Today in our study through the book of Jude, we come in verses 5 through 7 to three examples of divine judgment. Divine judgment, of course, is not a happy subject. To many people in our day, it is not a welcome subject. In fact, to many people in our day, it is a subject which is never considered at all. But nevertheless, it is a very important subject. And it is a part of the truth which God has given to us. And we therefore need to consider it carefully and soberly.
And so as we look at these three examples today, we realize that they are real events, historical accounts, serious judgments, and instructive for our lives today. Of course, you remember that Jude, who is a brother to James and a half-brother to our Lord Jesus Christ, wanted to write a happy epistle about salvation but instead was compelled to write a sober epistle about divine judgment. And the reason for that is because he realized that there were dangerous invaders who were infiltrating the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ, ungodly men who professed to be Christians but who were enemies of Christ and of his church and were determined, if possible, to corrupt the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ and to destroy the souls. Of the members of those churches. Now, Judah assures us that these men are marked out by God for divine judgment. They are not going to get away with their sinful desires. In fact, they are going to be judged severely because of them. And furthermore, that God's people are kept and preserved through all of the trials and temptations of life if they are trusting the Lord. But this is a warning that there are those who profess to be Christians who are not.
And such people need to give very careful attention to the state of their soul before God. Do not join these people that are in our illustrations today in their eternal destruction. Three historical examples of God's severe judgment upon presumptuous sinners.
And what are they? They are number one, unbelieving Jews, verse five. Number two, unrestrained angels, verse six. And number three, uninhibited sodomites, verse seven.
Unbelieving Jews. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, Jude writes in verse five, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. Jesus tells us that this and the next two examples are well-known accounts.
These are not illustrations that are unfamiliar to the people to whom he is writing. I remind you, though you once knew this, and that doesn't mean that they had forgotten it, the New American Standard renders that, though you know all things once for all, you know this, it's not new to you, it's not unfamiliar to those who know the scriptures. And Jude is aware that those he's writing to know their Bibles well, and in those days, of course, their Bible was the Old Testament scriptures.
The New Testament was just even now being composed, was not completed and was not widely circulated, even the parts that were completed. And Jude compliments these Christians that he's writing to on their Bible knowledge. And remember, he's writing not to one specific church or one particular group of Christians, but it's a general epistle that is addressed to all of God's people. And so the fact that they knew well their Old Testament scriptures is not an indication, as some have wrongfully concluded, that he is writing to Jewish Christians alone. What it tells us is that Gentile Christians studied their Bibles. The Christians study the Bible, they know the Word of God. And even those from a Gentile background knew well these accounts from the Old Testament scriptures, because they studied them as true believers will do in learning what the Word of God teaches us on its pages.
Well-known accounts. But nevertheless, this is an important reminder. I want to remind you. I desire to remind you. It is my purpose to remind you because we all need reminders of things that we already know.
Agreed? We forget. We all need reminders of things that we already know, especially those things that pertain to divine judgments. Especially those things which are sober warnings, which our inclination is to sort of push those out of mind, as we concentrate only upon the positive, the good, the happy, your best life now, sort of mistreated, misinformed styles of Christianity. But we need to be reminded of things which are serious and require our thoughtful attention, and especially those areas that pertain to religious presumption, as these illustrations do. Those who considered their condition to be safe because of their external connection to things religious, but whose hearts were not right with God. It is a warning to all of us. It is instruction for all of us.
It is a searching reality for all of us who are here today. But these unbelieving Jews, we are told in verse five, experienced a remarkable deliverance. The Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt. They were, as we know, for a long time bound in Egyptian slavery, Egypt at that time being the most powerful nation upon the face of the earth. And their release was strongly, strongly, strongly resisted by King Pharaoh and the other Egyptians. They were determined not to let them go, not to lose their slave labor. They were determined to keep them, but God accomplished divine deliverance by his almighty power. And so with glorious displays of divine omnipotence, God remarkably delivered his favored people. He had them in Egypt for a reason.
