Mutual Abandonment: God and Man
God has made Himself evident through the things He has made (Rom 1:19). God is the architect and builder of all things (Heb 11:10); therefore, God should be the most obvious reality for man to grasp. The plight of man is brought on himself, by his ungodliness and unrighteousness. In this, man suppresses the truth of God (Rom 1:18).
God is revealed through creation. All of the natural world is declaring the glory of God. This makes it a bit awkward for the pinnacle of God’s creative power: man made in the image of God (Gen 1–2).
God is revealed in providence. God works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11). He decrees all things that shall come to pass. For the believer in Jesus, God works all things together for good (Rom 8:28).
God is revealed in history. One should review the story of God, working His providence in history, and we should see His hand of judgment and salvation throughout the past. All of the people, places, and events are in the category of general revelation.
General revelation (creation, providence, history) is ample for men to worship God, and give thanks to Him for His mighty works (Rom 1:21). Man was made to glorify God and enjoy Him, forever.
Sin ruined man. Instead of worshiping God his Creator, man has abandoned God. Believing he, too, can be like God (Gen 3:5), man thinks and works with great ambition to achieve the lust and glories of this world.
Man acts as if God is not the most obvious reality in his life. Man sees the potential in himself to achieve anything he sets his mind to accomplish. To acknowledge God, man would be constrained to bow down, in humility, to his Maker and Sustainer (Heb 1:3). In wickedness and pride, man goes for absolute absurdity: God does not exist (Ps 14:1; 53:1).
Man makes his entire life…godless (Eph 2:12). He goes to a godless school to be educated. He goes to a godless workplace to chase worldly riches and success. He entertains himself in manifold ways — all godless. He eats his food without giving thanks to God his provider. Practical atheism is the way of life for most people.
Man reaps what he sows. Man thinks and does all things without God, so God gives man over to exactly what man wants — life without God. Man has abandoned God, so God abandons man (Rom 1:18–32).
God’s abandonment of man is actually His active judgment of man. The sexual deviant revels in her dark passions, even boasting of her progressive lifestyle choices. She is utterly unaware that God has abandoned her. He who preserves a person in ethical or moral purity, has given her over to her pride and lust. She denies God will judge her later for her reprobation, completely clueless that her current lifestyle is God’s judgment upon her now!
When man succumbs to temptation and sins, he is defiant against God. If he rejects the call to repent of his sin (Acts 17:30), then, he will sin again…then, again. With each act of further rebellion, he is showing the hardening effect of sin upon his heart. The heart is not the only place man subjects himself to destruction.
The reprobate mind is a deluded mind from a spirit sent by God (2 Thess 2:11). Man chooses rebellion and enmity with God, and God gives man the sins he desires, and, of course, sins’ consequences. Hence, man is a slave to sin, or we might use the modern term, “addict.” Man is addicted to the pleasures of sin, and he has no help, nor does he want help from God. Man left God to become a fool, and God left man to his own self…in judgment. Man has sown sin, and he has reaped hell (Rom 3:23; 6:23; Heb 9:27; Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
Hell is the extension of the addict’s life here; but if man was abandoned by God here, man still had exposure to good things in God’s universal providence. When God finally turns the reprobate over, forever, it will be never-ending, godless torment in outer darkness where the worm does not die, nor do teeth stop gnashing in eternal punishment.
Friend, what can be said of these matters? The terrifying prospect of an eternity without God, and His goodness, is already evident in those who live in unrepentant hell on earth, today. Your addiction to sin has led you to addiction in coping with sin — and with no help from God. Why? Foolish pride! Humble yourself before Almighty God, while it is yet called, “today;” and may today be filled with His mercy and grace toward you. Christ Jesus is your only hope (Col 1:27).
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 15, 2021