfect men, and our nation was surely not a perfect nation. The sudden and devastating defeat of President Bush stunned most evangelicals. Why was Bush put out of office? Why would God allow Bush to be defeated? Was Bush not trying to bring righteousness to our nation?
I’m not sure whether God is giving President Clinton to America because our nation has passed the second deadline in God’s schedule, or the actions and decision of President Clinton will bring God’s second deadline.
Biblical scholars say that "God gave His people up," in Romans 1, was not because the people disobeyed spiritual law, i.e. the law revealed in the Bible. These people were given up because they disobeyed God’s natural law. There is a body of natural law that great nations have recognized. There is a body of law that is called "inalienable rights" or "self-evident truths." This body of law is the basis of American law, British law, and Roman law. Historians tell me all of Western Civilization is built on natural law, while Communist rule and most governments that arise out of the bush (i.e. Third World Nations) are based on social contract, or what is pragmatically good for the people as they work out an agreement through revolution or some social process.
GOD’S THREE DEADLINES
1. God gave them up to sexual impurity, v. 24.
2. God gave them up to homosexual acts, v. 26.
3. God gave them up to homosexual civilization, v. 28.
What does it mean, "God gave them up?" It means the same thing as when a man gives up on his marriage, or a man who is trying to get a business started, gives it up. He quits. He turns his energy and attention elsewhere.
What a terrible thing to say God has given up on America. Does this mean that God has turned His attention to the revival taking place in South Korea, Africa and South America?
God does not just turn His back on America as a person turns out the light and the room instantly goes from bright light to darkness. It has been happening slowly, systematically, but steadily. It has been a slow erosion of morality, a creeping rotting of the core by sin. The cancer is in our soul and we seem helpless to do anything about it.
I. GOD GAVE AMERICA UP TO SEXUAL IMPURITY, ROM. 1:21-24.
"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanliness through the lust of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves" v. 24.
When God gives them up to "uncleanness," what does this mean? The word uncleanness simply means to do that which is dirty, or filthy. The Companion Bible says, "ceasing to know God (v.21) results in idolatry and idolatry ends in filthiness of the flesh and spirit" p. 1684.
A. America gave up on God’s law. America knew God but regarded Him not. The Bible says, "because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God" v. 21. America has a Christian tradition based on the Protestant-Puritan ethic and a Judeo-Christian ethic, all grounded in the word of God. (1) We knew the Ten Commandments but kicked them out of our classrooms. (2) We knew to pray, but bannded it from our public schools. (3) We honored God with the Seventh Day of the week, but violated it with entertainment, sports, and recreation. (4) We knew it was wrong to take God’s name in vain, but the so-called free speech movement brought filthiness and blasphemy into our grammar schools. (5) We knew that the physical body was sacred and that sex should be pure, but movies, advertisement, and the Woodstock generation began to treat the body like animals and that we were no longer made in the image of God. (6) We knew that life was sacred but Roe v. Wade told us that the pre-born were not sacred, that a person did not have a soul that lives forever, and that people could commit fornication and adultery and not worry about the consequences. (7) We knew that sex was sacred, but the misuse of the birth control pill allowed people to have free sex without consequences.