When God Gave Up

(Romans 1:24-32)

Can you imagine the possibility where God gives up? How bad must a situation become if God gives up?

When God gave up
When God gave up

Well it has happened! In this section of scripture Paul writes and describes not once but three times where God gave up. Three times in this section we see that God gave up on mankind because of what man was doing.

We are all given the right to choose and to make choices about how we live our lives. God wants people to choose Him and to follow in His ways. But do they?

Well, not only did people in the past (oh…and today too), not follow The Lord and walk in His ways, they rejected God and all He stands for. Is it any wonder that He gave up on mankind? Man rejected Him and chose to live a life in complete opposite of what God seeks.

Why God Gave Up

There were three specific issues and problems that Paul discusses in this section of scripture over which God gave up on man. We will look at each of those specifically, but in a high level sense the reason that God gave up on man was sin.

Now apart from all of the other things that sin is, most of all and in the very beginning, sin is the rejection of God. When a person commits a sin they are rejecting the way of God and choosing the opposite path, the way of the devil.

This is what Adam and Eve did in the garden, which started the downward slide for mankind into the state of sin we find so prevalent in the world today. They rejected God and chose to listen to the snake that is Satan and so sin was born into the world.

And so because they rejected God in the beginning, God rejected them. He evicted them from the garden of Eden, told them they would have to work for their food, suffer pain in childbirth and told them they would eventually die. It was a severe penalty for rejecting God because He gave up on them.

It is the same today also. God gave up on mankind because every time a person sins they are saying in effect, “No God, I don’t want to hear or do this your way. I want to do it my way.” And so the rejection continues and we suffer because all God really wants for mankind is that they listen to Him, not for His benefit but for ours. He only wants what is good for man, but if man chooses to reject Him, he will not force man to do what is good. So He gives up on man and rejects man.

So let us now look at the three specific rejection issues that Paul raises in this section of scripture and see what he had to say about why God gave up on mankind.

Idolatry

The first of the rejections has to do with idolatry. In this modern age people often think that idolatry or idol worship was something practiced only in ancient times or by primitive tribes. They think of the statues on Easter Island or totem poles in various cultures and so on. But they are wrong.

All of mankind worships something. It is human nature to worship, adore and put things up on a pedestal. The problem is when we put things up on a pedestal and ascribe more importance to something than we give to God. Then it is idol worship.

Today one of the main idols is money or the things money can buy. But that is not the only idol for people of today. People idolise other people such as movie and TV stars, musicians, sports stars and entertainers, even corporate heroes and sometimes great political leaders. Some people become even fanatical over such people and things to the point where they exhibit obsessive behaviours.

Let me put this simply. ANYTHING that comes between a person and the worship of God is an idol. Anything that leads you to take a path that does not lead to God is idolatry.

Does this mean we cannot have interests in things like sports, music, movies, current events and so on? Does it mean we cannot or should not buy a quality car, jewellery or whatever things we have as interests and hobbies? Does this mean we cannot have a wealth or be paid a reasonable amount of money for the work we do?

No. But it is when these things get in the way of our worship of God and The Lord Jesus Christ, when these things prevent us or lead us to decide to follow a different path than listening to God that they are a problem and they become idolatrous.

Our worship belongs to God for He was the Creator, He brought forth everything we see and know and He is deserving of being recognised for the goodness He has shown to us. But God gave up on man because man does as Paul shows in verse 25:

“… they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

Homosexual Passion

The second point Paul raises for why God gave up on mankind is to do with passion and lust, specifically homosexual lust.

When God created mankind He created them male and female and He designed them so that a male and female created balance. Male and female were designed to be together and when they come together they become one.

The male and female relationship is natural, normal, good and healthy because it was designed to be so by God. Males and females were designed to come together guided by the greatest gift of all, love, and be joined and so create families created in and through love. This was the method by which God designed for the propagation of ALL species, including man, and in the case of man for them to find joy, happiness and fulfilment.

Can the same be said of homosexuality? They certainly talk of homosexual love and feelings for one another and they seek to marry with each other, but is this the same as the type of love and commitment that God designed to occur between a man and a woman? Let us consider this on the criteria mentioned above and I will let others decide on the basis of the evidence.

Is homosexuality natural? No it is not for nowhere does homosexuality exist anywhere amongst other life forms on the planet except amongst humans. It does not occur naturally but is a deliberate choice made by those people who decide to follow that path. It is not a pattern or way of life that is encoded into the genetics of any other animal on the planet, nor is it genetically encoded into men and women. It is a choice made by some people. But is it a good choice?

