Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 1<br>Present Revelation of God's Wrath - Part 2

Monday, December 08, 2008

Romans Chapter 1
Present Revelation of God's Wrath - Part 2
Preferring Idolatry to the One True God

Romans 1:19-24a For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 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. 21 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. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up...

In the age of reason, evolution theory became a god. In prior ages it was a simpler form of idolatry. People would go into the forest, cut down a tree and chop it into two parts. One part was broken down into pieces for the cooking fire and the other part was given to a skilled carver to make into a figure of a man, a bird or a reptile (or a combination of these) for the family to bow down to and worship. Today we roll our eyes at such blind insanity. “Primitives!” we cry. “Thank God we have evolved beyond that!” do you see the irony?

Whether it is evolutionism or wooden idols that we bow down to, the point is that we prefer anything before we will acknowledge that there is a God, and that we are enemies of His by choice. We prefer to bury our heads in the sand as if He would cease to exist if we put our foolish beliefs in something – anything – else.

Now, for those who have grown up living off the spiritual capital of godly people in prior generations this seems like a wrong picture. We generally don’t think of people as being like this. We don’t see people in our society bowing down to chunks of wood. Many are not outwardly blasphemous, ungodly, wicked, perverse or all the other things that characterize the mankind that Paul is speaking of. "Maybe then, but not now," we think. But how wrong-headed we are.

It is the grace of God that has shed light and salt into our civilized world through saints of earlier generations, who have believed God and have encountered His blessings, the overflow of which we still sup from today. Is our country civilized? Thank God! Thank Him that He raised faithful saints who followed Him throughout the ages. But don’t let the free blessings of God’s grace blind your eyes to the true nature of mankind. Let God withdraw that grace and then see what society shall become. And we shall see it, one day.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. {2Thessalonians 2:7}
The natural state of man’s mind is to deny the true God so that they do not have to honour Him. This denial of deity is perversely often thought of as a sort of “wisdom”. But what wisdom it is! How silly that while it is a plain as the nose on your face that there is a God above all Who made and sustains everything, men prefer to pretend He isn’t there at all.


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