This Age Ends Only One Way

By David A. DePra

 Back to the Goodnews

Transcribed by Software with minor edits.


Where is this age going?   What do all of these things mean that we see, not only in the world today, but in the church today?  If you haven't noticed, evil has accelerated.  It's accelerated at a pace that we would not have believed possible, only five years ago.  Not only has it accelerated, it has increased in its evil.  It's everywhere in the world, but it's also in the church -- among people who call themselves by the name of Christ. 


There is an important passage In Matthew 12 that establishes a principle that applies to many situations, but it certainly applies to what is happening in this present age.  The passage begins in verse 38, where the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign, and he calls them an evil and adulterous generation for seeking after a sign -- rather than recognizing that he was the Messiah.  Israel had enough to be able to recognize the Messiah.  They had the entirety of the Old Testament Bible as well as the history with God from the time he delivered them from Egypt.  Yet when the Messiah that they were waiting for and had prayed for stood before them, they called him the devil.  This was something for which God was going to hold them accountable.  But it was also something that had opened the door for terrible evil.


In verse 43, Jesus begins to tell a story – it is a really a principle.  It is a principle that speaks of the nature of this creation and of what happens when God is forsaken.  When we look at this principle in Matthew 12, we are seeing a principle that Jesus is certainly applying to Israel of that time.  It's a warning to them; it's a prophecy; it's a parable.  It applies to Israel of that time.  But how many understand that truth is truth?  And if this is a principle of TRUTH then it applies to all situations to which it applies.  When God operates and judges, He's always operating from out of the same truth of Himself.  And so in most cases, when we read a story like this, it really is a principle of truth that can apply to any person, any church, or any nation.  Because God is God, He's unchangeable – Truth is unchangeable – and therefore such a principle applies to all. 


Now here is what Jesus says.  He says, starting in verse 43, “When an unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places seeking rest and finds none…”  I'm not going to talk about unclean spirits.  Let's just stick to the subject here.  Jesus continues, “Then the unclean spirit -- that can find no rest -- says, ‘I will return unto my house – unto the person -- from whence I came out.’  And when this evil spirit has come back to that man, he finds the man empty, swept, and garnished.’”


Now that might SOUND good.  This person is swept and garnished.  He is certainly in a better condition than being demon-possessed like he was before.  But there is a huge problem:  NOTHING has come into that person to fill the void.  He is EMPTY – yes, of the demon – but also of God.


Verse 45 says, “Then the evil spirit goes out, comes back, and takes with him seven other spirits, more wicked than himself, and they all enter in and dwell there in this man.  And the last state of that man is worse than the first.  Even so shall it be under this wicked generation.”  So again, this applies to Israel of the time of Jesus -- but it is a principle of Truth that applies across the board to anyone. 


Now, notice what Jesus is saying here.  He's talking about somebody out of which God has delivered great evil.  In this case, a man.  But we could apply this principle to a church or a nation that was at one time in great evil, maybe demon-possessed, certainly demon-influenced -- at least in great deception and darkness – but was then delivered.  As an example, we have this man who is in great deception, great darkness, may be demon-possessed, and the unclean spirit is gone out of this person, presumably God set him free. 


After being delivered, the state of that man is that his life is swept and garnished.  Now, I have to believe that this is a picture of somebody that has at least received some truth; some light.  I mean, after all, he didn't get free of that evil spirit just through luck.  And if God delivered him, God brought truth to do it to a certain degree.  And so this man has at least some truth.  He's swept and he's garnished.  He's in possession of enough truth to be able to turn to God and walk on with Jesus Christ.


Israel was in that condition.  They were given the Old Testament.  They were given a history with God that they all knew.  And yet they rejected the Messiah when he stood before them.  So Israel was swept and garnished at that point.  And any of us could be as well if God delivers us from our ignorance and darkness and brings us into a certain truth; a certain amount of truth.  At that point, we have at least enough to turn to God. 


I'm not talking about a bunch of theology.  No, I'm talking about God bringing a person to the point where they recognize they're accountable to God -- they recognize their need for God, and they recognize that they need to turn to Jesus Christ.  I'm not saying they've done it yet.  I'm saying they recognize that they need to turn to God.  That's the work of God to bring a person to that.  That person or that church or that nation can be said at that point to be swept and garnished.  But as noted -- the other characteristic is EMPTINESS.  In other words, Jesus, in describing Israel here -- this is the principle he's putting forth -- he's talking about people who have been delivered from darkness, even delivered from Satan himself and the bondage therein.  They have been delivered by a certain amount of light and truth.  They've been brought to the place where they know to turn to Christ, but they haven't done it. 