He kept them down there for a reason. He allowed them to go into slavery for a reason. But when it was time for them to be delivered, Pharaoh and all of his armies could not keep them. God acted, God moved that the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt. And God indeed brought about a remarkable deliverance of his people, his favored people, his special nation formed out of the bloodline of Abraham in order to bring eventually the Messiah into the world. God delivered these people from their Egyptian slavery, a remarkable deliverance, but afterwards they experienced a devastating destruction. The Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. Those whom God saved out of Egyptian slavery, he subsequently destroyed the very same people, virtually all of them.
You remember the account, no doubt. Their journey through the wilderness from point A to point B, from Egypt to the land of Canaan, even for such a large company of people who must move slowly, that journey only required a few weeks at the very most to accomplish. But when they came to the edge of Canaan and the spies were sent into the land, 12 spies were sent, 10 came back with a pessimistic report, we can't do this, they're too big, they're too strong, it's impossible. Joshua and Caleb said, no, no, no, they are big, they are strong, but God's on our side, look what he did in Egypt. Don't you believe him?
Don't you trust him? Don't you know that God always keeps his word? But most of them did not believe, and consequently they ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years so that the whole generation of these people who came out of Egypt from 20 years up, 20 years of age and up, would all die in the wilderness, only two would be spared, namely Joshua and Caleb, the ones who believed God. All the others were unbelievers, all of them died in the wilderness, all of them were destroyed, all of them experienced divine judgment. These very ones who had been recipients of remarkable deliverance, remarkable grace, also became the objects of divine judgment because, we are told here why, because of their unbelief, their lack of trust in God's word, they were destroyed in the wilderness. And what does this destruction involve? Are we talking about temporal destruction? Well obviously, yes, they all died in the wilderness, they all experienced temporal destruction, death which prevented them from entering into the, we call it, biblically, the promised land. It was a promise of God, they failed to believe the promise.
But there's more to their judgment than temporal. It was also an eternal destruction. They went to hell.
You say, how can you be sure? By reading the New Testament. And it becomes very, very clear when you read the passage in Hebrews, starting in Hebrews 3.16 in the next several verses, there's also a reference to this in 1 Corinthians 10, which I think also makes the same point, but this is even more clear. And so we read, Who having heard rebelled, indeed was it not those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? This is Hebrews 3.16.
Now with whom was he angry forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering his rest, let us fear, lest any of you seem to come short of it. For indeed, the gospel was preached to us as well as to them. But the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith and those who heard it. You see, this is not only temporal judgment. It is spiritual judgment. It is eternal damnation. They heard the gospel, gospel promises. They did not believe those. And what happens to those who don't believe the gospel?
The Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. Now here's something I think is important for us to note. It's a fine point, but it's a good place to consider this. All of these people, there probably were a million of them who died. We don't know exactly how the ages broke down, those under 20 years of age lived on. But probably a million of them died in the wilderness. But please note that all those who were destroyed by death and by damnation were bona fide members of the Old Covenant community. It's not that they didn't belong to the Old Covenant community. It's not that they were not connected to the bloodline of Abraham, which was the primary requirement for being a member of the Old Covenant. It's not that they were not circumcised as a sign of the Covenant.
All of those things were true of them. But they went to hell. It is true that Egyptian deliverance is a type of salvation. It is a picture of redemption, a picture of salvation.
But it's only a type, and we can't press the type beyond what it actually teaches. Because what the Bible teaches us is that Old Covenant membership is based upon external qualifications. Abrahamic bloodline, circumcision. But salvation requires personal faith in the promises of God. And that's what they did not have. They were members of the Old Covenant, but they didn't believe. So they went to hell. And the point is, the scripture makes a great contrast between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant at this very point. That it was possible to be a God-ordained, God-designed, God-instructed, full-fledged, bona fide member of the Old Covenant community and be lost and go to hell. But that's not possible in regard to the New Covenant. Read about it in Jeremiah 31. Read about it in Hebrews chapter 8. God says, when I make a New Covenant with the people, not like the one I made when they came out of Egypt, this is the difference.
I'm going to put my law in their hearts, and I'm going to write it upon their minds. And no longer will anyone say to his neighbor, know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the least to the greatest of them. There is no such thing as a bona fide member of the New Covenant community who could ever be lost. They're all regenerate. That's the difference between bona fide membership in the Old Covenant community and bona fide membership in the New Covenant community.
