Our world is full of people who do not acknowledge God. In Romans, chapter 1, Paul says something astonishing. If you don’t acknowledge God, God will quit bothering you!
Of course, being created free to choose—not a puppet—you can choose to ignore God. What awesome power! You have the power to kick God out of your life. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
What happens when people kick God to the curb of life? In verses 28-32, there is a list. Anything sound familiar? The list includes rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, backstabbing, envy, killing, bickering, cheating, God-bashing, bullies, swaggers, windbags—maybe late-night TV, talk radio, gossipers.
Paul says they invent ways of wrecking lives: ditch parents, stupid, slimy, cruel, coldblooded. BUT—deep down, they know better: “They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face—and they don’t care!”
In Romans 2, Paul says those people are on a downward spiral. Then, however, he turns attention on those of us who are not obviously and intentionally rebellious toward God.
Paul warns us NOT to point the finger and criticize, as a way of evening up or ignoring our own issues. But God sees right through it.
So, in chapter 1, Paul lays into the belligerent sinners. In chapter 2, he turns to Christians who are arrogant, because they aren’t, in their minds, as bad as the others. But we all need a Savior, all the time. You, me, no one can hide their sinful nature from God.
Paul says real life is for people as God defines it, not as we define it.
Paul pleads, if you embrace God’s ways, there are great payoffs. He says God’s law is woven into the fabric of our creation. Deep inside, we are nudged about right and wrong. The message of God through Jesus makes all the difference.
What a message for Christians and churches that point the finger at “bad” people, as if we are good! We are not good. We are forgiven.