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. Is God woke? (Part 2)

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THE WOKE AGENDA

Last week we looked at the definition of Woke which is supposed to simply be a movement with social concern. Now we all know that God is concerned about social concern. Much is said about it in the Old Testament, Jesus says much about it and the epistles talk about it. We see social concern all over the book of Acts, to the point that if you were to approach it with a slanted view, you would think that socialism was at the order of the day. We must care for the widows, orphans, the poor, those of other races and our family in the household of God.


 

 

 

However, the parcel presented by the Woke movement is not exactly what the Word of God has in mind. Theirs is a left wing, socialistic, communistic agenda piggy backed on the political motives of BLM (Black lives matter), which is really not about black lives, but a communistic, Marxist agenda where government owns all and the rest are equally poor, followed by the focus on the Critical Race theory, the approval of the LGBTQI+ movement, as well as a focus on equity and equality that destroys the meaning of God’s Words that He made man and woman for each other and that there is a gender order and social order within God’s creative order. Ocasia Cortez, one of the Woke leaders, has come up with a new name for women She just cannot get the word Woman over her lips, so she calls it the Menstruating Parent. We saw the radicalization of these social ideas through the violent BLM movement and Antifa as well as the emphasis on Cancel culture. Simply thinking different than them is simply enough to act against you.

Well, what does God have to say about this, and what does God do about these kinds of things and what does it mean to the church. I have realised we will not finish this in one session. So, we will look at it today and will continue later.


Romans 1:24-32 (ESV) 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 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. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

Youtube removes sermons on sections like this because of the references to the LGBTQI+ issues. But that is not the focus of this, it is one example. Any reference to those issues does not make one homophobic. I want to from this section challenge us as a congregation to become sinphobic – to coin a new word.


This section is all about the sinfulness of man, the wickedness of man, the deception of the heart. This section shows you how man is utterly ungodly and unrighteous in his nature. Is this true for today? Absolutely. Just look around you and see the depravity of man. I have seen on YouTube of late so much of all of this in America, but we are not in a world of isolation. We no longer live in a global world; we live in a global office. With simple finger movements on this little box called a cell phone we very much know everything that's going on everywhere, and the sinfulness of man is common knowledge.  No matter how well a society begins, it nearly always descends to the same pit of immoral behaviour and subsequent judgment of God that is categorically presented to us in Romans chapter 1. South Africa classified itself as a Christian nation, America still says: “in God we trust”. Places like Great Britain, Germany and others all had strong Christian roots. No matter how well things start the vileness of man's nature plunges himself and countries into the pit of sin under the condemnation of God with nothing but a prospect of eternal hell.


Joel Osteen says that man is good, and he just wants to help them get better, but if you understand the Word of God, man is not good. God is Good, and I’m not. Man is evil.  His nature is bent on sin and given his prerogatives he will inevitably end up in the morass of immorality. Romans 8:7 (ESV) 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh (natural man) is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”

Why?  Why is it so? Why has man always inevitably sunk to such a sad condition?  How is it that life, which at birth is so lovely, so precious, so soft, so innocent, will descend to the corrupted adulthood that inevitably awaits humanity?  Why?

Remember all the D’s we saw in Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV). There we saw that this was our nature as well. “1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”


But why is man dead, deviant, demonized, disobedient, deranged, and damned? The answer is right here in Romans 1:28 “28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, GOD GAVE THEM UP to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” God gave them up.

You see it as well in verse 24: “24 Therefore GOD GAVE THEM UP in the lusts of their hearts to impurity,” as well as in verse 26: “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.”


Man cannot restrain evil, and he will inevitably do what is wrong.  There's only one force in the entire universe that can restrain evil and that is God.  And the problem with man is that God is not restraining him.  God has abandoned him.  God has given him up. That is the story of the human race.  It all began in the Garden of Eden. We spoke about it last week. The words of Satan: “did God really say? ….. But I say to you.” And this is exactly where wrong became right, right became wrong, truth became a lie, the lie became truth, moral became immoral and immoral became moral.”

