Downward Spiral

downward spiral 1

Q. I thought God is supposed to be loving and forgiving. Why then would He give up on people according to Rom 1:
• Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
• Rom 1:26b Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.
• Rom 1:28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

A. First, God is loving and forgiving, but His Spirit will not contend with humans forever (Gen 6:3). Even though He forgives not just seven times, but seventy times seven (Mt 18:22), there is a limit to men heaping up their sins, after which the wrath of God will come upon them (1 Thes 2:16). When Israel turned to idols, God sent His prophets to warn them again and again. But they did not repent, despite hardship and enslavement by foreigners. In the end God sent them into exile to purify them.

Secondly, to every effect there is a cause. God giving men over is an effect. What was the cause? The answer is in the immediate preceding context:
Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
• Rom 1:25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
• Rom 1:26a Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.

Notice the word “exchanged”. Men’s actions have consequences. When men exchanged God’s glory, truth and knowledge for idols and lies, and natural relations for unnatural ones, God responded by giving them over to what their hearts desired – sexual impurity, shameful lusts, and a depraved mind. The effect is a downward spiral going from bad to worse, with men going down a slippery slope to the depths of depravity. Be careful what you wish for, or you might pass the point of no return and cannot turn back, because you have gone too far and did not want to return. God will leave you alone and grant you what you asked for, but the price is eternal damnation in hell.

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