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Summary: What is it about the idea of God that makes many people uncomfortable? The idea of God does make many people feel that way, you know. For a country that has "In God We Trust" on its money, we are pretty confused about what kind of God we trust.

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9th

The Rational Mind Deceived

Romans 1:18-23

January 22, 2012

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 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. 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. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

(Romans 1:18-23 NIV)

What is it about the idea of God that makes many people uncomfortable? The idea of God does make many people feel that way, you know. For a country that has "In God We Trust" on its money, we are pretty confused about what kind of God we trust. Just the mention of His name brings forth a multitude of conflicting images. Some people want to do away with the idea of God altogether. Others simply want to modify that idea to fit their opinion of who God should really be.

God’s Word is described in Jer. 23:29 read.

Sometimes that hammer breaks that hardness around our hearts like a hammer or burns like fire. People become sermon proof to the degree that they hear the truth of God but do not obey it. They don’t repent but keep on living the lie.

In order to do this man has to justify his ungodly and unrighteous life by changing the truth into a lie and serve the creature rather than the Creator. Read verse 25.

Humanism is the end result of evolution. It is the philosophy man is the highest authority and beyond man and the material universe there is no reality. You know people who are humanistic in their thinking. They change right into wrong and make what is wrong sound right. The lie begins to sound more right than the truth does. All this is done so man can serve himself rather than God.

Whenever we sin against the Word of the Lord we will suffer. Read Jer. 2:13, 19. There are built in reproofs.

God’s Word is truth for us to live our lives. When we obey His Word we are blessed when we disobey there is built in reproof. See Proverbs 1:23-33.

Haggai 1. The people of God are not prospering. God tells them over and over, “Consider your ways.” Vs 6 describes their lives as blessed by God but it is like putting money in a bag with holes in it. Verse 9 “You look for much and it comes to little, consider your ways!”

Problem was they were ignoring God’s clear Word to put His interests and the work of the KOG first in their finances and support. God accuse them of building their own fancy homes and letting God’s house lie in waste. Is God going to bless us if we put our interests before His? Consider your ways. The reproof of God is built into our ways.

In 1938, Harry Emerson Fosdick, then a very famous preacher in New York City, published a book called A Guide to the Understanding of the Bible. In the opening chapter he described how our understanding of God has evolved. In man's thinking, God had come from the wrathful and vengeful God of the primitive mind to the God of fatherhood and brotherhood in the teaching of Jesus. But Fosdick thought that the repugnant idea of hell that Jesus had should also be abandoned in this upward quest of positive development.

Fosdick would probably also agree with Lord Bertrand Russell as he expressed this same thought in his book, Why I Am Not A Christian:

There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ's moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment. Christ certainly as depicted in the Gospels did believe in everlasting punishment, and one does find repeatedly a vindictive fury against those people who would not listen to His preaching .

It seems to me that one of the real reasons that the idea of God makes people uncomfortable is that they know that if God exists, we may have to stand accountable before Him one day. The idea of a God who judges us by some moral standard we must meet is a frightening idea to many, especially those who think that they should give account to no one. So, people attempt to redefine God or eliminate God. The truth is that we do not want to be held accountable for our sins.

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