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Cosmic Treason

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
June 3, 2022 12:01 am

Cosmic Treason

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 3, 2022 12:01 am

If God executed immediate justice against every sin, none of us would live to see another day. Today, R.C. Sproul reminds us that even the smallest sin is treason against our holy King.

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Coming up today on Renewing Your Mind.

Why these folk corruptions of fury by God in the Old Testament in the Old Testament and the New Testament remember Ananias and Zafar when they lied to the Holy Spirit in the book of acts. What the God do executed on the spot. It's tempting to read those accounts of God's justice and wonder, why is he so severe God reserve capital punishment for sins like other violent crimes. Let's understand this vital aspect of God's character from God's point of view. Several years ago I was working on the staff church and we received a new curriculum for junior high school Sunday school that the denomination had sent down to us and I was asked by the session of the church to read through the curriculum and see whether we wanted to use it and as I was reading the curriculum it began to talk about some of the things we read in the Old Testament where God seems so fierce in the manifestation of his wrath where he kills people instantly and things of that sort, and the curriculum was teaching the children listen when we read the stories in the Old Testament, we have to remember that things didn't really happen like this that these were myths that were articulated by the Old Testament writers because these were Jewish people who were warriors and they were somewhat fierce, and so on and they were primitive prescientific people who didn't really understand the love of God and so we have to understand these passages in light of what we know about God from the New Testament that he's a God of love that is a God of mercy. That is a God of grace and the God of kindness and not anything like this mean God of the Old Testament. Well, needless to say we can use that curriculum, but you hear this attitude voiced all the time like they're two different gods in New Testament God in the Old Testament God and we just have a difficult time relating to the God of the Old Testament because of certain narratives that we encounter therein, and I'd like to call attention to a couple of those stories that we read in the Old Testament that cause people to react so negatively to the character of God. The first one is found in the book of Leviticus in the 10th chapter where I'll be reading verses one through seven, and this is the story of what happened to the sons of Aaron, the high priest we read in verse one of chapter 10 Leviticus then they dab in a bar who the sons of Aaron each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it and offered profane fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them, and so far went out from the Lord and divide them and they died before the Lord. And Moses said to Aaron, this is what the Lord spoke now before I read what Moses said to Aaron, let's reconstruct the story here are the two sons of Aaron who followed in their father's footsteps. They have become consecrated to the priesthood and they are attending the altar and they bring this strange fire fire that was not part of the regular ritual of the altar and they sort of playing around and experimenting with profane, or secular, none consecrated on holy stuff and they bring this stuff and they put it on the altar, and as soon as they do the fire from the altar, gushes up and consumes them and burns them to death on the spot. You can imagine how Aaron felt when he hears that God is just executed his two sons for this prank at the altar and so what does Aaron do he goes to Moses and the Bible doesn't tell us what he says to Moses, so let me have a little license here, let me speculate a little bit. I can imagine what Aaron said to Moses, I can hear Aaron going into the tent of Moses and looking at Moses and say what's going on here I give my life to the service of God. My sons are giving their life to the service of God one little mistake and God kills them on the spot, God is that was read what Moses said. Moses said to Aaron, this is what the Lord spoke saying by those who come near me. I will be regarded as holy and before all of the people I will be glorified and Aaron held is peace. It's like when he came in all upsets Scott doing here Moses and Aaron, don't you remember your own ordination.

Don't you remember the elaborate process that we had to go through to be set aside for this sacred task of priesthood and don't you remember the commandment of the Lord when he said I will be regarded as holy by all of those who come in my presence and I will be glorified in front of all the people he shut his mother. That was the end of the protest is not the only story like that I won't read the text. This time, but you remember in the book of second Samuel six chapter we have the story of us to remember him.

The ark of the covenant was being brought towards Jerusalem for celebration.

David wanted to bring their and so us and his friends are responsible for transporting the ark of the covenant. You remember the ark of the covenant was the most sacred vessel in Israel. It was the throne of God and if you would read the description of the ark of the covenant in the Old Testament when it was first fashioned the ark of the covenant had rings at its edges, and those rings serve the purpose.

