Summary: The Holy Spirit-inspired apostle Paul wrote prophetically, “God gave them over to a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28). This reprobate mind, sad to say, has come into full view in my beloved nation, the USA. Exactly as the prophet Isaiah saw, there are among us those who “call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20). Many things that were once correctly seen as disgracefully evil are nowadays lifted up as noble and to be admired and affirmed. Has God changed and adjusted Himself to new societal norms? No, of course not. What has happened is this (see the verse just below): multitudes in our nation and across the earth have made the catastrophic error of “not liking to retain God in their knowledge,” resulting in their doing “things that should never be done” (Rom. 1:28, NLT).
To understand this verse, and why many are given over to a “debased … depraved … corrupted …
The Bible is quite clear — unrepented wickedness incurs the wrath of God Almighty. In order to feel justified in living out their wicked choices, people must “suppress the truth” of God and His Word. Such will incur the wrath of God.
If you bring the Bible into a discussion, for example, of gay marriage or transgender issues or abortion, you are accused of being a bigot, a nut case, a Bible-toting ignoramus, or some similar emotion-loaded name. But that’s exactly what we who serve Jesus Christ must do — that is, bring the Word of God into all treatments of the issues of life today. That’s what I intend to do here.
When men and women reject God, when they do not honor and glorify Him as God, they look for a substitute. Some, like those in Paul’s day and earlier, turned to idolatry (vs. 23). Others set themselves up as sovereign in their own lives. Still others, in place of God, devote themselves passionately to “causes” such as (supposed) transgender rights, broad national acceptance of abortion, or other issues which take center stage in their lives — God having already been deposed from His rightful place at the very center of their lives.
The result of their rejection of God, and therefore rejection of God's Word, the Bible? Their thinking becomes futile and their hearts become foolish and darkened. What else but foolish, darkened hearts can explain the raucous applause celebrating New York state passing a law permitting abortion in some cases right up to the moment of birth! There were howls of delight over the modern equivalent of the ancient world’s heartless, barbaric practice of throwing babies into the fiery arms of the demon idol Moloch’s statue.
A friend of mine in Alaska once shared his Christian beliefs and testimony with one of his university professors. The professor listened politely, then at the close said something like, “That’s nice, but it’s too simple!” That man, learned in the world’s so-called wisdom, had allowed himself to be “corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV).
And we see that permeating American culture today. Many who reject God and His life-giving Word then profess themselves to be wise. They don’t realize that they have turned from the truth and wisdom of God towards unbelieving mankind’s spoiling, corrupting “philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men…and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). They become fools, the Scripture says, and are given over to a reprobate mind. This has serious results, as we will see in the next Scriptures.
This gets to the heart of the matter. Verses 24-27 specifically identify some of the reasons God gives some people over to a depraved, reprobate mind:
Glance back for a few moments at what I have highlighted in bold above. You’ll see sexual impurity, specifically of a “degrading” kind … shameful lusts … lesbian sex, called “unnatural” … male homosexual sex, described as the opposite of “natural relations” and called “shameful acts with other men” … because they had rejected God’s truth and the knowledge of God Himself … resulting in God abandoning them to their own wicked devices as “their thinking became futile” and “their foolish hearts were darkened.”
The end result was what the Bible calls a “debased … depraved … corrupted … reprobate mind.” And that is what we are seeing in America today. Rallies and occasionally riots where depraved minds — as we've just seen God define that — are pushing for such “godlessness and wickedness” (Rom. 1:18) as abortion on demand … denial of God’s creation of us specifically as males and females … affirming of lesbian and homosexual conduct … praising transgenderism as normative rather than immoral and antiscientific … and a host of other deviant practices.
Has God provided a solution? Absolutely. I found it 53 years ago, at the age of 25. It is to repent of our sins and come to God the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Then, as born-again sons and daughters of God, we find unchanging truths for all ages in His holy Word the Bible. By reading it regularly, we will find ourselves being “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” (Romans 12:2). And those God-revealed biblical truths — not the whims and fancies of God-rejecting, reprobate minds — guide our individual conduct and can turn lost, corrupt societies into God-loving, God-fearing oases of divine blessing.
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