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.
–Romans 1:28

The Bible says when a person abandons God, God abandons them to immorality and abnormality, and then He abandons unbelievers to depravity. When a person has rejected God and replaced the knowledge of the true God with a false God, sometimes it does lead to homosexuality–but that is not the only sin that it leads to. “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; 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” (Romans 1:28-32).

Notice the last two expressions in verse 31 of the kind of depravity that a person who has abandoned God falls into. First, they become “unloving.” That seems like a harmless word, but this word in Greek refers to an unnatural family relationship. I read recently of a great illustration of this. A mother who gave birth dropped her infant daughter in a garbage dumpster. Now that is unnatural. That is unloving. What is it that possesses a mother to do that? It is a sign of a depraved mind that would take the life of a child. That is what Paul was talking about here.

Next, Paul used the word “unmerciful” (1:31). That word means ruthless and without mercy. I read not long ago of a child molester who escaped from jail. The authorities were particularly intent on capturing this man because of the fantasy he had described to counselors of kidnapping little girls, torturing them, and then killing them. You say, “That is sick!” Yes, it is sick. Where does the sickness come from? It comes from a man who has abandoned God and has been abandoned by God. The downward path that leads us away from God always results in immorality, abnormality, and depravity. And that leads to the climax of this downward path.

The final thing Paul said is, “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” (1:32). The final sign of being abandoned by God is applauding that which God hates. And that is what is happening in our country right now. We are condoning what God has condemned. We are calling natural what God calls unnatural. We are calling good what God says is evil. We have abandoned God. We have abandoned His Word. So God has removed the restraints, and He is allowing us to follow the downward path to our own destruction.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When God Lets Go” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.