Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
The first remarkable thing that Paul closes his commentary on an individual or society that rejects God is that he says that such a person or such a group of people KNOW THE JUDGMENT OF GOD.
In other words, even though they deny God, reject God, hate God, and ignore God: they still know that God is a judge. They are aware deep down inside that living the way they live means that when they die. Even someone with a completely reprobate mind, someone without natural affection, someone completely merciless knows that God will judge them when they die. They know that unless they run to a Saviour that they will die and end up in a Christless eternity of hellfire. That is why we need to preach grace and reconciliation to the world.
They still remember God is a judge and they hate that, but they do not know the message of reconciliation and redemption.
If you preach to someone in the street: you are going to hell, that message will be rejected and ignored. We need to do what Paul said and be ambassadors of Christ with a message of reconciliation and a message of hope and destiny for the world. A message that their sins have been paid for, that there is a book better than the book of their life to be judged by and that is the Lamb’s book of Life. As soon as you are in this book, your book of life is ignored and never used to judge you again.
You must know this if you are to be an effective witness of Christ: every single individual knows that God is their judge. They might supress, ignore and hate that knowledge. They might say – and scream – that they do not have this knowledge. But they do!
So go and tell them boldly that Jesus has paid the price for them.
This verse concludes Paul’s assessment of individuals and societies that completely reject God. After letting us see the 22 characteristics of a society without God, Paul tells us that these people still know God is a judge.
Paul also tells us a second piece of information about these people. Not only do they do the things wrong that they do, but they have pleasure in them that do them.
In the Greek, this word “have pleasure in” is one word: syneudokeō. It comes from three Greek words syn-, eu- and dokeo. Syn means together, eu means good, and dokeo means opinion.
Together these words mean: to have a good opinion with someone. In other words, someone does something that is sinful and evil. Let’s use a very real example: abortion. In today’s society, not only do many people have abortions, but they celebrate and exalt people who do. They fight and agree for the rights of people to sin and rebel against God. Being bitter, getting revenge, all sorts of sexual behaviour – even if people are not involved in the behaviour – they do not want to judge people, they do not want to say it is wrong. Instead they say loudly that it is good and they have pleasure that people do these things.
People take pleasure in sin. Look at the entertainment industry: based entirely around sexual immorality. We now have television programmes in the UK where they lock people up in a house and hope they strip naked and have sex on camera. We are one step away from gladiators and lions in our entertainment!
One of the translations of syneudokeō is applaud or to clap. There are talk shows in the UK (and all over the world, I know) where people go on these shows, describe the most outrageous sins, and are applauded. If someone went on these shows and said they were a virgin or they forgave someone who hurt them they would not be applauded! The audience reserves their applause for the sinners!
One of the hallmarks of a reprobate society is that it applauds and approves the wrong things. It is even worse that some churches are involved in this as well – accepting and applauding homosexuality, ordaining and promoting homosexuals, seeker-friendly no-offense no-truth services, and so on.
Let us not be like this. Let us never applaud evil. Let us not watch TV programmes that promote evil lifestyles and hatred and malice. Let us not find sin entertaining.
Glory and freedom,