Why will God create man and women and tell them to be fruitful and multiply, if everything else is, okay? Why fight to have babies aborted because it is her body, and she can do with it whatever she wants? Why set people up against one another based on race, whether you call it BLM or critical race theory? Why divide in the name of unity? Why torment children by trying to teach them that they are not really man or woman, but they are whatever they feel because a very, very small minority feels like that? Why destroy the girls in society by allowing men who call themselves women to compete against them in sports? And listen, I am not unsympathetic to biological issues. I am talking about the blatant disregard for the will of God. Yes, God said, but Satan said, and somehow, Satan has more say in the matter.

So, why is man like that? It is because He abandoned God. And God is the only restraining influence there is in the universe to hold back evil.

No wonder Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:13 (ESV) 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

Do you realise that God can give individuals over to their desire, He can give groups over to their desire and He can give nations over to their desire, and guess what? He can give so called Christians and churches over to their desire. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (ESV) 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it (the Holy Spirit) will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”


So, God gives those who call themselves Christians who refuse to love the truth, but are caught up in a desire for entertainment, false prophetic words, gimmicks, fads, sweet stories, pop psychology over to these kinds of preachers, and He gives these kinds of preachers, these kinds of people that suit them, so that they can delude one another, believe what is false – but they will be condemned.


But there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. And the more God lets go, the worse it gets.  And it's almost as if God just continues to let go of man and man continues to go his own way.  And in the process, man compounds sin upon sin upon sin, which escalates man’s evil, until ultimately you end up in the Tribulation. And in the Tribulation period, according to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, the final restraints are taken off and the one who hinders, who is the Holy Spirit, hinders no more, and literally all hell breaks loose across the earth.  The pit opens up, says Revelation 9, and belches forth all of the bound demons.  You compound that with the last bit of restraint being taken off man, with centuries of escalating sinfulness, and you have the Great Tribulation.  Abandoned by God, that is man's problem. Friends, this is what this world is heading for.

What we read in Romans 1 is not new. It is in the Old Testament. Psalm 81:11-12 (ESV) 11 “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.” What horrifying words?


Hosea 4:17-18 (ESV) 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone. 18 When their drink is gone, they give themselves to whoring; their rulers dearly love shame.” Sounds like our world. So, God gave up on the Northern Kingdom, as He gives up on nations that dare call themselves Christian. World leaders who when they take their oath swear upon the Word of God, and then do everything opposite to the Word of God, are given over to do what their hearts desire.


Jesus says this about the Pharisees in Matthew 15:14 (ESV) “14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” The restraints are off.  That's man's problem.  God is not restraining him, and he has no capacity to restrain himself.


Acts 14:16 (ESV) 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.”

So, you want to go Woke, have fun, see you at the Great White Throne. Jesus will either be your Saviour or your Judge.

 

The Hebrew writer reminds us in Hebrews 3:15 (ESV) 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

So, whether we talk about an individual, or Ephraim, or Israel, or any nation, there is a point where God says: “let them go.”

 

God warned man about this in Genesis 6:3 (ESV) 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh:”


So, if we look at Romans 1. What has brought God to give them up, to take away the restraint?Let’s look at the fall of man. Paul in Romans 1 says that he has confidence in the gospel of Christ, and it remains the standard, but what did these people do. Romans 1:18 (ESV) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”


WHY? Why is the wrath of God revealed? What did man do?


The first thing they did was to suppress the truth. This is what we saw in 2 Thessalonians.They knew the truth, it was revealed in creation, which is God’s Big book, it was revealed in the Word of God, God’s small book and it was revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, but they crucified the truth. They are without excuse.


The second thing they did was to dishonour God with ingratitude. We see in Romans 1:21 (ESV) 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

When you look at the Woke movement and so many others, God is not honoured, God is not thanked. They knew God but did not acknowledge God. It is so true that today man rather worships creation and the creature rather than the Creator. This is so true today.


But verse 21 continuous with the third thing. They became vain in their thinking. “They became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Central to the Woke movement is what you think and what you feel. There is no more truth, or truth is relative. It is subjective, it is existential. I have warned us about this years ago. Remember the story about the 5 blind men who walked into an elephant. Each viewed the elephant differently. Hegel claims they were all right because they were all blind, but they were all blind by nature, and their feelings do not equate to authoritative truth.


There is a fourth thing. They have an inflated opinion of their wisdom. Romans 1:22 (ESV) 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,..” And so, man despite revelation, followed by rejection, followed by rationalization, in which his empty imaginations tell him that he is wise.