Now, I don't read here a picture of a nation or people that have yet rejected Christ.  No.  It is a picture of a person or nation who have been delivered, but haven’t accepted Christ – have not received anything to fill the house vacated by the evil spirit.  Jesus is telling us that it is sufficient to do nothing – if that person or nation KNOWS ENOUGH to turn to Christ.  That alone opens the door to great peril.


The house is empty.  Jesus is talking about people that have been set free from a lot of evil but haven't filled their life with good.  He is talking about people who have been brought out of darkness into some light, know enough to turn, but they haven't done it.  They're swept and they're garnished, and yet their house is empty.  Now, according to Jesus and what he says here, that's a very dangerous position to be in because you are accountable for the truth.  Israel was accountable for recognizing the Messiah.  They were accountable for that, especially after the three and a half years of Jesus’ ministry.  They had enough, Jesus said so, and yet they were empty.  Jesus said, “Your house is left to you desolate.”


Now, it was worse than that.  And of course, it's worse for most people who have enough to turn to Christ – but refuse.  Because there is no such thing as neutral ground.  You're either for God or you're going to be against him.  You're either, in the final analysis, going to choose Christ or you're going to choose yourself.  You're either going to choose salvation in Christ or reprobation.  You're going to choose either light or darkness. 


The fact of the matter is God's going to push each one of us to that choice.  He has to.  It's the way to set us free and to build faith in us.  Now, this evil spirit found the house empty.  What a warning for each of us.  Really, it is a description of what has happened to this world, to the United States of America, and to the church, to those who call themselves the body of Christ.  Let's back up a second and just talk about the world and world history for a minute.  We know that God created Adam and he rejected God.  He turned away from God and walked away from God and decided to own himself.  When he did that, he destroyed humanity as a creation.  Humanity was given over to the realm of darkness, Colossians 1:13 says that Christ has delivered us from the realm of darkness.  That tells us where we've been because of the sin of Adam. 


The realm of darkness has governed the human race since the sin of Adam.  It governed the entire world, ultimately, to the point where God had to wipe out the human race except for the eight people in the Ark. God said that the imaginations of men are evil continuously.  You're talking about  people that lived five, six, seven, eight, 900 years.  Imagine being evil and living that long, how bad that would get.  A whole world populated by such creatures.  Well, God had to wipe that population out in his mercy.  He did that.


Now, we have reason to believe, we read Jude, we read the Epistles of Peter, we have reason to believe that not only did humanity turn away from God as time progressed after Adam.  It was a turn that happened pretty quickly because Satan was in charge.  He was the God of the world at that point.  But after the turning away from God, what resulted was a whole bunch of sexual immorality, homosexuality, and ultimately child sacrifice.  Now that happened before the flood.  God wiped out that race before the flood.  But after the flood, after Noah emerged from the Ark, it started all over again.  It was less severe, I guess we could say, because humanity didn't have the lifespan as before, but it was evil nevertheless.  It was evil nevertheless.  Now we know that because every single ancient culture that we have a record of that left monuments like those in Egypt that left a recording in written form, every single ancient civilization that we dig up in archeological finds have one common thread, and that is all of them worshiped demons.


All of them did.  We probably can hardly wrap our mind around that, to understand that the entirety of the world, the entirety of the human race, a couple of exceptions, I'll mention in a minute, was if not devil-possessed, then devil-influenced, as time progressed even after the flood.  That's why you find all these archeological finds, these statues that you find in these cultures of hideous demon images.  Well, that's demonic influence that resulted in all that.  They really did worship these demons.  It were civilizations that were filled with homosexuality and ultimately child sacrifice.  They've found evidence of child sacrifice in almost every ancient culture.  Where this demonic influence was, and it was all of them at one point.  The whole world was like that.  Incredible to think about that.  Now, God had a line that he preserved first through Noah, but then through Noah's son, Shem.  Of course, ultimately Christ, the Messiah, came through that line.  But it was only that line and that ancestry that God was in and that God was revealing himself through.  It was certainly not in a widespread way.  The whole world was in the grips of this darkness.  Now, God eventually called Abraham.


Abraham and his family lived in or the Keltes.  They were a part of this initially, but God delivered Abraham out of it.  Of course, this resulted in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the 12 tribes of Israel and the nation of Israel.  God wanted Israel to be a light to the nations.  In bringing the revelation of the true God, they were the only light to the nations.  That was because God had chosen them for that purpose.  We see that when Israel was delivered out of Egypt.  You'll find again and again and again that it was the gods of Egypt mentioned that Moses, through God, had to defeat.  That's what set Israel free.  Oh, Farewell had them, but he was controlled by those gods of Egypt.  We find that when Israel wandered through the wilderness, when Israel finally entered the promised land, what's populating those places? Gians and the occult and the same evil that had enveloped this world.  Israel alone was the light to the nations and they would eventually produce the Messiah.  Now that's world history.  Then, of course, when Jesus came on the scene and the Gospel began to be preached, God began, if I can use the terminology that we find in this story of Jesus, God began to empty the nations where the Gospel was preached of these evil things.


