As I prepared this study of Romans 1:18-31 and reflected on the fate of those who suppress the truth they have about God, I was convicted on two accounts.
I was amazed at how I could analytically dissect this passage and expound on the dire consequences without my heart being broken for those who don’t humbly respond by faith to the truth. It’s as though I callously felt that those who chose to reject or ignore the truth deserve the consequences. Though this is true, shouldn’t I have compassion for them?
Then it hit me. Was I, like them, suppressing this truth by explaining the implications while distancing myself from them, when I should be concerned enough to risk my reputation and seek to rescue some? Paul shared in Romans 9:2, “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” Jude 22-23 instructs us, “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
The more I thought about it the more tender my heart became. I realized that but for the grace of God this picture of increasing degradation could be describing me. Prayer and effort by others rescued me. Now as I walk among those who suppress the truth, and rationalize their lifestyles by setting their own rules for life, and ignore the bitter consequences of such rebellion, my prayer is that God would fill my heart with compassion and love, like Jesus who “wept over Jerusalem.”