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The Wrath of God

Part 1 - The Cause and the Cure

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(7/19) I believe that the United States of America, our country that we love, is experiencing the Wrath of Almighty God. Why? In the 1950s we did two big things. WE officially declared that In God We Trust would be our Nationís Motto, and we included the phrase, Under God, in our pledge of allegiance to our flag. Then in just a matter of a few years we declared that God was no longer welcome in our schools, or courts and we no longer accepted His truth as absolute or His morals as our way life. More about that in two weeks.

I believe we are experiencing Godís wrath and we are experiencing it many forms. Letís define Godís wrath. The Wrath of God is Godís settled, determined indignation, anger, and condemnation because of sin, in which He acts to judge that sin. His wrath is not a momentary outburst of emotion. It is His settled response towards those who reject Him and His ways. (Repeat) Listen to Romans 1:18-19; "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. This is largely what the first 11 chapters of Romans is about.

Why do I believe we are experiencing the wrath of God? Two reasons. One we will cover this week and the other we will cover on the last of the month. Though I will state both reasons this morning.

Reason #1 is very basic. Everyone, every man, woman, and child is a sinner and our Creator and Sovereign Lord is Holy. This not new to any of you, but it is a necessary reminder. To say we are sinners is to say that we have all fallen short of Godís standard of Holiness and perfection. That is the basic definition of the Greek word for sin, Hamartia. To miss the mark. Paul says we have all done it and that there are no exceptions. Listen carefully to this very familiar verse, "for all have sinned (missed the mark) and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23; cp. 5:24) Ecclesiastes 7:20, For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. Death is the natural consequence of sin. Thatís why God told our first parents that the day that they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die. Ezekiel 18:4, "Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father, as well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die." Rom. 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Godís wrath is in the curse of sin and the condemnation to the Lake of Fire for all eternity (Rev. 20:15).

Reason #2 is that as a nation we have rejected God. We do not want Him in our lives as a nation. We donít want to invoke His blessing or acknowledge His truth. Understand, that when a nation that has experienced the grace of God and committed itself to God, then turns away from God. That nation is promised the wrath of God. Turn back with me to Jeremiah 18:1-12. You have a warning that is similar in Deuteronomy 8:6-20. We will deal with this in detail on the 31st when we look at Romans 1:18-32.

How is Godís wrath revealed? 5 ways

1. The Curse Ė The weeds, the thorns, the work that isnít pleasurable, the pain that is in childbearing, the battle of the sexes, and the sickness and physical death that we all experience.

2. The Consequences of wrong decisions. This is the principle of sowing and reaping. This is playing with fire and getting burned. This is the chickens coming home to roost. Doing the crime and doing the time. The unwanted pregnancy or STDís, the embarrassment, and shame, etc.

3. The Cataclysmic disasters. Flood of Noah; the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and I believe the natural disasters that have been so prevalent in our country these last 10 years are Godís wake-up calls and wrath on America. Read Amos 4 and the Revelation. Natural disasters will result in ĺ of the worldís population dying.

4. The Cessation of Godís Constraint. That is, He intentionally will not restrain Satan or sinners from doing what they want. 3 times in verses 24, 26, 28, it says God gave them up, or that He gave them over. He intentionally withdrew from people and allowed them to do what they want and have what they want, a world without God and His rules. Look back at Psalm 81:11-12, "But My people would not heed My voice, And Israel would have none of Me. 12 So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels."

5. The Condemnation of a Godless eternity. This is the separation from God first in hell, and then in the Lake of Fire forever as Matt. 25:41, and Rev. 20:11-15, reveals to us.

Now there is a cure for the wrath of God. It is the gracious provision of God that is in the Gospel of Jesus. This is the News of Jesusí death for us and His resurrection for us, and His life and righteousness that He gives to all who will repent and receive Him as Savior and Lord. This message was Paulís life purpose; to tell people about Jesus so they could be rescued from the wrath of God. Look at Romans 5:8-9, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Letís read Romans 1:13-17, 13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. 15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." Oh that we had more people like Paul. Letís notice:

1. That I may have some fruit among you. While fruit often refers to the character attributes that come with knowing Jesus, like the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, here I believe he is referring to bringing the lost to a state of salvation as he shares the gospel.

2. I am a Debtor (v. 14)1. The word debtor refers to one who is under obligation to repay. Sin is like a disease and the Gospel is like a miracle cure. Imagine that there is a cure for cancer. It was costly but it is abundantly available and can be had by anyone for free, because the founder has paid for it all. Would you keep it to yourself or would you shout it in the streets? If you knew about the cure, but no one else did, would you feel obligated to tell people? Do you have a moral or ethical obligation to tell people with cancer that they can be free from it? Yes, or No? Would it be criminal not to tell? Paul felt obligated to a lost world to tell them of a miracle cure for sin. It is the moral and ethical obligation he owed to the world.

