Summary: Mankind’s biggest problem with God is not ignorance about Him, but an attitude of enmity toward Him.

Mankind’s Problem With God

(Romans 1:18-23)

Note: A number of illustrations and quotation were found at Sermon Central, but the outline, interpretation and flow of the sermon are mine, and the illustrations were borrowed from various sources.

The "blanks" I have filled in were originally part of a sermon outline (in an abbreviated form) included in the bulletin.

Main idea: Mankind’s biggest problem with God is not ignorance about Him, but an attitude of enmity toward Him.

I. God’s Revelation in Nature (18-20)

1. Nature makes clear that God is ______POWERFUL____________(18)

(1)Although this continuous revelation can include things like conscience and consequences, Pastor Ed thinks it refers to natural ___disasters___________ and the fearful things in nature that tell us something is ____wrong__________.

Psalm 29:3-8, "The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, "Glory!" The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever."

It is, in short, the Curse and its consequences (see Romans 8:18-23):

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."

(2) J. I. Packer: "The fact is that the subject of divine wrath has become taboo in modern society, and Christians by and large have accepted the taboo and conditioned themselves never to raise the matter" (Knowing God, p. 149).

(3) Pastor Ray Pritchard of Calvary Church in Oak Park Illinois puts it this way:

"God’s wrath is not:

Uncontrollable rage.

Vindictive bitterness.

God losing his temper.

In fact, the Bible says in more than one place that God is "slow to anger" (Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 103:8). God never "loses his temper" the way we do. Wrath is God¡¦s "natural" response to sin in the universe. He cannot overlook it, he cannot wink at it, he cannot pretend it is not there.

„h Wrath is what happens when holiness meets sin!

„h Wrath is what happens when justice meets rebellion!

„h Wrath is what happens when righteousness meets unrighteousness!

„h Wrath is what happens when perfect good meets pure evil!

As long as God is God, he cannot overlook sin. As long as God is God, he cannot stand by indifferently while his creation is destroyed. As long as God is God, he cannot dismiss lightly those who trample his holy will. As long as God is God, he cannot wink when men mock his name."

2. The consequences of God’s wrath are a constant reminder of mankind’s tendency to (18b):

(1) nurture ___ungodliness____ and ____unrighteousness___

(2) to actively __ suppress __that which exposes this tendency

3. What else can anyone conclude about God from viewing nature? (19-20)

(1) You can tell a lot about an artist by his paintings

(2) The upper floor at the Indy Art Museum; you can see the warped minds

(3) From looking at nature, even before microscopes and telescopes, you can see that Creation is highly complicated and intertwined: the human eye, the genders, symbiotic relationships, the complexity of all life; like the argument of the watch and watchmaker, the logic is simple to understand.

An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat high into the air. Then it opened its mouth to swallow both.

As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, "Oh, my God! Help me!" At once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place, and as the atheist hung in midair, a booming voice came down from the clouds, "I thought you didn¡¦t believe in Me?" "Come on God, give me a break!" the man pleaded. "Two minutes ago I didn¡¦t believe in the Loch Ness monster either!"

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