God’s Judgment in a Culture Gone Wild
What does God think of homosexuals? What does God think of lesbians? What does God think of transgender? /He loves them. God loves them, like He loves all those without Christ. And as a result, if you’re a Christian, you must love them too. God desires all sinners to come to repentance. And friends, you don’t have to be a homosexual or a lesbian or a transgender to be considered a sinner and end up in Hell–every person alive is headed to Hell because of their sin.
Human beings love to compare–I’m better than you. But the truth is, not one of us is better than anyone else before a perfect, righteous, holy, sinless God. Your lust, pride, selfishness, greed, envy, slander and gossip are enough to send you to Hell forever, along with anyone immoral. Without the sin of homosexuality, those who practice that lifestyle are still headed to Hell, unless they repent and are transformed by Christ. We are all sinners before God.
The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality, lesbianism is sin. That God made each one male or female and to try to change your sex is rebellion toward Him. But you and I are no better before a holy God. The Bible teaches those immoral sins are evidence of the decline of society and the destruction of what God designed. The Bible teaches God designed marriage for one man and one woman for life. The Bible teaches sex is not for a male and a female–God designed sex for a husband and a wife in marriage.
The Bible teaches the only hope for the immoral is the work of Christ on their behalf–they need Christ. But now anti-Christian governments want to pass laws to keep believers from sharing Christ with those who need Him most. What is going on in our world? It has gone crazy. LGBTQ—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning. Where is God in all of this? The Bible is very clear.
Open to Romans 1:24 to 32 and take your outline for this section of God’s never wrong Word, which explains the why of the LGBTQ proliferation. These verses spell out why there’s increasing wickedness today. But in order for you to grasp what God says here in this section, you must first see the context in which they’re found.
This is the first major section in Romans, which started in 1:18, warning you about God’s wrath against sin. In this powerful courtroom scene, Paul has just told you in verses 19 to 23 why God’s wrath is being poured out against sinful mankind. Why is God angry? Because godlessness (rejecting God) leads to greater wickedness. God says every human being who has ever walked this planet has seen the unmistakable clues of one Creator. And God made sure those clues resonate in everyone’s heart, so that everyone everywhere knows without a doubt there is a God who is both all-powerful and worthy of their worship (verses 19 to 20).
But rather than responding to the truth that’s painted all over the planet, unbelievers push the truth down whenever they feel it rising to the surface of their conscience. They repress it, then reject it. Verse 21, Why? Because the truth of God threatens their autonomy–it exposes their sinfulness, it will cramp their lifestyle, and it makes them morally responsible for their actions. So unbelievers replace the truth with alternative belief systems, religion, science, and personal theories that don’t require repentance. Any view that embraces accountability to God or a change of morality is rejected, because they do not to repent.
Verse 23, that’s why Paul says every unbeliever everywhere who continues to repress the truth until the end of his life (verse 20) will stand guilty without excuse on the day of Judgment. No one will ever accuse God of being unjust when He condemns them to Hell, because they knew there was a God who was worthy of their worship. No matter what they say, they know He is there. I can hear some of you saying, “That’s unfair!” And you’d be right, it would be unfair if anyone, anywhere deserved eternal life–but we don’t. Or if God Himself didn’t suffer and die to give us salvation–but He did. Or if God didn’t reveal Himself to unbelievers continually through creation, conscience and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit—but He does. And if God hadn’t commanded believers everywhere to share the good news to everyone worldwide–but He did.
Now in verses 24 to 32, God tells us the answers to our questions about what God is doing with the LGBTQ–why is evil growing? Why are the sexes being redefined? Look at what God does in verses 24, 26, and 28 . . . 24) “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts”, 26) “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions”, 28) “God gave them over to a depraved mind.” What does it mean when God gives someone over?
#1 The DESCRIPTION of God giving over
The word “gave over” is used in the New Testament of giving one’s body to be burned, three times of Jesus giving Himself up to death, of men being committed to prison or judgment, and of rebellious angels being condemned to pits of darkness. It is a vehement action of God against sin. You see, God giving people over is not like tossing a drinking glass into outer space so it can float away. But God giving over is like tossing a drinking glass into the air–for once it’s released, the law of gravity takes over and it’ll eventually come down and shatter. God giving over leads to fierce consequences–why? Because of four different aspects of this frightening action of God.
