The subject before us in this passage is man’s rejection of God as their Creator and therefore God’s rejection of man. As we shall see, God has revealed Himself through Creation and yet men choose to worship “the creation” instead of “the Creator.” Let’s look briefly at verses 18-25.

Verses 18-23: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in the, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (NKJV).

In verse 18 we learn that God’s wrath has fallen upon ungodly men who have rejected the truth of God given in creation. Two examples of this are seen in the flood in Noah’s day (see Genesis 7) and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 19). All men should know God through “the things that are made” and if they refuse to acknowledge Him as their Creator “they are without excuse” when He judges them. We often hear the question, “What will happen to lost sinners who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ?” These verses give us the answer, for men will be judged by the light (knowledge) that they have been given and have rejected. Men are no different today than they were when the apostle Paul penned these words, for they still refuse to “glorify Him as God.” They “profess to be wise” yet they are fools, and instead of rejoicing in “the incorruptible God” they turn around and idolize “the creature.” In pride men love to espouse their view of “evolution” (the development of something from a simple to a more complex form), but here we see “devolution” (degeneration to a lower or worse state). This “devolution” is clearly seen in verse 23 where men began to worship man, then birds, then animals and final creeping things. One has said that “man becomes like what he worships. As his concept of deity degenerates, his morals degenerate also. If his god is a reptile, then he feels free to live as he pleases.”

Verses 24-25: “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

As stated in the beginning, if men choose to reject God, God will reject them. The words “God also gave them up” indicate God’s rejection of man, as well as His judgment upon them. There is a point when God turns His back on men and refuses to give them any more light. We had referred earlier to the flood in Noah’s day and before the flood hit God said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever” (Genesis 6:3). If men refuse to acknowledge God, the Holy Spirit will withdraw from them and no longer seek to convict them of the truth. When this happens God allows men to live their lives without any restraint. What is the result? Ah, because man’s heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), they choose to live in “uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts” and to “dishonor their bodies among themselves.” In other words, they live carelessly in adultery and fornication. If we were to read on, we would see they also practice lesbianism (verse 26) and homosexuality (verse 27), along with a host of other forms of wickedness (verse 29). But let us remember, the day is coming when God will judge them for every sin they commit and in that day they will have to admit that “they are without excuse” for not acknowledging God as their Creator. (255.9) (DO)