Musings 87

One of the most obvious ways (from Romans 1:18-32) that God hardens hearts and turns men over to sin is when He hardens their hearts toward Himself and turns them over to various forms of humanism. The core aspect of sin is always in relation to God.

1. Men suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them.
2. Men exchange the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man
3. Men exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator
4. Men do not see fit to acknowledge God any longer
5. Men are haters of God
6. Men approve the sinful practices of others even though God hates those practices

The word “acknowledge” does not really get at the meaning of that word in its own context because a very high percentage of people acknowledge that there is a God in some way. Romans 1:28 says it like this: “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” The idea is that it was not acceptable or not fitting to these people to keep God in their knowledge. It is not that these people became absolute atheists, though some probably did, but that it was not acceptable to their way of thinking to have the true God in their knowledge and so they chose other things and other ways of thinking.

That is precisely what is going on in pulpits across our land and the world today. It is far easier to preach morality and free-will than it is to preach the true and living God who is sovereign over all things including the will of men. Men should preach that men should look to God for all things and that all things come to men by grace, but that is thought to be hyper-Calvinistic by some and it is thought that the responsibility of man balances out the sovereignty of God. When it is thought that the sovereignty of God needs to be balanced out by something man has, then we can know that we have left the Bible and are heading into dangerous territory.

There are many ways that preachers do not see it fit to keep the true God in their knowledge during sermons and lectures. That is when they focus on morality and religious life without centering on the true God. That is when they may talk about God, but He is on notice to serve men if they will do certain things right. That is when men may talk about God here and there, but He is not the focus of the sermon. If God is not supreme in a sermon, then a minister is not acknowledging God as he should. When God is not the main topic of the sermon in some way, then the minister is not acknowledging the true God as he should. When God is not the goal and end of the sermon, then the minister is not acknowledging the true God as he should.

When the pulpit is not a place where God is the focus, the goal, and the chief end of the sermon, then the pulpit is not acknowledging the true God as it should. The Gospel is all about God. Sin is only seen in its hideousness and heinousness when it is seen as against God. The Lord Jesus is only seen in His glory when He is seen as the very shining forth of the glory of God. The Gospel is only seen as the Gospel when it is seen as God shining forth into the hearts of sinners to give them the light of His glory in the face of Christ. Apart from the true and living God there is no true preaching.

Now this may sound harsh to many, but in fact the actions of those who will not acknowledge God in their preaching are far harsher since they are against God. How many men stand behind pulpits and give the people moralism, legalism, and watered-down versions of the true Gospel and the true God? Being nice about this is not the way to approach it as these men are deceiving the souls of sinners and are preaching false things about the true God. Modern preaching is a judgment upon the churches of our nation and upon the nation itself. When even the preaching is a way of not acknowledging God, we can know that a famine is in the land and that God is hiding His face from us. We must repent, absolutely, but we must be given true grace from the true God to truly repent.

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