TEXTS: Romans 1:18-20
1. To more clearly understand what it means to commit sin, we must look beyond the actions we commit. At the heart of sin is a failure to image God correctly. We can use our lives, words, and actions to improperly display the values, character, and nature of God. Although we will fall short and, at times, wrongly image God, our lives should point to the truth about who God is.
2. Throughout biblical history God has raised up and brought down nations according to His justice and redemptive plan. The biblical worldview reveals that God is in control of such things for His purposes.
3. The Bible warns us about the dangerous spiritual disciplines and worldviews of the east. Mingling these destructive spiritual practices with following Christ will hinder your spiritual growth and keep you from experiencing all the blessings the Lord would have for you.
4. Biblical and world history reveal that cultures who practice the worship of creation, spiritism, ancestral worship, and child sacrifice collapse and produce a wave of devastation that can impact many generations. God often “darkens” cultures who do such things.
5. Believers may be overwhelmed at the idea of changing the world. When faced with such darkness and so many lost souls, we can wonder what we are supposed to do? While it is true that most will never have the attention of a global audience, we do have the attention of those around us. We must be committed to fulfill the part of God’s plan that He has for us.
6. God’s placement of Israel was strategic. Positioned on critical trade routes, God had raised up Israel to reach the world and correctly image Him to other nations/cultures. But they failed. They became proud and assumed that God only wanted to redeem and save them.
7. God does not call us to expose the sin and “nakedness” of others. We are called to cover and pray for those who are caught in sin. The encouragement of others is essential to persevering through and overcoming sin.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How should the reality of God raising up and bringing down nations impact the way we view our present world and times?
2. In what ways can believers and churches make the same sinful mistake that Israel made?
3. What does it mean biblically that God “darkens” cultures? What will show up in such a culture?
4. How has God strategically placed you to make an eternal difference in the lives of others?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following area(s):
- That the Lord would bring revival to our nation
- That each believer in our church would fulfill their part of advancing God's Kingdom and imaging Him rightly