The Most Terrifying Thing God Can Do

God often expresses His wrath by allowing people the very thing they want

“What we learn from Romans 1 is that the most terrifying thing God can do in this life is give you over to your sin. We see that God is the one who restrains human evil—He restrains evil in this world and evil within each one of our hearts. But as people continue to rebel and as they continue to pursue their sin, God eventually lessens His restraint.”

 

Have you ever seen one of those photo collages of a drug addict as she descends deeper and deeper into her addiction? It is startling to see that in just a few short years an addict can be transformed—or perhaps better, deformed—from an attractive, fresh-faced young lady to a hollow-eyed shadow of a human being. Some drugs are so powerful and so devastating that they rot not only the mind and soul but the body as well. The substance that promises such delight actually delivers terrible destruction.

I see the horror of sin pictured in the decaying face of the addict. Her drug is both alluring and punishing. It promises joy and delivers bondage. Meth is its own punishment. It takes captive. It rots. It destroys. And in that way it is a particularly vivid illustration of every other sin.

I have been working my way back through the book of Romans, and am just now wading through the terrible truths that come at the end of the first chapter. Here Paul explains why and how God’s wrath is a just response to human depravity. As I have read and considered this passage I have been struck anew with the horror of sin. I have been startled again by the way in which God expresses his wrath.

What we learn from Romans 1 is that the most terrifying thing God can do in this life is give you over to your sin. We see that God is the one who restrains human evil—he restrains evil in this world and evil within each one of our hearts. But as people continue to rebel and as they continue to pursue their sin, God eventually lessens his restraint, he loosens his grip on the chain that is holding back the great waves of depravity within each human heart. As the rebellion continues, God eventually lets go, giving people their desire, giving them over to their sin.

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