God Gave Them Up
August 9, 2009
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." (Romans 1:28)
This is a terrifying verse, climaxing the awful indictment (in Romans 1:18-32) of God against a world in rebellion against its maker. This burning passage begins with Paul's declaration that God's wrath has been revealed against all those who "hold the truth"--or, more explicitly, "hold down or suppress the truth" in unrighteousness.
Then, in a rising crescendo of testimonies of wickedness and resulting condemnation, one fearful clause appears no less than three times: "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts. . . . For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections. . . . God gave them over to a reprobate mind" (vv. 24, 26, 28).
As terrible as such judgments seem, the provocations were infinitely worse. They "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God" into idols depicting His creatures (v. 23). They "changed the truth of God into a lie" and rejected Him as Creator (v. 25). They subjected Him to critical philosophical scrutiny, and chose not "to retain God in their knowledge" at all (implied in the Greek "did not like") (v. 28). Thus it was that our God of all grace finally had to give them up!
But the frightening thing is that this dark scene describes more than ancient paganism. Every verse is also a precise indictment of this present, evil "post-Christian" world, as we almost seem to be reading therein a documentary of the present age. What a picture it draws of modern evolutionary humanism in practice!
Yet the apostle Paul was still preparing to go to Rome, "not ashamed of the gospel of Christ," for that gospel was then--and still is--"the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16). HMM
h/t: Henry M. Morris, Institute for Creation research