“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."--Matthew 5:13

Saturday, December 14, 2013

God's Wrath on Unrighteousness, Part IV

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1:28-32

Since the unrighteous refuse to acknowledge Christ as their Lord and Savior, God has revealed His wrath against them (1:18), and has given them up “in the lust of their hearts to impurity” (1:24), “dishonorable passions” (1:26), and “a debased mind” (1:28). Because of their blatant rebellion against Him, God is allowing unrighteous humanity to do things--such as participating in homosexuality--that they were never created to do. Their souls are being used by Satan as worthless trash, not even fit for the vilest of dumps.

The unrighteous person is easy to spot. Spend just a few minutes with one and their characteristics become self-evident. Paul gives us a description of their defining qualities. He notes that they are exceedingly greedy. They intentionally seek to cause physical and emotional harm to others. The unrighteous person is an angry, deceitful, and resentful murderer. Those without Christ are known for their broken promises, arrogance, disrespect for authority, and lying tongues. Paul even goes so far as to note that they are “haters of God” and “inventors of evil”. The unrighteous person lacks common sense, compassion, mercy, reason, and sympathy. Such is the state of fallen man. The unrighteous know and understand that their lifestyles break the laws of God and that they are risking eternal damnation. But they do not care. In fact, they seek to persuade others to do the same, giving approval to those who disobey God. This is not ignorance. This is sheer rebellion against the Creator. This is rebellion that will have fatal consequences. Though their sin may bring them pleasure for a time, the unrighteous person will die, and their souls will burn in the fires of sheol forever.

Such was the state of the Christian before we were washed and justified by the blood of Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:11). Without the grace and mercy of God, I would be subject to His just wrath against sin. Thanks be to God, Who has delivered from wrath those who call upon His name. As can be seen from Romans chapter 1, God’s wrath is very necessary for the distribution of justice. Without the wrath of God against sin, holiness would be non-existent. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

God's Wrath on Unrighteousness, Part III

"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error."
Romans 1:26-27
Because reprobate humanity has refused to worship and honor the one true God of the universe, He has allowed not only allowed, but foreordained their totally depraved natures to rule their lives. God, in His sovereignty, has seen fit that the unrighteous will pursue impurity until they die as a direct result of their sin.

A staple of an unregenerate society is their participation in and tolerance of homosexuality. Homosexuality is unnatural according to Scripture. It perverts the unity of the marital sexual relationship of a husband and wife (Genesis 2:24). Homosexuality is willing disobedience against God. The homosexual lifestyle is not only degrading to those involved in it, but more importantly it is degrading to God. As they continue to practice this debauchery, their sins keep adding up. Referring to this passage, John MacArthur writes, “Here the law of sowing and reaping takes effect, as Paul refers to the self-destructive nature of this sin, of which AIDS is one frightening evidence.”

The sanctity of marriage is an issue that Christians must continue to fight for. We may be labeled as intolerant bigots, but if we do not stand up for biblical marriage, who will? We must also speak out and condemn homosexuality, all the while calling for repentance and restoration to those seduced by this deadly lifestyle.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

God's Wrath on Unrighteousness, Part II

"Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen."
Romans 1:24-25
In continuing his diatribe against the unrighteous in his letter to the Romans, Paul writes that God has allowed these people to pursue impurity. In His sovereignty God has elected for certain individuals to continually and eternally reject Him. He has hardened their hearts so that it is impossible for them to believe in Him. Much like a judge hands over a prisoner to the warden after his conviction, so too does God hand over the reprobate to Satan. Satan tempts this person with a life filled with the lusts of their own selfish desires, resulting in a punishment of divine judgment.

But why would a benevolent, gracious, and merciful God allow people to fatally mire in their own sin? If He really loves His creation, why would He choose this fate for certain people? The answer is that sinful mankind rejects the truth of Christ that has been clearly revealed in many different forms (Romans 1:18-23). The truth is offensive. The reality of their sinful condition cuts to the bone. Therefore they have traded the truth for a lie, choosing to serve the god of their own desires and refusing to worship and give honor to the Almighty God, the Creator of all things. 

All mankind has been blinded by sin. But thank the Lord that He, in His sovereignty, has opened the minds of His elect through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We would all be eternally doomed, wallowing in the filth of our own desires. But God has washed, sanctified, and justified His people through the death of His Son and the work of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:11).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

God's Wrath on Unrighteousness, Part I

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
 --Romans 1:18-23

The God of Scripture is a God of grace, love, and mercy. We know this because He grants salvation and righteousness to those who believe in His Son alone (1:16-17). But He is also a God of justice, vindication, and wrath. Therefore, when human beings fail to honor the Son, God demonstrates His wrath in an eternally and spiritually devastating way. God’s wrath is not sudden or random. Nor is it aimed at a certain people group. God pours His wrath on all those who deny, oppose, and resist the truth of the gospel of Christ.

The evidence for God is irrefutable. This can clearly be seen from conscience, creation, God’s Word, and His attributes. Foolish is the man who claims there is no God. This man is striving to fool Himself, for even his logic and reasoning reveal the Creator (Psalm 14:1). The earth, seas, and skies reflect the glory and majesty of their creator (Psalm 19:1). God’s very essence is truth. That is not just a part of His character, but His definition (John 14:6). God’s attributes, including His eternal power and His divine nature also prove His existence. One can travel to the most remote of villages and find a people who worship a god. The fact that we, as humans, have a knowledge of a supreme higher being, is rational proof that a supreme deity exists. Despite these overwhelming proofs, human beings still refuse to acknowledge Christ as Lord. God has placed us in front of His creation every day. We live in it, talk to it, eat it, and breathe it. It literally slaps us in the face on a cold, blistery day. But yet mankind refuses to acknowledge the Almighty God. Therefore man has no excuse on the Day of Judgment.
Even though man claims that either God does not exist, or that the God of Scripture is not the One true God, all men are conscious of God’s existence through general revelation. Everyone has a knowledge of God in their hearts. But many people choose not to give Him honor, worship, and praise. They roam around, vainly searching for their purpose in life, refusing to acknowledge that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to serve Him forever. Therefore, their thinking is flawed and the Lord has darkened their hearts, just as He darkened the heart of Pharaoh, who witnessed firsthand the reality of God’s power (Exodus 7-12). These people teach in schools and universities; they invent great technological advancements; they write important pieces of legislature; they theorize and postulate scientific and mathematical formulas; and they are some of the most brilliant minds on the face of the earth. But they are fools who revel in their own personal greatness and not the One who created them with these skills. Instead of giving the glory to God, they worship other things: philosophies, science, political leaders, money, fame, family, sports, the list goes on and on.
Thank the Lord that He is a God of mercy, grace, love, and forgiveness, for everyone would be blinded by our own depravity if not for God’s sovereign election, justification, and sanctification. Thank the Lord for the salvation that only comes through Him. Pray for those who have been blinded by the enticements of this world. Ask the Lord to quell His wrath and to open the hearts and ears of those who refuse to acknowledge Him as Lord.