Summary: Why can’t people just believe what they want and everybody just get along? Does it really matter what we believe in this life about God? Paul tells us that it absolutely does matter what we believe about God and informs us that with the evidence that Go
No Excuses – Part 1
Series – Summer in Rome
We are returning to our Summer in Rome series today. We are going through the letter to the Romans and we began 2 weeks ago and learned the Gospel is the Power of God for Salvation and for living righteously.
The Gospel is very good news. This is why we who have believed the gospel and received Jesus Christ as our Savior, never outgrow the gospel. We have got to stay focused on it so we can live in the power of the gospel and seize the opportunities to share it with other people as the Lord leads and directs.
It is good news and it is the power of God to rescue us from God’s righteous wrath that is being, and ultimately will be, poured out on the godlessness and wickedness of those who refuse to receive the way God provides for our salvation and living.
This morning we are going to be reading Romans 1:18-23
We are going to read about the wrath of God that is being revealed and learn that there are no excuses for us not to turn to the Lord to receive His mercy and forgiveness. Not even the excuse that “I never heard about Jesus” will be available as we shall see.
Let’s read Romans 1:18-23.
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
We don’t often like to think about God’s wrath. We prefer to think about how loving God is or how compassionate.
But I think it is important for us to understand that His wrath is also an act of compassion and justice.
Let me give you an example.
Twin Towers - Osama bin Laden
Ten years ago, we suffered one of the worst attacks on American soil. Nearly 3000 people were killed in an act of evil and wickedness perpetrated by a terrorist organization that was led by Osama bin Laden.
Two weeks ago, our military was finally able to catch up with Osama, the leader of that terrorist organization.
Now what if we caught up with Osama bin Laden and cornered him and we said, listen, what you organized and orchestrated and carried out against our country and all the families who lost loved ones was wicked and evil. Don’t do that again. And then we left, would you be ok with that?
No. There would be no compassion for the families in seeking justice for this act of wickedness. We would think that the lack of justice would be wicked, which I would agree. There was no remorse from bin Laden, no repentance from his acts. And while the Scriptures tells us that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11), nor should we, the Scripture also confirms that justice brings joy to the righteous and terror to those who do evil (Proverbs 21:15).
The wrath of the U.S. being poured out on evil to execute justice is not a bad thing and it can be an act of compassion toward those who have been impacted by this evil.
In a similar way, when God looks down on all the evil and the causes of evil in this world, he does become angry and his wrath being poured out is an act of compassion toward all of those who have been affected by this evil and His wrath is justice toward those who follow the path of evil.
Notice that in Romans 1:18, we are told what God’s wrath is being revealed against.
First, it says that
God’s wrath is against Godlessness
Godlessness is living without concern for God
This does not mean you are an atheist. It could be, but this just means that you live and act as if He did not exist.
When we live as if there is no God, doing whatever we want, evil abounds.
Secondly, we are told that
God’s wrath is against Wickedness