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Rom. 1:24-32 THE RESULTS OF MAN'S REBELLION

Intro: We are still dealing with the theme of God's divine wrath against sin. In this passage, we fin the results of man's rebellion against God told in clear, precise language.

I would like to call you attention to three terms that are used in our text this evening. They are: "God also gave them up", v. 24; "God gave them up", v. 26; and "God gave them over", v.28. These phrases tell us that there is a limit to the patience and longsuffering of God. As we study these verses, it will become apparent that when man makes his choice to abandon God, God will also choose to abandon man! That is a sobering thought!

We are surrounded by millions of people who have been abandoned to the lifestyle they have chosen over God. These people are capable of any sin imaginable this evening. The truth is, there are people we all know who are living a life that exists under the shadow of that is the result of their abandonment of God and of His subsequent abandonment of them.

With that in mind, let's look into these sobering verses and try to learn a little more about The Results Of Man's Rebellion.

I. V. 24-25 THE SUBSTANCE OF MAN'S SINFUL REBELLION

A. V. 24 Based In Sinful Choices - Mans chooses sin over God because sin is bound up in his own heart, Matt. 15:15:19-20; James 1:14. The natural man will always choose his sins over the will of God, the word of God and the purposes of God. Man is a sinner and nothing can remedy that short of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!

(Ill. Notice that the more a man seeks to honor himself by exalting his will over that of God, the more dishonorable he becomes. When he chooses sin over a relationship with the living God, his sinful nature grows more corrupt still. Ill. Eph. 4:22, "corrupt" - Present, passive, participle. Literally, "corrupting"! The whole character representing the former self is not only corrupt, but growing more and more corrupt. Every trait of the old man's behavior is putrid, crumbling, or inflated like rotting waste or corpses. It stinks and is ripe for being disposed of and forgotten forever! That is the truth about natural man!)

B. V. 25 Based In Sinful Changes - Since man refuses to live by God's lam, v. 18, he invents his own law! The result is that man also invents his own gods. The chief god usually being "Self." God calls this behavior the exchange of a truth for a lie! Man trades that which is living, helpful and vital for that which is dead, harmful and vain!

(Ill. Why does man do this? Because he still possesses an overwhelming desire to worship. However, he needs a god that will condone his sinful behavior! Therefore, he lives for himself and his invented gods.)

I. The Substance Of Man's Sinful Rebellion

II. V. 26-27 THE SYMBOL OF MAN'S SINFUL REBELLION

(Ill. Because man has chosen his sin over God, man is given over, v. 26, to vile affections. The depths to which man can sink are represented here. These next 2 verses describe the absolute bottom of the pit of iniquity. The basic idea here is that this is where societies always end up when they choose their ways over God's ways. It has been the case in every major society throughout history, and we are seeing the same trend in America tonight.)

A. V. 26-27a Man's Attractions Are Sickening - In these verses, the Apostle describes the sin of homosexuality. Yes, I said sin! He uses it to picture the absolute depths of depravity. Why this sin and not any of the thousands of others? I think the answer lies in the fact that homosexuals are typically given to more promiscuous behavior than heterosexuals. One statistic has found that many homosexual males have as many as 300 different sexual partners a year. The sad thing for us is that the homosexual community in America is estimated to be about 1% of the population. However, they are given special privileges and are promoting their lifestyle in the open, demanding that people like you and me endorse them, accept them and affirm them in what they are doing! Even those at the highest echelons of our government are extending special favors to homosexuals and promoting the homosexual agenda. Yet, I still find the thought of same sex relationships revolting, abominable and utterly sinful and depraved. And, I'm in good company because God does too!

(Note: Paul tells us in v. 26 that "even their women" were involved in this insidious lifestyle. The emphasis here is that women are usually the last bastion of morality in any society. Men are more given to sin, especially sexual sin, than are women. However, Paul is describing a people who are totally given up to a sinful standard of life. He might as well be writing about America!)

(We need to be much in prayer for those who are in the forefront opposing the onslaught of the sodomites. As the days go by, the battle cry will be for "tolerance". The day is coming when being labeled "intolerant" will be result in a conviction for a crime. There are already initiatives underway that would try to force people like myself from condemning any lifestyle, but especially a homosexual one.)

(Ill. What strikes me as being really sad is the fact that certain mainline so-called Christian denominations are seriously considering accepting, ordaining and marrying homosexuals. That some groups are all for declassifying homosexuality as a sin! Even the fact that it would be debated at all is almost beyond my comprehension!)

B. V. 27b Man's Addiction Is Settled - This choice of lifestyles, and it is a choice, brings its own judgment! When God gives a man up to his choice of lifestyles, that man will find that his attraction to and addiction to his sin will become stronger by the day. They are literally overcome by their vile affections. What used to bring a twinge of shame when committed, now doesn't phase them at all, opening the door for them to sink to ever deeper levels of sinful depravity. That is the "recompense of the sin". Being abandoned by God enslaves a man to His sin fully! It is as though God had been actively restraining them and now He takes away His hand and gibes them fully to their sin and its ultimate end!

