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Today we are addressing one of those “sore spots” for Christians.
The scripture boldly declares… not defends… boldly declares the WRATH OF GOD.
Most churches and most Christian run away from it or try to defend it, or explain it away.
But if you are going to understand scripture you MUST understand the wrath of God…. What it is, why it is, and what it means to us.
Here in chapter 1…Paul is writing one of his greatest books, Romans, and has just finished telling the Christians at Rome how much he loves them and then, in verse 14 he kicks off to what matters most to him… THE GOSPEL.
He declares, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.”
Now if you and I were going to talk about the gospel, we might start at Calvary and tell people how much God loves them.
Not Paul, because he understands before you can get to the glory of Calvary, you have to travel through the wasteland of SIN.
After all, if you want to tell someone they must be saved… you must tell them FROM WHAT they must be saved
We know that what we must be saved from is THE WRATH OF GOD.
If you run away from and cover up the wrath of God… you have no basis for salvation or the Gospel.
But, some would whimper, if you bring it out in the open you expose a dirty thing that is not politically correct.
We act like the wrath of God is some dirty little secret that we need to keep hidden because it is offensive or wrong
Kind of like people in the dark ages dealt with mental illness in the family… keep them locked away in some back room.
They say wrath of God is old testament, archaic, old-fashioned, passť, obsolete and out-of-date and out of touch with the modern, educated, enlightened, savvy, modern day mindset and worldview.
We think it turns unchurched people off, and it even makes believer’s uncomfortable because we don’t understand it either.
We decide we will just not even deal with God’s wrath by focusing on God’s love.
Too many churches today are AFRAID to deal with Sin and the wrath of God.
This is perhaps best exemplified by one of the biggest churches in the world… the Crystal Cathedral
It was a mammoth all glass building that seats 3000 people. The preacher was Robert Schuller, a heretic that called himself a Christian minister.
He did not believe in sin, or hell. He said he would NEVER use the term sin in his pulpit.
In a 10/5/84 letter to Christianity Today, Schuller wrote, "I don't think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and hence counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition"
The wrath of God fell on Robert Schuller and that church. In 2010 they filed for bankruptcy and in Feb of this year the building was sold to become a Catholic church.
If you want to preach the Gospel of salvation and grace… you have to start at the WRATH OF GOD
Proverbs 9:10 proclaims, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
This verse says you cannot possibly understand spiritual things… be wise… until you learn lesson 1… The Fear of the Lord
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