Is homosexuality normal? Certainly it is not normal in the way the human body is designed. If it were the design of every human body would allow for homosexual coupling. A male and female coupling is normal for they were designed to go together. Aside from the joy of the male and female sexual act where both parties can experience the ultimate in pleasure through sex in a loving relationship, it is only by a normal male and female sexual act that new life can be born and the process of procreation can occur.

While test tube fertilisation has helped many people to overcome conception problems and have children they would not have otherwise been able to conceive, it is not natural or normal and only became an option available in the last fifty years or so.

So is homosexuality good and healthy? No it is not. It is amongst the homosexual population that the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease occurs and all manner of sexual issues. When the first major outbreaks of AIDS began, it was amongst the homosexual community that it ran rife and many people died as a result.

Indeed the safest form of sex was to be found in a monogamous male female relationship, which by no coincidence is the way God planned it.

In addition, the rate of mental health issues and especially suicide amongst the homosexual community is dramatically higher then in the rest of the community. The following quote from a case study shows the size of this gap. If you wish to see the rest of the information you can find it at the following link on Wikipedia.

Clinical social worker Caitlin Ryan’s Family Acceptance Project (California State University, San Francisco) conducted the first study of the effect of family acceptance and rejection on the health, mental health and well-being of LGBT youth, including suicide,HIV/AIDS and homelessness.[18] Their research shows that LGBT youths “who experience high levels of rejection from their families during adolescence (when compared with those young people who experienced little or no rejection from parents and caregivers) were more than eight times likely to have attempted suicide, more than six times likely to report high levels of depression, more than three times likely to use illegal drugs and more than three times likely to be at high risk for HIV or other STDs” by the time they reach their early 20s.[18]

Numerous studies have shown that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth have a higher rate of suicide attempts than do heterosexual youth. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center synthesized these studies and estimated that between 30 and 40% of LGBT youth, depending on age and sex groups, have attempted suicide.[19]

Given the evidence of clinical studies and research, and the above is only one of many, can it be concluded that homosexuality is good and healthy, either physically or mentally? The evidence suggests it is not a good or healthy way of life, and the Bible concurs with this as Paul writes in verses 26-27.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

We note that the penalty for the homosexual way of life that such people choose for themselves is that they will receive the due penalties for their way of life in their own bodies, and that is clearly evidenced in the clinical studies that have been undertaken. Thus God gave up on them.

Approval of Sin

Finally we see that God gave up on man because not only did man choose a life of sin, but man approves of those who sin. They hold up sin as being something good, even desirable and they approve of those who are sinners.

When man takes what is evil and calls it good he is rejecting God. When man protects idol worship and the worship of spirits saying that is good, and we see this in indigenous communities around the world, then man is rejecting God.

When man chooses greed over love and says “Greed is good” he rejects God who wants people to help those in need and not suck them dry.

When man accepts drunkenness, violence, recreational drug use, the flaunting of authority as well as the misuse of authority and says these things are OK then man is rejecting God.

When man defends anything that is anathema to God and calls it good we reject God.

And the worst of all is that when we reject God we suffer for it. The fleeting moment of the questionable so called pleasures of sin often lead to disaster down the track. And furthermore they WILL lead to judgement by God.

A Way Out

And yet in spite of all of this and even though God gave up on man, He also provided man with a way out. God cares and cared enough for man that even though He was sorry that a He made man in the days of Noah, he did not completely destroy all of mankind but saved Noah and his family. Even though He was horrified with the violent homosexual activity of Sodom and Gomorrah, he still removed the righteous Lot from his judgement of fire that was rained down to destroy those wicked towns.

And roughly two thousand years ago God provided a way of salvation for all of mankind in the coming, preaching, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we turn back to God in repentance, seeking His ways and desiring to do what is right, He shows us to Jesus and Jesus leads us to God so ,that we may be saved from the evil of this world and the judgement that will come upon all mankind.

God has still given up on those who choose to reject Him and His ways. But He is also compassionate and ready to accept any who turn to Him seeking forgiveness and desiring to live according to the right principles as set up by God. And in Jesus Christ God established a way that He was willing to help man find his way back to God.

So it is wisdom for us to turn to Him and seek His ways lest God give up on us as individuals. There are many blessings to be had by seeking out The Lord, not the least of which is having God return from giving up on you and helping you to a place of salvation in Jesus Christ.

(Image sourced from stock.xchng provided by Svilen Milev)

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The Prodigal Son
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