What can we say about this next phrase?  In some ways it is the darkest of all: “haters of God!”  What desperate madness must have seized the minds of men that they could go so far as to hate the very Creator Who gave them life and breath and all things?  Sin is the only answer, sin so abominable and malignant as can only be overcome by the remedy Paul will describe in the succeeding chapters.  But how apt a description is this of the individual and the culture which departs from God!  Soon men not only ignore God, not only manifest indifference towards Him and His worship, but they become His open enemies.  Deistic and atheistic movements pop up like mushrooms, and brazenly publish their infidelity for all the world to see and hear.  One may surely know that his culture is indeed at a low ebb when the haters of God are given a voice in the public, with scarcely a peep of protest from the powers that be.  We now see the atheists in control of public education and publicly funded science, and the overt haters of God winning court case after court case.  Ah, let us never deceive ourselves: divine reprobation is real, and it is a terrible judgment inflicted upon the people that forsake God.  Only in those utterly abandoned by all restraining influences from heaven can hearts grow so desperate in wickedness that they become so bold as to viciously attack Him Who hath power to destroy both body and soul in hell.

“Despiteful” is the next descriptive the apostle gives of the reprobate Gentiles, a word which very much characterizes the haters of God.  They become arrogant, haughty, and sneering in their attitude both towards God and men.  They forget that they themselves could have accomplished nothing without the assistance of divine providence, and the aid of their fellow men, and come to look down their noses at all who do not measure up to their lofty standards.  Men turn their backs on the One Who made them, reject their fellow men whom they consider lower than themselves, and do despite to every good influence which might turn them back into a good path, because their consciences are no longer restrained by the softening influence of the Spirit’s striving.

 

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