The Only Sin
I want to commit now what America today calls the only sin: to call sin "sin." And then to share the remedy! We are a hospital for sinners. They are welcome…WE are welcome…for WE are sinners. Welcome to the club. We aren’t the judges, God is!
The only sin today is to call sin "sin." If you do, you are labeled as intolerant. A man may be sick but he's not sinful, he may be weak but he's not wicked, he may be ill but he's not evil, and even if he were to tell people that what they're doing is wrong, they would say that they have some excuse. It would be environment, it would be genetics, it would be ignorance, but nobody wants to be blamed.
Well, we're going to learn something today about the wrath of God, the judgment of God.
Verse 18: "For the wrath of God is revealed." The wrath of God. Now we hear about the love of God and God is love--infinite, boundless, measureless love, God is love. But this God of love is also a God of wrath and when you love righteousness, you hate sin. The doctor who loves health hates microbes and germs and, when you love children, you hate child abuse. So, you see you cannot have a God of love without also having a God of wrath. And if you just take the love of God, you only have half of the story. He's not a half baked God.
Now God is love, but when you take half of the truth and try to make half of the truth all of the truth, then that half of the truth becomes an untruth because you've distorted it and it's not balanced.
So verse 18 says, "The wrath of God," God's burning anger against sin," and the end of v. 20 says, "so that they are without excuse." There's one thing that God will not accept for sin and that is an alibi or an excuse--he will accept a confession and he will forgive, but there is no excuse, man is inexcusable in his sin.
3 steps to sin in our text:
Step number one, man's willful self-determination.
v. 21 They want to get rid of the thought of God.
Step number two, man's wicked self-deception.
v. 18 'hold the truth in unrighteousness'
He blinds himself, and thus he deceives himself.
Step number three, man's woeful self-destruction.
Self-determination leads to self-deception leads to self-destruction. And the rest of this chapter tells about that destruction. What is that destruction? Well, it comes in several stages.
First of all, people who turn from God almost always become sexually perverted.
Verses 26 through 27: "For this cause..." Well, let's go back to verse 25: "They changed the truth of God unto a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator who is blessed forever and for this cause God gave them up to vile affections." Now what is he talking about when he says vile affection?
v. 26-28 "For even their women exchanged their natural use into that which against nature and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men, working that which is unseemly and receiving in themselves that recompenses of their error which was mete," or fitting, "and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind."
Now what God is talking about here is the sin of sodomy and the sin of moral perversion.
NOTE: We don’t condemn homosexuals. That’s not our job. We love all sinners, just as we sinners are loved. It doesn’t mean we practice it or even encourage it. But this house must be a place where all sinners can find help, not condemnation. We don’t want to be hypocrites who turn a blind eye to our own perversion while judging someone we deem to be worse than ourselves.
But notice how God calls this sin. Actually he begins up in verse 24. He calls it uncleanness, he calls it lust, he calls it dishonor in verse 24. In verse 26 he calls it vile affections. In verse 26 he said it is against nature. In verse 27 he says it is unseemly. Over in the Old Testament in Leviticus chapter 18 verse 22 the Bible says, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is an abomination." I've been amazed as I've read those who want to practice this perversion. Some of the fancy footwork they've done to try to explain away the plain meaning of God's word. As a matter of fact, the explosion of sexual perversion that we've seen today is one of the great signs that we're living in the last days and that we're ripe for judgment. Our Lord said in Luke chapter 17 that the last days would be like the days of Noah and the days of Lot. [Verses 26 through 30.]
Jesus says, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the son of man, they did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. Then again likewise, also, as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded, but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. "
As it was in the days of Lot--Lot, you will remember, lived in the society that had glorified sodomy and sexual perversion and God destroyed ancient Sodom with fire and brimstone. Second Peter chapter 2 verse 6 says, "He turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemning them with an overthrow, making them an example to those that should after live ungodly." God left Sodom with its smoking ruins as an example. The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn anything from history.
That’s just like America. Sodom was full of perverts living in a wild, animal-like society...they lived like wild beasts. Look at this...
Ezekiel chapter 16 verse 48: "Behold this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy, and they were haughty and committed abomination before me. Therefore I took them away as I saw good." God said they were full of bread, they were full of idleness, there was prosperity in the land, but they were proud and haughty, they strutted, they were proud of their sin.
