This is such a grim text. This is such a blunt text. This is such a depressing text. Humanity has rejected the God who made them, the God they know in their heart of hearts. Humanity has loved itself instead of the God who made them in love. Humanity has manifested its self-love in idolatry—whether made from wood, stone, and metal or in pleasure, power, and pride. And because of this idolatry God has given our humanity to wallow in the sins they love so much. And chief of these self-love idolatries is homosexuality. Why? Because it evidences the rejection of God by a person’s overturning the order God created.
So where’s the hope? As I mentioned in the August 16th sermon, the hope is found in the same God who not only is revealing his wrath against humanity and our culture but who has also revealed his righteousness in Jesus Christ. Apart from him we are all unrighteous and lost. Apart from him God cannot accept us. But God continually stretches out his hand to offer freedom from sin. That’s the hope; but how are we to respond to our depressing cultural situation?
- We are to be confident in the power of God to save sinners, build a church, and preserve his church through the fires and floods of persecution.
- We are to pray for those lost in self-love to be convicted that their lives are sinful in God’s eyes and to be converted to a life that pleases their Creator.
- We are to plead with sinners to repent of their self-love and to believe that God’s love in Christ is infinitely more satisfying and more liberating.
- We are to welcome sinners of any kind into our midst as we gather to hear the law and the gospel from the Word of God. We must not be a stumbling block to sinners, who may be under the influence of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of drawing them to Christ.
May God make us such a church!