And it's a very important and significant difference, but I move on. Illustration number one, unbelieving Jews. Illustration number two, unrestrained angels. Verse 6. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
This one is certainly more mysterious, but I think it's clear enough when we look at it carefully. Unrestrained angels who abandoned their assigned domain, and consequently are even now confined to eternal darkness and are awaiting the day of final judgment. Angels who abandoned their assigned domain. Angels, of course, are what we usually associate with that word angel. These are majestic spirit beings created by God to worship and serve him in heaven. They sometimes are given assignments to come to earth, but they are heavenly beings.
They are spirit beings. But some of these angels, we read, did not keep their proper domain. Their proper domain, that is the sphere of influence that was given to them. The heavenly sphere of influence, they have authority and ministry that God assigned to them in heaven in the presence of God. But they did not keep their proper domain, but abandoned their proper abode. One translation says they abandoned their own home. In other words, they transgressed divinely established boundaries.
That's what they did. We'll get into the details in a moment. And what is the result of that? Because of that, they are confined to eternal darkness. He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness.
He has kept in eternal bonds under judgment. They are even now imprisoned in the underworld in darkness. Obviously, therefore, this does not speak of all the fallen angels, because there are plenty of demons who are still active in the world today. They were in Christ's day.
They are today. But these are a particular group of fallen angels who transgressed the God-assigned boundaries in a very particular way. And that takes us now to Genesis chapter 6, and I will read verses 1 through 4. Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God, think of that phrase.
We'll come back to it. The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. The Lord said, My spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years. There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. I am confident that that is the reference that Jude has in mind. This is in detail what the angels did in transgressing the boundaries that God set upon them. Obviously, there are details that are perplexing, but the term sons of God is used of angels a number of times in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament.
It's used a little more widely than that. More technically, the term sons of God is used of anyone who is created directly by God, as opposed to coming to birth from a father and a mother. You can see that, for example, in the genealogy in the book of Luke chapter 3. It's very interesting. It runs the genealogy of Christ backwards. I've got to pick it up here.
I'll just break into it. This is the genealogy of Jesus running backwards from Mary and Joseph all the way back. The son of Canaan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech. All of these people are the sons of a human being, and his name is given to us here. The son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Malahael, the son of Canaan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Adam didn't have any human father, did he? He was created directly by God. He's a son of God in the sense that he was created directly by God. Now, we talk about sons of God, particularly in the New Testament, as those who are born again, created directly by God, spiritual sons and daughters of God, because of the creative power of the Holy Spirit in creating new creatures in Christ Jesus.
So a son of God is anyone that God creates directly as opposed to those who come by the birth process from generation to generation. But the term often applies to angels who are created directly by God. And I'm confident that's the reference in Genesis chapter 6. There was a time when some of the angels who are able to take upon them the bodies of human men, as we know, consider the next illustration of Sodom and Gomorrah, when two angels came along, three angels came along to Abraham and then into Sodom and Gomorrah, and they had bodies like men were thought to be men. In fact, the men of Sodom endeavored to have sexual relationships with them, not knowing that they were angels, but evidently they're able to take upon them the bodies of human men. And apparently there were angels who saw the beautiful human women, and they desired to have sexual relationships with them.
And so abandoning their God-assigned domain, they took upon them human bodies, and they came and had sexual relationships with human women, which produced a race of giants, as we read in Genesis chapter 6, which is one of the primary reasons for the flood. The reason why God destroyed all of humanity is because humanity has now been corrupted in an unthinkable way, with this intermixture of the progeny that are half-angel and half-human and who are grotesque giants. And because of that, these angels were judged, chained in darkness, are being judged because they are kept in darkness all of this time, but they aren't done. They will be judged yet in the future because the final day of judgment includes not only human beings who will be judged, but angels who will be judged as well and cast into eternal fire. Therefore, past judgments and present judgments are warnings by God of a greater future judgment to come.
