Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Wrath Of God Is Revealed

I learned something special this morning. It is one of those 'right in front of your face' kind of things that when you see it you realize it was there all along but somehow in my familiarity I was blind to it.

I warn you beforehand. It isn't a pleasant truth but it is an important one.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth." - Romans 1:18 ESV

This wrath is being revealed right now. It will be revealed later in the time of Jacob's wrath. That will be dramatic and fiery but it is being revealed now.

"But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed." - Romans 2:5 ESV

There is a time in the future when God's wrath will be revealed but right now in the age of grace we see the wrath of God revealed. It is the banishment of man and the resulting chaos that comes from banishment. It isn't God's anger expressed in a storm or tragedy. No. Because of the cross God has forgiven sin and put it far away from Him.

The wrath we see is the banishment of Adam leaving the Garden. It is King David banishing his son Absalom from his presence. Absalom turned from a man who wanted justice into a man willing to use others to get back at his father in that banishment.

"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools," - Romans 1:19-22 ESV

Perhaps we think that the trouble we see in the world makes God angry. Actually it is the opposite. The trouble we see is evidence that God was angry enough in His holiness to send Adam and Eve out of the garden and into a cold harsh world.

God is still angry at evil. All evil systems will fall. God is not angry at people anymore. Jesus fixed that problem. Jesus mended that fence. God wants to bring every wandering soul home again because His Son has made away for that to happen.

This racial hatred we see welling up in the world is evidence of the wrath of God. Delight in violence and vengeance all point to the fact that people have been orphaned.

God's anger is a holy anger. He had every right to cast Adam out. Anything less would have been sentimentality and compromise. But His mercy rejoiced against judgement and God made a way for there to be reconciliation.

"For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him." - 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10 ESV

God wants every individual to return to His house and once reconciled they will never be banished again.

This is why I believe that the Gospel is the solution for the ills of this world.

The natural man will always have hate simmering under the surface. You can't educate it out of him or her. If you push it down here it will pop up somewhere else. Adam transgressed and was changed by that transgression into someone who can never forgive God for his banishment. He is a spoiled child who hates his loving parents and it can't be cured.

The Gospel is the only message that results in a new nature if we embrace it. God makes us into grateful children who say things like 'if He slays me I will trust Him' because the new birth has a rainbow promise attached to it. No wrath. No banishment. No disconnect.

We have a message like no other. The cross is the only cure for bitterness. It won't be received everywhere but in the places it is received an oasis will form.

"...then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;" - Isaiah 35:6 ESV


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