(Ill. This judgment is also evident in the physical realm. AIDS is one of the first thoughts that comes to mind. Instances of sexually transmitted diseases are becoming rampant in our society, and it isn't just affecting the homosexual community. They bear the brunt of AIDS, but it is swiftly spreading to all corners of society. Ill. When a man like Magic Johnson is diagnosed as HIV positive and admits to having had sex with as many as 20,000 women, you begin to realize the depths to which human depravity can sink!)

I. The Substance Of Man's Sinful Rebellion

II. The Symbol Of Man's Sinful Rebellion

III. V. 28-32 THE SCOPE OF MAN'S SINFUL REBELLION

A. V. 28a Seen In His Decision - At this point, man's rejection of God is complete. As they give themselves more fully to their sins, the less room they have in their minds for God. Eventually, He is rooted totally out of the picture by the vile affections that have these people trapped! Even the gods of his own invention become less and less necessary. The person who has come this far in his rebellion comes to think of himself as his own god.

B. V. 28b-31 Seen In His Depravity - We are told that God gives them over to a "reprobate " mind. That refers to something that has been put to the test, failed the test and has been rejected. The word was used to refer to the refining of metals. The idea is that men did not want God in their lives, so He gives them over to the power of a totally depraved mind. At this point, they are absolutely capable of any sin imaginable!

Ill. The Apostle gives us a list of 23 sins. These are not meant to be an exhaustive list of possible sins, but it is a mere representation of the sins of which man is capable of committing. Most are self explanatory, but a word needs to be said about a few anyway.

1. Unrighteousness, Fornication and Wickedness - These three categories of sin encompass all those listed below and every other form of sin imaginable! They are all represented in these words.
2. Covetousness- Appetite for the things of other.
3. Maliciousness - ill-will and vengeance.
4. Envy - It is the spirit that wants not only the things that another person has, but begrudges the fact that the person has them. It is the spirit that wants not only the things to be taken away from the person, but wants him to suffer through the loss of them.
5. Murder - Obvious!
6. Debate - A spirit given to fighting!
7. Deceit - Pure old lying.
8. Malignity - A spirit do filled with evil, envy and hatred that it loves nothing better than the destruction of another human being!
9. Whisperers - A gossip who seeks to harm another's reputation.
10. Backbiters - While the one above is done in secret, this one is done in the open. It is the same spirit.
11. Haters of God - This is a person who hates the standards and restrictions imposed by God. His goal is to be the god of his own life.
12. Despiteful - A life of defiance that dares God or other men to get in its way. This kind of person is determined to have his own way at all costs.
13. Proud - Self-exaltation.
14. Boasters - This is a bragger. A person who brags about what he has or what he has done, even if it isn't necessarily true.
15. Inventors of Evil Things - This is a person who is tired of sin as usual and seeks new forms of pleasure and excitement.
16. Disobedient to Parents - Obvious! Watch a rebellious child! He/she is open to all kinds of sinful activity!
17. Without Understanding - This is a person who refuses to learn by experience. They have rejected the truth and have closed their eyes and minds to it!
18. Covenant Breakers - Untrustworthy! Refers to people who will not keep their word! You simply cannot depend on them!
19. Without Natural Affection - abnormal affection and love, heartless, without human emotion or love, a lack of feeling for others, abuse of normal affection and love. Others become little more than pawns for a man's own use and benefit, pleasure and purposes, excitement and stimulation. Abnormal affection, sex and perversion prevail.
20. Implacable - A person who is unwilling to make peace or come to an agreement.
21. Unmerciful - It is an absence of consideration or feelings for others. What matters is one's own pleasure and rights, not the pleasure and rights of others.

(Ill. This describes the world in which we live!)


C. V. 32 Seen In His Destiny - Man knows in his heart where his sin will lead! However, he chooses to sin against his own conscience and go on in his sinful activity. He pursues his sin with everything in his power. And, to make matters worse, he passes his sinful behavior on to others by encouraging them to follow in his footsteps. They also delight in all those who live the same lifestyle. These people encourage one another in their sins while both plunge headlong toward Hell!

Conc: I don't know about you, but I find this image troubling. It is a harsh, but true reality that those who reject God will ultimately be rejected by God. When they seer their conscience, 1 Tim. 4:2, they close the door to God's activity in their lives. Even though He is a God of love, mercy, grace and longsuffering, He is still a God of holiness, justice, judgment and wrath. There is a price to pay for rejecting Him.

There is a species of ant in Africa that builds its colonies and nests in deep underground tunnels. It is here that their young and their queen live. Even though these ants may be a great distance from the nest foraging for food, they can sense when their queen in being attacked and they all become extremely nervous and uncoordinated. If she is killed, they become frantic and rush around aimlessly until they die.

What a perfect illustration of the person who has rejected God in his life. Being unable to find direction and peace apart from a relationship with God, he rushes around aimlessly, pursuing his sins until he too dies and enters eternity. If you are in that shape, let me invite you to come to Jesus for salvation this evening. If you know someone in this shape, let me challenge you to pray for them.

It may even be that you are saved, but have allowed some of these sins mentioned in these verses into your life. You need to get that dealt with right now. I invite you, saint of God, to come to the Lord and seek a fresh, renewed walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Let's mind Him this evening!




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