First God is punishing sin NOW, not just LATER
You know unbelievers who keep resisting the truth must face ultimate condemnation. But what happens to these truth rejecters in the meantime? What about the 30-year-old truth represser who, theoretically, has another thirty to fifty years to rebel against God and spread lies about God. What should a holy God do in the meantime with a committed truth exchanger? The answer . . .
When God gives people over, He is actually punishing them for their sin now. He is allowing people to reap the results of their own choices now. Timing is in focus here. If God gives you over, it means He is letting you have what you think you want now. God is saying, “You asked for it, you got it! You can go out and really make a mess of your life and I’ll not stop you. You have a choice to follow me or follow your own desires. Go ahead–but understand, you will suffer the consequences if you go your way.”
This is the wrath of God Paul described back in verse 18–remember what he said. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). When Paul says God’s wrath is being revealed, he uses the present tense, meaning it’s continually happening right now. God is not talking about Judgment Day here. This is not about Hell in the future, but what is happening right now.
When God gives someone over, He’s allowing people to do their own thing–and when they reap the results of their actions, that’s the wrath of God in their life. That’s why you can see the wrath of God everywhere. You can see it in broken homes, child abuse, abortion, and now lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, even pan-gender. The Bible says that’s the wrath of God. The wrath of God is when we get ourselves in a mess and God doesn’t bail us out. We reap what we sow. As Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
God says, “Unbeliever, don’t think you can take drugs and not get addicted, or cheat on your spouse and not ruin your marriage or choose to confuse your gender and not suffer mentally, choose to participate in gay or lesbian sex and not suffer physically and emotionally with disease, anger, suicide or worse.” God says, “My wrath is being revealed right now in consequences.”
Some of you’ve had a hard week, a hard year, a hard life—and you wonder at times how come that unbeliever is doing so well? They look like they are doing great. But remember, Christians, that’s the outside–not their heart. They are paying a price for their sin. Their inner man is dying under the consequences of their sin. That was timing–God’s wrath is happening now. What else does it mean when God gives people over?
Second God is punishing sin with more SIN
The type of punishment is in focus here. God doesn’t send fire and brimstone down on others right now because the effects of living without God produces its own destructive slide into more sin. In Psalm 81:11 to 12, God says, “Israel did not obey Me, so I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices.” How do we see God’s wrath today with sin that leads to more sin? Casual drug usage leads to addiction to meth. A little flirting at the office leads to adultery. Too much affection as singles leads to fornication. God’s wrath is punishing sin with sin.
There are those who say, “I can do as I please–I don’t have to obey any laws of God. I’m my own man.” But that’s as foolish as breaking the laws of nature. Take this guy to the top of the Empire State Building and he says, “Hey, I’m free. I’m free to jump off of this building if I want to.” And he’s right–but not without a cost. So he jumps off and says, “See how free I am to make my own choices?” Now he’s zooming down, and about twenty stories down, someone looks out a window and says, “Hey, how’s it going?” He responds, “So far, so good.”
Do you know any people like that? They’ve broken God’s law, but they haven’t hit bottom yet. “So far, so good. Everything’s cool.” But when he gets to the bottom, he’s gonna splat! When we break God’s laws, they break us. And that’s what God means when He gives people over. God is saying when He gives people over, they suffer the destruction by their own sin working in and through them–that is His wrath. God giving unbelievers over thirdly means . . .
Third God is punishing sin because of independent, REBELLIOUS choices
Here, cause is in focus. God says, in effect, you’ve been trying to bust free and have it your way. And when God lets a non-believer go like that, the unbeliever rushes out and says, “I’m free, good riddance God. Am I glad to get you off of my back.” He has no idea what he’s saying. He’s been so thoroughly self-deceived by his own truth repression, and so deceived by the evil one, he has no concept of what God’s abandonment will mean over the long haul.
This is a frightening truth. Ready? When people persistently abandon God, God will abandon them. Church discipline works the same. When a Christian continually abandons God, God commands the Church to abandon that Christian until they repent. In Judges 10:13, the Lord said to Israel, “You have forsaken Me and served other gods, therefore, I will deliver you no more.” In 2 Chronicles 24:20, through His prophet, “God said to Judah, because you have forsaken the Lord, He has also forsaken you.”
When a truth suppresser continues to rebel, exchanging the truth for a lie, refusing to bow down and give God glory, it’s as if God says, “Enough is enough, no more. You love your life more than you love Me, you love your lifestyle more than the one I offered, you love your vices more than My truth–hit the road, have it your way.” God gives people over because of their rebellion. And finally, when God gives up means timing, type, cause and method . . .
