For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.Romans 1:18
The Truth Suppressed
We are a people who prefer to see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe—even if it is not true. Our opinion trumps another, our truth is the final say, and we pretend to tolerate differences until we go home to our secret world of trolling the internet.
We live in a crooked and perverse generation.
But, is it unique to our day? Listen as Jesus addresses the crowd of onlookers:
And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? …Matthew 17:17
Despite Jesus’ teaching and miracles, most people did not have faith in Jesus. Here in Romans, we’re reminded again of the people who live in the world—people with a distorted perspective of Christ, and the spiritual truth.
Those who are right with the Lord are small in numbers. We deceive ourselves easily if we focus only on God’s love and mercy. We need to come face-to-face with the wisdom of His justice and the reality of His wrath.
How long will He put up with our ways? He is patient, but He will not let the guilty go unpunished. The hell-bound is still bound for hell.
Without the gospel, we rightfully have earned our hopelessness, sorrow, and pain. Without the gospel, we inherit only death. On each page in the story of salvation, we read about the fullness of God’s love.
I am not ashamed of the gospel.
Instead of wrath, we find the saving power of God. The believing soul and repentant heart are accepted. The wrath of God is satisfied in Christ—in Him forgiveness is given and God’s mercy magnified. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is only the wrath of God.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!
Deep, very deep, in the soul of every living being is an awareness of God. It is a God given ability. Under the shadow of sin, the once born suppresses that truth. They would rather have what it marked for destruction than eternal. In time, crooked and perverse ways carry them to death’s door.
Today, two thousand years away from the cross, nothing has changed. The sons and daughters of men are self-centered and in lieu of God-centered. Yet, they are not without excuse.
God’s power and divine nature are clearly seen in His created world.
There is something every artist and creative knows for a fact. We put a significant part of ourself in what we’ve created. I believe it does not differ from God’s creation. If we look carefully, we will discover the character, attributes, and love of God in His creation.
He who formed the intricate parts of your eye brings the beauty into a sunset. The One who shaped your ear created the Grand Canyon. The One who intimately knows your soul knows the beginning and the end of the universe. Imagine, the One who watches over you with love watches the birth of a star and calls it by name.
The natural world bears witness to God—we see His beauty, His complexity, design, and usefulness in His created world. God leaves sufficient evidence of His existence and character in His creation.
Yet, they suppress the truth!
Suppressed truth is a matter of the heart and comes from the center of our free will. His wrath is on the rejecting soul. We refuse to value God above all things. Where God should be honored and praised, He is dishonored. The unredeemed, unregenerate, and unreconciled are on a one-way trip to God’s wrath.
They are not in right standing with God.
Shall I go on? Modern idolatry is purely mental. We make God in our own image and suppose that He is like us—dead. Idolatry appeases us and lulls us into believing it is well with our soul.
They suppress the truth.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse… Therefore, God gave them up…Romans:1:18-20 and 24a
God gave them up.
These four words make me cry and tremble in fear. My lips quiver, it troubles my mind and makes my heart faint. They echo in my soul“God gave them up!”
The truth? God did not give up on them, He simply gave them up to their desire for another master—self. His loving nature hasn’t changed.
Suppressed truth is dangerous.
Their passions and desires were dishonorable, unnatural, and contrary to God’s intention. God formed us male and female for a reason. Those consumed by lust feel the harm in the spirit, in their emotions, and on their body.
Turning away from God hurts.
We come face-to-face with the truth here: we do not do sin in innocent ignorance. Instinctively, we know right from wrong. But when wrong is applauded it multiplies, and we say, “The more, the merrier.”
Sin sickness is contagious.
Are we safe if we justify sin or legalize it? No, in the end we’re ultimately held accountable.
Before we leave this chapter, let’s take a second glance at the list of wrongs: They’re filled with all manner of unrighteousness, and malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Furthermore, they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, yet they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
The people, with a willful soul and debased mind, continue to do what should not be done.
Understanding the wrath of God
Want to understand the wrath of God? Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the cries of sorrow and heartache from the victims. The stench of the world rises to the heavens, and God is angry. Their cries for help are not silent. Should it surprise us if fire comes down from the skies like Sodom and Gomorrah?
God takes no pleasure in the death of a sinner. The Holy Spirit still works in our hearts and minds to lead us to salvation. His mercy is great and His lovingkindness unlimited. The choice is still theirs.
As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness…! Why should you die?Ezekiel 33:11
I am not ashamed of the gospel!
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed… The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him. As far as the East is from the West, so far, does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.Psalm 103:6 and 8-14
… Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.John 1:29b
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.Romans 8:1-2
It isn’t easy to look at the truth eye-to-eye. But let us hold our Word close to our heart! It is impossible to read Sacred Scripture without discovering the heart of God. He is purely righteous and absolutely just. His judgment is without error and His tender loving care is unlimited.
The gospel message! He makes make us right in His eyes—right standing with Him.
Let us not suppress the truth: The cost was high, but in His heart it was worth it.
Share with me what you’ve learned from this lesson. I would love to hear from you.
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