I. ROMANS 1 – THE DESCENT OF THE HEART INTO DARKNESS
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom. 1:18-19)
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie…for this reason God gave them up to vile passions…and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting, being filled with unrighteousness…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only to do the same but to approve of those who practice them. (Rom. 1:24-32)
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. (Rom 2:5)
- A critical concept to understand in regards to the end of the age is a pattern that Paul establishes in Romans 1 and then touches on in many of his letters related to the end of the age: the descent of the hearts of men into deep wickedness as they reject the way of the Lord.
- It is this progression of hardness of heart that connects us to the grand drama of the fullness of the wrath of God poured out against the backdrop of the fullness of men’s wickedness and rage against the Lord.
- God “gives them up” – and gives them over to what they truly desire in the hopes that they will come to their senses. One of the critical principles of the kingdom is the manner in which God leads by desire – He will give men what they long for in both the positive and negative dimensions of their persistent pursuits.“Ask, and it will be given to you; see, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8)