It seems that the demons of hell have been let lose. The fire of passion, hate, greed and lust are sweeping over the world and we are plunging toward Armageddon. This is the tormented generation living in fear, crisis, and death. Things can’t go on as they are – history has reached an impasse. We are on a collision course. Something is about to give – he human race is at the end of its tether.
Education has been tried and shed a ray of hope until two world wars and the atom bomb brought within reach the extinction of the human race.
Prosperity – art and culture have all been tried. But corruption, double-dealing, and infidelity in business, government, and in the home are so much of the fabric of human society that disaster is inevitable.
Men and women are in pursuit of “things”. They are filling their treasure chests with cars, boats, planes, and beautiful women, exciting their senses with speed and sex, but these do not bring satisfaction.
Many a battered piece of human floatsom seeks the refuge of that long sleep of alcoholism or the high with drug abuse. Having tried everything what can man do? Against this hopelessness and defeatism men and women must be born again. The Psalmist says: “Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways and sinners will be converted unto Thee.” Peter says: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Jesus said: “Except you be converted and become as little children you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” The first step toward the Kingdom is a willingness to respond to the summons. Are you willing? Are you willing? etc.
The supreme moment in a person’s life is the encounter with Jesus Christ. Have you been born again? Have you been converted? Do you know it, are you sure of it? If not, you can be born again right now.
Conversion is taught all the way through the Bible. Ezekiel 36:26 says “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a new heart.” God is saying through Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart.” The heart is the seat of the soul. Your mind – your emotions – your will.
God says that He will take out the old heart and put in a new one. God never renovates, He always regenerates. He creates a new person, He gives you a new heart.
In the Gospels, Jesus calls conversion, “being born again” – “repenting of sin” – “entering the narrow gate.” Have you had the personal encounter with Christ? Peter in the Acts calls it “repenting and being converted.” Paul speaks of it in Romans as “being alive from the dead.” 2Corinth 5:17 – “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” etc. In Ephesians Paul speaks of it as a “quickening,” or being made alive from the dead. In Titus, he calls it “the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Peter says, “being made partakers of the divine nature.” John calls it “passing from death into life.”
The Bible teaches conversion and the new birth. Jesus taught it – evangelists for two millenniums have preached it. Peter, Paul, and John taught it. You must be converted for the forgiveness of your sins. You must be converted before you can enter heaven. “You must become as a little child before you can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” You must trust God with the same simplicity, and humility and have the same dependence on God, as a young child has in its parents.
The wrath of God is revealed against all forms of human sin.
Despite this tremendous revelation the Epistle speaks of the goodness of God. Ch 2:4 reminds us of God’s goodness and forbearance – longsuffering. Ch 5:5-8; 8:39 shows God’s love. Ch 11:30-32 tells of His mercy. From ch 1:7 to the final benediction (16:24) Romans reveals God as the God of all grace. He offers to a world which deserves nothing but judgment. He saves all who believe in Jesus Christ, God’s son. The infinite scope of their grace is set forth in 5:20 “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
The world is guilty before God.
The universe is a revelation of the power and deity of God. (v. 19-20) The next three verses describe the degenerating process of the human race. (v. 21-23) The results of this unbelief and rebellion against God are described in v. 24-32. V. 34 God gave them up: to uncleanness, lusts, and to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.
V. 26 God gave then up to vile affections. Lesbionism, homosexuality. God is allowing woman to burn in their lust one toward another. God is allowing homosexuals to pursue their unseemly conduct. “Receiving in themselves the due penalty that recompense of their error which is fitting.”
v. 28 – God gave them over. God let them go. God gave them over to a reprobate mind. A depraved mind, a mind devoid of proper judgment. The result of having restraint removed, and being let go, the catalogue of sins mentioned in verses 29-32 run rampant throughout society.
God’s final verdict of all this is ch 3:10-18. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” etc.
Compare the sin Paul describes in 2 Tim. 3. Sins that will be rampant in the days immediately preceding the Rapture.
God’s judgment of man’s sin is certain (see ch. 2:1)
1. 2:2 The judgment of God is according to truth.
2. v.6 God will render to every man according to his deeds.
3. v.11 There is no respect of persons with God.
4. v.16 God will judge the secrets of man by Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:19 “The whole world lieth in wickedness” – in the wicked one.
Heb 4:13 “All things are naked and bare unto the eyes of them with whom we have to do.”
Rom 2:1 “Therefore thou art inexcusable O man.”
Rom 1:32 “Who, although they know the judgment of God, and those that practice such sins, are worthy of death.”
Rom 6:23 “The ‘wages’ of sin is death – but the ‘gift’ of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Humanity is summoned to the bar of God to hear His indictment against mankind. Not a single member of Adam’s ruined race is expected. Every man is doing what is right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6; 21:25). “There is none that understandeth.” Man does not know how abhorrent his sin is to God. He does not know how holy God is. Nor does he understand the alternatives of heaven and hell which are ahead. Nor does he understand the cost at which God provided the very salvation which he ignores. When a man or a woman’s heart is enlightened and he can understand these great truths, then he is in a hurry to be saved.
“Their throat is an open sepulcher” What an expressive way of depicting the corruption of so much human speech. Putrid, rancid, foul, noxious – an open grave in which there is a decomposing body.
“The poison of snakes is under their lips.” Human beings strike at each other with venomous words. They strike out at God.
“Their feet are swift to shed blood.” Murder is a characteristic of human nature. Paul says that men are SWIFT to shed blood. There is a murder committed every forty minutes.
Destruction and misery are in their ways: Nazi Germany – the People Republic of China operates the most merciless slave labor system the world has ever known. This is only equaled by Soviet Russia. Destruction and misery are in their path. Countless millions have been tortured and abused, suffering anguish and agony and in their misery have longed for death.
“The way of peace have they not known.” It has been estimated that during World War II 32 million people were killed on the battlefields. 25 million died in bombing raids. 25 million died in concentration camps. More than 29 million were wounded or mutilated. It is estimated that it cost $225,000 to kill an enemy soldier. WW II cost the allies $800 billion. All this despite the fact that apparatus has been set up to arbitrate international problems at the conference table – man does not know the way of peace.
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Men treat God as if He did not exist – they completely ignore Him. In deference to the Soviet Union, the United Nation agreed not to acknowledge God at its sessions. They display statues of heathen God’s instead.
There is none righteous – there is none that understandeth – there are none who seek after God – there is none that doeth good. “All are under sin” Rom 3:9 (see other sheet).