Fourth God is punishing sin by removing RESTRAINTS
Here the method is the focus. Paul declared to the unbelieving crowd in Lystra in Acts 14:16, “In generations gone by [God] permitted the nations to go their own ways.” When God says I let you go, He is saying, “You’re free from My watch-care and free from My guidance and free from My wooing of you and My prompting, and free from how I have restrained the evil one from having His way with you.”
Remember how the evil one wanted to attack Simon Peter in Luke 22:31? Yet Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat.” Remember the plans the evil one had for Job? And God let him do some things to Job, but at a certain point God told Satan in Job 2:6, here is the line–I am restraining you, in that you cannot take his life.
Friends, this kind of restraining of evil is going on all of the time. God even restrains Satan’s work on unbelievers, so God can draw unbelievers to Himself. But that will not continue forever, like Genesis 6:3, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever,” which is to say God is slow to anger. He has a long fuse, but His justice and wrath will also be expressed. There comes a point where God says, “Enough is enough, have it your way. I’m letting go!”
And when God gives over, He stops all restraint. And even if Satan does nothing, people will ruin themselves. Like an untended garden overrun by weeds, when man is left to himself, the bad always chokes out the good. Why? Because mankind is not basically good, but evil. His nature is bent toward sin. When God gives over, He stops restraining evil.
The prodigal son had no idea how he’d end up. Unbelievers have no idea when they start suppressing the truth and crying for freedom from God, what will happen to them. They don’t realize they’re going to slide unobstructed, with no heavenly restraint, into a steep descent into depravity. What does it look like? This leads us to . . .
#2 The DESCENDING steps of God giving unbelievers over
This last section is not fun to look at. It is one of the most sobering portions of the Bible. How does God show His wrath today? I want you to see three counts of wickedness submitted by Paul in his case against humanity. The first step . . .
First the downward step toward IMMORAL passions
Read verse 24, “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.” Doesn’t that sound like the sexual revolution of the 60’s, when America lost its ability to blush? That’s why you know people who want to go out and sow their wild oats, then pray for crop failure. They don’t want consequences. It is odd how people are really concerned about Aids, venereal disease, pregnancy–but resent your suggestion they should abstain. Why is that?
Notice in verse 24 where the sin starts–in the heart, the desires of the heart. The heart is the key to walking with God and the heart is the place where people begin their decline into sin. Jesus said in Matthew 15:19 to 20, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” No one sins outwardly without first sinning inwardly, as Jeremiah said in 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.”
You can clean up your appearance, even external behavior–but only God through Jesus can clean up your heart, inner person. And if you don’t ask Christ to clean you up internally, then God can give you over to impurity, meaning uncleanness, sexual sins and more–which results in your whole being, body and soul. Their hearts being degraded and disgraced.
Notice what it says in verse 25, “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” Now in Greek, that is literally, “the lie,” not “a lie”. You might want to make a note of that in your Bibles. It says they exchanged the truth of God for THE lie–what is the lie that causes problems in our life? Genesis 3:4 to 5–the original lie that Satan gave to Eve way back in the beginning of time. Here’s the lie, “You surely will not die! 5For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4 and 5). The temptation was to be God. What is the lie?
1) You can sin and get away with it. Hey, you’re not going to die–everything’s cool. There are no consequences to your actions. And 2) you can be your own God–you can be in charge. Both of those are lies. No one but God is in charge and there are serious consequences to all your actions. Look back at Romans 1:25, “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever, Amen.”
These moral decisions are evidence of self-worship. Do you know why they call them selfies? Because narcissistic is too hard to say. The second downward step is . . .
Second the downward step toward INDECENT perversions
In verse 26 God gives people over to degrading passions. Like the coming out of the closet of the 70’s, people give themselves to sexual perversion, distorting a good gift of God into an evil aberration. What exactly was the aberration? Verse 26, underline this—”for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
What is God saying here? Females, who’re usually more reluctant than males to participate in sexual perversion, stopped their natural sexual expression as God designed it, and gave into abnormal (literally, against nature) sexual expression. And men burned with an out-of-control lust for other men, instead of for females. This is not an alternative lifestyle–it is out of control desires. And I mean out of control–so much so that the men of Sodom, even after all being made blind, wearied themselves trying to find the doorway into Lot’s house, in order to pursue their vile passion.