It's an opportunity to see these judgments of God that take God's promised judgment seriously and to come to repentance. But the angel-specific transgression was sexual intercourse with human women. Is it still possible for that to occur today?
We hear sometimes bizarre stories of that kind, but my conclusion is no, it's not possible. This is what God did to stop that from happening anymore. He confined these sinning angels to eternal darkness. He destroyed the whole human family with the flood.
He restrains this kind of activity from happening again. It has not happened since the days of Noah before the flood. But the specific transgression was sexual intercourse with human women. The general transgression, however, was their refusal to accept God-appointed boundaries. God said, here's your proper domain. And they said, we're not willing to live within that domain.
We're going to go beyond that into a domain of our own choosing. And because of that, they are now confined in darkness and are awaiting eternal judgment. That's the second illustration of divine judgment.
What's the third? It's the uninhibited Sodomites of verse 7. And as we look at this, I think this will reinforce my understanding and interpretation of verse 6. But verse 7 goes on to say, As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in a similar manner to these. A similar manner to who?
A similar manner to these angels that we just talked about. In a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality, like the angels did, and gone after strange flesh, in a manner similar to what the angels have done, are set forth as examples, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. There are particular people who are involved in this judgment, and they are the people who inhabited several cities south of the Dead Sea, the most well known are Sodom and Gomorrah, the larger cities. But there are also three others, there are five altogether, and verse 7 says, The cities around them, is Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them. And we know from the scriptures that that would be Admah, Zeboam, and Zoar, smaller, lesser known cities, but also guilty of the same corruption. Admah and Zeboam were destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah by divine judgment with fire. Zoar was spared because Lot pleaded for the privilege of going there instead of to the mountains, so the angel said, okay, get over there, we won't destroy Zoar, but he ended up going to the mountains anyway.
But his appeal spared the small town of Zoar, which deserved the same judgment. But the uninhibited Sodomites committed great sin and God judged them. And what was their sin?
Or maybe should we say what was their sins, plural? Well, we've already seen they committed immorality in some way that's parallel to what has already been described. Now, that wouldn't apply obviously directly to the unbelieving Israelites in verse 5, though you can find examples of their immorality in the wilderness as well.
But it applies directly to what we read of the angels in verse 6. Let me give you three other translations of this phrase in verse 7. In a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality. One translation reads, since they, in the same way as these, indulged in gross immorality. Another translation says, in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality. And yet a third one says, in a similar way to these, were indulging in sexual immorality.
There's a direct link here. And all of those begin with something like in the same manner. And it's Thomas Schreiner in his commentary says that phrase in the same manner indicates a parallel between the sexual immorality of the angels and that of Sodom. Now, what is the immorality that the Sodomites are guilty of?
The first word, immorality, ekpornuo, is a form of the Greek word porneia, which most of you recognize as the root word from which we get pornography. And it's usually translated in the New Testament fornication. And it has to do with sexual activity outside of marriage.
Any sexual activity outside of marriage. They were guilty of some kind of sexual activity that did not involve the bonds of marriage. And they did this in the same manner in this way that is in some regard parallel to what the angels did. And furthermore, it goes on to tell us that the Sodomites went after strange flesh. Or, another translation puts it, other flesh. And yet another translation puts it, different types of flesh.
Now, the question is what is to be indicated by that? The answer is they went after a type of flesh which was different from what they were created for. It is different from what they were supposed to desire. Human men are given a natural desire for sexual relationships with women.
And of course, all of that by God's design within the bonds of marriage. But these Sodomites went after strange flesh, other flesh, a different kind of flesh that is different from what was assigned to them. It is the same general transgression as the angels. Specifically, the angels had relations, sexual relations with human women.
But more generally, the angels refused to confine themselves to the boundaries that God had set. The same thing of the Sodomites. They refused to confine themselves to the boundaries which God has set in the area of human sexuality. Now, it is true that there are other places that fault Sodom and Gomorrah of other sins as well, particularly pride and injustice toward the poor.
You'll find that in Ezekiel 16. And on the basis of that, some have tried to make a case that the judgment that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with homosexuality. It had to do with other sins.