The fifth step in the fall of man is in the very realm of religion, of worship. Romans 1:23 (ESV) 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”


He worships everything but the true God. This is not true religion but false religion. Religion is not man at his highest, religion is man at his lowest. For religion is idolatry, and idolatry is man in the pits, for idolatry violates the first commandment, "Thou shalt have (what?) no other gods before Me." And the second, "Thou shalt make no graven images."

And so, man starts at revelation of God, descends into dishonouring God and ingratitude, their thinking becomes corrupt, they have an inflated opinion of their wisdom and finally to religion, manmade, idolatry, Satan-inspired, demonic religion that has absolutely no truth in it and no power to restrain sin. In the last days, men will teach doctrines of demons, and it will be embraced.

At this juncture, God lets men go. Let them alone. They have forsaken God, and God will forsake them. The human race is not on an ascent to God, the human race is on a descent from God.  They're running as fast as they can away from His presence and reality. And they have come to the pit of religion. And once you come to the pit of false religion, you have violated the first and foremost commandment, and that is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  You have made other gods; you have blasphemed the truth of God and you are at the worst possible level of human existence. And at that point, God says I gave them up.

And that leads to the results of verse 24.  When God gives men up, they sink into reprobation that is almost beyond description.  When the restraints are off, all hell breaks loose. Now listen carefully.  The wrath of God is not only something future.  There is a day of wrath, you get to that when we get into chapter 2 over about in verse 5, but the wrath of God is not just a future reality.  The wrath of God is going on all the time. Romans 1:18 (ESV) 18 For the wrath of God is (is being) revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”


We will end with this thought today. How is God's wrath being revealed?  It is being revealed in His giving men up.  For when He gives them up to their sinfulness, that is the working of His wrath.  He could restrain men, but He is so angry with their apostasy that He lets them go, and the consequence of their own sin is the outworking of His wrath.  Men and women today who live their own life in a pattern of sin are seeing the wrath of God unfolding through the result of their own sinfulness. More about this later on.

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

12 September 2021 Logos Community Church

GOD’S RESPONSE TO THE WOKE AGENDA

Last week we looked at the definition of Woke which is supposed to simply be a movement with social concern. Now we all know that God is concerned about social concern. Much is said about it in the Old Testament, Jesus says much about it and the epistles talk about it. We see social concern all over the book of Acts, to the point that if you were to approach it with a slanted view, you would think that socialism was at the order of the day. We must care for the widows, orphans, the poor, those of other races and our family in the household of God.

However, the parcel presented by the Woke movement is not exactly what the Word of God has in mind. Theirs is a left wing, socialistic, communistic agenda piggy backed on the political motives of BLM (Black lives matter), which is really not about black lives, but a communistic, Marxist agenda where government owns all and the rest are equally poor, followed by the focus on the Critical Race theory, the approval of the LGBTQI+ movement, as well as a focus on equity and equality that destroys the meaning of God’s Words that He made man and woman for each other and that there is a gender order and social order within God’s creative order. Ocasia Cortez, one of the Woke leaders, has come up with a new name for women She just cannot get the word Woman over her lips, so she calls it the Menstruating Parent. We saw the radicalization of these social ideas through the violent BLM movement and Antifa as well as the emphasis on Cancel culture. Simply thinking different than them is simply enough to act against you.

Well, what does God have to say about this, and what does God do about these kinds of things and what does it mean to the church. I have realised we will not finish this in one session. So, we will look at it today and will continue later.

Romans 1:24-32 (ESV) 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 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. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

Youtube removes sermons on sections like this because of the references to the LGBTQI+ issues. But that is not the focus of this, it is one example. Any reference to those issues does not make one homophobic. I want to from this section challenge us as a congregation to become sinphobic – to coin a new word.

