God Gave Them Up?


May I ask you a question or two? They’re kind of personal.

In the bible passage below, what kind of God do you see? And is this what is known as “hate speech?”

A hateful God? A loving God? “Let’s burn ’em in hell” God, or “What else can I do?” God?

You decide.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32 ESV)

So, what’s your answer?

Does “God gave them up to…” mean they had no choice but to do what they did?

Have you considered how God tried to get Cain to release the murder he was harboring in his heart? He warned him, probably more than once. But Cain wouldn’t release it. So that’s what he became.

A murderer.

So is God the bad one? The bad one because he tries to get us to release the evil, the ugly, the unnatural, the cancerous, and the deadly things we hide and nurture in our hearts?

Or, is he is the good one doing everything he can to save our stinking necks?

Why would he do such a thing?

Because he knows our value.

He ought to. He paid a handsome price for us. His son.

“God gave them up…” doesn’t mean that God gave up on them. On us.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8 ESV)

Now, tell me why you think God is hateful. Remind me why you say God can’t be trusted.

Tell me slowly, so I’ll catch it.

Tell me why you think the bible is full of hatred and bigotry. I used to believe such things until I started reading it. I found love pouring out of every page, for me.

And you.

Here’s something to consider... every breath we take will someday witness against us. God allows us to live as long as we live to give us all the time necessary to receive his goodness, and run into the saving arms of his son.

Please take one more breath, then read this last scripture.

“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:4-5 ESV)

God is patient for us. His goodness is for us.

God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

God does give us up…but he doesn’t give up. As long as we’re alive, we can turn to him.

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