About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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A Truth Suppressing Culture   


I believe that what Paul wrote in Romans 1:18 through 32, although written about a specific generation of people, is relevant to today's western world.  In verse 18 to 21 we read that God's wrath is revealed on a culture that suppresses the truth of God's existence, despite the fact that its surrounding natural environment proves otherwise.  In verses 22 and 23 we note that the truth suppressing culture was foolish when it replaced God with the creation of its own hands.  God, therefore, stepped back from that culture and gave it over to the indulgence of sin (verses 24, 26, 28) which Paul listed as follows: homosexuality, unrighteousness, evil, greed, wickedness, envy, murders, quarrels, deceit, malice, gossip, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. 


In verse 28 to 32 we read that this truth suppressing culture chose to exclude the knowledge of God from its cultural understanding so it could practice a lifestyle of sin.  The Greek text suggests that this choice was deliberate, not something it unconsciously slipped into.  The Greek text also suggests that the practicing of sin caused the culture to become the sins it committed.  In other words, the culture naturally sinned, because at its core, sin was what it had become.  People slandered because they were slanderers.  People murdered because they were murderers.  People committed sexual sins because they were sexually immoral.  On and on it goes.  Paul ended his thought by saying that the culture approved sin, or in today's terms, legalized sin. 


This sounds like the path the western world is presently on.  The West has excluded God from its cultural conscience, legalized sin, and is inherently sinful, and thus, deserves the fate seen in Romans 1.  I believe God still causes nations to both rise and fall (Daniel 2:21, 4:17).  He might well choose to step back from the West and just hand it over to indulge in its sinfulness.  If that is so, at some point He will step back into our culture and bring it down in an act of divine judgment.  I anticipate that to be the fate of the West, and if I'm wrong, it will eventually fall with the rest of the world's nations, as seen in Revelation 18 and 19.           


As the community of Christians we must prepare for the possible fall of the West, because it will cause us much stress, stress that God often uses to purify a wayward church.  Whether this fall happens in my lifetime or not; I don't know.  What I do know is that like Noah's ark in that day of judgment, the church is to be a refuge where we can survive the day our culture collapses.                                  

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