And it was a debt that he felt he owed to His Savior. Jesus left heaven and became one of us to be mistreated terribly and killed horribly so He could pay for our sins, but he rose victorious to show He had conquered sin and death to give us the gift of life. He knew of the great commission. Those who had received grace were to go into the world and to share that grace. I owe it to the one who gave it to me to give away.

Thatís why we are going to New Mexico, and why we went to Mexico, Haiti, China, and Paw Paw, W. Va. And why Justin is in Africa today and Christian travels back and forth from Boston to El Salvador. They feel an obligation to tell lost people how to be rescued. Do you feel an obligation, or an indebtedness to the lost in the world or in your hood? Do you feel obligated to our Lord to tell His story?

Notice the five people groups that Paul mentions. Greeks, Barbarians, Wise, Unwise, and those in Rome also. Some see these as parallel statements; that is, the Greeks were considered wise, and the Barbarians were considered unwise. Paul was simply saying that the obligation to share the gospel was for all people. The educated, the uneducated, the cultured and the uncultured, the wealthy and the poor, the city people and the country people. That would include, white, black, red, yellow, Democrat, Republican, and Independents, slaves and free, inmates and police. This is John 3:16. This is the world that God demonstrated His love for and the world that Jesus died for, and the world that will experience the wrath of God. God is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance. Paul felt indebted to God for receiving grace and indebted to a lost world that needs that grace. Do you?

3. I am Ready to Preach the Gospel (v. 15). Ready means to be predisposed, willing and waiting to get er done. It means he is prepared with the message and is ready to share it in Rome, or New Mexico. Paul knew the gospel message and how to share it. Do you? Honestly. Do You? Do know the Romans road? Paul did and he loved to tell it. Because the Gospel is Good News. Is there anyone here that doesnít think that the story of Jesus death and resurrection isnít good news? Are you ready to share it?

What keeps us from sharing the gospel? Two things. Shame and fear.

4. I am not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ (v. 16).

To be ashamed is to have a feeling of shame or embarrassment, or to be afraid of the consequences. I wonít ask you to raise your hand, but have you ever been embarrassed or afraid to share the gospel because of the consequences? What will people think of me. There was a song years ago by DC Talk, called Jesus Freak, that asked these questions.

What will people think when they hear that I'm a Jesus freak

What will people do when they find that it's true

I don't really care if they label me a Jesus freak

There ain't no disguising the truth

Paul wasnít afraid or ashamed. Do you know why? It is the only cure for the wrath of God.

Notice, it is the Power of God. There is power, dynamic power in the words of the Gospel. It is able to change a personís life for now and their eternal destiny forever.

It is the power of God to Salvation ĖSoteria, to rescue from danger or harm. This is the wrath of God. This is from abandonment to oneís own way to being secured by the ever presence of the Holy Spirit of God who will never leave or forsake His children. It means being rescued from the eternal consequences of sin which is eternal abandonment from God in hell to the eternal presence in the Fatherís house with a guaranteed inheritance with Jesus. It rescues us from the guilt of our sins into the peaceful presence of Godís peace. It rescues me from the power and enslavement to sin, to the freedom to become a new person in Christ. There is power in the gospel message because God gives life when the words of the gospel are embraced. It gives hope to the dying. It changes the vilest criminals into servants of God. It breaks the power of Satan, it overcomes the fear of death, and it conquers addictions.

Paul knew how it changed his life and he was willing to face whatever happened because he knew the value of a soul to God and what the gospel could do to everyone who believes, and it makes no difference if they are Jew or Gentile. Because the scriptures were given by the Jews who were selected to deliver them, the gospel was first preached to them, but it is for everyone.

I was challenged twice in my life about who I was sharing the gospel with. Once when I went to Russia, I received anonymous letterssaying, "Why should I go to our enemies to share the gospel when they said they would bury us?" And when I went to jail. Some said, "they donít deserve to hear the good news of grace," Yet, no one deserves grace. And the message is for everyone and grace is for anyone who will believe.

17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith. The news of the death and resurrection of Jesus shows us how to be right with God and how to obtain it. Isaiah tells us that our attempts to be righteous are like filthy rags, like used menstrual pads, is what it literally says. No one obtains righteousness by being good. Being good is not good enough. Righteousness is imputed. It is given as a gift to all who by faith will receive it. Thatís what Chapter 4 tells us. When one hears the gospel and by faith receives it as truth, God takes your sins and gives you his righteousness as a gift. (2 Cor. 5:21). The Gospel reveals that God doesnít want you to be religious, he wants you to trust Him and obey because you love Him and to live your life that way.

Romans 8:1

John 5:24

We want people to be free of the wrath of God. God wants people to be free of His wrath. He wants them to hear of His love and His provision for their lives and future. But somebody has to tell them.

Let me ask you a question.

When is the last time you told someone of the wrath of God and the good news of how to be cured of Godís wrath? Praise God for these who are going without shame to tell of the grace of God.

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman