And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practice them. (ASV)
Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best! (Message)
God uses multiple ways to train us through discipline. One way is by giving us what we desire even though HE has expressly instructed us such an item will negatively impact us. Yet because of our rebellious and prideful heart, HE may remove a portion of HIS favor upon us so we taste the world without HIM. The experience may feel like God’s wrath has come upon us, but in reality, HE is being merciful and teaching us by experiencing the pain of how life apart from HIM is unsatisfying for the long term.
The first chapter of the Book of Romans outlines how God deals with people who do not accept HIS authority in their lives. The Bible speaks about the wrath of God which is the attitude mankind has toward a God who doesn’t give them what they want.
Like a two-year-old who is upset and angry at their parents for denying them her desire because the parent believes it will be harmful for them, the child looks at the decision as an act of malice. She may call her parent mean and state she hates them, but is emotionally upset and may not understand the entirety of the situation. You and I as children of the living God may occasionally act the same way toward our heavenly Father.
Again, the first chapter of Romans shows that when God pulls his favor away from people, they begin to act with a reprobate mind; a worthless mind which loses any sense of value. The ability to determine right from wrong, good from evil, and up from down soon disappears. The person becomes like an animal without divine attributes.
We witness in the Book of Daniel, when God disciplined King Nebuchadnezzar by allowing him to experience life as an animal because of his prideful attitude. After seven years, God restored his human spirit and the king glorified God learning from the ordeal. From a human perspective, one could easily get angry at God for such an act. Yet when understood over time, one learns that God has our best intentions in mind.
The first chapter of Romans also outlines the type of behavior one naturally craves when God’s unmerited grace is removed from everyday circumstances of life. Initially, one begins to worship the creation rather than the Creator (24-25). Soon thereafter, people forget what it means to be human. Instead of living life in the image of their Creator, they follow animalistic tenancies. Their sexuality becomes deprived (26-27). Soon thereafter their carnal, debased, destructive attributes become the norm (28-32).
A reprobate mind causes harm to the person and those around them. The love of God is missing. The care for human life is gone. The purpose of living and building a prosperous society for the next generation is replaced with a now only attitude. Fear becomes the standard measurement for decision making. Me, myself, and I become the three amigos which each person hangs around with. Marriage is replaced with unwritten partnership contracts; commitments last only as the feeling stays. The human race is subdivided into skin color or classes and pitted against each other. Though rich in material possession, the reprobate mind doesn’t know how to enjoy his riches in peace. The person is screaming for help but still refuses to turn to God who knows what is best for the person.
Like a prodigal child who takes his Father’s inheritance and spends it on himself until broke, busted, and beaten, he needs to burn himself out to truly realize what he needs and wants is a deep relationship with his Heavenly Father (Luke 15:11-32). Sometimes this is what it takes for us humans to fully understand our need for Jesus Christ.
Mankind may think they know what is good, moral, righteous, and virtuous, but one’s opinion is another person’s anti-opinion. Unless there is a God with absolute, objective values who reveals HIS knowledge of goodness, men & women only think they know. Humans need Jesus Christ to fully understand the logic, meaning, and purpose of life. As many theologians and non-theologians have observed, if there was not a God, mankind would need to make one if they want to survive as a human race. The problem has always been to narrow the scope and identify the real deal rather than man-made religious beliefs. When one studies into the life of Jesus Christ, one can only leave with the understanding that HE is who HE claimed to be, or he was a liar or lunatic.
When history completes its final chapter, hindsight will reveal the answer for many who fail the choice to believe HIS claim. So rather than wait until then, if this be you, how about making today the first day of throwing away that reprobate mind and participate with Jesus Christ in HIS way of life?
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