This abandoned idolatry to which the heathen nations gave themselves resulted in the most terrible consequence of all: “God also gave them up to uncleanness…”  Men in their secret hearts wish they could escape from God, have nothing to do with Him, live without dread of His punishment.  But in reality, to be left alone by God to do what we please without any twinge of conscience is the very worst and most fatal sentence which heaven can pass upon us.  Man’s nature is so twisted and corrupted by sin that we scarcely know the depths of depravity, perversion, and cruelty to which we can fall if we are abandoned by Him.  But the heathen societies of the past, and I greatly fear the western culture in which we now live, are proving frightening examples of what happens when God gives us up to be filled with the fruit of our own way.  When God lifts His hand of restraint from men, and permits them to do only that which pleases them, then men soon create a veritable hell on earth.  Without the restraining hand of divine mercy, idolatry, murder, theft, and uncleanness of every degree soon come to mark society.  Idolatry, which is a turning away from God, soon results in God turning away from the idolatrous society.  It happened to Israel, and look what became of them!  The siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar’s army was enough to draw forth the bitter lines of the Lamentations from the pen of Jeremiah.  An even more terrible destruction was visited upon the holy city by the armies of Vespasian, as the Jewish people proved to what horrors even a greatly favored people may be sunk when they reject the God of their fathers, and mock and slay His servants.

The cauldron of lust simmering in man’s heart is so corrupt and vicious that one really does not know to what ends it may lead until God’s leash of restraint is removed.  But when men for long seasons worship idols and refuse the commandments and urgings of their Maker to return unto Him, more and more of that corruption boils to the surface.  When sexual immorality becomes the hallmark of a society, it is evident that God has given that society up to uncleanness, an uncleanness which will lead them to destruction; for the wise man truly says of the harlot, “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”  Wicked men like to describe their libertine sexual policies as an increase in freedom, an expansion of enjoyment which shall do harm to none.  They brand those who oppose their perversions as haters, puritans, killjoys, and other such sneering monikers.  Their consciences are so seared that they do not realize that the very fact they can enjoy unbridled fornication without a single pang of conscience is because God is so displeased with their worship of idols that He is going to permit them to utterly ruin and destroy themselves eternally without lifting a finger to persuade them to repent.  Dreadful sentence from the Majesty on high!  But truly, it is one that is well deserved.  It is a dishonoring of these bodies, which God Who made us in His image gave us to use in His service, to live our lives in pursuit of unfettered sensual enjoyment.  We sin not only against ourselves when we commit ourselves to a life of fornication, but also against that other person with whom we are sinning; so that adultery, unlike sins such as blasphemy and theft, are not sins for which we alone may be held responsible, but it is a sin we commit with each other, making it a double soul murder.

Men with seared consciences, abandoned by God to the pursuit of sexual pleasure, become so hardened they easily deceive themselves that there are no consequences for their behavior.  They ignore the blazing reality of sexually transmitted diseases, and mock at the idea that there is a deity somewhere who will hold them accountable for who they sleep with.  Yea, even the professing church in our own day shows that itself has turned its back on the true God to serve idols, and that they have consequently been abandoned by God, because they in large measure are telling people who live lives of uncleanness that God has no quarrel with them, and anyone who says otherwise is a judgmental bigot.  It is becoming a lonelier and lonelier profession to uphold the standard of purity to which God calls us in His word, but as we value our eternal souls, it is a standard by which we must abide.  Concerning these very sins, this same apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5:6, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”  How awful must be the fate reserved at the Judgment for those preachers who are blithely telling men and women that they can have their uncleanness and heaven too!  Let us never be partakers with them, no matter how unpopular our stand upon the truth of God may make us.

 

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