Summary: Important truths from these verses that show us why this world needs the good news so badly.
Good News, Bad News
Intro: Two 90-year-old women, Rose and Barb, had been friends all of their lives. When it was clear that Rose was dying, Barb visited her every day. One day Barb said, "Rose, we both loved playing softball all our lives, and we played all through High School. Please do me one favor: when you get to Heaven, somehow you must let me know if there’s women’s softball there."
Rose looked up at Barb from her deathbed and said, "Barb, you’ve been my best friend for many years. If it’s at all possible, I’ll do this favor for you." Shortly after that, Rose passed on.
At midnight a few nights later, Barb was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to her, "Barb, Barb."
"Who is it?" asked Barb, sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"
"Barb, it’s me, Rose."
"You’re not Rose. Rose just died."
"I’m telling you, it’s me, Rose," insisted the voice.
"Rose! Where are you?"
"In Heaven," replied Rose. "I have some really good news and a little bad news."
"Tell me the good news first," said Barb.
"The good news," Rose said, "is that there’s Softball in Heaven. Better yet all of our old buddies who died before us are here, too. Better than that, we’re all young again. Better still, it’s always springtime, and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play softball all we want, and we never get tired."
"That’s fantastic," said Barb. "It’s beyond my wildest dreams! So what’s
the bad news?"
"You’re pitching Tuesday." [yelp.com]
-Well, today we will be talking about some good news and bad news. When you think about it, the message that God provided a way for us to do life with Him is good news because our condition without God is bad news! The bad news we will read about in Romans 1:18-32 is that mankind as a whole has rejected God and traded in His glory for cheap trinkets.
-In Rom. 1:17 we see that the good news reveals God’s righteousness to us by faith, showing that righteous people live (or share in God’s life) by having faith in God. But in Rom. 1:18-32 we see the bad news revealed: Godless people will incur the wrath or judgment of God.
-Mankind started off sharing in God’s life and righteousness. They knew nothing else but the righteousness and goodness of God from the beginning. However, after our very first human parents sinned, people began taking steps away from God. They began to live as if there was no God. This downward spiral of Godlessness is what we read about in the next several verses. It is lengthy, but I’d like to go ahead and read it aloud.
Romans 1:18-32 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-- who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.