Sabbath, July 22, 2006
“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same thing.” Romans 2:1.
“The time spent in criticizing the motives and works of Christ’s servants might better be spent in prayer. Often if those who find fault knew the truth in regard to those with whom they find fault, they would have an altogether different opinion of them. How much better it would be if, instead of criticizing and condemning others, everyone would say: ‘I must work out my own salvation…’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 83, 84.
1. How do many people treat the truth which God has revealed?
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
“…many hold these truths apart from their life. They hold them in unrighteousness. Their hands are not clean, their hearts are defiled with sin…” –Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 81.
DIVINE REVELATION AND HUMAN IMAGINATION
2. Can these people excuse themselves by saying that the revelation of God had been hidden from them?
Romans 1:19, 20 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
“The things of nature are the Lord’s silent ministers, given to us to teach us spiritual truths. They speak to us of the love of God and declare the wisdom of the great Master Artist.” –The Adventist Home, p. 146.
3. In not recognizing God’s existence through His created works, what has man failed to do?
Romans 1:21, 22 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
“In the varied scenes of nature also are lessons of divine wisdom for all who have learned to commune with God. The pages that opened in undimmed brightness to the gaze of the first pair in Eden bear now a shadow. A blight has fallen upon the fair creation. And yet, wherever we turn, we see traces of the primal loveliness; wherever we turn, we hear the voice of God and behold His handiwork….
“Shall we, then, in the enjoyment of His gifts, forget the Giver? Let them rather lead us to contemplate His goodness and His love.” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, pp. 54, 55.
WITHDRAW FROM GOD – FALL INTO THE CULTS OF MAN
4. How have people gone astray?
Romans 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
5. What are the results of continual disrespect for divine authority?
Romans 1:24, 26, 28 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves… 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 even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
“When God lets man have his own way, it is the darkest hour of his life. For a willful, disobedient child to be left to have his own way, to follow the bent of his own mind and gather the dark clouds of God’s judgment about him, is a terrible thing.” –Faith and Works, p. 46.
6. What horrible exchange did people make who did not want to recognize God? How is this perpetuated today?
Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
“Millions of years, it is claimed, were required for the evolution of the earth from chaos…
“Akin to the theory concerning the evolution of the earth is that which attributes to an ascending line of germs, mollusks, and quadrupeds the evolution of man, the crowning glory of the creation.
“Shall we reject that genealogical record,–prouder than any treasured in the courts of kings,–‘which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God’? Luke 3:38.” –Education, pp. 128, 130.
7. What degenerate practices did man, left to his own lusts, pursue?
Romans 1:26, 27 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.
MAN’S CONDITION WITHOUT CHRIST
8. What difficult condition do people fall into when they do not observe God’s guideposts?
Romans 1:28-31 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.
“With every rejection of truth the minds of the people will become darker, their hearts more stubborn, until they are entrenched in an infidel hardihood.” –The Great Controversy, p. 603.
• Can I say that I am spotless?
• Do I have the right to judge or condemn others?
• Do I practice self-righteousness in any way?
• Is not the judgment I would pass on others more applicable to myself?
• How often have I been in a situation where I could have done good and have neglected to do so?