Can a person or culture ever get so bad that God would give up on them? This is a serious question that many are asking today concerning our own culture.
GOD GAVE THEM UP
Paul gave an accurate display of the horrible features displayed in pagan societies in Romans 1. Three times in that one chapter Paul said that God had “gave them up” (Romans 1:24, 26, 28).
What did that culture look like when God “gave them up”?
1. By their unrighteousness they suppress the truth–Romans 1:18
2. They did not honor God or give thanks to him–Romans 1:21
3. They became foolish in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened–Romans 1:21-22
4. They exchanged the glory of God for images–Romans 1:23
5. They dishonored their bodies among themselves–Romans 1:24
6. They were given to dishonorable passions–Romans 1:26
7. They were given to a debased mind to do what ought not be done–Romans 1:28
8. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness–Romans 1:29-32
GOD GAVE US ALL HOPE
Even in the midst of terrible morality, there was hope. The Christians in Rome had faith which was “proclaimed in all the world” (Romans 1:8). The hope was possible because of the Gospel.
1. The Gospel was promised to faithful people living in terrible circumstances–Romans 1:2.
2. The Gospel was empowered by no less than the Son of God–Romans 1:3-4.
3. The Gospel is the source of grace through obedience to the faith–Romans 1:5-6.
GOD HAS GIVEN US THE MISSION OF HOPE
The hope of all the world was entrusted to Christians. Christians are described as having the treasure in jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7). The apostle Paul gave his life for this mission. Notice how he described his service of love and follow his example.
1. Paul understood that he was under obligation to preach–Romans 1:14 (1 Corinthians 9:16).
2. Paul understood the urgency of Gospel preaching–Romans 1:15 (Hebrews 10:31).
3. Paul understood the power of Gospel preaching–Romans 1:16-17.
Let us never give up. The world is bad and it may get worse, but the light of the Gospel still shines as a beacon calling us Heavenward. There is still hope for you, your family, the Lord’s church, and our country.
That hope is the Gospel of Christ. Will you obey the Gospel, live the Gospel, and have the hope of the Gospel?