These poles were inserted through the rings so that those who carried the ark of the covenant could put the poles over their shoulder and walked on the road carrying the ark without ever touching the sacred vessel but on this occasion there in a hurry to get the ark in the Jerusalem, so they put the ark of the covenant on oxcart and the story tells us while the oxcart is moving down the road toward Jerusalem. One of the oxen stumbles and the oxcart starts the teeter and it looks like the ark of the covenant is gonna fall off of the cart into the mud that this would be a terrible sacrilege to allow this holy vessel to become filthy by the dirt and so instinctively. What is a resident. The dark start to fall into the mud. He reaches out to study the ark and as soon as he touches what does the Bible say a voice comes from heaven saying thank you for saving my heart. The second he touches it. God kills him spot. Jonathan Edwards preached on this text. We talked about the presumptuousness the pride is where I was a assumed that what would Dess a great the ark of the covenant would be the dirt on the ground forgetting that the dirt is in obedience to God. There's nothing profane or unholy or evil about dirt dirt does what dirt is supposed to do when you put water on dirt. It makes mud because it obeys the natural laws that God has decreed for dirt and water when they mix. Note the thing that God commanded so clearly in Israel that should never come in contact with his throne with his sacred art was not the mud, but the touch of man is the touch of man that would mar the holiness of the throne.

And so God had to create no human being would ever be allowed to touch that ark, and if they did they would die.

I was touched to still we struggle with this.

Why does God do this, a Roman Catholic theologian on skin in one of his books talks about these episodes, as well as others such as the flood or the careen which involved the conquest of Canaan and you read in the Old Testament God commanded that the Israelites would go into Cana and slaughter all the people were there men, women and children, and burned on their villages put the ban on these people so that there be no mixture between the pagan culture of the Canaanites with his holy people and you look at the civil sanctions in the Old Testament, and you will see that there about 35 crimes in Old Testament Israel that were capital offenses that were punished by death.

If you went and consulted a fortuneteller. One had your palm read to be put to death if you blasphemed the name of God publicly you be put to death if you were an unruly sassy disobedient child to your parents you be put to death. If you are engaged in homosexual activity you be put to death. 30 some crimes were delineated as being capital offenses, whereas in the New Testament, it seems that that list is greatly reduced and is a whole different atmosphere in the New Testament of persevering patients and so on. So again the question is: was struggling with why the spell corruptions of fury by God in the Old Testament not only in the Old Testament and the New Testament remember Ananias and Zafar when they lied to the Holy Spirit in the book of acts with the God do executed them on the spot once Cook said here's what happens. We think that the Old Testament list of 35 sins is being capital offenses is cruel, severe, harsh and barbaric. In contrast to the New Testament where it's so loving and kind forgetting that the number of capital crimes that are found in the Old Testament all ready represents a massive reduction in the number of capital offenses because come reminds us that in creation in creation every cent is a capital God said at the beginning, the soul that sins shall die.

And if God were to treat the human race strictly according to his justice. Every one of us would have been executed a long time ago but we don't really believe we deserve to be killed for our sins. Do their future crimes that are capital crimes in American murder.

Still, but there's another one folks high treason and God is the King of the universe, and every time we refuse to obey his law. We are engaged in treason. We are setting ourselves up as having more authority than he has and were saying you have no right to govern me and not only am I going to do what I wanted to run. You want to do, but I dare you to do anything about you like to kill me and he says that the basic way that God relates to his people. After the fall is with his forbearance with his mercy with his grace with his tenderness and instead of killing them every time they sin he is long-suffering and patient towards him in the Bible said that that patients that God gives to us is designed to give us time to repent, to turn from our rebellion to him, but instead what happens is the nicer God is to people, the harder our hearts become the more callused we become in our sinfulness that Jeremiah said this, he said to the people of Israel you have received the four head of a harlot see me said, you've lost your ability to blush.

How do you think that harlot felt the first time she was engaged in sex that was prohibited by God. She was probably sick at her stomach.

She has probably trembled because she had a crisis now of her own identity because she realized she had violated God's holiness, but she did it again then feels about the second time, encouraged her friends to get involved, get our culture to accept it and through repeated offenses.

She could now be engaged in the worst kind of sexual activity, and not even blush about this. True, not only the harlot that's true, the human who takes advantage of the mercy of God and silicone says is that because we do this from time to time in redemptive history. God will send his justice, instead of his mercy, to remind the people of the difference between justice and mercy.

