"THE END OF THE ROAD"
Intro. The book of Judges relates to us a dark time in the history of the nation of Israel. The oft repeated phrase, "And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord," and the ensuing judgment of God was a tragic repeated refrain. When it said they did evil in the sight of the Lord, this story describes for us just what some of the evil was. It is a horrible and gruesome story that shows to us the utter depravity of man who turns away from the truth of God.
I. THE STORY.
A. A Levite had a concubine who had left him and returned to her father's house in Bethlehem. He pursued her to Bethlehem to seek to woo her back. He was successful, but on his return home to Mount Ephraim, he stopped to spend the night in the city of Gibeah, which belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. An old man offered him shelter for the night, and after dinner as they were enjoying the evening together, the men of the city surrounded the house and began to beat on the door demanding that the old man send the visitor out that they might sexually rape him. This is the same thing that happened in Sodom that brought the wrath of God and destruction on that city. They offered to the sex-frenzied men the concubine whom they gang-raped until she died.
1. It seems that when a nation chooses to leave the laws of God and do what is right in their own sight, the path leads progressively downward till you get to the final stage of open homosexuality. The next step is the judgment of God.
II. PAUL FOLLOWS THIS DOWNWARD PATH IN ROMANS 1
A. It starts out with their knowing God, but failing to glorify Him as God.
1. God has clearly revealed Himself through His creation.
a. The heavens declare the glory of God and the earth shows His handiwork. Every day they speak to us, every night they declare God's existence to man.
b. They speak in a universal language, so that every man in every culture is aware of a higher power.
2. Thus they hold the truth of God, but in unrighteousness.
3. Men do not glorify Him as supreme, but reject His laws and ways, so as to do what is right in their own eyes.
B. Next, man becomes vain in his imagination and his foolish heart becomes darkened.
1. He tries to imagine how the world might come into existence apart from the divine Creator.
2. He tries to imagine how man might have evolved to his present state through billions of years of fortuitous occurrences of accidental circumstances.
3. He tries to trace the progress from the goo, through the zoo, to you.
4. This attempt to eliminate God has stretched the imagination to the point of being ludicrous.
a. I think of the fairy tale of the frog and the princess. How the handsome prince was turned into a frog by the curse of the wicked witch. The curse could only be broken by the frog being kissed by a beautiful princess. But one day the princess was by the pond where the frog lived and on an impulse kissed the frog that immediately turned into a prince again, and they were married and lived happily ever after.
b. Now men who profess to be wise are telling us that this is not a fairy tale, but an actual event that took place, not with just a kiss in a moment of time, but through occurrences of accidental circumstances over millions of years.
c. That our extremely complex body, with the capacity to learn and to restore that retrieve that knowledge, to think cognitively, just happened without any design or designer, that the organs and glands of the body just happened by chance is more than any rational thinking person can swallow.
d. I think of another fable of the invisible suit of the Emperor.
e. We have the problem of making assumptions made upon wrong precepts.
1. If, when you first started school, you were taught that 2+2=5, and through your entire educational process you were taught that 2+2=5, you would grow up believing that 2+2=5, but you would never be able to do math correctly.
2. When a child throughout his whole educational process is taught that he has evolved from the animal kingdom, and is only a product of chance, he will grow believing that, but he will never understand or have a purpose for life.
C. Professing himself to be wise, he has actually become a fool. He now believes absurdities.
D. They have rejected the truth of God and now believe a lie.
E. They denied the existence of the glorious and uncorrupted God and began to worship the creation rather than the Creator who is blessed forevermore.
1. They worship flowers, trees, the rain forests. They seek to protect rats, and endangered flies, but call for the right to abort babies.
2. How convoluted can a society become?
III. GOD GAVE THEM UP. THAT IS, HE NO LONGER RESTRAINED THEM FROM THEIR EVIL DESIRES.
A. He allowed them to follow the passions of their own evil desires, to corrupt themselves with sexually immoral practices.
B. He gave them up to vile or perverted affections which he declared was:
2. Homosexuality, which he describes as men who had abandoned natural relations with women and became inflamed with lust for one another, men committing indecent acts with other men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
3. One of the greatest blasphemies of all is to attempt to blame God for their perversion, declaring that God made them that way.
C. God gave them over to vile affections.
1. He declares the reason being that they did not want to retain God in their minds.
2. Let's face it, the natural man is at war with God. He is in rebellion against the laws of God.
a. If possible he would like to get rid of God.
b. When the Son of God came to this earth, man showed his true attitude toward God in the attempt to put Jesus to death.
c. Man still is laboring hard to kill God, for he has an unnatural hatred of God.
d. The evolutionary theory is totally unfounded, unproved and and ludicrous. It is only embraced because if it were true, it eliminates the necessity of God.
e. It is only accepted because man does not want to retain the knowledge of God in his mind.
D. Throughout history we see the repeated patterns of nations that have risen and fallen. The pattern always seems to be the same.
1. A nation rises out of the ashes of a previously destroyed nation.
2. Men recognize that you cannot exist together without some kind of moral absolutes, so there is a return to biblical principles.
3. The truths of God are declared and men begin once again to obey the laws of God and find the blessings that are promised to those who do obey.
4. In their prosperity, men begin to forsake God and His laws, and begins a downward moral decline.
5. The final sign of the total moral breakdown in a society is when you begin to have open aggressive activity by the homosexual community. When they take control over a society so as to protect and promote their lifestyle, that is the final nail in the coffin. The society is through. The cycle is complete, the next step is the wrath of God revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men that hold the truth of God in unrighteousness.
6. I am not saying that we should hate the homosexuals.
a. As Christians we should seek to show them God's love. We should pray for them and seek to win them for Jesus Christ.
E. Paul concludes that they not only do these horribly immoral things, but they take pleasure in those that do them.
1. Look at what has happened to the movie industry. What kind of plots and activities do they portray for entertainment? Fornication, sexual perversion, covetousness, maliciousness; murder, debate, deceit, malignity; God haters, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.
2. Sins that a person would never think of doing themselves but get some kind of vicarious thrill by watching others do them.
3. The nation of Israel had come to the end of the road, it is either a spiritual turnaround or the wrath of God.
4. I am certain that the United States has come to the end of the road, and it is either a spiritual turnaround or wrath.
5. What goes for a nation goes for the individuals within that nation. It is time that you have a spiritual turnaround or to face the wrath of God that is to be poured out upon all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness.
6. The Book of Hebrews asks the question:
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];
7. Escape what? Again in Hebrews we read,
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
How much worse do you suppose the punishment will be for those who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and have counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know him that has said, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.