Summary: The wickedness of society must lead to divine intervention. Let the people of God be righteous and godly.

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“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

“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 decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

As a young pastor, though I might occasionally make reference to this particular text, I would not have dared speak from it—the passage was thought too vivid, too graphic in its description of wickedness and depravity. However, we live in a day in which depravity and wickedness are imported into our homes as entertainment. What was once unspoken in polite society, now parades as the standard of morality for mankind in this present dying era. Even Christians seem to revel in their rebellion against godliness. It is as if the professed people of God imagine that through embracing wickedness they exalt the grace of God. Our culture has exalted tolerance and elevated compromise to a virtue.

Early in my service, I naïvely imagined that churches should influence society toward good, leading mankind to embrace righteousness and justice. One would have been on solid ground arguing that such responsibility is imposed by the command of the Master. However, during my lifetime I’ve witnessed an inversion of moral righteousness transforming society and consequently, transforming the churches. Rather than influencing society, churches today are more likely to be influenced by society—rather than being transformational, to a disturbing extend churches are being transformed. And the transformation is not for better; it is marked by a turning from righteousness even as the professed people of God embrace wickedness.

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