SCRIPTURES:   Romans 1:18-32

BOTTOM LINE:  The Root problem of humanity is not only that we have ushered God out of our lives … but that we also think that we can solve the problems WITHOUT GOD

QUESTION: How do we invite God back into the daily navigation of our journey in this culture?

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We don’t have to be around this earth long to know that something is broken of sorts … and it shouldn’t be broken … but it is … and I’ve often dreamed of the world here being a much, much better place to be honest … if just simply us as Christians were all falling on our face before God … recognizing who we are In-Him … literally laying our every penny … our every minute before Him and allowing Him to use what He’s doing in us to impact the world … WOW … what would that look like?

  • Would 3,000 people a day be dying of a water born disease or lack of palatable drinking water, when we could solve that problem for $8 billion … and we spend $80 billion every year on Christmas in our country by the way?
  • Would 2.6 million children die each year from hunger related causes?
  • Would we need all the prisons … etc…

The wrath of God IS being revealed … literally … PRESENT TENSE … right out of the shoot here, Paul is like … listen, right now, we are already under the Judgment of God … God is allowing His wrath … His sentence against Sin … to be revealed upon the earth … in the present …

Rome was a pretty impressive place … but you didn’t have to look very hard to find many of the same problems we face: Greed, Filth, Decay … slavery was everywhere … sexual immorality was rampant … taxes were high … blood sport was entertainment … crucifixes lined the roads w/ victims … war was brutal … and if you could somehow manage to stay in your lane and play by all the rules, you could maybe make a decent living … but if you step out of line anywhere … you quickly discovered the world was not a very forgiving place.

BOTTOM LINE: We love our SIN … and in order for me to experience TRUTH … and to walk in HIS LIGHT might mean something in my life has to change … I might have to give something up … I might have to accept God’s authority over my life … and honestly … I like being in charge of my life … and either consciously or unconsciously [or both], we evicted God … and so finally God said … Ok folks … Have It Your Way!

We live in this age where we can customize everything right? Burger King’s philosophy of Have It Your Way has carried over into everything. We can customize our Screen Saver … our Tennis Shoes … our vehicles … Interior Designer’s help us get our home just the way we want it … shoot, we can even move the weights around on our golf clubs now so we can have that just the way we want it …

 

So what do we do when this 1 True God Paul talks about doesn’t really match up or work for our lifestyle? Sort of makes sense that we’ve come up w/ all these other custom-made God’s in some ways doesn’t it? When God doesn’t work for our lifestyle … not problem, we’ll just change a little here and there and make God work for us.

ILLUSTRATION: What’s Our Idol????

We tend to make our own idols [sometimes we don’t even know it] … and then in many ways … we even bow down to them, don’t we? I said it a couple weeks ago … anything other than God’s Way is not God’s Way … we don’t have to choose crazy, satanic kinds of things … if Satan can distract us from walking with God … we’re bowing down to our idols …

In fact … I read a really powerful quote this week that said … “Satan tried to stop the church using persecution & martyrdom & failed so he turned to comfort & prosperity & found a winning combination.”

So we say NO to God … and when God lets go … we start this Free-Fall in a hurry in all the wrong directions … in every area of our lives … so much so that we’ve gone all the way back and said NO to God in one of the very first things He said in His design for us … and we’ve evicted our Creator and Designer from our lives …

BUT let me just say this … as Christians let’s make sure that we don’t single out Homosexuality [or any other specific sin] and make that the major focus of attention when talking about Sin … Jesus said so much about Sexual Immorality of all kinds … Adultery, Lust, Marital Vows, etc… not to mention all the other Sins …

And I think for sure here in Romans 1 … the much, much bigger picture is that this is what life looks like when we’re walking in Disobedience and have evicted God from our lives … and I think if we’re honest, we probably can find ourselves … at least at a certain season of our lives … in some fashion here in all these things Paul lists in Romans 1

Our Minds Slide Toward Decadence … our minds start to slide downward … the NASB uses the phrase … a depraved mind … and the Greek Word behind depraved means decaying … sort of like metal that is rusting … and that’s what’s happening to our mind … we are decaying …

Our Hearts want the Wrong Things when God lets go … Our Minds think the Wrong Things when God lets go … WHY? … because we did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer … we evicted Him from our Minds … and God said, if you remove Me from your thinking, your thinking is going to decay into bad stuff

 

APPLICATION:  

And if we go back thru this entire section … we’ll see that all aspects of our humanity have been impacted by our abandonment of the TRUTH about God … Our Hearts in many ways have been given over to impurities … and our Bodies have been given over to DeGrading Passions … and our Minds have been give over to foolish thinking.

Because we did not see fit to acknowledge god any longer … and in so many places, whether we realize it or not … we have evicted God from our Knowledge System, and we have exchanged the TRUTH of God for a lie … and in response … God has said, Have It Your Way!

C.S. Lewis wrote … There are only two kinds of people in the end: Those who say to God, ‘Ty will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘thy will be done.” That’s what Paul is saying here … In many ways and in many areas of our lives, we’re saying to God, We don’t want You … and God is responding to humanity saying Ok … Have it Your Way!

And Paul … he was pretty direct here wasn’t he? He didn’t wait long to just dial right in here … this is chapter 1 … Dear Church/Christians in Rome … and HCC … and everyone else … we have turned away from our Creator because we love our Sin!

There’s that something in us that’s just going … Life will be a lot more fun without God telling me what to do … so we push the TRUTH about him down and we lift our chosen lifestyle up to the status of Deity in our lives …

We’ve made God into OUR Image … and we make God what we need Him to be so we can live like we want to live … and this process Paul says, leads to a society spinning wildly out of control and increasingly into DeGrading Passions

And the question is … How Do We Stop it?