ROMANS 1:18: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…”. NKJV
OBSERVATION: How did we get here? In my short lifetime I have seen our culture erode right before my eyes. When I was growing up as a young boy I could never envision the world in which we now live. God is no longer the center of our lives. Sin continues to increase and take its toll.
How in the world did we get here?
What we are experiencing in our culture is nothing new. It is the natural progression of man when he dismisses God and embraces everything else. There is a growing number of people who are identifying themselves as atheists and agnostics. One believes God does not exist, the other that you cannot prove He exists. Yet, all men are without an excuse, for the testimony of God’s existence has been shouted from the very heavens which He created!
- “…because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 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…”. Romans 1:19-20 NKJV
How can someone hold a watch in their hand and proclaim that it had no creator? How can one look at the stars in the sky, the grandeur of a mountain scape, or the beauty of the ocean and declare there is no Creator? How can one behold the wonder of birth and the complexity of the human body and declare there is no God?
- “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 1:22-25 NKJV
In our Western culture we do not worship idols made of wood and stone. Yet, we do have our idols. We have replaced the worship of God with the worship of man. Man has slowly replaced the worship of God with the worship of knowledge and science. In essence, man has replaced God with himself. His knowledge, his pursuit of science, has become his source of his life and faith.
What is the result of this pursuit? Whenever we transfer our faith from God to ourselves we become preoccupied with the physical realm of life. The fruit of this is lust. Lust for success, power, knowledge, money, and sex. When man rejects God, God allows them to pursue their own course. He has given all men and women a free will. He will not override this free will. Once man stubbornly pursues this course there is a slippery slope that awaits.
- “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” Romans 1:26-27 NKJV
The current sexual revolution did not begin a few years ago. It began in the 1960’s. As hippies proclaimed “free love,” called for the removal of current social norms, and exercised free sexual expression, there was a crack made in the dam of our cultural life. This crack would eventually become a flood that would engulf our entire culture!
First, the social norms of sexual purity were attacked. Then, the commitment to the marriage bond was discarded. Embracing homosexuality as a normal alternative lifestyle was next. This was first done through comedy in TV Sitcoms. Then it was pushed by the social progressives until it became a badge of courage and celebration in our culture. Finally, the definition of marriage between one man and one woman was attacked and defeated. This is when the dam burst wide open.
Now children are viewed as something to be discarded from the womb. Students are being taught in public schools that it is normal to reject their created sex and gender. Psychological illness is being embraced as an alternate perspective and lifestyle. And, the tide of immorality and every form of sin and evil continues to rise.
- “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…”. Romans 1:28-31 NKJV
This reads like the front page of the local newspaper. Today, we have spent more money than any other generation on education and social reform. Yet, we seem to be moving backwards not forwards. When I was a child my mother would let me leave home on an all day bike adventure. We traveled to nearby towns and had great experiences, without any fear of harm. Today, no parent would allow their 10 year old child to do the same. What has happened?
When we reject God, we reject the very source of life and morality. God loved us so much that He gave us the Bible. It is not a book written by a mere man. The Bible is a compilation of 66 books, written by over 40 different authors, in three different languages, while living in different centuries and cultures. Yet, they all wrote of the same thing. They wrote of a loving God who desired to redeem sinful man. And, the story of the Bible is culminated in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When we reject the Bible, we are rejecting God Himself. When we reject God, we turn our backs on the very source of life. When we turn our backs on the very source of life, we position ourselves to be deceived and believe Satan’s lies. And, when we become deceived and believe these lies, we begin to vehemently reject and fight against the truth. Our world becomes upside down. What is evil is proclaimed to be good. What is good is proclaimed to be evil.
- “…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:32 NKJV
I believe this is why Facebook has become so vitriol. There is so much hatred and fighting on a site that was created for friends to share what was happening in their life. If you hold a view that even hints of Biblical values – you are smacked down. You are labeled ignorant, racist, every type of phobic, and hateful. Gone are the days of civil debate. The trenches have been dug. It is an all out war!
What is the answer? There is only one answer. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The power of God is in the Gospel. The disciples died for it, the saints proclaimed it, and the message of hope it brings literally has turned the world upside down time and time again! It can turn our world upside down too! The problem is we are too often preoccupied with things that cannot make a difference. We have forgotten what has the power to change a life!
- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 NKJV
If you are reading this, and your are a believer that has fallen away from God, you can come home! Jesus is waiting for you with open arms. His love, that was expressed as He bore your sin on the cross, is extended to you now. It can cleanse you of your sin, give you a renewed hope, and set you on the course of life and peace. He can restore what the enemy of our souls has destroyed!
Come to Jesus!
If you feel convicted, and realize that you have bought into the lie, that you have worshipped everything else but God, and find your life empty and meaningless, the answer is the same.
Come to Jesus!
The Gospel is the good news that Jesus saves! He died for your sin so that you could have life. He rose from the dead so that you could have eternal life. He came to restore you to the Creator and to lead you in the pathway of life and life abundantly.
Paul gives us a clear picture of how our lives and our culture have eroded to where we find ourselves today. He also gives us a clear pathway in how we can return to God and be restored!
- “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NKJV
Come to Jesus!
It is not too late! The power of the enemy has been defeated! The tomb is empty and Jesus is alive! You too can live through Him!
How can we restore our culture?
One redeemed life at a time!
In Jesus Name!