He began to sweep and garnish those nations to a certain degree, didn't happen in five minutes, but I think you get my gist.  And the Gospel spread.  Now here's the observation that I think is vital to see.  All of the nations of this world that we recognize as at least having at some point acknowledged the true God is God, all the nations that acknowledged the Bible as being the word of God.  I'm not saying perfectly.  I'm not saying we had a theocracy anywhere.  I'm simply saying that there was a certain reverence and honor paid to the God of the Bible.  Churches were established for the good or bad, and Jesus Christ was known as savior.  There was a foothold where this was the case in those nations.  Now, look at those nations about which I'm speaking.  Are not these nations where the Gospel was accepted? The most civilized nations, the most moral nations? Now, I'm not saying there weren't horrible, immoral things going on behind the scenes.  I'm simply saying that generally speaking, in comparison to the nations that did not accept Christ, the nations that did accept him were the most blessed with prosperity.


They were the most blessed with civilized law, democracies in most cases.  You look at those and there was a freedom there.  There was a moral freedom that came to these nations: United States, British, Isles, Western Europe, mostly, and so forth, other places, a few here and there.  But the nations where the Gospel did not take a foothold and Jesus Christ did not become known in any widespread way, such as China and India.  Look where they are today.  They're just as much mired in the occult as ever, ruled by vicious dictators.  We're talking when we're talking about China and India, about half the population of this world.  This isn't any small number.  We're talking about 4 or 5 billion people.  There's a very clear distinction between those nations that accepted, generally speaking, I keep adding that, the Gospel, Oh, there were ebbs and flows, Hitler's and Mussolini and dictators like that.  It went up and down, in and out.  But generally speaking, throughout history, there was this trend that distinguished the nations that accepted the Gospel from those who did not accept it.  No question about it.  These nations that did accept the Gospel did have those demons that demonic influence cast out to a great extent.


They really did, and the others didn't.  We can say of those nations that, well, they were swept and they were garnished by a measure of the truth.  Now, what has happened in the last 50 years, mostly, you could expand it to the last century if you wanted to, but I think certainly in the last 50 years, this is the case.  In the last 50 years, those nations which had received the gospel and had been the base from which the gospel was preached to other nations, the nations that had churches, the nations that had a certain amount of godliness going on in them, those nations, rather than continue on an increase in what God had brought them, those nations have begun to give it away.  That is something new.  That is something that never happened before in the history of the world that never happened before on that scale with regards to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Before the last 50 years, a lot of it was the Gospel going out and people either receiving it or rejecting it.  In the last 50 years, some of that's continued, but in the last 50 years, on a widespread scale, it has been a Gospel that was received and revered as truth, now being rejected, now being cast out, now being mocked and ridiculed.


That never happened before regarding the truth of Jesus Christ.  What has happened as the result of that in our day and age is that all of the evil spirits, all of the evil influence from demons, from Satan himself, as he works directly and as he works through people that give in place.  It's all coming back.  It's coming back much worse.  In this parable, it's seven times worse, which is a number of completion spiritually, and I think we're heading in that direction, wickedness, spiritual wickedness in its completion and fullness.  If you have been delivered, and this world was, this nation was, if you have been delivered and been delivered out from evil, even if you receive truth and begin to get your act together, you need to fill it with good.  You need to fill the house with Jesus Christ.  If you don't, something is going to come in and fill the void.  Because like I said, there is no such thing as neutral ground.  You can look at the forces of evil and the enemy as a power that is always pushing and seeking to invade the human race.  Always there, pushing in, trying to crush in upon humanity.


You can look at the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the resurrection power that prevents that from happening.  Now, I don't believe that ultimately it was ever God's will for God's people who are to live in the power of Christ to simply operate from a defensive position.  But I think he wanted us to take possession and to operate from an offensive position.  But it never really got to that, did it? Never really got to that.  Once the gospel was preached in a lot of places in this world, well, the enemy found a way in.  It found a way in through compromise.  It found a way in through false and wicked and corrupt leadership in the very Church of God and those who profess themselves to be Christians.  The enemy found its way in through the wickedness of men in this world.  And you're seeing this parable unfold right before us today.  Everything that was wrong in this world because of Satan, in the human race before the Gospel became widely spread is coming back, and it's coming back with a vengeance far worse than ever.  Because now we're talking about light and truth rejected, not ignorance of it, but light and truth rejected.


