Romans 1:21-32 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Notice what happens to people who know God, but do not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him as recorded in Romans 1:21. What happens? Peoples’ thinking becomes futile, which means their reasoning becomes worthless, it has no beneficial outcome, no value. Our text also states as a fact that peoples’ foolish hearts become darkened who do not honor God or give thanks to Him. A darkened heart is a heart that does not know how to live without being destroyed by sin. Romans 1:22-23 instructs us that worthless thinking people claim to be wise and turn away from the immortal Creator God to things made by man. God’s response to such people is to give them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity among themselves (Romans 1:24). This means God let them be sexually immoral as opposed to helping people keep sex within the lifetime commitment of marriage. Sex outside of marriage results in destruction of people just as a fire in a house outside the furnace chamber destroys the house.
Sin unrepented of is increasingly wicked and destructive (Romans 6:19). Romans 1:26 states God next gives worthless thinking people over to dishonorable, same-sex sexual immorality who receive in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Continuing worthless thinking that does not acknowledge God causes God to give people up to a debased mind and do what ought not to be done, things recorded in Romans 1:29-31. Those who practice sin and approve of those who practice sin deserve to die.
What is the solution? Believe the gospel and live a new life by the power of the Holy Spirit. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). Let’s honor God and give thanks to God for all to see. Perhaps people will leave their worthless thinking behind and put their trust in Jesus Christ alone.