Summary: Many people of our day have a confused understanding of God. Many today believe that God is just waiting for us to mess up so He can pour out judgment.
This message is an edited version of a sermon given at Loving God Fellowship. Copyright © 2008 Loving God Fellowship, Inc. http://www.LovingGodFellowship.org . Click to have messages emailed to you as they are made available. You are encouraged to share this message with those you know that are hungry for God’s Word.
Keeping Perspective in Overwhelming Times
By Rev. Greg Johnson
We live in overwhelming times. This past week on February 14, 2008, there was another senseless shooting and taking of lives on one of our college campuses, Northern Illinois University. We are told that the war in Iraq is to fight against terrorism coming to our own soil, yet we can’t keep people safe from American citizens terrorizing our own college campuses. For the money being spent on war in Iraq, we could safely secure every college and public school in America with metal detectors and security personnel at every entrance to every building.
Besides all of that, there is every day living that can become overwhelming. Do you ever wish there were more hours in a day? Life can become quite overwhelming. There are deadlines to meet. There are bills that have to be paid. There are appointments to be kept. There are assets that have to be maintained such as houses and cars. There are relationships that have to be nourished. And how do we ever find time to properly take care of ourselves? In the overwhelming times that we live in, do you ever find yourself losing perspective? I do quite often.
God has given me a verse in His Word that puts everything back in perspective. I want to share it with you so that you can glean from its wonderful truth. God’s Word says (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Wow! This is the greatest double paradox in history. It is powerful and it puts everything in perspective. Understanding it will change our life and the way we live it.
GOD ARRANGED FOR JESUS TO BE MADE SIN
It’s all about divine justice, divine wrath, divine self-sacrifice and divine love. Because of God’s divine justice, His reaction to sin is divine wrath. God in His infinite wisdom decided that the penalty of sin would be death and that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 11:22 NIV) But the blood had to come from a perfect sacrifice; one that did not know sin. That would be the only thing that would appease God’s wrath. The only one that could fulfill this was God Himself because only God is sinless. But yet God could not die. So God came into our world. I get so excited every time I think about it. It amazes me that God left the portals of heaven and came into our world. That is how much God loves us. God has gone out of His way to save us from His wrath.
Only Jesus could be the perfect sacrifice for our sins; a sacrificial lamb without spot and without blemish. At the cross, Jesus took upon Himself every sin we ever committed. God’s Word says (Isaiah 53:6 NIV) “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” At the cross, Jesus took upon Himself God’s divine judgment and God’s divine wrath that we deserve so that we would be shielded from God’s judgment and His wrath. Beloved, our sins were charged to Jesus’ account. It doesn’t sound right. He was innocent, we are guilty. We deserve the punishment, but God took it upon Himself instead. It was divine self-sacrifice. That’s how much God loves us.
GOD ARRANGED FOR PEOPLE TO BE MADE RIGHTEOUS
Again God’s Word says (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Jesus’ righteousness was credited to the account of all who would believe on Him. It all happened at the cross of Christ.
WE HAVE BEEN SHIELDED FROM GOD’S JUDGMENT AND WRATH THAT IS TO COME
At the cross, Jesus took upon Himself God’s divine judgment and God’s divine wrath that we deserve so that we would be shielded from God’s judgment and His wrath. At the end of this age, God’s judgment and wrath will be poured out on all those that do not love the Lord. All those that have rejected God’s love through Jesus and His powerful work on the cross will experience the judgment and the wrath of God that is to come. Those that have freely accepted God’s love through Jesus and His powerful work on the cross will be raptured from earth prior to God’s judgment and wrath being poured out.