And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting … who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practise such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practise them.
Romans 1, 28-32.
There is indeed no excuse for the heathen nations that consciously turned away from the living God. They cannot even pretend to be ignorant of God’s verdict on their sins. For this reason those pagans, and also the modern heathen of our own age, come under God’s wrath (cf. vv. 18 & 21).
These verses do not pronounce the final verdict on individuals. They do, however, show that man is lost and needs Christ, the Saviour. And the gospel is “the power of God to salvation” (ch.1,v.16). The good news of Christ and His death on the cross has the power to save people, even if they have fallen into the worst of sins. In 1 Corinthians 6, where a similar list of grievous sins is given, it then states: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
“Were” shows that a fundamental change has taken place. “Washed” indicates cleansing from the filth of sin. “Sanctified” means that they have been consecrated to God.
“Justified” signifies that God no longer sees any guilt in those who have turned to Him, believing in Christ as their Saviour. That is how Jesus Christ can transform any life into something new.