Thursday, September 27, 2012

Romans 2

Romans 2 continues the presentation of God's wrath, which was started in Romans 1. It tells us that we can store up more and more wrath before God. Because when we resist time of kindness from God and do not repent of our sin, we presume upon God's goodness.  Romans 2:4 states this: Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? God is patience with us in our sin, He is kind to ward us in our sin. Look at Adam and Eve, the penalty for their sin was death, many say that it meant spiritual death, but it meant physical death as well, they should have died. But God was kind to them.  Their are incident in the Bible where it is stated that God kills. God destroyed the world, saving only Noah and his family by the flood. There are many, many examples where God did not punish sin to the fullest extant that He could have. David committed sins of murder, adultery, yet He did not die. Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and they were killed. Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt. We can see clearly from the record of scripture that God, at times visit His just wrath upon some and on others He does not. Why" I was reading a book by John MacArthur which I believes provides a good answer, he says: "Do you know why God took the lives of certain people in the Bible? It was not because they were more sinful than anyone else; it was because somewhere along the line in the long process of grace and mercy, God had to set some examples to make men and women fear." If we did not have those examples of God judging sin we would not fear God, we would do as some ministry do, only present God as love, grace, and mercy, but they do not present the wrath and justice of God. MacArthur continues with this: "God is gracious, but don't confuse His mercy with justice. God is not unjust when He acts in a holy manner against sin. Don't ever get to the place that you are so used to mercy and grace that you abuse it by going on in your sin. Don't question God when He does what He has every right to do to  punish sin. Dont' abuse God's grace; He will judge you, too. But do know this: He is holy, and He is to be feared."

God's word is sure. God does have wrath and it is against sin, all sin. Sometimes His wrath breaks out in the lives of people and we wonder why? We don't understand the sinfulness of sin and how God hates it. Some may ask why does God allow sin if He is all powerful? God has already stated clearly in His word that ...for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteousness still do right, and the holy still be holy. (Revelation 22:10-11 ESV)  God will come again and there will be no opportunity to ask for salvation, the time of mercy will end and judgment will be all that is left. The plain truth is God is running the universe not according to our wants and desires but by His own counsel. The problem of sin has already been dealt with - God tells us in How word that it will come to an end and  only those who are in Christ will experience the everlasting life without sin.

Romans 2:4 tells us that the time of God's patience and forbearance is Today and we should not presume upon His mercy and count it as nothing.  MacArthur makes the point that we have no fear of God. We wonder at the evil and wickedness in the world and ask why? what we should be asking in why is there any good at all?  We may not have experienced a sense of God's holiness in worship, it's a shame if you have not, your worship experience is a waste if you do not encounter the holiness of God, if you do not come away knowing that God is Holy. Many, many worship services are anything but worship. There is no fear of God, there is no understanding of His Holiness, nor is there any desire to. Read the Bible for yourself and see how people who encountered Christ responded. The disciples were in a storm and they feared for their lives, they woke Jesus Up and He calmed the storm and the Bible states that they were exceedingly terrified of the One who could speak to the storm and control it. The woman with the issue of blood believed if she just touched Christ's garment she would be healed when she did and Christ asked who touched me? the woman was said to bow down trembling at His feet, trembling is the same word to describe the quaking of Mount Sinai when God gave the law. She really shook! She was terrified. All of the encounters with the Holiness of God bring about the same result. The question for today is the same it has always been are we going to believe the Bible or are we going to accept what the world present as worship. Romans 1 and 2 present the wrath of God. God does not hide the fact that wrath can happen against us today or God can be merciful today. Think about it we all have done sin that is at least the same or worst than those who die under the wrath of God for their sin. God has been merciful to us why? because God wants us to fear Him, to reverence Him, to give Him the Glory that is due Him. He has in wrath remembered mercy. We all have an opportunity to ask for forgiveness of our sins today. Revelation 22:11 tells us that there will be a day when that will not be so.

Lets us purpose in our hearts to seek the holy face of God in His forbearance and patience, and pray to not presume upon His mercy.
The book referenced above is: "Worship, The Ultimate Priority," John MacArthur 1983, 2012, Moody Publishers

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