You may never become professional theologians. But if there any two concepts in the Bible that you need to get clear in your mind. It is those concepts and the difference between the concepts of justice and mercy. My favorite illustration at the place was teaching in a college hundred years ago I was teaching a class of freshmen the introduction to the Old Testament and I had 250 students in my class. So first day of classes for the freshman I have to give them their instructions give them their syllabus lesson with three little term papers during the course of the semester. The first one is due in September 30 at noon. The second October 30 there will November 3 and Darrell Philadelphia lawyer Scott explained them you know that I want on my desk, 12 o'clock September 30, unless you're physically confined to the infirmary or the hospital or there's a death in the immediate family there, but I understand right if you don't turn it in on that day. What you get is F for that assignment is banished, as they understand September 3, 225 students come with their term. Dutifully appropriate.

25 trembling students are in the back of scared to death because they don't have the papers all proficient group we budget our time right when you make the transition from high school to college like we should please don't flunk us for this give us two more days to get the paper done and will never let it happen again? Okay, I'll do it but you better have your paper in on time.

That's all we will October 30 came to our students came in the class with their term papers for the don't have their term worrier term all Prof. this was homecoming week and we were all caught up with the excitement coming.

Besides I was at all these midterm exams, and all would Prof. had papers doing were so sorry but will have mint today. Please give us one more chance and abiding. I should okay this is the last time you don't get it in next month on time. It's an effort sure deserve instant know they did. They started to sing spontaneously.

We love you Prospero. Oh yes, we do.

I was Mr. popularity on the faculty as I gave him a break sector November 30 you tell me what that's right hundred 50 students come with their Turnpike and 100 of them don't have them in their casually strolling in the back door of the chapel enough just as cool as they could. They say where the tarp is a thick rough no sweat cool well for a couple dates know more about it as a Johnson return paper. I took my little black book opened it up to Jay Johnson Johnson, F McIntyre, where's your paper. Sir McIntyre S.

Llewellyn, where's your paper F. Now it is supposedly shown that's not what tell me where I sit want Doosan we said that's not fair I suggested that you just say that's not fair. He said yet do I remember correctly Johnson that you didn't have your paper in on time last month either.

And he said that's right I said okay. The last thing I want to be to you people is unfair. Johnson if it's justice that you want.

It's justice that you shall get up the book.

A similar change last month. Grade 2. You're just right now.

Who else wants justice.

Nobody registered what happens is we get accustomed to God's grace. At first were amazed by the second time, not quite so much surprised by the third or the fourth time we begin to expected then we assume it and then we demand and were angry. If we don't get is the greatest distortion in our thinking, their friends, is fit God owes us mercy that God is somehow obligated to be gracious to us because grace by its very definition is voluntary. God is not required to be merciful, he reserves the right to be merciful, to whom he will be merciful and to be gracious to whom he is gracious, you can plead for grace. You can beg for mercy, but you can never ever demand justice may be required, but never ever mercy what Moses was saying to Aaron is on this occasion, Aaron God was not gracious than they dab and abide who he was just on this occasion God was not merciful to us a he was just one thing I warned, please don't ever ask God for justice. You might get it be the worst thing you could possibly we learned in the first chapter of Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If we forget how God is revealed in Scripture, we will not fear him properly. He is holy and we are not as Dr. Spruill said in today's message. Two of the most important descriptions of God or his justice and his mercy without that understanding, we miss seeing God's holiness.

That's why RC taught the series we featured this week. It's called fear and trembling the trauma of God's holiness when you contact us today with a donation of any amount. We will send you the six part teaching series, you can give your gift to make a request@renewingyourmind.org or you can call us at 800-435-4343 everything we do here at Lincoln or ministries has the aim of proclaiming teaching and defending the holiness of God. Let me encourage you to explore the many resources available for free on our app, the content is refreshed daily. Just search for linear in your app store more grateful that you joined us this week for Renewing Your Mind. We hope that you found electrical series helpful. It is been debated and even malign the doctrine of predestination is a difficult concept next week with featuring doctors will series chosen by God he'll explain why all serious Christians cannot afford to ignore the doctrine of election.

I hope you'll join us.

Beginning Monday for Renewing Your Mind


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