Sin is fire, yet too many people do not understand its deadly effects. The effects of sin in a person devolve that person's heart, body, and mind, until they are only a vestige of humanity. We are made in God's image, the flesh is a mere shell surrounding what is real. Sin is a disease, a consuming fire of the flesh. It is a slippery path upon which their foot shall slide in due time (Deuteronomy 32:35). Some have their foot slide earlier than others. Some will traverse the path for a longer while before slipping suddenly. Either way, their foot SHALL slide.
I'd written yesterday about the effect on a society of people who choose the homosexual lifestyle. However the choice to sin will result in all manner of insanity, not just homosexuality. Auguste Tholuck wrote about the ancient Roman and Greek days from a Christian perspective of what sin will produce in a society. His book "Nature and moral Influence of Heathenism" is well known. He wrote, "Heathenism profanes the image of God in man."
In other words, when one is not in Jesus with the Holy Spirit restraining sin, the image of God in man becomes so unidentifiable as anything Godly that man is eventually consumed, swallowed up. Jonathan Edwards write in his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,"
"the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up;"
We know all this, you say. But what does a society look like which has passed the tipping point of sin's burdens and effects? When, collectively, the people disregard God and go their own way?
In 2009, John MacArthur wrote an essay called "The Character Crisis." He stated,
"[Romans 1:28-32] describes our culture to the letter, doesn’t it? People today literally entertain themselves with iniquity, heedlessly applauding those who sin most flagrantly. Society today makes celebrities of people who in our grandparents’ generation would have been deemed the most contemptible rogues. Almost everything that used to be considered shameful is now celebrated. We therefore live in a culture where personal character and individual virtue are rapidly evaporating at almost every level. Virtue and infamy have traded places."Mass sin makes a society crazy. Like this:
Naked man shot by homeowner after breaking into a Miami home and trying to strangle pet Rottweiler
"A naked intruder was shot in Miami this morning after being found trying to choke a home-owner's pet Rottweiler. The property owner shot the man in the leg after discovering him trying to throttle one of his dogs at around 5am, NBCMiami.com reports. The suspect is being treated in the Jackson Memorial hospital following the incident in the Northwest 2nd Avenue area of the city. ... The naked suspect tried to bite the homeowner, police and later hospital workers coming to his assistance."
Between crazy people everywhere and the government's unconstitutional interference with us on a grand level, we get this:
Patriotic Group To Build Armed 'Defensible' Neighborhood Fortress
"A group of like-minded patriots, bound together by pride in American exceptionalism, plan on building an armed community to protect their liberty. The group, named Citadel, intends to purchase 2,000 to 3,000 acres for the project in western Idaho. The community will comprise of 3,500 to 7,000 families of patriotic Americans who "voluntarily choose to live together in accordance with Thomas Jefferson's ideal of Rightful Liberty."
You can bet that there are others who have thought of building an enclave, or are even making preparations for such communities. If one group is being reported in the media it means there are likely hundreds of others which are out there but haven't come to national attention.
Absent a unifying thread of Godly worship, eventually every society splinters into living according to what they believe is right.
"In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 17:6).
Clarke's Commentary says, "Every man did that which was right in his own eyes - He was his own governor, and what he did he said was right; and, by his cunning and strength, defended his conduct. When a man's own will, passions, and caprice, are to be made the rule of law, society is in a most perilous and ruinous state."
The disintegration of the believing Church, which in this case acts as the undershepherd standing in for the judge mentioned in the verse, means there is no 'magistrate' to take note of man's sin, and call him to restrain from it, or punish him for it according to the law of God.
This now means more than ever that every believer is called to do what is right in the face of increasing wrong. We have an opportunity here. A flashlight can be seen in the daylight but is even better seen when it is dark. Each Christian should be pursuing what is excellent, doing what is good, and submitting to the Holy Spirit by walking on the narrow path. Scripture alone tells us what to do. I don't like that the times have gotten so dark. But I do like that I have an opportunity to appeal to Jesus to make His light in me shine brighter, to be seen in the darkness by those with no hope.
MacArthur closes with this:
"Truly excellent character is actually a reflection of the moral nature of God Himself. [the image of God] For that reason, all virtues are interdependent and closely related. And all of them are the fruit of God’s grace. As you study biblical virtue, may you perceive the true beauty of Christ’s character and desire to see it reproduced in your own life."
Keep praying for Jesus to come, meanwhile, keep praying for the people of the world so affected by sin.