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Friday, February 07 2020

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION

One of the most difficult topics for people to understand; believers and unbelievers alike, is that of the wrath of God.  It is hard to reconcile for most people, that God who is a loving God is also a wrathful God; and the divide is usually the cross.  Yet it is at the cross where these two ideas meet, where love and wrath, justice and mercy are displayed. Anyone who truly wants to come to terms with this, need to come to an understanding of Unbelief – which is, the Rejection of God. In last week’s study, we looked at what the Gospel was – the power of God onto salvation. However, we will never come to grips with the importance of the gospel or be motivated to share it, until we come to the realization of this sad truth of God’s wrath! It is interesting to note that there are more references to God’s wrath and anger in the Bible than to His love and mercy, yet too many Christians will focus on love and mercy at the expense of the biblical idea of God’s wrath and anger.  You cannot have a complete, prefect, holy and just God without any of these.

 

  1. VERSES 18-20: MAN REJECTS GOD’S REVELATION

“But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.” (MSG)

  • The NIV says, “The wrath of God is being revealed . . .” Paul uses a present tense to describe something that is currently happening and continues to happen. God’s angry displeasure is not just for the future (hell), but is currently being revealed – daily!
  • God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven to all people because of their ungodliness and wickedness.
  • God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven to all people who try to put a shroud over truth or suppress the truth

To put a shroud over a thing is to cover it up or make it unclear. Other versions use the word “suppress” to suppress is to hold something down. It implies that men know the truth, but they want to hold it down so that they can pursue their sins.

Whether it is evolution - denying God as the Sovereign Creator, or philosophy -  speculating that we cannot really know God at all, or psychology - telling us that we are not responsible for our problems (psychologists do not like the word “sin”!), these are all ways of pushing God away from us so that we can be our own lord.

  • People have been made to know the truth about God instinctively; because God put this knowledge in their hearts. People have this knowledge not because of their intelligence or ability to figure it out, but because God makes it known. God made it plain to them through creation so there is really no excuse anyone can give! Unless, according to verse 18, they have chosen to suppress the truth by wickedness! No matter how sympathetic we want to be, the Bible says that nobody has a good excuse not to believe in God! Because by mere looking at creation, we are able to see His eternal power and the mystery of His divine being

  1. VERSES 21-23: MAN REJECTS GODS’ GLORY AND HONOUR.

Verses 21-23: “What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.” (MSG)

Paul tells us in detail what the reason was why the wrath of God was being revealed to the world then as it is these days.

  • Firstly, people knew God perfectly well, but they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him! They knew God, but rejected Him, suppressing the truth, they failed to glorify and thank God – they failed to worship. To fail to glorify God is to be proud – viewing oneself as more important than God – worshipping self. The result of this was that they became silly and confused; having neither sense nor direction.
  • Secondly, they claimed to be wise. In other words, they claimed to know and be able to know everything and to run anything. As a result, they become fools!
  • Thirdly, because of the first two reasons that resulted in them becoming silly and confused; having neither sense nor direction and becoming fools, they traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand. In today’s world, people trade the glory of God for vanity!

CONCLUSION

The direction the world is heading today is one that fails to acknowledge God for who He is! So, let us be careful not to follow the crowd because the consequences can be dire. In Romans 1 verse 28, the Bible tells us of what happens to those who fail to acknowledge Him:

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (depraved) mind, to do those things which are not convenient (things which are improper and repulsive);” (KJV)   

You see, it is not that they were completely ignorant about God; but they just did not like the idea of retaining God in their knowledge! They had some knowledge of God by the light of nature, and yet did not care. That is exactly what we are seeing these days. Because they do not want to retain God in their knowledge, they are trying every method to erase this knowledge of God out of their minds, and from others! God is a loving God; but He is also a wrathful God! The death of Jesus on the cross was to appease this wrath but God did not stop Jesus from dying. He even turned His back against Him! We are reminded that no one has any excuse; because creation clearly points to the divine Creator! The wrath of God should motivate us to share God’s message of salvation. We should determine to live godly lives, realizing that we still function in the flesh and can live in ungodliness and unrighteousness if we don’t make the conscious effort.

Culled from: https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/54701-romans-1:18-23-understanding-unbelief:-the-rejection-of-god-part-1, https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-6-god-s-wrath-justified-romans-118-23,

Your Heart & Mind: Priceless Possessions Worth Protecting

https://books.google.ie/books?redir_esc=y&id=Ve3ADwAAQBAJ&q=reprobate#v=snippet&q=reprobate&f=false

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:28 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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