Summary: A consequence of God's wrath is giving those who reject Him exactly what they asked for.
We have been looking and examining the wrath of God. As we have noted before, few people in the world have any real fear of God and His wrath. God wrath has an end time or eschatological element and present reality. We understand the punishment at the end of time.
Revelation 20:15 (NKJV) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
The torment there is everlasting. And the Bible indicates that there are degrees of punishment. Those that knowingly sin, fully knowing, willing and deliberately transgressing a holy God will receive the greater condemnation. God has made his presence known to all men, so all men are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 (NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
John clearly illustrates this truth. Men deliberately choose darkness over the light
John 3:19 (NKJV) And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
But there is also a present reality to God’s wrath. How does God display his wrath now? What are the present “Results of God’s Wrath?” (Sermon Title) We can make a good argument about natural disasters and God allowing terrorist attacks to punish, but herein today’s passage is what God does do. He gives people just what they ask for.
Romans 1:24–32 (NKJV)
Three times in this short passage we read, “God gave them up” or “God gave them over.” The Greek word here is “pared?ken.” tmeaning to be given over, given up, surrendered something to an authority. This word was used when Jesus was delivered to the Romans for crucifixion. It has a real sense of being abandoned. Herein is the essence of the word, “abandonment.”
The word is in an active tense meaning God actively does this, and it is not a passive action on His part. He turn people over for destruction, by the sin of their choice. There is a cause and effect action here. Let’s look at it briefly:
Romans 1:23 (NKJV) and changed the glory of the incorruptible God . . .
Romans 1:24 (NKJV) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness . . .
They exchanged God’s glory and the holiness of the incorruptible God, to that of corruptible and filthy man so God gave them over to uncleanness.
Romans 1:25 (NKJV) who exchanged the truth of God for the lie . . .
Romans 1:26 (NKJV) For this reason God gave them up to vile passions . . .
Man made his own truth, God abandoned man to man’s version of what is true, which is the lie.
Romans 1:28a (NKJV) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge
Romans 1:28b (NKJV) God gave them over to a debased mind . . .
Man rejected God’s wisdom, so God let them have the fool’s wisdom (Psalm 14:1); “The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God.’” Do we really understand the implications of God giving over someone? God abandons a soul. That person is dead while he lives. Is there a chance that he can come back to God? The short answer is no. The fact is none of us can come to God unless God first reveals Himself to us. This He has done to all people at some point. To those who search for God, with all their heart will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Jesus said we cannot be drawn to Him unless God draws us: (John 6:44) The problem is, nothing is scripture indicates that this drawing to Jesus, this revelation of God revealing Himself to each individual is opened ended. God gave man a free will. And God honors the choices that are made.
A person who rejects the revelation of God, and resist the draw of God to Jesus, runs the risk of God abandoning that person to the choice he/she has made. The fact is, death-bed conversions are pretty rare. Most people have made that choice long before they reach that point of death. Those who actively suppress the truth of God, at some point God will give them over. To the one God gives over, they are completely unaware of what has taken place. There is no longer any desire or even the curiosity to seek after God. For all practical purposes, God no long exist to that person.
Does that mean there is no hope for them? I don’t know, only God knows, but His word said that He has abandoned them. God has not given me the discernment to know who He has given over, so my preaching and witnessing is to all. But we do have some indicators.