Sin that used to slink down back allies now struts down main streets. I will get letters for this, calling me a bigot. But if it's in the Bible, take your argument up with God. I am honor bound to preach God's word.
You see, a nation that cannot distinguish about moral perversion is a nation on its last leg.
Isaiah chapter 3, verses 8 and 9: "For Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord to provoke the eyes of his glory, the show of their countenance doth witness against them. They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul for they have awarded evil unto themselves." God said this is what ruined His people, and I submit to you that it will be the ruin of America as surely as there is a God in glory.
Pornography is flooding America, more available than ever. What happens to that pornography? It eventually finds itself in the hands of children. Vile, wicked, lascivious stuff.
When I was a teen I came upon a magazine laying off to the side of the road. It was as filthy as it gets. I pick up trash when I see it anyway, but I wondered if I should pick this up. Then again, I don't want someone else seeing it. So I wadded it up tight in my pocket. My heart was racing. I'm thinking, if I have a heart attack out here they're gonna find this in my pocket. And I’m a pastor’s son!
And magazines that used to be the main thing with porn...they are nothing today, because of the internet. You used to have to ask for it behind the counter, but now it's readily available to anyone in private. Lord help us!
It is perversion of a beautiful thing. Do you think God is against sex? God is in favor of sex. God made man a sexual creature, God made Adam and Eve and when he gave Eve to Adam he said that is very good. And when God says, "Flee fornication," when God says, Thou shalt not commit adultery," when God says, "Thou shalt not lie with man as with woman," he's not trying to keep us from sex, he's trying to keep sex for us. It is God's wonderful gift. The devil is a pervert. He has no raw materials. He can only take that which is from God and pervert it.
ill.--God invented music and the devil comes along and perverts it. The internet is invented [not by God, but Al Gore] and the devil perverts this tool that can be used for good. God invents the beautiful thing of sex and the devil perverts it.
So they became sexually perverted in our text and then they became socially perverted.
Now look in verse 28: "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate," that means a decadent, "mind." And oh, if we don't have a reprobate-minded society today. "God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents without understanding, covenant breakers without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful." Man, when he turns his back on God, becomes not only sexually perverted but socially perverted. The world becomes a madhouse and we live in our self-made cells and lock ourselves in at night while the hoodlums roam up and down the streets and our wives and our daughters are afraid to go out at night and walk up and down the streets and we have the kind of mayhem like we have today.
Man becomes sexually perverted, then he becomes socially perverted, and then he becomes spiritually perverted.
Look in verse 32: "Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death. Not only do the same, but they have pleasure in them that do them."
We have begun to entertain ourselves. How do we entertain ourselves? Sitcoms about drunkenness and perversion, immorality and adultery, and the devil has a pipeline right into our homes because not only do we do these things, we have pleasure in them that do them. We make them the most admired people in America. Quote me now, "Watching people sin is sin!"
Now folks, I am brokenhearted for America. Listen to me. God's people need to get on their face before Almighty God in prayer. Three times in this chapter it says God gave them up, God gave them up, and God gave them over. Do you know the very worst thing that God could do to America, the very worst thing? It would be to just leave us alone. Just say, All right, you've got it, take your vices, take your lust, take your evolution, take your abortion, take it all, you've got it! So long. I hope that doesn't happen to America. God gave them up, God gave them up, God gave them over. It's revival time in America, time for us to seek the Lord because Romans 1 is being replayed for us. Willful self-determination, wicked self-deception, woeful self-destruction.
Now, that's the bad news that makes the good news good. The good news is the gospel. That's what Romans is about, the gospel, and the word gospel means good news. That's the reason as long as God has a heart thumping in my chest, as long as God gives me a voice, I want to be a gospel preacher, I want to be able to tell it clearly, plainly, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you'll be saved.
I want to commit now what America today calls the only sin: to call sin "sin." And then to share the remedy!
Every sin will be forgiven. He will come into your life, radically, dramatically, and eternally change your heart, put his spirit in you, and he will not only change you but he will empower you and then when time to go to heaven comes, when you die or when Jesus comes, he'll take you to heaven to be with him for eternity.
And if the worst happens in America, if God is consistent with us as with Sodom, and if He spares our lives, we want to be the ones helping others get saved. I wanna pull drowning people to shore...not be in survival mode myself. That's why we prepare. Prepare our souls, prepare our houses, prepare our witness, because the fields are white all around us, and they may begin to burn, and we hold their hope!
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