This post is part of a series.
In Part I, I listed the five types of Wrath of God, according to John MacArthur and the scriptures. MacArthur then went on to discuss Romans 1, and his conviction that God has abandoned America (the fifth type of wrath).
1. We are not the first nation God has abandoned – it is part of the cycle of history
In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.
Many nations that were formerly great and enjoyed the blessing of God, when they were blessed, left Him and His principles, and have since sunken from prominence (e.g. Great Britain). Not that all prominence is a sign that a country is blessed by God, nor is all loss of prominence due solely to ungodliness. But you get the principle.
2. God reveals his wrath when men suppress truth
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness
and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the
So when we begin to confuse truth with error (Isaiah 5:20), and those in power begin to suppress truth, this is the first sign that a nation is leaving God, and is setting themselves up for God’s wrath.
3. God “gives them over” to their passions.
This phrase is used three times in Romans 1 (same verb), and expresses the idea that God’s restraining hand is removed, and we are now free to be victims of our own unrestrained, fleshly passions.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves
This speaks of sexual sin. When sensuality, unwed pregnancy, pornography and prostitution are rampant in a society, and when the media is filled with sexual permissiveness, a society is already given over to it’s own devices.
4. Sexual permissiveness degrades further to sexual perversion, typically homosexuality
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
Why is lesbianism listed first? MacArthur explains that women are usually the last to be affected by the decay of morals because their primary nature is to secure and protect a nuclear family. When women abandon normal sexual relations with men, and society approves, you have reached the bottom of the moral decline.
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.
MacArthur notes that this due penalty is physical sickness – the end result of all sin is sickness, but because homosexuality is so against nature, such things as STDs and AIDS are not a surprise – they are a result of disobeying natural and moral law, and are a type of consequential wrath of God.
5. God gives them over to a DEPRAVED mind
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
This is the last step of God’s judgment, the last stop on the unrestricted decline of man’s nature. Having been totally consumed with fleshly passions, the ability for moral and intellectual reasoning is totally polluted, and they are lost in sea of moral chaos.
This sermon by MacArthur is controversial, not because of what was said above, but because he claims that God has abandoned the U.S., and he argues that we are all the way down the road outlined above. Can we be saved? Only with a spiritual awakening.