Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
When they knew God is a reference to the knowledge of God that was given to them at birth.
As they grew older they chose to not give God the glory that He deserves and they were not thankful for the truth of God so they became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened.
God makes Himself known and you have a choice to acknowledge Him or to reject Him.
Acknowledgement of God must be based on truth…the word of God.
If you make a choice to not acknowledge God and you want something else God will not only allow you to have it He will give it to you.
God’s Holy Scriptures are written in such a way that wrong interpretation is very easy and God will give you what you want.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
If you reject the knowledge that God gave you of Himself you begin a journey in the wrong direction.
You have begun a long trip down a road of hurt and misery and you are the one that chose that route.
God will allow you to do things that you never dreamed you would do.
Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go and cost you more than you wanted to pay and keep you longer than you wanted to stay.
When you choose to reject God you are given over to do things which are not convenient.
It is amazing to me how are society is bent on having everything convenient yet they chose a life of sin which is not convenient.
It is not convenient to do drugs and immoral things every day and night.
It is hard to live a life of sin.
In verse 29-32 we read a list of those things which are not convenient.
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
And all the time the sinner is doing these wicked things he has knowledge and understanding that God is not going to let him get away with it.
Every person is conscious of this fact even though very few people could show you the verse.
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God:”
God made you and God wants you to worship Him.
God is jealous and He will not let you get away with worshipping anything or anyone else.
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
The most wicked person on this planet knows that they will face the judgment of God but they continue in their sin and they continue with pleasure.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Every person who has ever lived or will ever live knows that they will face God and be judged.
The only way to make it through that judgment is to know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.
If you face God at the judgment without Christ at your side you will be judged and then you will be cast into the lake of fire and you will be tormented and tortured forever.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.”
There will not be any place to hide on that day.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
The dead are those who never repented and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ to be their Saviour.
The small and great will stand before God.
The money, prestige, or position you had on this earth will not mean anything when you stand before Almighty God.
If you were poor God is not going to feel sorry for you.
You will be judged by the standard that has already been put into writing.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”
At this time those who have been in Hell will be brought out for the judgment.
All the dead (the unsaved) will stand before God and their judgment will be on the basis of their works.
Not a judgment just of what we consider to be evil works but on the basis of their works.
The wicked will find that they have no hope for all of eternity.
The religious who have tried to live a life that would earn them favor with God will find that they did not do enough and their works fall short of earning favor with God.
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
The dead without Christ as their Saviour will be cast into the lake of fire and for all of eternity they will be punished.
“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
This is where all lost people will spend eternity because they chose to reject God and His offer of free salvation.
If you reject eternal life you will get eternal death.
Why is it that lost people will not turn from their wickedness and receive Christ to be their Saviour?
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Men do not turn to Christ because they love their sin.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
The love that they have for their sin is hatred for God.
A lost man has a carnal mind and a carnal mind cannot think spiritually and a carnal mind is an enemy of God.
“Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
The Bible says:
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
Read Romans chapter one carefully and hang on every word.
The list of despicable and desperate sins found in Mark 7:21-23 are sins that you could end up doing if you reject the knowledge of God.
“For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”
It is important that all men be told that they are sinners and given scripture that makes this known to them.
First is the knowledge of sin so that one can see their need for a Saviour.
Salvation is simple but we must not overlook the need for repentance unto salvation.
• Knowledge of sin
“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Repentance is a change of mind.
A lost person has not believed the gospel.
They hear of their wickedness and sinfulness and they are conscious of their need for a Saviour.
They hear about the Lord Jesus Christ…the Gospel…the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and they know that they need a Saviour.
They repent…they change their mind…they turn from unbelief in the gospel to belief in the gospel.
Repentance is not a work of man it is a work of God.
“When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
God grants repentance to an individual who hears the gospel and realizes his need of a Saviour and desires to be saved.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to turn the head…to change the mind…to bring repentance to the sinner through truth.
“When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
It is the sinner that needs to repent.
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Repentance is directed to God.
It is the sinner saying thank you for the knowledge of your existence and the knowledge of what you did for me through your Son.
I cannot make it on my own.
I am lost without hope and I need a Saviour.
Faith is toward the Lord Jesus Christ because He paid your debt.
2nd Corinthians 7:10
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
Godly sorrow comes when a sinner is made know of His sinfulness and realizes that His sin is against God.
A sinner also knows that there is nothing he can do to save himself and he needs God.
This godly sorrow works repentance and a sinner turns to God and believes the gospel.
Thus we conclude…
• Knowledge of sin
A person who has a thorough knowledge of his sinfulness and honestly repents will not have as much trouble with eternal security as one who does not begin with this knowledge.
• Salvation is free.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
You are not a peace with God until you have been justified by faith.
You have not been justified by faith until you have repented and turned to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith for salvation.
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Faith is the only avenue of access to grace.
And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;