Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Kindness of God

What happens to that person who judges another person and practices the same sin?  Let’s read and find out what happens:  “We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. Do you really think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same —that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed.” (Romans 2:1-5 HCSB) God’s judgment is based on truth. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6)  We think that we will escape the judgment of God when we judge others and are practicing the same sin.  It is possible for a person to go to church, go through baptismal water’s, tithe, do good works and bust hell wide open because they have never been born again.  What happens is the person looks down on the goodness, forbearance and longsuffering of God that he exhibits toward others.  When God shows his goodness--kind acts toward you he does so because he loves you.  When he shows his forbearance- his patience, enduring with you through the difficulty of being changed, it is because he loves you.  When he is showing his longsuffering toward you-- the emotional calmness that normally would cause someone’s anger to flare up toward you, he does so because he loves you.  His kindness toward you is designed to bring about repentance, a change of heart toward our sin.  True repentance has visible out working’s that others will see.  This is a spiritual issue that must be dealt with! Yes, some people have a hard and impenitent heart toward God and others while sitting in church every Sunday.  This hard heart is stubborn, prideful! It knows the truth but will not change their mind, unless God brings conviction.  An impenitent heart is unrepentant, refusing to turn to God.  This results in a compounding interest as God’s wrath multiplies for the day of wrath and revelation of Jesus Christ toward such a person. Hell is waiting to receive all who are hard and impenitent of heart toward God and Jesus Christ!  I beg you in the name of Jesus Christ to repent of your sin, stubborn and pride turning to Jesus Christ alone for salvation.  I invite you to come to First Baptist Church or any of the local churches here in Columbia County where the Bible is taught so that you can grow in a relationship with Jesus that will save and change your life today so that you will not be the recipient of God’s compounded wrath on Judgment Day.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Judge Not!

 Last week we used the illustration of being on a plane that was going through some turbulence and having to put on our seat belts because it was rough as we discussed sin.  Well, over the next few article’s it may really get rough because now the Apostle Paul turns his attention to those in the church Jews and Gentiles who play the moralist-those who are judging others.  Let’s start with this verse: “Therefore, any one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. “Romans 2:1” (ESV)
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the comment: “I would go to church but they are all hypocrites down there.”  Followed by this verse: Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged? “Matthew 7:1” I would like to share with you what the ESV Study Bible notes say concerning Romans 2:1: “God does not condemn them merely because they judge others but because they practiced the same sins they condemned in others (the very same things, esp. those mentioned in 1:29-32.)  So it doesn’t matter if you are a Jewish Christian or a Gentile Christian at some point in our lives sin blinds us and we all play the moralist or more commonly known as the hypocrite.  I am guilty of it myself.  Here is what happens, when I pass judgment on another, I am condemning them.  The Bible is teaching me however, that I am without excuse.  That is I am not able to justify my actions in this passing of judgment if I am practicing the same sin. I am playing God, which I am not.  When I judge someone I’m making a legal decision holding them guilty.  We condemn ourselves if we are practicing or doing the same thing.  This is a true case of the pot calling the kettle black.  How does God change us?
God changes the hypocrites (moralist) through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  When a person is sitting under the teaching of God’s Word, the inner work of the Holy Spirit takes the word of God and applies it to their hearts.  As heart transformation takes place, the person lives out, works out, what is happening on the inside of their heart.  Just as Jesus transformed the water into wine, he can transform anybody’s life.  This is why I would invite you to pray for us in the local Church because we do not want to play the hypocrite, we want you to see our Savior, Jesus Christ.  If you want your life to be transformed or changed but don’t know how, ask Jesus to come into your heart and change you.  I dare you to follow Jesus in daily discipleship.  You can do this by reading the copy of God's word and praying it back to him asking that He change your heart to be just like his.     

Monday, July 13, 2015

Given Over

Have you ever been on an airline when the pilot comes over the system and say please put on your seatbelts because we are going to have severe turbulence?  Going through the letter of Romans is like flying in a plane with severe turbulence- its rough.  Here is why God reveals to us the truth about our sin: For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.  For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.
For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.  Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. • Amen .  This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  The males in the same way also left natural relations with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error.  And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.  They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful.  Although they know full well God’s just sentence —that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them. (Romans 1:18-32)

Humanity turned away from God, so he gave them over to their sinful cravings because they exchanged the truth about him for a lie.  Idolatry is a heart issue. We as humans tend to dismiss the idols of our day; we make excuses for having them.  The only problem is we don’t call them idols.  Three times we read that God gave them over to their sinful desires, has God given you over to your sinful desires?  If you don't know if God has given you over to your sinful desires ask the Lord to search your heart and show you.  He wants you to be free from the sin that is holding you back.  If you are a Christian and think that you can live in willful known sin and get away with it because you prayed a prayer and were baptized read this passage again.  God will discipline the Christian because you are his property and not your own.  If you are not a Christian, God still created you, paid for your sin debt in full, and if you continue to say no to him then at some point he will turn you over to your sin.  This is the reason I invite you to examine your life today and seek the Lord Jesus with all of your heart, to turn from all known sin in your life and submit to him as the Lord of your life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

God's Wrath Revealed

God has revealed his righteousness and his wrath to us so that we will know that we are in need of his salvation.  God in his mercy (withholding the judgment that we all deserve) and in his grace (giving us what we don’t deserve) has provided for humanity salvation that is full and free.  He has revealed his righteousness in his gospel.  The gospel being “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3b-4)  Just as God has revealed his righteousness in Jesus Christ, he has also revealed his wrath from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  The Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines: WRATH, WRATH OF GOD Used to express several emotions, including anger, indignation, vexation, grief, bitterness, and fury. It is the emotional response to perceived wrong and injustice. Both humans and God express wrath. When used of God, wrath refers to His absolute opposition to sin and evil. When used of humans, however, wrath is one of those evils that is to be avoided.  I think this a pretty good working definition myself for our post today.  Let’s think about the first time God revealed his wrath from heaven.  The first time was when the world was flooded with water and the only ones who survived were Noah and his family.  God made a covenant that we still see today when it rains. His rainbow!  He promised he would never destroy the world this way again.  The second time God revealed his wrath from heaven was when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by brimstone and fire.  We often this of Sodom’s sin as the sin of homosexuality which is an abomination before God but God teaches us different in the book of Ezekiel.  “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.  They were haughty and did an abomination before me.  So I removed them, when I saw it.” (Ezekiel 16:49-52)  There was another time when God poured out his wrath from heaven and when He did so the person became so disfigured that he was unrecognizable.  God the Father poured out his wrath on Jesus Christ while he was on the cross.  Jesus Christ was sinless until God placed all of our sin on him.  Then he became sin for us.  He died in our place so that we would not have to face God’s wrath.  Because Jesus paid for humanity’s sin in full, whoever rejects his offer of salvation will face his wrath on the Day of Judgment.  God’s wrath is such that he calls people every day to repent of their sin and come to him.  God has placed eternity into the hearts of men; we all know that there is a God.  I beg you in Jesus’ name to turn away from your sin and turn to Jesus so that you will not have to face his wrath in the days to come.