Romans 1:20-21, 28-32
20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
One of the amazing things about the Bible is that although most of it was written nearly 2000 years ago, it still holds truth today. When I read Romans Chapter 1, I can’t help but see a LOT of parallels to the world we live in today — a world darkened by sin… a world that denies the truth of God… a world that blesses the activities of sin… a world that needs a Savior. Allow me to elaborate.
Paul writes that God’s “invisible qualities… have been clearly seen… from what has been made”, but that “they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him”. The result? Paul writes that “their foolish hearts were darkened”, and that ugly list of sins became the norm for those people about whom he writes, with those people even approving of the sins! Sound familiar? It should — it’s happening right around us.
Just as Paul writes, it starts with what is, in my opinion, one of the most unbelievable leaps of faith the world has ever seen — the complete lack of acknowledgement of God as our creator. It’s amazing, you know? I fail to see how anyone cannot believe that we are not created by a higher power. The complexity of our world astounds me… how could it be possible that it all exists by chance? Think about it… observational science has given us so many wonderful insights into how God’s creation works… so much “evidence” (if you must call it that) of God’s handiwork. Yet we still do not, as a society, accept that He created us! Instead, we apply a filter that says God is not necessary for us to exist, and claim that the same observations that fuel the faith of the believer actually support an existence based on billions of years of gradual changes from a “big bang”. Seems like awful futile thinking to me.
So what do we have today? A world that believes it exists by chance… a world that does not believe in God, the absolute standard for truth… a world that sets its laws based on popular opinion… a world that is full of every kind of wrong-doing Paul described… We’ve gotten what we’ve asked for, really. When you discard the truth of God, what remains? A world without excuse, filled with futile thinking, foolish hearts, depraved minds, wickedness, evil… you name it. Just look around.
As depressing as the condition of our world is, I find that it strengthens my faith, emphasizing the need for Christ. Where else can you find hope? Certainly not through the ways of the world! The world tells us that we need to live life to the fullest and get what we can while we’re here… after all, we’ll all be worm-food soon. How short-sighted a view, though! God provides us with SO much more… with Him, the best is yet to come! Think about it… Heaven! God’s glory shining so bright, there’s no need for sunlight! A place where there are no tears! A place where God reigns eternal, and joy is constant! A place where the wonders of this world are so far surpassed we can’t even begin to compare! A place where sin, pain, and suffering are gone forever! I can’t wait to see it… to experience joy unlike anything here on earth… to see Jesus, falling on my knees and worshipping Him… to be immersed in His glory… I just can’t wait.
But we must. Our citizenship is heaven, yet our current residence is earth. We’re here for a reason! Aliens in a foreign land, a land we can make a difference in! Here, we can share our joy with a lost world, helping to shine the light of truth into the darkness. Here, we can dispel falsehood, reminding the world of its authorship. Here, we can make our mark for Jesus!
We are here, without excuse. Let us not forget that.
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