Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Here we find the process of degradation of any nation, any community, any person who rejects God spiral even more out of control.
Let’s look at what has happened so far:
An individual or a community or a nation has rejected God by failing to give Him the weight He deserves, failing to be grateful to Him, failing to keep their imaginations under control and failing to keep in the Word. (v. 21)
This individual or community starts to call himself or itself intelligent, wise and rational. It starts to see pride as an asset, not a sin. At this exact moment, they become foolish and start making bad decisions (v. 22).
This individual or community turns to false idols, drawing strength from and giving worship and time and energy to false gods. (v. 23).
This individual or community then turns to unclean practises – helping people with mixed motives, sexual immorality and the degrading of their bodies in sexual acts outside of marriage. (v. 24)
You might recognise yourself in this list! You might realize that you are starting the spiral. It all starts with being unthankful – and it never happens overnight.
When you read of a “successful” man of God falling into some horrific sexual sin or being caught in some financial compromise, you often think: well, if it could just happen to them, it could just happen to anyone. Let me tell you something: it did not just happen to them. It cannot just happen to anyone.
You cannot have a harvest without a seed being sown. This is a spiritual and physical law that is part of the nature of God and is woven into the spiritual realm and the physical realm. A serious action of sin does not happen instantly. You cannot jump from Romans 1.21 to Romans 1.25 without going through the steps in between.
You have to be failing to thank God, failing to keep your imagination under control, be turning to idolatry and then finally – after a long process – do you end up with something publically known. We only see the public exposure and the public fall of a minister, but we do not see that for a long time that individual was not grateful to God and was not keeping their imagination under check and was not feeding from the Word.
In this process, it starts to become obvious that someone is rejecting God. You can keep your lack of control of imagination secret. You can keep your lack of gratitude to God secret. You can even keep your sexual immorality secret – for a season. But you cannot keep your exchange of truth for a lie a secret – because you aren’t even aware of the problem to hide it. You will make statements in front of people and then be surprised that they as Christians are shocked at what you say. You don’t even know the lie is a lie! With great sin comes great deception, which brings great errors in theology, in practise and in what you think and believe.
At this point, you are so unclean and have so rejected God and His standards and goodness, you actually cannot grasp the truth. You end up believing lies. There is an old cliche that says if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
If you do not stand up for God, stand up against circumstances by giving God the glory due His name, stand up against your flesh when it wants to grumble and not thank God, stand up against your imagination when it wants to imagine doom and gloom and lust and filth, stand up against sexual temptation when it comes your way… if you do not stand up for God, you will accept and receive a lie.
The Greek word for lie here is pseudos. Webster’s defines pseudo- as an adjective that means “being apparently rather than actually as stated”. In other words, it is all pretend. For example: pseudonymn is a pretend name, pseudoscience is something pretending to be science and pseudo-intellectual is when someone pretends to be an intellectual.
If you do not stand for God’s truth, you will fall for imitations. You will buy a fake religion, fake ideas and ultimately a fake god. This is not the way forward! What will be worse is that you will not be able to tell the difference between the fake and the real.
If you notice you are on this spiral, get back to thanking and glorifying God now before you end up unable to tell the difference between truth and fake.
Glory and freedom,