When we hear about the wrath of God we often times don’t take it seriously. However, Paul proves to us in Romans 1 that God’s wrath is very real. Romans 1:18 says “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” The apostle tells us that God’s wrath is revealed to us. Why is it revealed to us? In Mark 12:29-32 we are told that loving the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, is the greatest commandment, followed by loving our neighbor as ourselves. In the latter part of Romans 1:18 Paul states that we “suppress the truth”. How do we suppress the truth? Continue reading in Romans 1 after verse 18 and verses 19-21 will tell you how we suppress the truth. It states that even though we know God, we do not honor Him and give Him thanks. Therefore we need His wrath revealed to us because we are not following what we are commanded to do in Mark 12:29-32. However, if we look before verse 18 in Romans 1, we will see that we will find righteousness in Christ.
As we continue on in Romans 1, there are areas Paul points out in how we suppress truth. The first is idolatry (Romans 1:21-23). Sometimes we get so caught up in loving the world that we stop putting our full worship towards Christ and we give it to other worldly things. We were created to worship, but only one thing, Jesus Christ. When we fall short on worshiping Christ like we are commanded to, we devote our worship to things of this world. It can be anything from alcohol, celebrities, and television all the way to the other side of the spectrum with work, sleep, and food. We exchange the glory of immortal God for images made to look like mortal man (Romans 1:23). We are not worshiping the “true God” but things created by God (Romans 1:25-27). Because we do this, Christ reveals His wrath to us. The human heart loves to make a “good thing” into a “god thing”, as in we treat things of this life that are good as though they are our gods.
What we don’t realize is that, when we do this, our hearts get caught up in the midst of worshiping the wrong thing and our thinking becomes futile. Futile meaning “empty, vain, and useless”, it is used in Romans 1:21 by Paul. Also, Paul states that our hearts become darkened when we partake in idolatry. We see an example of this from Nebuchadnezzar when he builds his kingdom. He starts to boast about how wonderful of a city it is (Daniel 4:30). However, God not liking his futile thinking, Daniel 4:33 tells us that immediately the word of him being driven among men and eating grass like an ox was fulfilled. After this happened, Nebuchadnezzar began to lift his eyes up to God and worship Him (Daniel 4:34). After King Nebuchadnezzar’s eyes were focused on God, instead of his kingdom, his reason returned. The same goes for us. We need to keep a Godward focus.
Next, Paul talks about the area of immorality (Romans 1:26-27). “Unnatural relations” stated in verses 26 and 27 literally means “against nature”. Women and men were committing sexual immorality either through acts of homosexuality or sex outside of marriage (fornication). Paul states how sinful this is again in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”. Sin such as this is what is keeping us out of the kingdom of God! The more we let ourselves indulge in such sin, the more we are missing out on God’s glorious kingdom!
1 Corinthians 6:11, however, states “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”. This is giving us a remaining hope! That even though we let ourselves fall and indulge in such sin, we can be forgiven and be washed clean. There is still a hope for us and still a way for us to inherit the great and mighty kingdom of God!
There are three right responses we need to take to fully inherit the kingdom of God when it comes to suppressing truth in these areas. To learn about these three right responses to the areas of idolatry and immorality where we suppress truth check out the podcast by Painesville Assembly of God “Romans- Part 2: The Human Condition” by Lead Pastor, Aaron Taylor.
Set your eyes and heart towards God and inherit His kingdom!