Summary of passage: Despite knowing God (in Creation and in their hearts and mind), mankind became foolish and gave up the glory given to them by God and instead worshiped false gods.
6) Through Free Will and denying who God is. They did not glorify Him nor did they thank Him.
7a) “Their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” and they “became fools.” Any consequence is appropriate and God can and will express His wrath in different forms. Why would God reward those who reject Him in any way? You can’t be wise if you deny God. Part of His judgement against unbelievers is to suffer the damage sin causes. You deserve no mercy when you reject Him.
b) Part personal Question. My answer: He has sent His son, Jesus Christ, and whoever believes in Jesus has light within. In Genesis 1:3, God made light and separated it from the darkness that was over the surface of the deep. From the beginning, God planned and gave light to mankind. Jesus tells us in Matthew to let our light and good deeds shine before men. Do what Jesus would do with respect to others. Praise God. Walk in His ways. Give Him all the credit. All will see through you the power of God.
8 ) Humanity exchanged wisdom for foolishness and the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man, birds, animals, and reptiles. Mankind becomes hardened to others. Love is pushed out. Evil reigns. For instance, I recently read about how young men videotaped another young man drowning. They laughed in the background and didn’t help or even call 911. How sick is that? That’s evil. Pure evil in this world. All because man has forsaken God and his mind is useless. Worshiping false gods leads to emptiness and a desire by man to fill it–with evil thoughts and deeds. Without God, there is no right and wrong. Without right and wrong, it’s every man for himself and chaos reigns. Just like Satan desires.
Conclusions: Great emphasis on the peril of mankind without God. A Godless life is dark and black and unrewarding and destitute. People deal with this in different ways: violence against self (suicide), violence against others (rape, murder, assault), waging war on strangers or kids or animals or the weak or the poor or the downtrodden. Those without God lead an empty life no matter how materially successful they are. If you don’t work for God, your life is sad. Very, very sad.
End Notes: Knowledge of God is useless–by itself. Every person on this planet past and present has “known” God. You must glorify Him and thank Him, the God of the Bible. An attitude of gratitude will change your life and the lives of those around you.
We must also be on guard to worship the God of the Bible, not the god of our mind’s creation. Constantly be on guard for society and other influences to change in your mind whom you know God to be.
Knowledge leads to worship and gratitude.
As soon as man rejects God in Jesus, he becomes foolish. Once foolish, he’ll believe any lie Satan says. It is only when we turn back to God and stay with Him does wisdom return. Sound familiar in our lives when we stray from Him?