The Signs of Slipping Away from God’s Truth

God’s Truth in the Epistles

4 min

It is increasingly apparent that we are living in a reprobate culture, a culture that has “changed the truth of God into a lie” (Romans 1:25). Ever since his insidious lies to Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan has been seeking to turn men from truth to error. Jesus called Satan “a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). 

Over the course of this month, we have seen how truth is an essential attribute of God. By contrast, Satan is inherently deceptive. He hates truth. Satan offers false substitutes for that which is true and good. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome, gave them ten important warning signs that mark a reprobate culture. It is remarkable how these ten descriptions in Romans 1:21–28, written two thousand years ago, are so clearly seen in our own degenerate culture today. Let’s consider each warning so we may be alert to the subtle slipping away from God’s truth to deception and lies.

  1. Human achievement is exalted instead of Divine power.
    “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God” (Romans 1:21). Our humanistic culture denies the very existence of a loving Creator and instead glorifies the technological achievements of man more than the marvelous displays of God’s glory that surround us.
  2. Pride is paraded instead of thanksgiving.
    Also, according to Romans 1:21, “ neither were [they] thankful . . . .” Thanksgiving springs from a spirit of humility that acknowledges that God is the source of all blessings. A haughty pride arrogantly gives thanks to no one but demands rights and privileges as though they were deserved.
  3. Vanity is pursued instead of satisfaction. 
    Paul warned in Romans 1:21 that another sign of falling away from God is “[they] became vain in their imaginations . . . .” Rejecting the facets of life that bring real satisfaction, such as productive work, the traditional nuclear family, stability, and security, our modern culture instead pursues vain imaginations and cheap, lurid entertainment—just as the pagan Romans did.
  4. Darkness is loved instead of light.
    According to Romans 1:21, “and their foolish heart was darkened.” Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:19 that “men loved darkness rather than light.” We, similar to the Romans, live in a culture of darkness. Those who reject truth and embrace sin and lies love the cover of darkness because they foolishly believe it hides their wicked deeds.
  5. Folly is admired instead of wisdom.
    “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). Academia has focused on being “smart” or “learned” about the subjects it invents and prefers rather than in the subjects that are true and right before God. This has caused our institutions of higher learning to abound with educated fools. Modern education, with all of its “woke” ideologies, gender studies, and diversity education, blindly calls folly “wisdom” and calls wisdom “folly.” 
  6. The physical is honored instead of the spiritual.
    Paul further reminded the Christians regarding man’s depravity: “And [they] changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man” (Romans 1:23). Man has always preferred a religion that he can touch and feel. So is it no surprise that music in churches is increasingly shifting from the spiritual to the physical? Satan entices the senses of touch, sight, and sound to lure God’s people into a trap, as they think that what they feel is right when it is only a delusion.
  7. Uncleanness is displayed instead of purity.
    “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts . . .” (Romans 1:24). Lust begins in the heart. But in a society without the moral foundation of God’s truth, uncleanness breaks out from the sin-darkened heart and is openly displayed in books, speech, entertainment, and in public displays of impropriety. A society of uncleanness is a shameless society.
  8. Lies are embraced instead of truth.
    According to Romans 1:25, Paul warned that uncleanness led to men who “changed the truth of God into a lie . . . .” In a reprobate society, good is called “evil” and evil is called “good.” Historical and Biblical truth are mocked, disputed, and cast aside as myths and lies. Modern lies are taught by our government educational system, and the minds of the young are perverted. This was the case in ancient Rome, and it is the case in modern civilization as well. 
  9. Creation is worshipped instead of the Creator.
    Furthermore, “. . . [they] worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25). A denial of God as Creator of the universe is one of the chief marks of an apostate society in denial of reality. Any man who convinces himself that the complexity of human life evolved by blind chance from nothing is deceived. Our modern civilization worships nature while denying the God Who created everything from nothing. 
  10. Vile affections are cultivated instead of pious affections.
    Finally, Paul warned the Christians of what would happen if man refused God’s truth: “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 recompence of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:26–27). The final mark of a reprobate culture is the perversion of what God created as good into something that is vile and abominable. This Scriptural passage is about the perversity of ancient Rome, but our modern society has now fully embraced this moral perversity. Vile affections are paraded shamelessly in our streets today.

    As Christian men and women, we must stand resolutely, as did the Christians of the early Church, upon the absolute, inerrant truth of God’s eternal Word. God Himself is truth! Will you boldly affirm the later words of Paul in the same epistle: “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4)?

This article is from our Matters of Life & Death teaching series.

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