Homosexual lust burns so out of control that police can discern immediately if a murder has been committed by a homosexual–it’s that obvious. Listen, God declares in these two verses–homosexuality (which is a choice) is a degrading passion that’s unnatural, involving an out-of-control lust and indecent acts, resulting in a horrible physical consequence. Do not buy the media lies.
God so abhors homosexuality, He determined that the shameful acts that women commit with women and men commit with men would result in their “receiving (verse 27) in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
They’d be judged by the self-destructiveness of their sin. The appalling physical consequences of homosexuality are visible evidence of God’s righteous condemnation. Unnatural vice brings its own perverted reward. The Romans didn’t need any explanation of this. Their society was a corrupt and morally sick culture. I mean, 14 of the first 15 Caesars were homosexuals. God gives over people to be involved in immoral passions and God gives people over to be involved in indecent perversions, which becomes a hell on Earth. They’re not gay–that’s a misnomer. They’re not happy–they experience guilt, anger, and severe consequences.
Third the downward step toward IRRATIONAL practices
Look at verse 28, “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” A depraved mind is a corrupt and godless mind that results in people doing things that are irrational—meaning things that shouldn’t be done. The word “depraved” was commonly used of metals that were rejected by refiners because of impurities–as a result, they were considered useless and worthless. Verse 28 is not a picture of a drooling psychopath, but a talk show host who views God as worthless and useless.
Have you ever scanned the news on a website and thought, the world is insane–what is going on? Have you watched the news and said, “That is senseless, this is crazy. Why would anybody do something like that?” Because they’re depraved in their minds, they have stooped to the point that God, His character, His moral laws, His righteous standards are continually useless and worthless–which leads to a depravity in behavior that’s insane and senseless. How bad is it?
Look at verse 29–reading verses 29 to 31 is like lifting the lid off of Hell and looking inside. What happens when God is continually thought of as useless and worthless. Verses 29 to 31, “Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful.”
There are 21 different types of sins cataloged here. One preacher calls this section sinerama–that’s really it! When God actively lets go—verses 29 to 31 is what happens. Things like 1) unrighteousness, everything that is opposed to God’s character and law, 2) wickedness, those who take pleasure in vicious actions. Sixth, murder, the inward hatred of heart that sometimes leads to the outward act of taking a life. Sixteenth, inventors of evil, keep inventing new ways of expressing evil.
This list wasn’t intended to be exhaustive. It’s just 21 random kinds of sins that get worse when people are given up by God. So verse 32 adds this, “And, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death.” Paul says, “Listen people, unbelievers know there is a God. They know His moral law, they understand there is a right and a wrong established by God–yet they choose to disobey. Because of that, what is God’s sentence? Death. Not physical death, but the eternal, spiritual death of Hell.
But if that is not bad enough, the verse continues, “They not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” This is the ultimate–not only do they get involved with sin, but they approve of other people sinning–why? Simple. If I can get more people sinning like me, then it’ll be acceptable and not shameful for me to continue sinning. This is the motive driving the LGBTQ movement–right? So they and the literal Greek word here is applaud. So they applaud any time somebody else does something wrong in order to justify their own behavior.
I don’t have to be ashamed–why? If you disagree, you are a racist, a hater, a bigot. You are opposed to religious freedom. If you don’t like my position, you are the problem. Does this happen in our society? Every day on TV and in the media. They parade a non-stop line-up of those committed to this sinerama list of 21 in Romans 1. Then what does the audience do? They literally applaud these people—why? In order to justify their sinfulness.
And you thought the Bible wasn’t relevant. Honestly, it almost seems as though this list in Romans 1 is the script for modern movies and TV shows that promote sexual promiscuity and sexual perversion. Every show must have a transgender or gay. In fact, they not only are applauded, but they are awarded Emmys and Oscars for their work.
This is a bleak picture, because God says the opposite of evolution is taking place–devolution. Man isn’t getting better, he’s getting worse. God put man in the Garden of Eden and everything was perfect–but since then it’s all been downhill. Nothing is getting better, and with the parallels of step 1 with the 60’s, step 2 with the 70’s and step 3 with the 80’s and 90’s, we’re in trouble in the 2000’s–especially in 2022. So what should we do? Is there any hope?