In hospitality is one that is offered. They weren't very hospitable to these people who came to visit their city. That is a lame attempt to evade and avoid what the Bible clearly says is the primary reason for their destruction. It involves sexual immorality. It involves what we also call sodomy. It involves same-sex relationships with other men. It involves the sin of homosexuality.
That's their primary sin. Now, I emphasize this because we live in a day that when homosexuality is not only rampant, but again, as it has been in days gone by, in the days of the Greek and Roman empires and so forth, but in our day, there is a very strong attempt by some who claim to be evangelical, Bible-believing, born-again Christians who are homosexual and who make a defense of homosexuality and try to demonstrate from Scripture that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with homosexuality. I read one book, probably one of the first ones, not the first one, one of the first ones, one of the early ones that came out in that vein some seven or eight years ago because I was asked to read it by another pastor in another state who wanted me to write an article to be published online about one of the chapters in the book. And he was going to write about another chapter, and he was assigning other men other chapters. And so to do that, of course, I had to read the book. And I noticed the author—his name was Matthew something, I've forgotten his last name now— the author went into several passages that deal with God's judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, but he never dealt with this one in Jude, and he never dealt with the one in 2 Peter that makes it very, very clear that they were in fact guilty of the most heinous sin, namely homosexuality.
He avoided those passages altogether as he danced around ones that were a little more vague. Make no mistake about it. The sin that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was the homosexual, the rampant homosexual relationships of the men of that city. And because of that, God inflicted divine judgment. They are, we are told, exhibited as an example of the punishment of eternal fire. They were judged by divinely created fire, which we are told is a warning of another fire, a greater fire to come. And I am told that in the first century when Jude wrote, in that area south of the Dead Sea where Sodom and Gomorrah used to be, and the ruins of those cities have been uncovered by archaeologists today, but I'm told that in the first century that area still had active smoke rising from the soil and strong sulfur smell that permeated the area as well as this picture of desolation which was present. I don't know, I'm not aware that the smoke is still rising some 2,000 years later.
I do know that the Dead Sea area is a area that is heavily sulfuric, that the waters of that sea are very sulfuric, you can smell the sulfur when you get near it. But the point is that that fire that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah is simply a picture, well I shouldn't say simply a picture of hell, it is in itself an awful and devastating judgment, but it is also a picture of a greater fire to come, the judgment of hell upon those who reject God to pursue lustful desires, upon those who refuse to confine themselves to the boundaries which God has set in regard to human sexuality. Now I'm ready for a few lessons to draw from this passage. The first one involves the sin of sodomy, homosexual relationships. Regardless of what we hear today, make no mistake about it, the Bible is clear, homosexuality is a sin. It is a sin. In fact, we can go further and say it is a grievous sin. It's clear from scripture that there are degrees of sin. What we might consider not to be such bad sins are sins against God, and all sin makes us guilty before God and warrants us eternal damnation.
We need salvation from any and every sin, but there are degrees of sin, and homosexual relationships are a greater degree of degradation than, say, adultery, as bad as that sin is as well. It is a sin. It's a grievous sin.
It is unnatural in the sense that it's a transgressing from the normal desires that God created for sexuality between men and women into something that is degraded and unnatural, the desire for sexual relationships of men between men and women between women. It's a sin. It's a grievous sin. It's an unnatural sin, and as we see in the Bible and as we see in the world around us, it seems to be a particularly aggressive sin. It's a fierce sin. It's an angry sin. It's a demanding sin.
If it is not contained, it will run rampant over society. Which brings me to the question, what should someone do? What should someone who's a Christian do who finds within them some measure of same-sex attraction, which is not all that totally unusual? It's not normal. It's not natural, but it does happen.
What should a person like that do? Well, they should, in the first place, line themselves up with the Word of God. Instead of trying to justify this and excuse it and find ways to get around what the Bible says, they need to bring themselves under the authority of God's Word and acknowledge those desires as unnatural desires. They are not natural.
