Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

The Cycle of Unbelief

Romans 1:18-32 This passage in Romans gives the cycle of unbelief. Unbelief is the root of all sin, and we see the progressive degradation of sin that befalls a person who does not believe in Jesus. The first step in unbelief is the denial that God exists. People often ask me if God is merciful, how could He send anyone to hell who has never heard the gospel? My response is always that even nature reveals there is a God; no one will go to hell unless they choose to. Originally hell was reserved for the devil and his angels, but because of the Fall there will be people in hell now who have chosen not to believe. Paul concludes that such people are without excuse because the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen. Paul then shares the cycle of unbelief and how it always leads to eternal death instead of eternal life. People who remain in unbelief do the following:

1. They do not glorify God.

2. They are ungrateful.

3. They become vain in their imaginations.

4. They enter into idolatry.

5. They dishonor their bodies between themselves.

6. They enter into unnatural affections—homosexuality and lesbianism.

7. They develop a reprobate mind.

8. They enter into all kinds of unrighteous acts such as fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whispering, backbiting, hatred of God, pride, boasting, disobedience to parents, breaking covenants.

9. They become unmerciful, implacable and spiteful.

We believers can make our own list based on the opposite of this list. The believer in Jesus Christ glorifies God. He is grateful, pulls down vain imaginations, does not enter into idolatry, honors his body and the bodies of others, and does not enter into unnatural affections. He has the mind of Christ and is full of righteousness, which manifests as faithfulness, sexual purity, kindness, unselfishness, speaking the truth in love and refraining from gossip, backbiting and maligning others. He imparts life to others, humbles himself and is obedient to parents. He is merciful, cooperative, loving, faithful and full of understanding. He keeps covenant with God and his fellowman.

Which list appeals to you? One can see clearly that the life of a believer is pleasant, filled with grace, love and blessings and light. The life of an unbeliever is filled with wickedness, curses and darkness. This should challenge us all to share the good news with others that they can be translated from this kingdom of darkness rooted in unbelief to the kingdom of light rooted in the belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

READ: 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36; Romans 1:18-32; Psalm 10:1-15; Proverbs 19:6-7

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