Message of Grace


MARCH 1978

Vile Affections

For this cause God gave them up to vile affections... Romans 1:26

We are hearing and seeing much these days, of the sin of homosexuality. Truly, this vileness is becoming more widespread and less shamefaced. Those who have done their deeds of wickedness in the darkness in days past, now clamor for acceptance and receive it. Men and women across the nation are waking up to see this ever prevalent wickedness as a genuine threat, and the religious press and radio is beginning to cry out against it. Yet, sadly, I must confess that they are, by and large, missing the mark in their fight against it. While many are saying much that is true concerning the fact that God is "going to" judge our nation because of widespread immorality and homosexuality, hardly anyone is sounding the alarm that this prevalence of moral corruption is evidence that judgement is already begun. While I strongly believe that the Scripture teaches that this rampant homosexuality and other immorality are among the causes of judgement, such as befell Sodom and Gomorrah, yet it also tells us that these sins are the symptoms of the judgement of God which is already falling on our nation.

The hearts of men are, by nature, so corrupt that there is only one thing that restrains them from committing the most atrocious sins imaginable (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 1:28). That 'one thing' is the restraining grace of God (Ps. 76:10). The prevalence of open wickedness in any nation is evidence of the removal of that "restraining grace" from the hearts of men. If the question is asked: "What is the cause of the removal of this restraint"? The answer can be found in the first chapter of the book of Romans. (Read the entire chapter.) We will summarize verses 18-25 to conserve space: God's wrath is revealed against those who hold the truth in unrighteousness, who can clearly see the things of God manifest in creation, yet because they glorify Him not as God, their hearts become darkened and hardened. Boasting of their knowledge and wisdom, they trample His glory under foot and make Him out to be one like themselves, and worship and serve a humanity more than the mighty creator. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and 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 of their error which was meet" (Rom. 1:26,27).

This is exactly what has happened to our nation. We have been blessed of the Lord and taught of the Lord, but we have refused to walk in His light and honor Him. Over 100 years have passed since the pulpits of this nation rang clearly with "the glorious gospel of the blessed God" (1 Tim 1:11). Oh, we have heard much 'preaching' but most of the 'preaching' of our day centers around 'man' (the creature; see Rom. 1:25); while the preaching of the true gospel centers around the Living God. Most preachers in our day have either forgotten or refuse to proclaim that "the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord" (Ps. 37:39; 3:8; Jonah 2:9),"that it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy" (Rom. 9:16).

Hardly any can be found who stand in awe and fear of a thrice holy, absolutely omnipotent and sovereign God. They have painted a caricature of the Eternal Creator and Ruler of all things, which presents Him as nothing but a doting old grandfather who knows nothing but love and just wants to be everyone's friend. They teach (and men gladly believe) that He is "altogether such a one" as themselves (Ps. 50:21; see Rom. 1:23). But they know not, or at least they teach not, that His thoughts are not our thoughts neither are our ways His ways for His ways and thoughts are above ours as far as the heavens are above the earth (Isa. 55:8,9). God is presented as one who has many limitations; and the religious world along with the infidels sit with itching ears to hear these fables and seducing spirits (see 2 Tim. 4:4,3;1 Tim. 4:1). But the Bible says, "Our God is in the heavens, He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased" (Ps. 115:3). Not content to trample His glory underfoot, they have changed the truth of God into a lie by promoting the falsehood that the "decision" of men to "get saved" is the determining factor in their salvation rather than it being the free and unmerited grace of God.

God has promised that, "the wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God" (Ps. 9:17), Do we not stand guilty? Have we not "held the truth in unrighteousness", "glorified Him not as God" changed His glory into an image of man, and "worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator?" As terrible as these sins of immorality and homosexuality are, yet to dishonor the Lord of Glory as this nation has done is an even greater evil from which we are now reaping the fruits of the just judgement of a Holy God in turning us loose to work all manner of vileness to ripen us for the day of judgement (2 Pet. 2:9).

Oh can not the Lord say in our day as in Jeremiah's: "The prophets prophesy lies in my name" (Jer. 14:14),"Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard" (Jer. 12:10), "They have healed also the hurt of the daughter my people slightly (superficially), saying 'Peace, peace; when there is no peace'" (Jer. 6:14), "My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray" (Jer. 50:6).

Are there no true shepherds in Zion? Are there any who have not bowed the knee to Baal? Are there yet pastors after God's heart who are more jealous for the glory and truth of God than for the comfort and approval of their people? Pastors whose main concern is that the name of Christ be lifted up, rather than their salaries, programs, and popularity among men? Surely there are some Calebs and Joshuas with courage enough to stand against the tide and reaffirm the glory and power of God in the face of those who trust the arm of the flesh. To all those who are yet faithful I issue this exhortation: Magnify the name of Christ, exalt Him whose name is above every name; preach no other gospel than that gospel of God's redeeming grace. Expose the sinfulness of men and let us wage war against the blackness of vile affections which are fast consuming this nation. Let us not simply prune the branches and rake the leaves but let us lay the axe to the root of the problem and call this nation to the feet of a glorious, sovereign God in repentance.

Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; To make their land desolate and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.

Jeremiah 18:15-17

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

"It is finished!" John 19:30

Standing then at the cross of our adorable Lord, and hearing these gracious words from the lips of Him who cannot lie, if blessed with living faith, we may see the law thoroughly fulfilled, its curse fully endured, its penalties wholly removed, sin eternally put away, the justice of God amply satisfied, all His perfections gloriously harmonized, His holy will perfectly obeyed, reconciliation completely effected, redemption graciously accomplished, and the church everlastingly saved. Here we see the love of God in its tenderest form, the anger of God in its deepest expression. Here we see the sacred humanity of the blessed Redeemer lifted up, as it were, between heaven and earth, to show to angels and to men the spectacle of redeeming love, and to declare at one and the same moment, and by one and the same act of the suffering obedience and bleeding sacrifice of the Son of God, the eternal and unalterable displeasure of the Almighty against sin, and the rigid demands of His inflexible justice, and yet the tender compassion and boundless love of His heart to the election of grace. Here, and here alone, are obtained pardon and peace; here, and here alone, penitential grief and godly sorrow flow from heart and eyes; here, and here alone, is sin subdued and mortified, holiness communicated, death vanquished, Satan put to flight, and happiness and heaven begun in the soul. What a holy meeting place for repenting sinners and a sin-pardoning God! What a healing-place for guilty, yet repenting and returning backsliders; what a safe spot for seeking souls!

C. Philpot (1802-1869)

Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgement is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Revelation 14:7