They are not God-ordained. God didn't create anyone that way any more than He created anyone an alcoholic, though we do know that some people seem to have a greater weakness toward, a greater attraction to alcohol than others. For some, there's very little attraction there at all. For others, there's a very strong attraction. Well, the same thing can be true in this area as well, but having to come to the conclusion that you've been born with a weakness for alcohol does not excuse you to become a drunk, to become an alcoholic. You push back on those desires and say, no, that's God forbids drunkenness. I cannot indulge that desire, though I may have that desire in a way that others do not. Same thing with homosexual attractions. I cannot indulge that attraction, even though I may have it and others may not. It's not something that I've been born with that I can't help and that God will excuse because He made me this way. Acknowledge that as an unnatural attraction.
Ask God for help and deliverance. He may deliver you completely, but He may just simply give you help to resist the temptation and refrain from forbidden sexual activity. It really is no different, though people try to make it different, but it really is no different from a heterosexual person, male or female, who has an attraction with people of the other sex and saying, well, I have this strong attraction, therefore that excuses me to commit adultery. That excuses me to have multiple sex partners. That excuses me to have sex outside the bounds of marriage. No, it doesn't, just because you have that attraction, and obviously some people have a stronger physical attraction to these things than others, the different hormonal balances and so forth, but it does not excuse transgressing God's prescribed boundaries.
We are enabled to push back. If we're a Christian, we certainly are, have the help and promise of God and we are able to resist temptations of things that the Bible tells us are wrong. So that's what you do if you find yourself with a same-sex attraction and you are interested in pleasing God. But we move from the sin of sodomy to a lesson about divine judgment, and that's simply to remind ourselves that there are temporal as well as eternal judgments from God.
Temporal judgments involve physical penalties of various kinds. Those who ignore what God says in the area of alcohol and become alcoholics are going to suffer all kinds of physical penalties thereby. Those who ignore God's boundaries in regard to sexual activity will eventually find themselves suffering physical penalties as a result of that of one kind or another. Those are judgments of God, temporal judgments, physical penalties. But a very obvious but not quite so clearly understood judgment of God is that for those who insist upon ignoring God's boundaries, God sometimes removes the restraints and allows them to pledge headlong into these sins and thereby to reap a greater judgment, greater penalties both in time and in all eternity. God removes the restraints. That in itself is a judgment. And with that statement, I now read an extended passage in Romans chapter 1.
This is sobering. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Because although they knew God in the way that is described here, not in the saving way, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God in an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Here's the idolatry that covers the world today. Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lusts of their heart to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshipped 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, and so forth that goes on to the end of the chapter. You want to know why American society is becoming more and more violent?
You want to know why American society seems to be falling apart at the seams? Just read Romans chapter 1. That explains it all. A lesson in the sin of sodomy, a lesson in divine judgment, a lesson in saving faith, is simply to say, this passage reminds us that true saving faith is persevering faith. The Israelites who were saved out of Egypt didn't have true saving faith because they didn't continue to trust God. They didn't have persevering faith. It was not saving faith. Saving faith is persevering faith.
It continues on. Those who persevere in trusting Christ, in submitting themselves to the rule of Christ, in acknowledging their sins, confessing their sins, seeking help and deliverance from their sins, are demonstrating saving faith, persevering faith, and more secure as no one ever than the loved ones of the Savior. But only persevering faith is saving faith. And the fourth and final lesson is one about religious presumption. How dangerous it is to presume a relationship with God which may not be real. How dangerous it is to rely upon partial religious concepts. Because I prayed a prayer, because I made a profession of faith, I'm eternally secure, I have nothing to worry about.
That's presumption if you don't have other evidences of the new birth. You are going to die and go to hell thinking that you are saved and going to heaven. This is dangerous business. Don't cling to a few half-truths that will take you to hell. But instead, get your heart and mind, get your spiritual arms wrapped around the whole truth of God's word, which alone will take you to heaven. Shall we pray? Father, oh Father, teach us thy ways and show us thy paths in this world of deceit, in this world of confusion, in this world of denial of that which your word reveals to us. Teach us, oh Lord, thy ways. Show us thy paths and enable us to walk in them. We pray in Jesus' name, Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-30 17:57:49 / 2023-01-30 18:12:58 / 15