The Text

Romans 1:26-32 For this reason God delivered them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. The men in the same way also left natural relations with women and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error.

And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right. They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die,—they not only do them, but even applaud, others who practice them.

The Support

Genesis 3:6 (CSB) The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

This was the moment when the entire cosmos broke into pieces. When Adam and Eve sinned, they felt shame and afraid. They felt broken emotions but for the first time in their lives, they had no vocabulary to express how they felt. Their only response is to attempt to cover their shame in self-righteousness.

Genesis 4:8 (CSB) Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

I don’t know what else Adam and Eve also thought and felt but I cannot imagine that it will get so bad that one of their sons would kill the other in a jealous rage. Cain was furious that his heartless worship to God did not please the Lord. Cain was so enraged that he had to kill his brother.

Leviticus 18:22 (CSB) You are not to sleep with a man as with a woman; it is detestable.

Titus 3:3 (CSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.

Ephesians 2:1–3 (CSB) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.

God

God delivers us over to our sin. And all rightful wrath belongs to God alone.

All Wrath Belongs to God

Hebrews 1:8 (CSB)
but to the Son:
Your throne, God,
is forever and ever,
and the scepter of your kingdom
is a scepter of justice.

Psalm 110:1 (CSB)
This is the declaration of the LORD to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Psalm 7 (CSB)
LORD my God, I seek refuge in you;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
or they will tear me like a lion,
ripping me apart with no one to rescue me.
LORD my God, if I have done this,
if there is injustice on my hands,
if I have done harm to one at peace with me
or have plundered my adversary without cause,
may an enemy pursue and overtake me;
may he trample me to the ground
and leave my honor in the dust.

Selah

Rise up, LORD, in your anger;
lift yourself up against the fury of my adversaries;
awake for me;
you have ordained a judgment.
Let the assembly of peoples gather around you;
take your seat on high over it.
The LORD judges the peoples;
vindicate me, LORD,
according to my righteousness and my integrity.
Let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
but establish the righteous.
The one who examines the thoughts and emotions
is a righteous God.
My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge
and a God who shows his wrath every day.
If anyone does not repent,
he will sharpen his sword;
he has strung his bow and made it ready.
He has prepared his deadly weapons;
he tips his arrows with fire.
See, the wicked one is pregnant with evil,
conceives trouble, and gives birth to deceit.
He dug a pit and hollowed it out
but fell into the hole he had made.
His trouble comes back on his own head;
his own violence comes down on top of his head.

I will thank the LORD for his righteousness;
I will sing about the name of the LORD Most High.

Mankind has always thought of themselves more highly than they out. That is the brokenness of sin upon our lives. That is the folly of the sin. That is how we know we have all fallen short–that none of us think that we can get that bad off.

But look at what Paul says again in the passage:

Romans 1:28–32 (CSB) And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right.

Look that verse up in whatever translation. They all say it the same way. And that is a frightening statement.

If read the text correctly, then when I fail to acknowledge God, God would then deliver me over to a corrupt mind so that I do what is not right.

And if we ever read the Old Testament, I would certainly do what was right in my own eyes.

I tell you this: God certainly did this to me. When people ask me about my testimony, I always include this hard-hitting question:

“Do you think there are any Christians who work in porn?”

And I am not the best person who can read other people’s reactions. But what should have been an obvious “absolutely not”, I have seen some pause to think about it. I think that says more about our culture than anything else.

But there I was: working in the creation of and distribution of porn and at the same time thinking I was a Christian simply because I raised my hand when I was 7 years old at a Baptist church in Oklahoma City because I didn’t want to go to hell. I have no doubt the kid to my right or left sincerely trusted in the Lord with all of their heart. Me? I tried to always do the right thing: pray, read my KJV Bible, get baptized and go to church. But I never repented. I never trusted God with my sin and wickedness and my salvation. And I kept running back to porn over and over again from age 8 onward. It got so bad that I thought it would be a wonderful idea to help create and distribute porn in the early days of the Internet.

That is God delivering me over to a corrupt mind so that I do what was not right.

On the outside, I was just a really good dude. I was just a really nice guy that was super likable. Inside of my heart, I was complete jacked up.

Because I failed to acknowledge God, I was filled with all sorts of wickedness.

Or as Paul says it clearly in his letter to Titus:

Titus 3:3 (CSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.

Or even a bit stronger language to his letter to the church in Ephesus:

Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV) And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 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— 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

The Gospel

To those who disobey, the wrath of God would remain on them.

How bad is this wrath for those who fail to acknowledge God?

Luke 23:26–31 (CSB) As they led him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus. A large crowd of people followed him, including women who were mourning and lamenting him. But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the women without children, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

But why would people begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”? How can things go so bad to we get to a place where we stop acknowledge God?

Christ was simply prophesying:

Revelation 6:15–17 (CSB) Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?”

God is Absolute Judge. He sees the the depths of our hearts and how we think and the reasons why we do the things we do and fail to do it. He knows it. He ain’t scared of it. In fact, driven not by holiness, righteousness, or even justice but rather with a heart that sees our shame and wickedness and despair and He is drawn closer. He does this in sending His only begotten Son to save His people from their sins. For only those who believe and trust and obey the Son, they will never perish.

Our Responsibility

Let us not kid ourselves into thinking that we acknowledging God in our prayers over meals or injecting the name of God into our Constitution or Pledge of Allegiance or on our bumper stickers that would be good enough for God.

God doesn’t care about any of that. All He ever wanted, since He created Adam and Eve, was your heart.

Your heart must acknowledged God. Your heart must worship God. Your heart must glorify God.

But guess what? Your heart will not do that until God takes out your wicked heart and give you his own. That is the only way. You cannot do this in your own power and understanding. You are going to need all the help you can get because to be right before God? You are completely helpless. You are weak. You are feeble. You cannot do it.

Trust in God with your sin. Give your sin to Christ. And he will lift you up. He will exalt you. He will save you.