Read Romans 1:28
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God,he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. (NLT)
When we think of the judgement of God,we are inclined to imagine divine thunderbolts striking dead those who do wrong. We think of some dramatic intervention by God as a sign that he is displeased. And these can and do happen-though we always need to be careful about interpreting historical events in these terms.
However,this text reminds us that God’s judgement against human wrongdoing can take a different form. This chapter of Romans repeats three times the theme of God abandoning or giving over people to their own wrong choices. In effect,God is saying to rebellious human beings that if they want to go their own way despite his warnings,then they will accept the consequences.
Such people may thumb their noses at God,daring him to hurl some heavenly thunderbolt at them. He may not do so. He may rather let them go their own way. He will never stop loving them and urging them to come back to their senses. But he won’t force his love on them either.
Our God is not some bad-tempered deity,but he can’t put up with human sin either. He has to act. But his judgement may take the shape of sorrowful permission giving. The absence of thunderbolts does not mean the absence of just judgement.