Romans 1:18-23 ESV
“For 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.”
Suppressing the Truth
Now, this is not speaking to just men. This is speaking to women, too. God has revealed himself to all human beings through his created works. What can be known about God – his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – they have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that God has made. So, we are all without excuse. We can’t say we didn’t know. We can’t claim ignorance, although many do.
So, it isn’t that human beings are not aware of God at all since God has revealed himself to us through his creation, but it is that many humans choose not to honor him as God. They choose not to give thanks to him for all that he has done for them. They choose, instead, to suppress the truth by their unrighteous deeds, by their refusal to honor God as Lord, and by their refusal to bow down to him in worship of him.
And they choose the ways of the world and of the flesh, instead. They choose to dishonor God, not to honor him. They choose not to worship him as their only God, but they choose to worship the idols of mankind which are created in the minds of humans who choose to make up their own gods who will serve them. And they choose their sinful practices in place of obedience to the Lord and instead of forsaking their sins.
But sadly this is not speaking just of people who have made no profession of faith in Jesus Christ at all. This is speaking of many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ, who think their sins are forgiven and that they are on their way to heaven, even though they do not honor God and they do not worship him in truth; and even though they will not forsake their sinful practices, and they will not walk in obedience to the Lord, for they believe they don’t have to.
For God has always seen disobedience as unbelief and obedience as belief, and he still does. But this obedience is not to a set of rules, but it is surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord which involves repentance and obedience to his commands (New Covenant). It is obedience to Jesus Christ, and what comes with that is obedience to what his word teaches us that we must do, and to what his word instructs us that we should not do.
So, if you profess faith in Jesus Christ, but you do not honor him as Lord of your life, and you do not believe that you must obey him and that you must forsake your sinful practices, and so you continue to live in deliberate and habitual sin, denying Christ as Lord, refusing to obey him, then God sees you the same as the ungodly, and his wrath is against you because you choose to reject the truth and to embrace the lies and to follow them.
For Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Only the one DOING the will of God will enter the kingdom of heaven, not the one merely professing faith in Jesus Christ while he continues in deliberate and habitual sin in direct defiance to the Lord. For, if you live to the flesh, you will die in your sins. Heaven is not awaiting you.
Romans 1:24-25 ESV
“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.”
God Gave Them Up
Because these humans chose themselves over God, and they chose the ways of the flesh over the ways of the Lord, and they refused to honor Christ as Lord and to walk in obedience to his commands, then God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. And this is because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and they worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator.
And this is exactly where many people are today who are professing faith in Jesus Christ and who are convinced that they are going to heaven when they die, but who are refusing to walk in obedience to his commands and to forsake their sinful practices, but who are following after the lies, instead, because the lies give them carte blanche to continue living in sin. God has given them up to the lusts of their flesh because that is what they want.
And so many professers of faith in Jesus Christ, at least here in America, are living no differently from the ungodly. They may or may not go through any religious practices or traditions, but their hearts are far from God, for they will not bow to him as Lord (Owner-Master) of their lives, but they are still the ones on the throne of their own lives doing whatever they want to do.
They have not submitted to Christ as Lord, they have not forsaken their sinful practices, and obedience to the Lord is not their practice. And because their hearts have not been changed of the Spirit of God, but their hearts are still bent on evil, God has handed them over to their own devices to do what ought not to be done. And many of them are engaged in all manner of evil and in sexual immorality which is destroying their lives and marriages.
But this isn’t just about sexual immorality, although that is emphasized first. And honestly, that is probably the most egregious and prominent sin among those calling themselves Christians in America today. And I believe it is the sin that is the most difficult for many to let go of and that it certainly contributes to the accepting of an altered and diluted gospel message intended to appeal to human flesh and to the people of the world.
But willful and deliberate and habitual sin is wrong in God’s eyes, whether it is the more prominent and egregious sins or whether it is among the multiple lists of sins in the New Testament that we are warned against and which we are told if these sins are our practice that we will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. But the sad reality here is that many do know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, still not only do they do them, but they give approval to others who practice them.
So, please take this to heart. Just because you prayed a prayer or made a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ it does not mean your sins are forgiven or that you are bound for heaven when you die. The Scriptures make it quite clear that if sin is what we practice, no matter what we profess with our lips, that we will die in our sins. But if righteousness and obedience to God are what we practice, then we have eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
My Heart’s Desire
An Original Work / June 29, 2013
Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24
Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.
The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.
Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.