There's no question about it.  If you're ignorant and you don't know the truth, yes, you can find yourself entangled in a lot of evil.  You can find yourself entangled in a lot of evil.  But if you know the truth and reject it, the evil that comes upon you is far worse.  Far worse, because you've rejected the way out.  You've rejected light.  You get darkness.  And that's how it works.  That's the nature of things.  We live in a moral creation that God created.  He created humanity as moral creatures.  There's no neutral ground on this.  The enemy is seeking to come in as a flood anywhere the enemy can infiltrate.  And yes, the Lord will raise a standard, but more and more today, this world, this country, the body of Christ, is allowing those standards to be torn down.  And what we are witnessing now in this world, in this nation, and in the Church, is nothing more complicated than Satan and evil spirits getting their way in humanity.  Look at what's happened in only the last five years or so, how the acceleration and proliferation of things like homosexuality, transgender, and now the attempt to brainwash innocent children with those things.


I mean, the sins are beyond belief.  We don't think that they're as bad as ancient civilizations because, again, we think of ourselves as being civilized.  We have computers, we have modern weaponry.  You don't generally have in our society today, out in the public, people worshiping demons, people worshiping statues.  We don't have that like that yet, but we have it in other forms.  It's not only it's bad, it's worse.  How many understand that Satan will get whatever he can get and he will deceive subtly and he will do it in a way that people won't even realize what is happening to them.  This is what's happened.  It's gotten to the place now where the normalization of perversion is taking place.  It's getting to the place where the very evil spirits that once controlled this planet are gaining control again.  Gaining control in this world, gaining control in civil governments, including the United States, but worse of all, gaining control in people that call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ.  That's where this is all going and God's going to let it.  It's going to happen.  Although God is going to raise a standard and anybody that wants to be delivered from it can be, but make no question the majority of people are going to go down.


Now, I want to turn to a couple of other scriptures here having to do with this.  I want to turn to 2 Thessalonians 2.  Now this is the chapter where it talks about the Son of Predition, the man of sin sitting in the temple of God, proclaiming himself as God, I believe the temple of God in which this particular man of sin sits is, in fact, the Church, the body of Christ, an Apostate church.  But I'm not going to get into the detail of that in this message.  I want to focus on what I've been talking about today as to where all of this is going in this age.  Now, I need to start reading here in verse two where Paul says that we should not be shaken up or be deceived into thinking that the day of Christ is at hand because that's not going to happen until they're first come of falling away.  Now, let me read this verse three, and let's note clearly what he's saying.  He says, Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day, the coming of Jesus, shall not come, except there come first, a falling away, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of Predition.


Can we see very clearly that it is the falling away that results in the man of sin being revealed.  The two are absolutely related.  The one causes the other.  As an apostasy takes place, as the truth is abandoned, as Jesus is rejected, the man of sin is revealed, he's made manifest, the son of tradition is made known.  Can we see very clearly how this relates to the parable Jesus was telling in Matthew 12? As an Apostasy takes place in the church, well, the restraint is removed, that which restrained the forces of evil.  In other words, the gospel was given.  Generally in this world, it was accepted.  The churches were established.  That was a tremendous restraint against the forces of evil, as I rehearsed when I talked about this whole world history that I went through.  There was an establishment of Christ in this world, as imperfect as it might have been.  In those nations where the church was prevalent, you had sanity, moral sanity.  That was a restraint, and it's because it was a restraint against the forces of evil.  It acted as a casting out.  But as that is abandoned, and today it is being abandoned, and it's going to be a whole lot more abandoned on a greater scale yet to come in this age.


But as that's abandoned and as Christianity is pushed to the side and people no longer operate in faith and from the perspective of life in Christ, well, that restraint is going to be removed from the forces of evil.  The forces of evil that we see invading the world and the church today are the result of that.  Just the beginning of it, really, but it's the result of it.  Now, that's exactly what Jesus said, as I noted in Matthew 12.  The house becomes swept and garnished, emptied of evil.  But once that condition is forfeited, the forces of evil come in and the latter state is worse than the former.  Now, let's read on in this passage and we'll see how the same thing that Jesus talked about in Matthew 12 is in fact, described.  He says again in verse 3, There will first come a falling away, and the man of sin, because of this falling away, presumably, will be revealed.  The son of perdition, who opposes and exalted himself above all that is called God, or that is worship, so that he, as God, sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.


People try to make this mean an individual human being called the antichrist.  I'm not convinced that is ever going to happen.  I think the Spirit of antichrist is certainly more prevalent.  I think there will be representatives of Satan, representatives and leaders of antichrist? Absolutely.  But I think antichrist is the collective body of antagonism, the collective body of unbelievers, the collective body of fake Christians, the collective body of man in Adam, trying to pass itself off as the genuine article.  I'll just leave that right there.  Now, Paul says, remember you're not when I was with you.  I told you these things.  And now you know what withholds that he might be revealed in his time.  In other words, you know what's restraining, so that this son of predition, man of sin, is not yet revealed in his time.  And he says, For the mystery of iniquity does already work.  In other words, all of this was starting even in Paul's time, although not fully manifested.  For the mystery of iniquity, already is at work, only that which restrains will restrain until that which restrains be taken out of the way.  That's what verse 7 is talking about.


