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Scott Richardson



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December 26, 2010

The Road to Ruin

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 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. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 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. 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 1:18-32)

In this preceding paragraph we are told about a people whom God gave up. These were a people who became ungodly and unrighteous (Romans 1:18). We have, in this paragraph, described for us the road these people took, step by step, to ruin.

Mile Marker 7

The first step on the road to ruin came when they left the light or the revelation of God (Romans 1:21). They knew him but their foolish heart became darkened. When anyone leaves the word of God, he embarks on a hopeless course like a ship which is afloat with no pilot or no navigator. It is God’s word that is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Mile Marker 6

The next step on this road to ruin was that they glorified God not as God and did not give thanks (Romans 1:21). It ought to be alarming to find that a failure to worship and to give thanks is right near the top of the things which led to their ruin. What a warning this ought to be to Christians who are careless about their church attendance and their prayers (Hebrews 10:25; Luke 18:1). Such omissions are much more serious than many seem to think.

Mile Marker 5

The next step on this road to ruin was when they became vain in their reasonings (Romans 1:21). They began to think that what seemed best to them was best. As prevalent as it is today, we must still say that any such reasoning is vain. It is just as in Jeremiah’s day — we can’t figure out our own way: “I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

Mile Marker 4

The next step on this road to ruin was when they made fools of themselves (Romans 1:22). This came along with their vain reasoning. When people get such ideas of God, they are fools (Psalm 53:1). Of course they quit doing as God wanted them to do, which is further evidence that they were foolish. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24-27).

Mile Marker 3

The next step on this road to ruin was when they exchanged God for idols (Romans 1:23). This was the point in which it was said that God gave them up (Romans 1:24). Some one observed that, when they exchanged God for idols, they got down on two legs and then down on all fours and finally down on their belly to crawl along with the long ago cursed one — that old serpent — Satan himself. (Genesis 3:14).

Mile Marker 2

The next step on this road to ruin was when they exchanged the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). This did not happen overnight; remember, they had already darkened their heart to the truth (Romans 1:21). Any false system of religion, no matter how fine it looks, is a lie. False comfort — that is what so many choose to believe: “For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness” (2Thessalonians 2:11,12).

Mile Marker 1

The last step on this road to ruin was involvement in immorality of all kinds of sin (Romans 1:26-32). What a deplorable picture of a people who had once known God! What made it worse was that they had not completely forgotten all that they had known. They knew the ordinances of God, and they knew the results were worthy of death! Then, they further encouraged and approved of others engaged in the same sins! (Romans 1:32).

Welcome to Ruin — Population: Too Many

Notice the finished product of those who travel the road to ruin (Romans 1:32). They were worthy of death. How horrible, this eternal separation (Revelation 21:8). They were no longer with God. They had left him. He had given them up.

Where do you stand with the Lord? Which road do you travel — the way that is broad and leads to destruction, or the way that is strait and narrow that leads to eternal life?

— S. Scott Richardson Sr.

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