Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honour and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking (with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations) and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools (professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves).
And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome. (Parts of Romans 1: 21-28; ampl)
For some time now, the Scriptures in Romans chapter 1 have been resonating in my spirit as I see the rise of evil and non-sensical delusion that is baptising the nations. Worse still, the governments that are bowing to it; and worse still, sections of the church that are also being deluded.
Truly we are living in a time of human history when evil is being called good, and good evil, and rapidly approaching a time when everyone will be doing “what is right in their own eyes” (Proverbs 30:12; Isaiah 5:21). As wave after wave of abhorrent evil and delusion comes in like a flood, it is abundantly evident that people are being given over to a debased mind as they choose to reject the grace, truth and mercy offered by God, and embrace the man-made doctrines and ideologies that the world has to offer. This ultimately leads to the “insanity” which we now see beginning to prevail.
As I watch the mainstream media and governments create their own narrative to sway those of the unsuspecting masses to accept their agendas and mindsets, it is clear that an antichrist spirit is running rampant as it seeks to overcome and take over the minds of the unsaved by deceit and delusion. As Satan knows that he has a short time left, he seeks to, and is succeeding in, promoting his erotic filth, perversion and occult practices, and glorifying murder in the form of assisted suicide and abortion.
Those who are alert will understand that it is becoming more and more imperative for the church to understand the huge urgency of the hour that we live in and to know beyond any shadow of doubt that the one voice we must know above all other, the one voice we must heed and listen to, is the voice of God.
The apostles warned that many would turn from the truth in the last days and listen only to what pleases them. Lies are now applauded as truth, and even celebrated and promoted. Even the church is embracing the popular and unchallenging.
If the church continues to sleep in the lap of Delilah (Judges 16), allowing compromise, sin, false doctrine, traditions of men and humanistic teaching, she too will be swept away with this flood of filth and delusion.
In Hebrew times when a slave did not want to go free, his ear was pierced with an awl, and he served his master forever (Deuteronomy 15:17). This sign in the ear was the evidence that he was a love slave and that he only wanted to hear his Master’s voice.
Today we need a “circumcised” ear – open to hear what the Spirit is saying; an ear that refuses to listen to the voice of a stranger; that is able to filter out and discern the true from the false – yes, even the false teachers in the church; an ear where the humanistic flesh with its corrupt passions and lusts has been spiritually cut away; an ear that is totally surrendered to the voice of God.
The Book of Revelation gives the final call to the churches – the call to hear in the Spirit.
“He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches).”
This call permeates the letters to the seven churches. God commended all churches for things they had been faithful in. Yet there were only two churches that he did not have things against. The other five had dire warnings which would come upon them if they did not repent, which the amplified describes as the “changing of the inner man to meet God’s will”.
Yet even among those five churches, there was a faithful remnant, those who had not “bowed the knee to Baal”.
The Spirit of God is speaking. Rather than a desensitization that is hypnotising the masses, a more sensitive listening to His voice is required. It demands the deepest attention of the spiritual listening ear.
The hardening of a person’s heart and the sway to serving and worshipping the “creature”, rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25), is the result of disobedience and stubbornness, which ultimately leads to rebellion. It is a heart that refuses to cleave, trust in, and rely on God, but rather relies on self (the “creature”) and humanistic values. Similarly, people are hardened into settled rebellion by the deceitfulness of sin.
The fundamental problem in our society is not the economy, climate change, poverty or even what government is in power. The problem is rebellion against God and his ways; His Word, and all that He represents.
The Holy Spirit is the omnipresence of God. Jesus said “When He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment” (John 16:18)
As hearts become more and more hardened, as lawlessness abounds and reaches its fullness; as people choose evil over good, turn their backs on God’s abundant mercy, loving kindness and truth, and choose to follow delusion rather than Truth, then the Holy Spirit will withdraw that merciful grace by which we are saved, and the harvest of evil will ripen to its fullness.
“God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false” because of the previous verse, which says “they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11)
Not loving Truth leads to delusion! Do we have areas in our lives where we refuse to submit to the truth of God’s Word? Where we have “stopped our ears” because it’s comfortable, appealing and popular to rather believe a lie, or to tell ourselves it’s OK to compromise?
“And the Lord said to me, Amos, what do you see? And I said, A plumb line. Then said the Lord, Behold, I am setting a plumb line as a standard in the midst of My people Israel. I will not pass by and spare them any more [the door of mercy is shut].” (Amos 7:8)
The day will come when Mercy will shut the door. As Amos pleaded with God to relent of judgment, God placed a plumb line. This is the hour that God is placing a plumb line in His church to ensure that she is centred on Him, centred on righteousness and listening to what He is saying.
In Revelation 19:9 John says “If anyone is able to hear, let him listen”. This is the final exhortation about hearing, and yet “What the Spirit says” is not in the text. As far as the world is concerned, His ministry of speaking has ceased and mercy has shut the door.
How does this move us? Hopefully to our knees. While times of testing and persecution are coming, we can hold fast to the enduring promises of God, and His prophetic Word.
“And we have the prophetic word [made] firmer still. You will do well to pay close attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dismal (squalid and dark) place, until the day breaks through [the gloom] and the Morning Star rises (comes into being) in your hearts.” (1 Peter 1:19)