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The Surprising Demonstration of the Wrath of God

God's love and graceTherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:24-32) 

In Romans 1:18 Paul the apostle wrote that the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. The tense he used is important … it’s in the present tense. That means that God’s wrath against mankind’s willful suppression of the truth is being revealed presently. It is not only reserved for a future day, but is happening right now.

In what way is God’s wrath being presently revealed? The answer is surprising to many; God’s wrath is presently revealed in the fact that when man persists in his desire to live life without God, then God will let man have his way. In other words, God will honor man’s choice to rebel, and then let him feel the consequences of what that life looks like. He will not force someone to believe in Him or love Him.

Notice the phrases used: “God also gave them up to uncleanness”; “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions”; “God gave them over to a debased mind” … the more man shuts God out, the worse it gets.

How’s that working out for you? God could rightly ask.

Because God is longsuffering (2 Peter 3:9), He will even use the consequences of our actions to reach us in our sin. When man begins to feel the heavy burden of what sin does to his life, he may be [finally] open to the truth.

The lives so many live … the lives so many of us once lived … are lives tormented by these painful consequences. Sexual promiscuity produces heartbreak, relational destruction, physical disease and debilitation. Sexual identity confusion produces psychological disorders and ruined consciences. The myriad of sins we commit against each other create a world which is becoming increasingly unlivable. Life in this world becomes like a nightmare, a nightmare which makes us sick of the world we’ve made for ourselves.

Through it all, God is in control.

If the church of Jesus Christ will be the salt of the earth and the light of the world in times of social darkness, then many can be saved; many will be saved. Even in His wrath, God’s love shines through.

_____________________________________________________________

For Further Review

How would it be if God were not angry about sin? What attributes of God would be diminished if He was nonchalant or disinterested when man lives in sin?

How would you have answered the question, how is God’s wrath being revealed right now?

What kind of pain have you experienced at some point in your own life, due to the fact that you have ignored God and His truth?

In what ways can God’s wrath be a redemptive thing? What might your role be in His redemptive plan?

 

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  1. November 22, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    It is so obviously true for anyone of us who have lived under the consequences of our own sin and found the love and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus. What a great and wonderful difference it makes when we turn to live for Jesus!!!

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