Thursday, June 23

"God Gave Them Over . . ."

The last half of the first chapter of Paul's letter to the Roman Christians almost 2000 years ago is a classic diatribe against those who practice dei-cide. Deicide is a word you won't find in a pocket dictionary. It has fallen out of use in the past century or so. It is the practice of killing God in your heart.

Paul's view of the ancient world of idol worship, homosexuality and other sins uses a peculiar phrase associated with all this depravity. He says, "God gave them up to uncleanness . . . to vile passions . . . and a debased mind." Why? "Because they did not like to retain God in their knowledge." They were "haters of God." God-killers. (verses 18-31)

They knew God hated what they were doing and did it anyway. Their excuse? "We love sin and we really love sinning and we really love others who sin like we do." (verse 32)

And what's changed in the past two millenia? Absolutely nothing. In chapter 3 he says, "For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory [perfect sinlessness, holiness and righteousness] of God." (verse 23) That includes those of us who think we're better and better off than the murderers, sexual perverts and haters of God we see around us. God says we're all in the same boat spiritually: "Dead in trespasses and sins." (Ephesians 2:1) Soon to be judged by God in Christ Jesus. "As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)

It's time to listen to Him "who has the power to destroy both body and soul in hell," says Jesus. There is only hope of forgiveness in Him. See the book of Acts 2:22-40.

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