We're seeing that what restrains is the presence of Jesus Christ in his people.  It's the presence of Jesus Christ Christ in his people, but also just the acknowledgment of God, the acknowledgment of God as God, in God we trust, one nation under God.  That may not seem like a lot, but God honors that.  It matters.  It matters.  You take that out of the way in a nation.  Satan will come in like a flood, and there won't be a restraint.  You take the presence of Jesus Christ in his people.  You reduce that.  You water that down.  You begin to push that out of the churches in favor of what we see happening today.  You are removing not only a restraint of evil from the church, you're removing the restraint of evil that has held back evil from invading the world itself.  Dr.  We'll talk about that in a minute.  It says that when that restraint is taken out of the way, then shall the wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth.  Many people have tried to say that the restraint of evil is going to be taken away when the rapture happens, that God's going to take that restraint away.


And when he does by raptoring his church, then evil will prevail.  It's not what this says, people made it mean that, but I don't believe that that can be substantiated from scripture.  Talking here about apostasy, that's not insignificant in this passage, just the whole point.  God's not going to remove the restraint of this evil.  The church itself is going to be the cause through compromise, through apostasy, and then the evil will have its way.  Now, that doesn't mean that there's not going to be any restraint or any life of Christ in his people.  There is.  God's going to, I think, raise up as a standard Christ in the end time over and against us so that people will have truth and light to which to turn.  But nevertheless, the general trend is that as we approach the end of the age, there will be more and more compromise with Jesus and with the truth.  The enemy will, as never before, come in like a flood, and it will be worse than it ever was before.  Now, you read the rest of the passage and you see that in the end, Christ wins.  Thank God.  But there's going to be a lot of trauma leading up to that.


We have that scripture in second chronicles, which says, If my people who are called by my name will repent of their wicked ways and humble themselves and pray I will their land.  Do we understand that the opposite happens as well and has happened? Evil has been restrained in this world.  The powers of darkness and Satan have been restrained in this world by the presence of Jesus Christ in his people.  Well, his people, or at least those who profess to be his people, have compromised with the truth, have compromised with error, have allowed error into their personal lives, and have allowed error and perversion into the church.  And as this has happened, evil has come in to fill that void.  The house had been swept and garnished.  And so if you want to know why Satan is gaining ground in this world, look at the church.  People of God are the key.  The people of God are those who were supposed to be those who would restrain evil.  But God knew from the beginning that that was not going to happen.  That's why this is prophesied and Apostasy is prophesied.  It is the Apostasy of the church that has in effect, and it's going to continue to get worse, but the principle is that it's the apostasy of the church in giving away the truth and giving ground to the enemy that is going to result in evil prevailing, evil finally being manifested in the time of the end.


It's not the rapture.  It's not God taking the Spirit of God out of this world.  It's the people of God relinquishing the ground that they have in Jesus Christ that is going to allow the enemy to come in and occupy that ground.  And… This is shown here in 2 Thessalonians 2, and it certainly is suggested in a lot of different places in the Bible.  It's how it works.  Again, no neutral ground.  You don't want to stand your ground in Christ, the evil one is going to take that ground.  Yet what a horrible, unnecessary relinquishment of the truth.  Doesn't that happen that way in a personal life? If you believe God and you believe Jesus Christ, and if you're walking with Him, you're being protected to a certain degree to the extent that you walk with Him from evil.  Well, if you reject Christ and walk away from Him, you're going to walk into evil.  And on a wide scale, that is what is happening in this world.  And it's also happening in the very churches that used to be Christian churches, everywhere it is.  And there is a progression.  I mentioned it a little bit earlier.


The first thing that happens is that people begin to reject Jesus Christ.  They reject Christianity.  They reject the Gospel.  That happens in many, many ways.  It happens in personal lives.  It happens in civil government.  Incidentally, why do you think it happens so quickly? If you've noticed things, especially through the COVID thing and all that's happened since.  Have you noticed how all of these evil things that are happening are almost like a disease that spread? It's like a fanaticism that people get taken up in.  It's one thing after another.  Somebody comes out protesting this, before you know it, it's a worldwide phenomenon.  It's like a horrible disease that spreads like wildfire.  If you don't get with that narrative, if you don't get with that new disease, you're canceled.  That happened in living color during COVID, but it happens on all these moral issues as well.  That's Satan.  That's the Spirit of Satan working in the sons of disobedience, as it says in Ephesians 2.  What do we think that means? Well, that's what's happening in this world and that's what's happening in the church.  That's what happens when people turned away from Jesus Christ.  But the second thing that happens on the hills of that, and this just happens like clockwork, it doesn't necessarily happen in a one, two, three fashion, but the trend is there.


