Unbeliever's Believe 2/2
INTRO - In the first part of this message from two weeks ago we ended with the question, “Are you under God’s wrath or holding to the righteousness of God?
Today we will read and discuss a most troubling and dark section of Scripture.
It’s not the “feel good” stuff that we probably rather have preached.
Truth is that, as troubling as this passage is, we need it today.
We need this Scripture preached at this time in history and especially as we see our nation taking on so many a dark turns.
It is my belief that those without Jesus need to hear this passage preached.
People need to know that the wrath in their lives is due to themselves and not because God is out to “get them.”
Already we’ve noted the background for today’s passage.
People turned to worshiping idols and suppressing the truth about God.
People exchange the truth for a lie and twist the truth.
People refuse to honor God until God gives them over to their sin.
Today we’ll see how that plays out as women go a far as desire leads and men become perverted.
We’ll see how deep people will dive into depravity.
Depraved with Desire
Depraved with Desire
Paul is addressing sexual perversion both heterosexual and homosexual.
Both are discussed, but Paul places emphasis on homosexual inversion.
We don’t hear talk much any more of inversion. Perhaps the somewhat dated psychological term plays less a part as society is now more corrupted.
The illustration Paul makes highlights the over-the-edge sort of depravity.
Paul uses this specific perversion to describe just how depraved people become.
You might ask why Paul uses this illustration?
The answer is simple.
These sort of desires are so obviously wrong they illustrate just how far people will go into sin.
All sin is evil, but perhaps using this sort of sin helps us see how deep inside a person sin is rooted.
On the positive side, with homosexuality (its not a sickness, but a sin) there is a cure.
Recall the Corinthians were labeled with all sorts of sin including homosexuality and 1 Cor 6:11 says they were “justified in the name of Jesus.”
It’s tough to talk about this when our society is forcing us to accept homosexuality.
But, keep in mind that Paul wrote this in a culture that taught homosexuality was a pure form of love and many men had male lovers along with their wives.
v.27 Paul explains “received in their own person the appropriate penalty of their error.”
I’ve had a number of talks with people trapped in sin. Most talk about “loosing themselves” or not recognizing themselves anymore.
When a person is trapped in sin they loose their sense of personal identity, become unsure of their place and role in society, and in life.
Like the great many sexuality transmitted diseases, we must realize the penalty on their bodies effects the whole of society.
According to what the Bible teaches here, around us we see culture in much need of Jesus.
None us us, believer or not, can deny the state of depravity that is connected to sexual desire.
For the Christian, we understand what is said here is illustrative of the depth of sin and the need for grace.
The greater the depravity, the greater our need to bring a message of hope, in love, about salvation.
TRANS - We’ve addressed desire and how that leads to deprivation.
Let’s now shift to how that effects the mind, thinking, and the mental condition.
Depraved in Deduction
Depraved in Deduction
Paul tells us that unbelieving people have depraved thinking, their minds are all a mess.
The unbeliever rejects God and are so corrupted they can’t make good moral choices.
What does this sort of depraved mind deduce?
Paul describes the mind of an unbeliever.
The unbeliever deduces, concludes, thinks, these things; these things come to them by their nature.
Not all unbelievers do all these things, but as they do, these things come naturally to them.
They tend to be on a slippery slope heading to depravity.
TRANS - From depraved desire to depraved deductions, the unbeliever’s life will end horribly.
Let’s now see how this does end for unbelievers.
Depraved to Death
Depraved to Death
ILL - I’m particularly disgusted by the trend in the media to include so many references to the backslidden way of gay people.
Society today goes so far to teach children that alternative living is “normal.” What the Bible teaches as perversion is taught as a lifestyle.
Easily over 50% of newer television shows and movies, even Disney movies for children, include gay characters.
Paul tells us that humankind reach a pinnacle of depravity when people applaud those who give themselves to sin.
Then, those given to depravity, are encouraged to become more degraded.
In many ways, the world looks on observing others killed is like clapping ringside in a match to the death.
Turn on a t.v. to watch violence, deceit, and enjoy!
Real or not, the effect on the depraved mind is the same; it encourages sin.
With the internet we no longer limit the exposure to pornography.
A pastor from out of state explained to me last week how his pornography addiction led to his removal from his church.
While checking out a “Reformers Unanimous” group I heard testimony of one who described internet porn as an addiction.
Sin, is much like an addiction.
It takes people captive and in the case of the unbeliever, to their death.
The world at the time of Jesus was a dark place.
Idolatry penetrated the planet.
In that time, God’s light broke out as a star over Bethlehem.
Then, hope was provided for humankind.
God’s own righteousness is now available to all people.
In the darkness of our time, our testimony and the message about Jesus can light up the life of the unbeliever.
Just as Jesus cam to save humankind then, His Salvation is available to people today.
This is the good news our depraved world needs to hear again and again.
This is the message of truth that delivers the depraved.
Let me end with this passage from Ephesians 2:
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—
Jesus came to the world when it was darkest and even today will meet a person at the darkest point in their life