Kris Segrest, DMin – Lead Pastor, First Baptist Church, Wylie
Scripture Reference: Romans 1:18-32
As a pastor, I have people ask me from time to time, “Why are things that were once considered wrong, now considered right? What changed?” The answer is simple, we (people) have changed – God did not. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Man has been choosing death since the Garden of Eden. Even with all of the innovations of the past two millenniums, humans still innately choose what will ultimately destroy them if left to their own appetites.
The Bible speaks plainly to the downward spiral of morality in man. The culture, the family, and the individual begin this downward trajectory when they reject God. Romans 1:22-23 states, “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” God is the standard by which truth is defined. Let me be clear, I am speaking about the one, true God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who spoke the world into existence in a word. He, and He alone, defines what is truth. Through a relationship with God, through His son Jesus Christ, we can experience life as it is intended both here and hereafter. We can walk with certainty in an uncertain world because we are building our lives on the truth of His Word. We don’t have to figure out what God has clearly defined. God has given guidelines on how to raise children, how to spend money, what constitutes a family, how to handle conflict and every other imaginable question we might have as we live out our days on the earth.
Next, when a culture rejects the one true God, they redefine morality. Romans 1:25 expounds on this when it says, “Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” When you worship the wrong God you will be wrong in every area of life. In our culture, consensus rules the day. If the majority of people believe something is right, then it becomes culturally accepted. Moreover, truth becomes defined by pragmatism – basing truth by what works versus what is right. When God is rejected, we are trouble. We have corrupt thinking, actions, and lifestyles. Even worse, we have no relationship with God, who created man for His own Glory and for man’s good.
When culture rejects God, it redefines morality. We then continue in this downward spiral because we refuse to repent. Repent is a word we do not use much because no one likes to admit they are wrong. Repentance is a change of mind and heart that brings about a change of action. Repentance is agreeing with God about what is wrong, admitting it, and turning away from it. People that continue to refuse repentance become debased. Romans 1:28 says, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” The word debased is best defined as the inability to think rightly. As I regularly see people on the nightly talk shows passionately argue for things in stark contrast to God and his Word, I fear many of them have been handed over to this debased mind. Once a person is debased in their thinking, it is difficult, if not impossible, barring the grace of God, to amicably debate and discuss issues.
In conclusion, the Good News is that the spiral can be reversed. When we accept God’s truth, accept his moral standards, and repent of our sins; then He begins to bless. Romans 10: 9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Lost people act lost. I encourage you to be quick to share the hope we have in Christ with people in your life.