This section is all about the sinfulness of man, the wickedness of man, the deception of the heart. This section shows you how man is utterly ungodly and unrighteous in his nature. Is this true for today? Absolutely. Just look around you and see the depravity of man. I have seen on YouTube of late so much of all of this in America, but we are not in a world of isolation. We no longer live in a global world; we live in a global office. With simple finger movements on this little box called a cell phone we very much know everything that's going on everywhere, and the sinfulness of man is common knowledge.  No matter how well a society begins, it nearly always descends to the same pit of immoral behaviour and subsequent judgment of God that is categorically presented to us in Romans chapter 1. South Africa classified itself as a Christian nation, America still says: “in God we trust”. Places like Great Britain, Germany and others all had strong Christian roots. No matter how well things start the vileness of man's nature plunges himself and countries into the pit of sin under the condemnation of God with nothing but a prospect of eternal hell.

Joel Osteen says that man is good, and he just wants to help them get better, but if you understand the Word of God, man is not good. God is Good, and I’m not. Man is evil.  His nature is bent on sin and given his prerogatives he will inevitably end up in the morass of immorality. Romans 8:7 (ESV) 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh (natural man) is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”

Why?  Why is it so? Why has man always inevitably sunk to such a sad condition?  How is it that life, which at birth is so lovely, so precious, so soft, so innocent, will descend to the corrupted adulthood that inevitably awaits humanity?  Why?

Remember all the D’s we saw in Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV). There we saw that this was our nature as well. “1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

But why is man dead, deviant, demonized, disobedient, deranged, and damned? The answer is right here in Romans 1:28 “28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, GOD GAVE THEM UP to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” God gave them up.

You see it as well in verse 24: “24 Therefore GOD GAVE THEM UP in the lusts of their hearts to impurity,” as well as in verse 26: “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.”

Man cannot restrain evil, and he will inevitably do what is wrong.  There's only one force in the entire universe that can restrain evil and that is God.  And the problem with man is that God is not restraining him.  God has abandoned him.  God has given him up. That is the story of the human race.  It all began in the Garden of Eden. We spoke about it last week. The words of Satan: “did God really say? ….. But I say to you.” And this is exactly where wrong became right, right became wrong, truth became a lie, the lie became truth, moral became immoral and immoral became moral.”

Why will God create man and women and tell them to be fruitful and multiply, if everything else is, okay? Why fight to have babies aborted because it is her body, and she can do with it whatever she wants? Why set people up against one another based on race, whether you call it BLM or critical race theory? Why divide in the name of unity? Why torment children by trying to teach them that they are not really man or woman, but they are whatever they feel because a very, very small minority feels like that? Why destroy the girls in society by allowing men who call themselves women to compete against them in sports? And listen, I am not unsympathetic to biological issues. I am talking about the blatant disregard for the will of God. Yes, God said, but Satan said, and somehow, Satan has more say in the matter.

So, why is man like that? It is because He abandoned God. And God is the only restraining influence there is in the universe to hold back evil.

No wonder Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:13 (ESV) 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

Do you realise that God can give individuals over to their desire, He can give groups over to their desire and He can give nations over to their desire, and guess what? He can give so called Christians and churches over to their desire. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (ESV) 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it (the Holy Spirit) will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

So, God gives those who call themselves Christians who refuse to love the truth, but are caught up in a desire for entertainment, false prophetic words, gimmicks, fads, sweet stories, pop psychology over to these kinds of preachers, and He gives these kinds of preachers, these kinds of people that suit them, so that they can delude one another, believe what is false – but they will be condemned.

But there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. And the more God lets go, the worse it gets.  And it's almost as if God just continues to let go of man and man continues to go his own way.  And in the process, man compounds sin upon sin upon sin, which escalates man’s evil, until ultimately you end up in the Tribulation. And in the Tribulation period, according to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, the final restraints are taken off and the one who hinders, who is the Holy Spirit, hinders no more, and literally all hell breaks loose across the earth.  The pit opens up, says Revelation 9, and belches forth all of the bound demons.  You compound that with the last bit of restraint being taken off man, with centuries of escalating sinfulness, and you have the Great Tribulation.  Abandoned by God, that is man's problem.

Friends, this is what this world is heading for.

What we read in Romans 1 is not new. It is in the Old Testament. Psalm 81:11-12 (ESV) 11 “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.” What horrifying words?

Hosea 4:17-18 (ESV) 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone. 18 When their drink is gone, they give themselves to whoring; their rulers dearly love shame.” Sounds like our world. So, God gave up on the Northern Kingdom, as He gives up on nations that dare call themselves Christian. World leaders who when they take their oath swear upon the Word of God, and then do everything opposite to the Word of God, are given over to do what their hearts desire.

