This post is part of a series.
In Parts I and II, I outlined John MacArthur’s exposition of Romans 1, in which he revealed the process of how God judges a nation or people by abandoning them to their fleshly passions. The original sermon was delivered his April on the National Day of Prayer, and can be heard here.
In this last part, he gives reason for hope, and calls us to action.
If a nation is in the last stages of moral decline, having suppressed the truth, turned to sexual immorality, accepted sexual perversions like homosexuality, and finally, become morally and intellectually depraved, is there any saving such a nation?
MacArthur quotes from Psalm 81:12-16
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.
13 “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways,
14 how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
In other words, if we begin to listen to God and the scriptures, God would quickly defeat our ideological foes and restore us to blessing. This echoes the oft repeated and important 2 Chronicles 7:14:
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
The basic idea here is an important one. If a society is in the crapper, it is because God’s people have ceased being salt and light. It is because WE are engaged in the same sins as the unredeemed culture around us. God doesn’t say to us “you need to tell them to change,” but rather, “YOU who call yourself by my name need to change!” If WE return to grace and truth, love and purity, then we return to being salt and light, and can then affect culture.
MacArthur adds one important point, and that is that we need to proclaim the truths of God, of his love AND holiness, in order that people may hear and turn. That’s the only way to regain the favor of God after having left him for our own devices.