1. Romans 1:18 opens up…
• Well guys we get into a very unpopular subject this morning.
• The WRATH OF GOD – His coming judgment upon those who reject His Son, Jesus Christ.
• And although we hear of the wonderful gospel of grace, it would be wrong to neglect the warning that God will judge.
NOTE: It was pretty sad wasn’t it to hear the stories of those in New Orleans that refused to heed the warnings about Katrina!
• The largest hurricane in years is coming… LEAVE - FLEE!
• NO, we weathered the last one, we’ll make through this one.
• NO, we don’t believe it will be that big.
• NO, this is my house and no one will tell me what to do!
• There was this undercurrent of resistance, for some even to the point of getting their guns and fending off the authorities.
So it is today with those who are warned that the Judgment of God is coming… the wrath of God will come!
• Get out of sin and get into Jesus… and the answers are similar.
• NO, I don’t really believe in God so I don’t care.
• NO, I’m not too concerned because I go to church.
• NO, I’m not listening because you can’t tell me what to do.
And there is this attitude, both with hurricanes & with God that we can do whatever we want and nothing will touch us or hurt us.
• However REALITY is different than that!
• The truth is if you knew a storm was coming, we would be wise to heed the warnings and evacuate!
• THE Bible tells us that the WRATH OF GOD is coming…
• Yes in v16-17, great news, grand news, awesome!
• But then there is the bad news too.
GOOD NEWS is only good compared to the alternative BAD NEWS.
• Oh man I went through this and this and this… but it’s nothing compared to what I COULD HAVE GONE THROUGH!
• And Paul understands this as he begins to show us just how lost we are… just how devastating sin really is.
Yes, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, but it isn’t really isn’t effective until YOU REALIZE just how much you need a Savior.
• You can’t be found until you first realize just how lost you are!
• God’s message is one of those GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS things.
• For me, I always want the bad news first! Just lay it on me!
• Then we can end our conversation with the Good news.
The BAD NEWS is: You’re a sinner, hopelessly lost in your sin!
• And if you die in that condition, you will spend eternity in hell!
• But the GOOD NEWS is that God sent His Son Jesus Christ to rescue us from our horrible condition.
SO it’s crystal clear, EVERYBODY needs a Savior.
• Paul doesn’t hesitate to lay out the bad news first, followed by the good news both BOLDLY & DIRECTLY!
• We shouldn’t be afraid of doing the same!
• I know there is a culture within the church today to water down the reality of hell, but Hell & Sin & Judgment are real!
• And God has provide REAL solutions to avoid them!
First he addresses the PAGAN PERSON that is utterly lost.
• Next, he’ll address the MORAL PERSON, then the RELIGIOUS.
• Finally, in CH3 he concludes that EVERYONE IS LOST!
I. (1:18-19) God’s WRATH
1. The Holiness of God.
a. The word used here for wrath is ‘orge’. It speaks to us of ‘God’s settled determination against sin’.
b. God is completely good. He is completely holy.
c. Therefore he CANNOT tolerate any sin of any kind.
Habakkuk 1:13 (NKJV) 13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?
But wait a minute, I thought God was a God of Love!
• He is. God’s very nature and essence is love.
1 Corinthians 13:6 (NKJV) 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
And so with Sin, God doesn’t wink at it or ignore it or say something like “boys will be boys”. NO, He judges it.
• Think of Jesus for a moment… A sinlessly perfect man dying a horrific death. Why?
• He experienced the wrath of God being poured upon Him so that you and I would not have to!
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Wow. So Paul says back in v18, the wrath of God is revealed.
• From the Greek, it could be better translated:
• “The wrath of God is being continuously being revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.”
• It’s just not possible to break God’s laws and get away with it.
NOW I know it looks that way sometimes.
• Look at her, she lives that way and is blessed.
• Look at him, he hates God and has so much!
You do not break God’s laws, but rather are broken by them when you live counter to them.
• If you violate the will of God, it will takes it toll.
• As a pastor, I’m in a position to see this all the time.
• Life after life, family after family, suffering the effects of sin.
But you think, I’m getting away with it. God hasn’t judged me.
• Turn over to Ecclesiastes 8:11
• It’s all deception. You’re living in a false world.
• The world is very deceiving.
• What appears to be reality isn’t right at all.
• That’s why we have to decide to live our lives by the Word of God and not just by what we see.
NOTICE SIN is divided into 2 categories.
UNGODLINESS: This is living your life like there is NO GOD.
Psalm 14:1 (NKJV) 1 The fool has said in his heart,“There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.
• I answer to myself and therefore I live for myself.
UNRIGHTEOUSNESS: This is living doing the wrong things.
• I know what is right and I choose to do what is wrong.
You know CHRISTIANS can live this way from time to time.
• All of us at one time or another don’t live our lives with the consciousness of God and the desire to do the right things.
• But that’s why we need the Righteousness of Christ to cover us.
• More and more we are cultivating a conscious awareness of Jesus in our lives and the Spirit is working out great things!
NOTICE To in v18-19, this type of living SUPRRESSES THE TRUTH.
• It means to ‘hold down’ the truth.
• We picture a ‘helmsman steering a boat against the current’.
• So that the current wants to take the boat in one direction, but the captain is determined to go the opposite way.
• So he holds the rudder so tightly, with such force and resistance to make sure the ship goes opposite the currents.
Men knew the truth about God but did not allow this truth to work in their lives.
• They suppressed it in order that they might live their own lives and not be convicted by the truths of God.
SO in living against God, they hold down the truth that they know of God. It’s a determined course, a purposeful decision.
• Every man or woman regardless of their culture, their upbringing, or even their nationality have an internal, God-given knowledge of God’s existence and nature.
• All people deserve the wrath of God because everyone has a revelation of God internally.
• No one can plead ignorance, no one can say, “I didn’t know”.
• Why? Because at the end of v19, God has shown it to them!
And as we read in v20, God’s shown it to man in such a way as to leave them no room for any excuses.
• No man has an excuse for not believing in God for God has revealed Himself clearly by His creation.
• We’ll spend a lot of time on this next time.
SO THE WARNING OF GOD’S Judgment has come.
• How will you respond?
• Will you respond in stubbornness, & resistance, and willingly suppress the truth of God’s existence and love for you?
• Like the many families in New Orleans, they heard the hurricane was coming but made up reasons why they didn’t have to go!
• But the hurricane came didn’t it? And many lives were lost that didn’t have to be lost!
And today… the warning of wrath has come and the offer of salvation is available.
As we close we’re reminded of Matthew, an apostle of Jesus.
• As Jesus passed him by, he said, “FOLLOW ME”. Mark 9:9-13
• Matthew, also known as Levi is working… normal day.
• His family had priestly blood in it but Matthew decided take life head on and go for the gold… leaving God behind.
I WONDER IF OVER the last few years God had been speaking to his heart… at the family gatherings… Matthew, why have you turned your back on God? Matthew why don’t you worship?
• AND AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME… Jesus walks by! & he follows.
Jesus is inviting you to FOLLOW HIM. Not a religion. Not a church.
• He wants you to personally follow Him.