The Effects

Romans 1:18-32
Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge
God, He abandoned them to their foolish
thinking and let them do things that should never
be done (v.28).

This was a tough week. Someone I know was accused
of a crime so brutal I can’t describe it. Waves of
disbelief, disgust, and sadness have swept over
me. I grieve the loss of life for the victim and what he
went through prior to his death. I grieve for the families
involved. I grieve the potential loss of a once-promising
future for my young friend. I grieve the effects of sin.

In Romans 1, the apostle Paul issued a solemn warning
we should all take to heart. The essence of his message?
Sin leads only to more sin and ultimately to spiritual
death. When people choose to reject and disobey
God, even though His message has been “obvious to
them” (vv.19-20), they begin a descent into darkness
and confusion (v.22). Their choices and actions become
foolish—worshiping their own sinful wants and desires
while ignoring “the glorious, ever-living God” (vv.23,25).
What happens next is scary, for God “abandons” or
turns these people over to experience the bitter fruit of
their wicked ways (vv.18,24). He allows them to reap
“the penalty they [deserve]” as they engage in acts “that
should never be done” (vv.27-28).

Paul wrote down many types of sins people will commit
as they sink deeper and deeper into darkness (vv.9-30).
Although the list isn’t exhaustive, a few stand out: haters
of God. When we turn from God, our hearts reveal our
hate for Him and His truth; proud—the worship of self can
lead to unimaginable consequences (see Adam and Eve); new ways of sinning—
jaded in depravity, our sins become worse and worse; heartless . . . no mercy—
our choices become cruel and evil.

Turn from your sin today before it’s too late. If you don’t, the effects could be
devastating for you . . . and others. —Tom Felten

Check out Psalm 14:1-3
to see what God said
when He looked at the
hearts of “the entire
human race.”

How have you been
turning from God and
choosing to sin? What
will you do to turn from
sin’s devastating effects
and experience God’s
provision of real life?
(John 10:10).


Forgiven: A Murderer's Story