Summary: As our culture continues in a sinful, unrepentant state, sin escalates and becomes worse and worse.
1. Wisdom from the Mishnah
Avot 2:8 He [Hillel] used to say: The more flesh, the more worms;
the more wives the more witchcraft; the more maidservants
the more lewdness; the more manservants the more thievery.
[However] the more Torah, the more life; the more study, the
more wisdom; the more counsel, the more understanding;
the more charity, the more peace.
One who has gained a good reputation, has gained it for his
own benefit; one who has gained himself Torah knowledge, has
gained himself the World to Come.
a. Prosperity produces Illnesses (due to overindulgence) and sinful activity -- what many refer to as "The Good Life"
b. Study of scripture -- the truly good life
* Increased relationship with God
* Good deeds to others
* Rewards in this life and the world to come
2. Physician: "I have discovered the kingdom of God in the tissues of the body. The right thing morally is always the right thing physically."
3. Romans 1.28-32
I. A Godless Culture
A. Removes God (1.21-25)
[From Courthouse; School House; Church House? -- Abuses of grace, etc.; SCOTUS to decide on Public Prayer at Government Facilities
a. Regarding His Presence -- attempting to remake God in our image; danger of being too "friendly" with Yeshua (Jesus)
b. Regarding His Proclamation
1) Replace Truth with Lies
2) Ignore Truth
29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead." Acts 17.29-31
c. Regarding His Person
1) Many Faceted Diamond -- Love/Consuming Fire
2) Like the Merciful quality -- Allowed Adam to live hundreds of years after his sin; Noah's generation was given 120 years; our generation????
3) Dislike the Just Quality -- Judgment IS coming with consequences -- Romans 2.7-8
4) One preacher said, "Preaching today is more therapeutic than prophetic."
5) Feel good mode; ego stroking
6) Warnings are needed -- Some warn by Observation (personal and otherwise); some by revelation (scriptural study)
B. Exalts Man -- 1.25
2. Satan's ploy "Be as smart as God" really means -- Become God (Genesis 3.5)
["Even God can't sink Titanic."
3. No restrictions if you are God
4. God's response:
Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favor.
C. Minimizes Sin (1.28-32)
1. Lower standards increases sin -- Judges 21.25
2. Rationalization increases sin -- "No one is perfect"
3. Being Politically Correct increases sin -- PC = No "Sin"
* We: "Alternate Lifestyle or Sexual Preference"; God: ""Sin/Abomination"
* We: "Sexually Active"; God: "Fornication"
* We: Chemically Dependent"; God: "Drunkenness"
* We: "Child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder Syndrome"; God: "Disobedience"
4. A Deceptive Heart increases sin
A.W. Tozer once said that he had seen many terrible things in 63 years; the worst that he saw was his own heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?
5. The Escalation of the Downward Spiral
a. To the deepest depravity
b. Continued sin -- Note how neutral things have been used for sinful activities -- TV; Internet; Cell Phones;
c. Honoring Sinners -- Celebrities
d. Bad News -- deserve death
II. A Godly Counsel (Romans 2.1-11)
A. Prideful Condemnation of Others
1. Must inspect the fruit -- "By fruit know them"
2. Passing judgment on others judges ourselves -- Matthew 7.1-4
"Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?
3. Repentance is Necessary -- no Exceptions -- 2.4
[Rabbi Eliezer had a discussion with his disciples and said, "Repent one day before you die." His disciples responded, "How can we do that? Who knows on what day he will die?" Then Eliezer said, "All the more reason to repent today, because you might die tomorrow!"
B. Yet There is Always Hope (2.7-8)
1. All unchecked sin leads to the wrath of God and death
2. Hope in seeking God (vv. 7, 10)
a. Not manipulation to get a blessing/heaven