The introductory article last week on the persistence of evil addressed the downward spiral of an individual. This can also include that of a nation when the Truth of God which is evident to all, because God has so revealed Himself, is suppressed, then exchanged for a lie leading to futility or emptiness of mind concerning spiritual matters. The Apostle Paul stated it thusly … “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” (Rom 1:21-23 NASB).
Unfortunately, the Divine prediction of demise does not end there for its effects permeate a society bringing about its ultimate destruction. “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Rom 1:26-27 NASB).
Failure to receive Truth which is Light, always leads to darkness of the mind in which there is a reversal of values. Truth is rejected, and the lie is accepted and declared to be the truth. The effects of evil upon a person or nation become more pervasive … “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful” (Rom 1:28-31 NASB).
These outward expressions of evil are evident, unfortunately, in a growing segment of our population. Life styles, which at one time were recognized as wrong, evil, and destructive, are now promoted as acceptable. Be assured, these mental and behavioral acts of sin and evil that exist are not a result of ignorance to Truth for God’s Word declares … “and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Rom 1:32 NASB). Perversion of the Truth always results in the acceptance of evil.
The Apostle Paul warned Christians concerning satanic efforts to demonize their thinking. “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer” (1 Tim 4:1-5 NASB).
Unfortunately, today, such warnings are not often heard from the pulpits in so-called modern Christianity. Paul encouraged and commended Timothy for … “In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.” That commendation from Paul need not only apply to those in the pulpit. Every Christian is an ambassador for Christ and it is Him who we serve in Truth.