The flow is like this.  You reject God.  The next thing in this flow that begins to take place is the proliferation of sexual immorality.  All the time that happens, I said it happens on all these ancient cultures, sexual immorality begins to be accepted.  It's practiced first, of course, by individuals, and then it finds its way into the culture, and then it is normalized.  It's accepted.  It gets to the point where it's just a joke.  Don't we see that everywhere? It's everywhere.  Sex is everywhere and has been growing as such for the last 50 years.  Now, on the hills of that, sexual immorality, then what we have almost always is sexual perversion.  We have the normalization and the widespread practicing of homosexuality.  That has happened in ancient cultures as well.  Then alongside of that, as the result of that, what you have is the sacrificing of children to demons.  Now you would say that we don't do that in our modern world.  Well, yeah, actually, we do.  We may not haul them up to an altar and put them to death, but what we do instead is that we indoctrinate them with all of the satanic perversion.


That's what they're trying to do now, everywhere.  You'll notice how this happened so quickly.  That was unheard of even two years ago, but now it's heard of everywhere.  Governments are passing laws that underage children, kids that can't even vote, kids that aren't even close to being able to vote, are allowed to get sex change operations without their parents' knowledge.  That's child sacrifice to demons, spiritually speaking.  The mutilation of children, not to mention abortion.  64 million abortions since 1972, when it was legalized.  64 million.  That's sacrificing children.  That's putting children to death.  Oh, people that do it don't realize the depth of the evil and what's all involved in it.  I don't think that some of these young girls that get abortion are thinking in their mind that they're sacrificing a child to a demon or whatever, but people never do realize what they're doing.  They don't.  Do we understand that in some of these ancient cultures where they worshiped demons and sacrificed children to demons, do we understand that those people, even then, were so deceived and that had become so normalized that they thought that it was okay, that it was right, that they were doing according to the truth?


That's the depth to which these things can get.  Now, let's turn to Romans, chapter one here, and we'll see some things that ought to open our eyes in light of everything that I've been talking about so far.  Romans 1, I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, verse 16, For that Gospel was the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  Now, let me just say this.  The truth of Jesus Christ, which is the gospel, the Gospel is a person preached, included in which is, of course, the entire plan of salvation and the necessity for faith.  But the gospel of Christ is the power of God under salvation, but only to those who believe.  How many understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is actually the power of God under reprobation if you don't believe? Again, there's no neutral ground.  If you hear the truth and know to turn to Christ, the only other option you have is reprobation.  The only other option you have is eternal separation from God.  Now, God desires for all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth.


But not all will be.  Some will refuse by their own choice.  God does not ordain some to salvation and some to damnation.  God desires all to be saved, and we make our choice once we hear the truth.  It's talking about people here who have heard the truth, not talking about people that haven't.  It is the power of God and the salvation to everybody that believes.  You got to hear it to believe.  It says in Romans 10.  It talks about the righteousness of God being revealed in that Gospel.  Don't want to get off into that.  But it goes into verse 18.  You'll notice we just heard in verse 16 that the Gospel of God, the truth of God in Christ, is the power of God and the salvation to everyone believes.  But verse 18 says, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unGodless and all unrightelessness of men.  And it specifies against all ungodliness and unrightelessness of men who suppress or restrain the truth in unrightelessness.  These are people that have heard and that could have turned and believed.  Now, again, turn and believe.  God doesn't say that in order for you to be saved, you have to have a degree in theology.


He doesn't say that you have to understand all the ins and outs of the redemption of Jesus Christ.  God brings light and He knows what you need to see and what you can see to turn.  You need to see that you're a sinner and you need to relinquish yourself to Jesus Christ and Him crucified unconditionally.  Isn't about adopting a new religion.  It's about being exposed as a needy sinner.  John 3 says this is condemnation, that light has come into the world.  And men love darkness rather than light.  Why? Because their deeds were evil.  So in other words, the basis of condemnation is that light has been given to a person, and that person chose darkness rather than light.  They pushed away the light, pushed away the truth, restrained or suppressed the truth in favor of darkness.  And why? Because their deeds were evil and they did not want to have those deeds exposed.  That's the pivot point, and that's what condemn people.  The only way around it, the only alternative to that is to choose light rather than darkness, stand in that light, be exposed as a sinner, and take your place by faith in Jesus Christ crucified.