Jesus says this about the Pharisees in Matthew 15:14 (ESV) “14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” The restraints are off.  That's man's problem.  God is not restraining him, and he has no capacity to restrain himself.

Acts 14:16 (ESV) 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.”

So, you want to go Woke, have fun, see you at the Great White Throne. Jesus will either be your Saviour or your Judge. The Hebrew writer reminds us in Hebrews 3:15 (ESV) 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

So, whether we talk about an individual, or Ephraim, or Israel, or any nation, there is a point where God says: “let them go.” God warned man about this in Genesis 6:3 (ESV) 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh:”

So, if we look at Romans 1. What has brought God to give them up, to take away the restraint?

Let’s look at the fall of man. Paul in Romans 1 says that he has confidence in the gospel of Christ, and it remains the standard, but what did these people do. Romans 1:18 (ESV) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

WHY? Why is the wrath of God revealed? What did man do?

The first thing they did was to suppress the truth. This is what we saw in 2 Thessalonians.

They knew the truth, it was revealed in creation, which is God’s Big book, it was revealed in the Word of God, God’s small book and it was revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, but they crucified the truth. They are without excuse.

The second thing they did was to dishonour God with ingratitude. We see in Romans 1:21 (ESV) 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

When you look at the Woke movement and so many others, God is not honoured, God is not thanked. They knew God but did not acknowledge God. It is so true that today man rather worships creation and the creature rather than the Creator. This is so true today.

But verse 21 continuous with the third thing. They became vain in their thinking. “They became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Central to the Woke movement is what you think and what you feel. There is no more truth, or truth is relative. It is subjective, it is existential. I have warned us about this years ago. Remember the story about the 5 blind men who walked into an elephant. Each viewed the elephant differently. Hegel claims they were all right because they were all blind, but they were all blind by nature, and their feelings do not equate to authoritative truth.

There is a fourth thing. They have an inflated opinion of their wisdom. Romans 1:22 (ESV) 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,..” And so, man despite revelation, followed by rejection, followed by rationalization, in which his empty imaginations tell him that he is wise.

The fifth step in the fall of man is in the very realm of religion, of worship. Romans 1:23 (ESV) 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

He worships everything but the true God. This is not true religion but false religion. Religion is not man at his highest, religion is man at his lowest. For religion is idolatry, and idolatry is man in the pits, for idolatry violates the first commandment, "Thou shalt have (what?) no other gods before Me." And the second, "Thou shalt make no graven images."

And so, man starts at revelation of God, descends into dishonouring God and ingratitude, their thinking becomes corrupt, they have an inflated opinion of their wisdom and finally to religion, manmade, idolatry, Satan-inspired, demonic religion that has absolutely no truth in it and no power to restrain sin. In the last days, men will teach doctrines of demons, and it will be embraced.

At this juncture, God lets men go. Let them alone. They have forsaken God, and God will forsake them. The human race is not on an ascent to God, the human race is on a descent from God.  They're running as fast as they can away from His presence and reality. And they have come to the pit of religion. And once you come to the pit of false religion, you have violated the first and foremost commandment, and that is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  You have made other gods; you have blasphemed the truth of God and you are at the worst possible level of human existence. And at that point, God says I gave them up.

And that leads to the results of verse 24.  When God gives men up, they sink into reprobation that is almost beyond description.  When the restraints are off, all hell breaks loose. Now listen carefully.  The wrath of God is not only something future.  There is a day of wrath, you get to that when we get into chapter 2 over about in verse 5, but the wrath of God is not just a future reality.  The wrath of God is going on all the time. Romans 1:18 (ESV) 18 For the wrath of God is (is being) revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

We will end with this thought today. How is God's wrath being revealed?  It is being revealed in His giving men up.  For when He gives them up to their sinfulness, that is the working of His wrath.  He could restrain men, but He is so angry with their apostasy that He lets them go, and the consequence of their own sin is the outworking of His wrath.  Men and women today who live their own life in a pattern of sin are seeing the wrath of God unfolding through the result of their own sinfulness. More about this later on.

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

12 September 2021 Logos Community Church