Summary: Shows the lost state in which the world is due to the rejection of God’s revelation in nature
THE STATE OF THE WORLD
A Scottish lawyer was a wicked man. Once he hired a horse and, either through accident or ill-usage, killed the animal. Naturally the owner insisted on being paid its value, together with some compensation for the loss of its use. The man of law acknowledged his liability, and said he was perfectly willing to pay, but at the moment he was a little straightened for ready cash. Would the hirer of the animal accept a promissory note? “Certainly,” he said.
Whereupon the lawyer further said that he must be allowed a long date. “You can fix your own time,” said the creditor. The wicked man then drew the note, making it payable at the Day of Judgment. Eventually the creditor took the matter to court, and there, in defense, the lawyer asked the judge to look at the note. He did so, and then replied: “The promissory note is perfectly good sir and as this is day of judgment, I decree that you pay tomorrow.”
People may want to walk around it, but Paul has a clear cut answer. Romans 1:18-32 describes the state of our world today. I want to suggest three ideas from this text about the current state of our world:
a. God revealed
b. Man rejected
c. Condemnation resulted.
I. GOD REVEALED (18-20)
A. God has revealed Himself to mankind. He has revealed “His eternal power and divine nature” (20)
B. God has revealed it through the things He has made. What has God made?
1. The nature – Psalms 19:1-4
2. The man – Psalm 139:13-16
C. Because of this revelation God’s wrath was pending on them (18). And it anticipates on mankind as well.
D. Have you seen God’s revelation of Himself?
II. MAN REJECTED (21-23)
A. Even though God revealed Himself, man rejected His revelation.
B. In what ways did man reject His revelation?
1. They did not give Him glory – 21
2. They did not give Him thanks – 21
3. They changed their thinking from rationality to stupidity – 21-22
4. They gave themselves to idolatry – 23
a. In forms of man
b. In forms of animal
C. Have you rejected God’s revelation in any of these ways?
III. CONDEMNATION RESULT IT (24-32)
A. Man’s rejection of God’s revelation resulted in his self-destruction (24-32).
B. As a result of man’s rejection of God’s revelation of Himself, a terrible think happened. Man insisted on disobedience. So, the righteous and holy God gave men what they wanted, “God gave them over…”
1. God gave them over to their sinful desires of the heart (24-25). As a result of these sinful desires…
a. Their bodies degraded (became sick)
b. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
c. They worshipped and served the created rather than the Creator.
2. God gave them over to their shameful lusts (26-27). As a result of these shameful lasts…
a. The natural was exchanged for the unnatural.
b. Lesbianism and homosexuality became rampant.
3. God gave them over to a depraved mind (28-32). When the mind is depraved, men will “do what ought not to be done.”
a. Paul will list 21 sins that a depraved mind will do in verses 29-31.
b. This are not all the possible sins, but are enough to make us think of our wrongdoings.
c. Not only they did these for themselves, but moved even further, they approved of those who did this (32).
C. God gave men to do what they wanted to, because men had already turned away from God. Did God make them do it? Not at all! God wants men to choose Him, but will not do this against man’s choice and response. God did not make Pharaoh harden his heart. But when Pharaoh had hardened his heart 5 times, as God performed His wonders in Egypt, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. It was like God was saying, “Your heart is hard. I will make it harder. I will make it a rock!” It was God’s immediate judgment on Pharaoh. His final judgment will be revealed for him, for he chose to suppress the truth and evidence that was shown to him.
D. Do these verses describe the state of your heart?
God revealed himself and man rejected His revelation. Because man rejected God’s revelation, condemnation resulted. The state of the world is right now is condemnation.
But the Good News, the power of God for salvation is proclaimed to all men (Romans 1:16-17). If today you are giving your heart to sinful desires, are pursuing shameful lusts and / or your mind is deprived, God calls you to change your heart and life and walk toward Him in faith. You don’t have to stay condemned with the world! God desires for you to choose God and live (Deut 30:19)!