In Romans 1:24-28, three times we read, "God gave them up...". We have argued that this implies a form of God's wrath which really is more of an abandonment than immediate physical punishment. When we say abandonment however, we do not mean that God releases people to "nothingness."
Unfortunately, for most of us today these words sound like a "not-really-a-big-deal" hands-off policy in which men and women really are freed up to pursue and practice whatever they think will please them. But this isn't really the idea. “God gave them up” sounds as if God simply let people drift off to nowhere, like releasing a boat into the sea without a GPS. The actual idea is not that God gives the human race up to nothing, but rather that He gives it over to the consequences of the rebellious, sinful directions it has taken. This is something else entirely.
What happens is illustrated in the case of Jonah, the prophet who tried to run away from God. He rejected God’s call for him to go and preach to Nineveh and instead set off for Tarshish at the far end of the Mediterranean. But he didn’t get where he was going, and his path was constantly downhill until God turned him around and got him going to Nineveh. In the passage, we are told four times that the prophet’s path was "downhill." We read that he went “down to Joppa” and that when he found a ship bound for Tarshish he went “down into it” (Jonah 1:3). Then we are told that he had gone “down into the sides of the ship” (v. 5). Still later, after he had been cast overboard, he recounted the experience, saying, “I went down to the land whose bards closed upon me” (Jonah 2:6).
Down! Down! Down! Down! It is a sad life history, but it is the experience of all who run from God, and Paul says all men and women do run from God, trying to rearrange the universe to fit their own desires. God will give one up to this and there end is always destruction and ruin.
In light of this, don't forget that if you are a Christian reading this, you have the light of the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.