And then, of course, if you do that, new life will be found in him.  These people won't.  They suppress or restrain the truth.  Now, you can't do that unless you've had some truth.  These are folks who know enough to turn, and they know enough to turn because God made them to know enough to turn.  They suppressed the truth in their condition of unrightelessness.  This is a call to them to come out of unrightelessness.  It's not somebody that was saved.  They suppressed the truth in their unrightelessness.  And it says, Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shone onto them, is the Greek.  They've had a revelation, again, not a theological revelation, it's a spiritual revelation from God where he cuts through the darkness and makes them to see enough to turn And it says in verse 20, For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and deity is the word, so that they are without excuse.  Now, some people would interpret this verse to mean that every human being that ever lived had enough light because you can see the truth in creation and see the truth in conscience.


Well, that's absurd.  The conscience is damaged and seared, first of all.  And a lot of people that look at nature and creation are scientists that don't believe in God.  I believe this verse is true, but I believe it's true once you plug in the necessity of God using creation and God using conscience to bring light to a person.  God still has to initiate it and open a person's eyes.  Jesus said, No man can come to me except the Father who sent me draw him.  He didn't say, No man can come to me unless he gets a lesson in creation and conscience.  I'm not going to argue that point, but you got to take all the scriptures on a subject together.  God's got to open the eyes.  But when he does, they're open and you can't go back.  If God has brought light, I can't say I didn't receive light.  He's brought it.  I've seen it.  There's no way back.  My choice is clear then.  It's either salvation or reprobation.  It's either faith or unbelief.  There's no more middle ground.  There's no neutral ground.  Light judges.  And so they're without excuse.  And it says, Because that when they knew God, there was again enough to turn.


They didn't glorify him as God, neither were thankful.  Now here's the first turning away from God.  If you know enough to turn and you don't, verse 21 says the result is that you become vain.  The word is twisted in the Greek.  You become twisted in vain in imagination, and your foolish heart is darkened.  You turn away from light, what you get is darkness.  I mean, that is what happens, that's the nature of things.  That's what happens in God's moral creation.  You have enough light to turn to God, you refuse it.  You don't have a sound mind after that because you've turned away from the very foundation of all knowledge and all truth.  And again, this isn't so much about facts.  It isn't so much about theology.  It's a moral condition.  Note that they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  This isn't about being mistaken about facts or doctrine.  It's about becoming, or in other words, it's about falling into a condition because of a rejection of God.  Where you are in darkness, you can't think in the terms of God, and you can't really see anything for what it's worth.


All discernment in the Christian life is the result of knowing Christ.  You want to turn away from knowing Him and reject that, you're not going to have discernment.  It's going to be governed by foolishness.  What does it say somewhere in one of Paul's epistles that people will turn away from truth to fables? Again, no neutral ground.  You either accept the truth or you're going to live in untruth.  You're going to become an expression of untruth.  You're going to be twisted in your imagination.  That's what it said about the world before the flood.  Their imaginations were evil continuously.  Well, the first step in rejecting God is that you come into a corrupt mind and your heart is darkened.  We see that everywhere today in government, and we see it in some churches.  It says, professing themselves to be wise.  So many smart people around, but they became fools.  What made them to become fools? Well, they suppressed the truth that God gave them.  In favor of darkness, and they changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like under corruptible man.  Now, this is incredible, really, when you think about it.  It isn't just that they rejected God and started building statues.


Now, that did happen in Paul's time.  But he is simply saying that when you refuse the truth, you're going to create a God in your own image instead of the God who is the truth.  And isn't that the case? We either embrace the truth that God brings or we create a truth that fits us.  We either allow the truth to adjust us to God or we're going to take the truth and suppress it to the point where it's adjusted to us.  Again, no neutral ground.  It's all in one way or another ultimately.  People create God in their own image.  We have today a God that celebrates homosexuality.  We have a God that's okay for sex outside of marriage.  We have a God that okayes same sex marriage.  We have a God that understands we need to abort children and so forth.  It's a God we've created and people become normalized in that.  It's the product of a vain imagination, a twisted imagination, and a heart that is darkened.  Now, next step is verse 24, Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lust of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves, because they changed the truth of God into a lie.


The next step down is sexual immorality, and that's the case always.  Why do we think that so many of these false ministers that are finally exposed, you find out that they've cheated on their wives or they're having affairs with women in their church? Why do we think the Roman Catholic Church, one of the biggest issues there is sexual immorality.  Of course, it's pedophilia as well, which is the next step.  But everywhere you have truth that has been corrupted, everywhere you have places where the Gospel at one time had a certain foothold, where that's been pushed away or given away, in any personal life where people that maybe just had a Christian education growing up.  I know several young people that were raised in a Christian home that just went off and they got into all kinds of sexual immorality and some even to homosexuality.  Why does that happen? It's because once you reject God, you get darkness and everything that comes with it, and you are going to fall under the influence of the demons that govern there.  Those demons may not always bring you into sexual immorality or homosexuality, but they will bring you into whatever it is that your particular version of the flesh needs and it needs to be satisfied.


