The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/13

Posted on | March 13, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/13

Scripture reading: Genesis 18:16–33

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

A Personal Paraphrase of Romans 1:18–2:4

 

God is upset, really upset! And his anger is evident to all those who have eyes to see. He’s irate because people are ignoring the truth they already know. They are living as if he didn’t exist when deep in their hearts they know that he does. Their problem is not the absence of truth but the suppression of it! Since the beginning of time God’s power and glory have been as plain as day. And yet these people pretend not to notice! They are too proud to worship him and too arrogant to thank him for all he has done. They claim to be “intellectuals” but they are really fools. They have swapped the real God for a fake one, a god of their own creation. They can’t plead ignorance on this one. They have no excuse for their behavior. Their guilt is obvious.

So God is going to send punishment on these rebels, not just in the future but now. “You don’t want me in your life?” God says. “Well, okay. Have it your way!” His punishment is simply to give these rascals what they want. And what they want more than anything else is sexual freedom. They desire desire, they lust for lust. And so God stops restraining their moral behaviors and lets them loose to live as they please. They didn’t want to worship him, the Creator. So he let them worship themselves, that is, their own bodies.

Yes, this is how God expressed wrath and judgment on those people; he let them do what they wanted to do. And look what happened. The wages of sin was more sin. They became addicted to every imaginable form of wickedness so that one level of indecency only made them thirsty for the next. Their immorality became increasingly perverse as they descended deeper and deeper into the depths of their new-found “freedom.” Since normal sexuality no longer satisfied their lusts, they began to experiment with twisted, unnatural forms. Women wanted women. Men wanted men. They swapped natural attractions for that which was perverse. Sexual immorality was not the cause of their judgment but rather the result! God punished them by giving them what they wanted.

And the consequences were devastating! These people lost all ability to think clearly. Their rational powers became as twisted and contorted as their immoral

behavior. They lost all ability to distinguish truth from error, right from wrong, up from down. They justified and rationalized every imaginable form of wicked- ness: greed, envy, murder, deception, prejudice, lies, slander, arrogance, contempt, insubordination, betrayal, even brutality. Such perverseness was no longer seen as “wrong” but rather now considered forms of legitimate self-expression. As their culture continued to fall apart, they had no one to blame but themselves. But rather than turn back to God in repentance, they laid awake at night inventing new forms of self-destructive behaviors. They knew it was wrong, but this didn’t stop them. In fact, it only incited them to encourage others to join in their immoral behaviors.

 

Now, before you pass judgment on these sinners for all the awful things they are doing, stop and think. Are you doing the same things? You will be doubly guilty before God if you condemn someone else for something of which you yourself are guilty. Do you really think you will escape God’s judgment if you condemn others for behavior that you condone in yourself? Beware! Doesn’t God’s grace and mercy mean anything to you? Don’t you realize that he is delaying judgment so that you will have time to repent?

 

 

 

If God does not judge America, then he owes an

apology to Sodom and Gomorrah.—Leonard Ravenhill

 

 

 

point to ponder Is immorality the cause of God’s judgment or the result?

 

prayer focus For “eyes to see.” Pray for the “state of the States” and take time to reflect on and remember how God has revealed his power and glory in the world.

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