Romans 1.18-32 Lessons Learned from Street Preaching Encounter with a Reprobate

 


Jerald Finney
December 11, 2019
Articles, Law, Etc. on Street Preaching


Romans 1.18-32

“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”


This letter was e-mailed to the person who is unidentified here.

Dear Mr. _____________:

CastingCrowns-8
Learning some lessons while street preaching on December 9, 2017.

I am the lawyer you met Saturday night. I thank the Lord for bringing us into contact. In preparing me for our encounter the Lord had been dealing with me about the principles in Romans 1-3 for a couple of weeks prior. Our encounter was a “where the rubber meets the road” revelation of the teachings in Romans 1.18-32. Our discussion was very enlightening about the teachings in Romans 1. Thank the Lord, and thank you, for the light God shined on those verses by bringing you to me and the other street preachers I was working with. Please permit me to explain the lessons I learned.

Scripture applied to any issue will reveal truth to the diligent believing follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. A lot of verses prove this. Romans 1 reveals the truth about the God consciousness which our Lord reveals or shows to every human being. God reveals to everyone “Who He is.” He explains this and the consequences of rejecting that light in Romans 1.18-32.

God offers light to everyone in the same order. The first light He offers is the light of “Who He Is” – step 1 (Ro. 1). If that light is accepted, He then reveals, through one’s conscience, who the individual is – step 2 (Ro. 2-3). If the individual accepts that light, God then offers light as to the way to justification through the Scriptures – step 3 (Ro. 3). If the individual who has accepted the light God gives in steps 1-3 acts on that light, God regenerates him and he becomes a child of God.

I will only look at step 1, Romans 1.18-32, in this letter.

God imparts a God consciousness to every single person who has ever lived or ever will live (vv. 18-20). That consciousness tells everyone who God is. He is a God of wrath (18) and a God of judgment (32). He shows to everyone all that He wishes them to know about Himself (19-20). No one will have an excuse for rejecting God and going to hell (20). Even the invisible things of God are clearly seen and understood, so that they without excuse (20).

Everyone knows God. But some do not glorify Him as God, neither are they thankful (21), even though He created them and gives them all the information they need to know to know “Who He Is.” Rather, they become vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts are darkened (21). They profess themselves to be wise even though they are fools (22). They “change the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (23). The result: “Wherefore God also [gives] them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” But it is not too late for them to arise and accept the light God offers. If a person does so at any point up to here, God will take him to step 2 – the knowledge of who he (the individual) is.

However, those who do not wake up by this time change “the truth of God into a lie, and worship the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (25). God  then gives them “up unto vile affections: for even their women change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burn in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (26-27). I believe that it is possible for an individual who has gone this far to still repent and accept God’s light. If he does so, God will move to step 2.

However, those who do not repent, and since they “do not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gives them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (28). At that point, there is no possibility for those persons to ever go to step 2. They will be lost for all eternity with no hope.

All that is left for those individuals is the condition described in verses 29-32: “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

Several observable facts indicate that God has turned you over to a reprobate mind:

  1. I asked you to back up what you believed with Scripture. You did not. You held the truth in unrighteousness, not in Scripture. Your authority was “I think.”
  2. You insisted that we are to love everyone and that you do that, not by giving them truth, but by being a friend, joining with them in their debauchery. You had been drinking and carousing with them for hours according to your own admission. Your friend wanted you to leave and go to the “Gay Nineties,” one of the lowest of the low nightclubs in town. After you left, I believe you did just that. God tells us to love the lost primarily by preaching the truth, one-on-one, to groups, publicly, privately, everywhere in the world. Of course, we are also to help them materially as well, but the primary focus is on public evangelism, as did the Apostles and Christians in the New Testament. For doing so, they were hated, run out of town, threatened, and killed. But, at the same time, many were saved and true churches, not apostate religious organizations like “Hope Church,” were organized and built. For example, when Paul went to Ephesus, he conducted a public ministry (there were no church meetinghouses), people were saved, and a church was started. This was the pattern.
  3. You refused to allow me the courtesy to respond to you after I agreed to and did allow you to speak first. I told you my response would be the Word of God. I started reading in Romans 1.18, but you interrupted before I could finish the verse. I tried to continue, pointing out that I was going to read several verses, but you refused to allow it. You kept imposing on me what you thought.
  4. You kept pointing at one of our signs, verbally stating that “haters of God” on one of the signs is not the way to present the Gospel to the lost. “Haters of God” is one of the inconvenient things that a reprodate is given up to do (30). You, according to your own witness the night we met, are also guilty of some of the other inconvenient things mentioned in verses 29-32.
  5. You insisted that God is love. You refused to acknowledge the wrath of God and the judgment of God, two attributes which are central to knowing who God is (18, 32). It grieved you so much when I tried to get into the wrath and judgment of God that you became overbearing to the extent that you immediately verbally seized control at my mere mention of one of those terms.
  6. You equated love and method. Love is a motivational factor for doing something. Method is the way to do something. To equate the two shows total lack of understanding, something displayed by all you said and did (31).
  7. You pushed and controlled a debate (29). Debate is normally an endeavor to find truth. However, in the context of Romans 1.18-32, debate is an attempt to bring others into line with the beliefs and lifestyle of a reprobate. Your “debate” was a one-sided attempt to force your view according to what you thought, not to arrive at Bible truth.
  8. “Filled with unrighteousness” (29). You displayed drinking, carousing in the ultimate “gay” din of iniquity, and who knows what else.
  9. “Wickedness” (29). Ditto.
  10. “Despiteful” (30). (Characterized by intense ill will or spite: black, evil, hateful, malevolent, malicious, malign, malignant, mean, nasty, poisonous, spiteful, venomous, vicious, wicked).
  11. “Proud” (30). Pride means, “Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.” You were so proud of yourself that you approached God’s people, doing God’s work in God’s way, with the obvious assumption that you could convince us to your way of thinking. God protects those who are His, who have put on the armor of God, from the wiles of the devil.
  12. “Without understanding” (31). You have no ability to understand God or God’s truths.

Jude1.3-4Going into gay bars and holding the truth in unrighteousness is sad. I am reminded of Matthew 23:15: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

Sadder still is your revelation that you have a youth ministry in an apostate church. Luke 17:2: “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

Jude1.15God revealed Himself to you. You rejected all the light He shined on you about Himself. You appear to be a reprobate. I grieve for anyone who has reached that point. Preaching to you invoked the ire of your father the devil. Of course, if indeed you are a reprobate, this letter will not help you. I am posting it online in the hopes that it may be of some help to someone else so that they progress to step 2, a knowledge of who they are, to step 3, a knowledge of their only hope, and finally to salvation and justification.

Jude “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (4). “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (23). Read the whole book.

See also, 2 Timothy 2, 2 Peter 2.

Links to Bible studies on the heresy and apostasy are available at: The Bible Doctrine of the Church.

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