Because of this suppression of truth, the wrath of YHWH is continuously pouring itself out on mankind. As this chapter develops, that wrath is more fully described for us. It turns out not to be lightning bolts from heaven, flung at wicked people who step over the line, but rather God saying to mankind, “Look, I don’t want you to do a certain thing because it will destroy you, but if you insist upon doing it, you may, but you will have to accept the consequences.” You cannot make a choice to live wrongly and still avoid the consequences that come from that choice.
. . . they knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge him as such . . . they gave up God: and therefore God gave them up—to be the playthings of their own foul desires . . . yes, they knew all about him, but they wouldn’t admit it . . .
. . . after awhile they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result is that their foolish minds became dark and confused . . . so God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin, and do whatever they wanted to . . .
Instead of believing what they knew to be the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies . . . that is why God let do all these evil things . . . and, as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserved . . . —Romans 1:19-26
Three times in this chapter, the wrath of God is indicated in the repeated phrase. “God gave them up.” Here are the results:
. . . they became filled with wickedness, rottenness, greed and malice: their minds became steeped in envy, murder, quarrelsomeness, deceitfulness and spite. They became whisperers-behind-doors, stabbers-in-the-back, God-haters; they overflowed with insolent pride and boastfulness, and in their minds teemed with diabolical invention. They scoffed at duty to parents; they mocked at learning, recognized no obligations of honor, lost all natural affection, and had no use of mercy. More than this [as if this wasn’t enough]—being well aware of God’s pronouncement that all who do these things deserve to die, they not only continued their own practice, but did not hesitate to give their thorough approval to others who did the same! —Romans 1:29-31
Eeww . . . that is the condition of the rebellious people who display their enmity towards God. They suppress the truth of God by flagrantly disobeying him, observing no standard, living as they please, and doing what they like. The result is a moral decay, and a perversion of the natural drives of life. Even the sexual drives become perverted, so that men give themselves to men, and women to women, as this chapter describes. This is exactly what’s taking place today wherever man lives in open rebellion.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome