“They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” Romans 1:31-32
The first result of God’s judgment is they are “without understanding”. They are without any intelligent thought concerning God or morality. This renders them incapable of any decision-making. They have no comprehension who God is, what His moral law is, or what any common decency is. They do not understand the truth of God at even the most basic level. Their consciences are seared as with a hot iron. Right and wrong are indistinguishable to them. The people that Paul is talking about not only want to sin, they want to bring others down to their level. They want everyone to reject God. Once we start on that downward road of sin, we just get deeper and deeper. We are blinded by Satan. “For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.” (Matthew 13:15)
This has been the moral decline of countless societies and empires, whether it be Sodom and Gomorrah or the Roman Empire. Even so, it is happening before our eyes today. Any civilization that rejects God, will not long survive but will self-implode from within. These are the telltale signs of the death of any godless society. We are currently living in the midst of it.
There is only one hope to pull us out of this death spiral. It is what Paul declared in Romans 1:16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe.” We cannot change the culture by petitioning city hall. We cannot change the downward plunge of society by lobbying our politicians. We cannot hope to change the day by merely voting certain candidates into office. We should do all we can to influence the civil process toward common decency. But legislation is not going to change the deceitful hearts of people. Only the power of God unleashed through the working of the gospel can explode in lives and reverse this downward course. We must be sobered by this divine abandonment. We must have the realization of what is going on in our world today. We cannot do everything, but what we can do we must do. We must do all that we can to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through our churches, Bible studies, and personal witnessing, we must work through every means possible. We cannot sit back passively while people around us are perishing.
God has always worked through a remnant in any nation. God works through the few to affect the many. That way God receives the glory, when He works through a handful of disciples to alter the course of history.