The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Rom 1:18-20
Here we see the cause of the wrath of God. The apostle explains that it is
the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness that causes God’s wrath. The tragic aspect of life is caused by the attitudes men have and the subsequent actions that follow. Notice the order of this — godlessness and then wickedness. It is the godless attitude that produces the wicked actions, and that is why the wrath of God is being revealed constantly from heaven against man. What is godlessness? Godlessness isn’t necessarily atheism, the belief that God doesn’t exist. Godlessness is acting as though he doesn’t exist. It doesn’t necessarily deny that there is a God, but it never takes any account of him; it doesn’t expect him to be active.
As a result of godlessness, there is unrighteousness or wickedness, selfish and hurtful acts of men toward one another. Why do we act selfishly? Why do we hurt each other? Because we disregard God, and expect there will be no consequences. That is Paul’s analysis. By means of these hurtful and selfish acts, the truth is suppressed.
Here we are in a world in which truth from God is breaking out all around us, but we are busy covering it up, hiding it, suppressing it, keeping it from being prominent and dominant in our thinking. The reason life has turned tragic in so many cases is because the world is deprived of the truth that is necessary for life and liberty and freedom and godliness, and it is hidden by men and suppressed by them. The nature of the truth that is suppressed is the existence of a God of eternal power and majesty.
How has God made truth plain? The Scripture says that God has revealed himself to man. Truth is not a vague, invisible, difficult thing to comprehend; it is clearly seen. God himself has insured that. How? The Scriptures say,
It is seen in that which is made, i.e., creation. From the creation of the world it is visible; i.e., it has been always and everywhere present. There is no one who is left out — all can read this revelation of God if they want to do so. This argument from creation’s design and order has never been rebutted. Those who disregard God cannot explain it because truth about God is breaking out everywhere around us.
Thus, says the Scripture, people are without excuse. No one who really wants to find God need miss him.
Blatant suppression of Truth in the public square is undeniable. What about our lives? Are we suppressing God’s Truth by neglecting to know and obey the revelation of Truth in His Word?