A Rejoice in what CHRIST can do for you
With a pastor’s heart, I can’t leave you here. Read Romans 5. Is there any hope? Thank God there is. Verses 8 to 9, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from [what?] the wrath of God through Him.”
Take a deep breath. Isn’t that good news? We are saved from God’s wrath. Yes, your sin is bad, you are in trouble. But God has the answer–it is His Son, Jesus, who died for your sins and mine. If you repent, trust Him, He will forgive you and change you to walk in His ways.
B Keep the right PRIORITY, share the good news
Look at Romans 1 again. As God lets people go, as the culture falls apart, as things get worse and worse. What are we supposed to give our time to–march, fight, protest, change laws, get the right people elected? What power do we have to change things? What should we do? Romans 1:16 has the answer–the Gospel. Do you believe in the power of the Gospel to change lives?
What law ever change a persons heart? It can’t. What law ever saved a person from eternal death? None. Does better government make better people, or better people make better government? Better people–and only Christ can change a heart, save someone from eternal death and make better people. Period–only Jesus. And how did Christ change His world? Did He protest? Did He run for Caesar? Did He overturn the laws of His land, stop slavery? No.
He invested His life into twelve, 120 and 500 people–who then did the same thing and that changed the world. And He has called us to do the same. God’s ways are not man’s ways. Give the majority of your time and money to the reaching the lost. Believe in the power of the Gospel through the Church. Don’t be part of the massive crowd that is convinced they can change the world man’s way.
Don’t be a part of the high-powered crowd, who in the name of Christ are actually trying to stop God’s righteous wrath. Don’t be a part of the crowd who’re trying to stop God’s judgment for sin, instead of doing what Jesus called us to do. Share the Gospel. Keep the right priority. Make certain most of your money, time and effort is used proclaiming Christ. Only Christ is the answer.
C Don’t isolate yourself from the WORLD
How can you be a Christian in an ungodly world? Transgender, transsexual, gender variant–what to do? The good news keeps getting better, because the bad news keeps getting worse (diamonds on velvet) and we can thank God for the good news and for His grace. But how do you continue to live in the world?
First) it’s not imitation–you don’t imitate the world and say, “I’m going to give in and follow the world’s standards.” That’s not the answer. Second) it’s not isolation–let’s only work with Christians, go to school with Christians and be friends with Christians and not live in the world. Christ said you have to live in the world, but not of the world. You can’t isolate yourself and live in a monastery. So not imitation, not isolation, but it’s insulation.
God can insulate you to be pure in an impure world and still live in it. Well, just like I can catch a sea bass in the ocean. That sea bass has lived in the ocean it’s entire life. The ocean is saltwater and if you drink it, you’ll throw up. But take that fish that has lived in saltwater all of its life, and cook it, and before you eat it you have to put salt on it. Why? It’s insulated. If God can put a fish in a salty ocean and keep it pure all of its life, God can put a human being in an aberrant and perverse world reign, yet keep us pure as well. Greater is He that it is in you than He that is in the world.
D Commit yourself to loving those without CHRIST
Can someone ever be saved, once God gives them over? I believe the Bible teaches it’s theologically possible, and it’s practically improbable. Sin seems to cause further hardening and further deceitfulness, so there is a slow sinking into the oblivion of depravity–and rarely does anybody come to their senses if they go down that road. Some do—most don’t. But you don’t know who they are, do you? So you have to trust the sovereignty of God, who calls you to share with all men the good news of Jesus.
Recommit yourself to reach unbelievers–even those given over to lust, and under God’s wrath. If you don’t share Christ (the Gospel) now with others–how in the world will you share Christ with anyone it is illegal to try to convert? Laws are in place in Canada and California to arrest you for sharing the Gospel with those in the LGBTQ. Do not remain silent. Ask yourself–are you going to obey man’s law, or obey God’s Word?
In Rome, when Christians shared the Gospel proclaiming Jesus as Lord and not Caesar as Lord, it was illegal–but they did it anyway. Will you? God is not calling you to scream, fight, threaten those enslaved to immoral sin or confused gender. But Christ is calling you to share the good news of freedom and forgiveness to those enslaved to sin. Tell them of His mercy, grace and love. Tell them of His heart-healing, sin-freeing salvation. Tell them of His life-transforming power. Never give up on anyone, no matter how depraved, how hard, how hostile. Keep sharing, praying, serving, loving–God can and will change the hardest of hearts. Amen? Let’s pray.