It'll go there.  Maybe it's the love of money.  If that's what your flesh cries out for in your sinfulness, well, that will be used against you.  But in most cases, it's sexual immorality.  Now, they changed the truth of God into a lie.  It says in verse 26, the next step, for this cause, God gave them up onto vile affections, vile affections, for even their women did change the natural use under that which is against nature.  Likewise, also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly and receiving in themselves that recompense.  Now, these people that say that God does not condemn homosexuality in the Bible.  Just read it again.  You can't even argue with people like that.  They already have their mind made up, and they also are exchanging the truth for a lie.  But this is the next step down.  There is no bottom point to the abyss into which Satan wants to bring humanity.  It's perversion upon perversion, depth of darkness upon depth of darkness.  That's where this age is going and we're seeing it all around us.


We're seeing everywhere people that have rejected God and created at best to God in their own image, if they even acknowledge there is such a thing.  We're seeing the proliferation, the celebration of all kinds of sexual immorality in the media, and it's being practiced everywhere behind the scenes: pornography, adulterous affairs.  In most churches today, people are living together in immorality outside of marriage and sit in the congregation and nobody does anything about it because we don't want to chase them out of church.  We don't want to be mean.  We don't want to be judgmental as if that is judging.  That's everywhere today.  It's becoming normalized as is homosexuality, transgenderism, same sex, marriage, and so on.  It's all here.  You read through Romans 1, and it's one step down after another into worse and worse evil.  Verse 28 says, And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind and to do those things which are not fitting.  There is a tremendous principle here that God is talking about in this chapter that is repeated again and again and again, each step lower.  That principle is this: when people reject God and give themselves to sin, then God gives them over to the power of that sin and everything that goes with it.


Let me say that again.  When people reject the truth that God has given them and instead give themselves over to sin, then God gives them over to the power of that sin and everything that goes with it.  And that's the truth.  That's how humanity will function in its rejection of God.  Humanity was made to fellowship and enjoy God forever, and that's a tremendous potential.  But with tremendous potential for good comes a tremendous potential for evil.  Humanity certainly has that.  And so we read this progression, and homosexuality isn't the only sin.  Read verses 29, 30, and 31.  All sin is involved, but these are the worst sins because they destroy what a human being is.  But we understand that what's going on in society today and in the Church is Satan's attempt to destroy what a human being is, to destroy gender, to destroy sexuality, to normalize the destruction of it.  Do we understand what is happening to humanity in this day and age? It's just going to get worse and worse and worse.  Thank God we have the promise that when the enemy comes in like a flood, God is going to raise a standard.


God's people need to clean up their act.  As an individual, you and I have to get out of our lives all uncleanness, all sin.  We need to get out of our lives all unbelief.  We need to tell God to do whatever it takes to get us there.  We need to stop playing religion, stop playing Church, and we need to get on the altar of Romans 12:1-2, and we need to ask God to take us and to bring the truth.  We need to repent of sin.  We need to repent of self-righteousness.  We need to repent of any other sin that we may have allowed in our lives.  It's not a game.  We need to repent of it.  And we need to tell God bring the truth, bring deliverance no matter what it takes.  I believe that God, in this end time, is going to raise a standard against the enemy.  It's not going to be a standard to which the vast majority of people are going to gather around, but it's going to be a standard and a witness to Jesus Christ that is going to cut through all of this evil for a season and give people who want to turn to God the opportunity to do so.


I believe God's going to do that because He's always done it before great judgment has be fallen on people.  He did it before the flood.  He did it with Jonah and Nineva.  He did it with Israel in '70 AD.  He did it again and again and again every time he punished Israel.  He brought the truth that they could turn to before that.  He's going to do it again in this end time.  There's going to be a standard raised, and people are going to have the opportunity to be delivered out of any evil that they might be in now, and they're going to be given the opportunity to enter in to a fullness of Jesus Christ before the end.  Then when God gets that, well, it's going to arise a great deal of animosity and a lot of people will fall away even from that.  Where does all this go in the end? Where is this age going? This age is going toward a tremendous, apostasy, and evil on a scale that has never been before in the history of the world.  But it's also going toward a deliverance that God will offer during this age, a witness of Christ leading up to the literal second coming of Jesus Christ, where he will descend from heaven and put an end to what Satan is trying to do in the human race.


That's a great hope.  That's a great hope.  And soit's a cause to look up and turn to Christ because everything that's happening right now is right according to what God said would happen.  But the end of it is God wins.  The end of it is that Jesus Christ is going to be Lord.


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