By Mike Willis
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).
In our last issue, we emphasized that God’s wrath is revealed from heaven. In this issue, we want to proceed to notice that God’s wrath is revealed against ungodliness.
God’s Wrath Is Revealed Against Ungodliness
The word “ungodliness” is translated from asebeia. That word is defined by Thayer as “want of reverence towards God, impiety, ungodliness” (79). The text in Romans shows how this “ungodliness” was displayed in the following verses:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things (Rom. 1:18-23).
The ungodliness of the Gentile world was shown in the following ways:
1. They refused to have God in their knowledge. The Gentile world consciously turned its back on God. They refused to glorify God as God (1:21). They did not develop a spirit of thanksgiving (1:21). Consequently, Paul said that they “refused to have God in their knowledge” (1:28).
2. The things of God were known to them. Ungodliness cannot be attributed to men’s ignorance. There is sufficient evidence available from the things that are made to see the existence, omnipotence, and deity of God. The power and divinity of God have been known from (since the beginning) of creation (1:20). The psalmist declared, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork” (19:1). From “natural theology” one can know that there is an omnipotent God.
The ungodliness of the Gentiles is seen in their absolute refusal to have God in their knowledge. The concept of God is consciously and knowingly rejected because of the moral obligations that logically follow when man admits the existence of a Creator God.
God’s Judgment Against Ungodliness
The text also explains to us God’s judgment against man’s ungodliness: (1) Men become vain in their reasonings (1:21); (2) Men’s senseless hearts are darkened (1:21); and (3) In their self-deceived arrogance, they become fools (1:22). Having rejected the reasonable worship of the one true God, men turn to worship a “lie” (idolatry, 1:22-23,25).
The foolish pagan worship to which man turned as he rejected God was a part of God’s judgment against man’s ungodliness.
The United States As An Example
What is occurring presently in our nation is an example of the Lord’s judgment against ungodliness. The United States has walked in the steps delineated in Romans 1. A conscious decision was made several years ago by the leaders (civil and judicial) of our nation to depart from the standard of righteousness imposed by the Bible. This conscious rejection of God has been manifested in many ways, including the following:
a. Prayer cannot be offered in the public schools.
b. The Ten Commandments cannot be posted in the school’s classrooms.
c. The moral standard of the Scriptures in such matters as divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, gambling, and such like things is rejected.
Our social engineers have worked over our nation to re-construct it according to their superior knowledge. As a result, we have 25% of white children and 65% of black children born out of wedlock every year. The divorce rate in America has reduced to about 20-25% the number of children who are being reared by their natural mother and father. One-parent families are commonplace and the social pathologies that this is producing are scaring even the social engineers. Children are growing up without respect for their parents and some have no moral standard of right and wrong. All of this is made possible by the Federal Government. In a former time, when two people conceived a child out of wedlock they usually married and settled down to the business of being good parents. Now the mother can apply for Aid for Dependent Children and tell the father of her child to leave. She then cohabits with another man, conceives another child, has her Aid for Dependent Children check to increase, and tells this man to go on his way. In this manner our social engineers have provided the means for fatherless homes to become commonplace. We not only pay the price in increased taxes, we also pay the price in the bills for violent crime, drive-by shootings, gang rape and murder, robberies, burglaries, assaults, etc.
Alarmed by the problems, our social engineers are suggesting that we need to spend more money to provide for day care centers for the poor and those who need daycare so they can work. The cry is constantly made for more handouts, spending billions on rehabilitation of hardened criminals, and other such social programs.
Our “wise” social engineers put band aids on this cancer. Every band aid is siphoned out of the pockets of tax payers and costs billions of dollars. Consider some of the wise counseling we have received. Children cannot be taught “just say no” to pre-marital sex; instead, the Planned Parenthood clinics are given easy access to make sure that our children have and know how to use condoms.
Parents are told that “spanking” is a form of child-abuse. Children are brought up with no respect for the authority of parents, teachers, or government.
These painful consequences which are occurring in our society are the results of the conscious choice to reject God and his word as our standard for righteousness. These consequences are one expression of the revelation of the wrath of God against ungodliness.
We do not need another government program to fix things in our country. We need a revival! We need men and women who will enthrone Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives and submit to his divine guidance over them. If enough Americans will do this, many of our national problems would be solved.
Since that is not likely to happen, we can only expect to see God’s judgment against our ungodliness increase. Sad days lie ahead for our country unless we repent of refusing to have God in our knowledge.
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 7, p. 2
April 7, 1994