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August 8, 2022 9:00 am
Today on Summit life with Jeannie Greer. Some of you that are beginning to take some of the painful consequences of sin in your template. Look at God is a God what's going on while you judge me, judging your mercy. Judging will be for me to back up and say as you wish and let you go to full fruition and never wake up. I am allowing these things to come into your life just to say really what this as always, I'm your host Molly minutes and were so glad you're with us today. Thomas Jefferson went famously took a razor blade to his Bible and cut out the parts he disliked and while most of us have it literally chopped up our Bibles and that way we often cut out certain passages in our minds getting past the uncomfortable verses that talk about God's wrath and the punishment for sin. But today Pastor Jenny explains that the wrath of God is a demeaning doctrine to be ignored is a glorious reality. Let's join Pastor JD for a message. He titled, by no means things that I've learned out to pasture now for a few years is that people expect me to talk what I have it all together. Many of you think that I open my eyes every morning. I say oh good morning Lord.
And then I roll over and I grab the heart that keeps him up at us from out of you love songs to Jesus that I go downstairs to a kitchen that smells like cinnamon all my kids are sugar on the table.
The Bibles open saying to just daddy I can assure you that that is not the usual way that I wake up in the morning about but not usual, I may not ever. I usually wake up to the sounds of someone yelling in my house.
On my first thought is not good morning Lord. It's usually the good Lord is already morning when I go downstairs like it when I get the strangling of the other. One man my Caleb through the Bible together nicely.
Daddy how long we want to watch TV so things that you experience in your family are probably similar to what I experience in my trying to say that when I became a pass try to get any special car that exempted me from questions and doubts and one of things or share with you over the years is that I'm throughout my life I've gone through various seasons where I really struggled to believe one of the worst of those was in college and it was over the issue that we are going to dive into today, probably the closest I ever came to actually losing my faith was in regards to this issue. The issue was the wrath of God. The whole system just didn't seem fair to me is the punishment fit the crime to see my God was this vengeful deity was just gonna show up at somebody's bedside when they died and say you didn't believe in Jesus and the rose Jesus to say well it's too late now to cast their souls and the elders they went tumbling down and held baby like Jesus and Jesus to be with your mother motor tough cookies arrived in Latin America or something like that. This didn't seem like it was fair and I know that I'm not alone in that struggle.
I know that for a lot of people. This is the issue. The issue that creates the big biggest obstacle to their fate, the famous skeptic Ron Russell in his book why I am not a Christian, said that the primary reason that he did not believe in Jesus, was because Jesus so clearly believed in the wrath of God. Yet, at least give it to them by the way he's willing to recognize what a lot of Christians refuse to recognize and that is that Jesus did believe and teach them the wrath of God ever tried. Russell called Christ believe in the wrath of God. The one profound effect in Christ character. No less than CS Lewis would say there is no doctrine, which I would more willingly removed from Christianity than this. If it lay in my power. I have often told you. Maybe you've heard me say if you gave me a divine eraser in 10 minutes of impunity.
I would take this out of the Bible altogether, but we cannot take this out of the Bible, and really, we shouldn't because while it is a difficult doctrine. It is a good doctrine and one that is absolutely essential to knowing the loving and worshiping God. God without wrath would be a God without goodness. Let me show you.
Exodus 34 is where talk about the name of God the unfolding of God who is in his name.
Set up is this God. Moses asked God not let me see your glory, and so God says. Exodus 3319 yes Moses, I will make all my goodness that's a keyword pass before you and I will proclaim before you my name. The Lord puts Moses in the cleft of the rock covers him with his hand and the Lord descended there in the cloud and he proclaimed the Lord proper name of God, Yahweh, I am the Lord God is merciful and gracious God who is slow to anger. I got abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin. But who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children to the third to the fourth generation.
There are six things in those two verses that I want you to see that we can learn about the wrath of God. The first one is very simply that God's wrath exists, it is crystal clear in that passage, I don't see how you could denied it exist. The Bible speaks of God's wrath more than 600 times Psalm chapter 7 verse 11. King David says that God is angry with the wicked, every single day. I know some of you here that you think, well, that's just an Old Testament then God gets a lot nicer in the New Testament is cranking the Old Testament is junior high years and he has a change of heart.
He comes back as God 2.0 Jesus, meek and mild and that's not true at all.
I showed you last week of the love of God is a predominant theme in the Old Testament were to see this way to God's wrath is a repeated theme in Jesus is teaching in the new.many commentators say one of his most frequent themes. Jesus would say it this way in John 336 whoever rejects the son will never see life because God's wrath abides.
It remains on him. He's basically just quoting Psalm 711 and say God is angry with the wicked, those outside of Christ. Every single day. Not only does Jesus talk about it.
We see him demonstrated for the end of his life.
Jesus goes into the temple, and he chases out a bunch of temple workers with a little homemade web. Now I grew up on flannel breath Jesus you know I'm talking about vacation Bible school when a brat we never had a flannel graph image for this one I we had Jesus you stroking the lands and holding the kids looking pensively up for God, but we never had Jesus with a web from the people out of the temple, but Jesus is testimony to the wrath of God was central to his message into his ministry and for that matter, it was not effusive talk about God's love and got them killed. There is not about personal empowerment. It was his insistence on God's anger for hypocrisy and injustice. The person we see very clearly God's wrath exists. You can't deny that you to deny your whole Bible number two we see God's wrath is an expression of his goodness in this passage noticed that God did not say to Moses. Moses okay I would make all my goodness pass before you buy. There's a little bad mixed in thereto.
There's a little sweetness a little poison now is wrapped as part of his goodness.
It's all goodness. God's goodness would not be goodness without his wrath, his goodness would not be complete without its wrath, because God's wrath and his anger grow out of his love is love for goodness and purity and holiness and us as a dad. I love my children and because of that I get angry when I see things at work in them that harm them, whether that's dishonesty or cruelty or laziness.
I get angry when I see those things not in spite of the fact that I love them because I love them. God is angry at San because he loves his creation and us and sin destroys his good creation. Probably one of the best depictions of the unfolding of the wrath of God takes place in the account in the book of Exodus of the plagues, the pledge wrote God gave to got sent to Egypt try to wake them up out of their rebellion against God, you may not remember this or preached on a few years ago and when it did not explain you that that the plagues were not just a random set of bad things like practical jokes. A guy was playing on Egypt what was happening was a very logical progression that though the will of the Nile water turns the blood which destroys the ecosystem of the Nile which drives the frogs out of it. The frogs come then they die and that brings the gnats of the naturally disease what you're seen in the plagues is essentially creation unraveling. I God's only point in the pledge made a show Pharaoh that he existed and that he was more powerful than Pharaoh done any number of things you had Moses walk in the court and you know I'm grab Pharaoh by the Darth Vader chokehold and just a matter not done Pharaoh or you could turn a bunch of Pharaoh soldiers generally tidy and squashed a few of amendment your next Pharaoh. It barely got a point.
But if one was not just that he existed and that it was more powerful point was demonstrating what Sam was doing to the human race into the world.
It was unraveling creation in Genesis 1 we see God bringing order out of chaos. So in the plagues you see order descending back into chaos because when we sin, that is exactly what's happening in our lives and in our community and our world your senior life. The sin back into the chaos of darkness and because we have a God of love. He cannot just sit by and watch it happen.
He desires to bring us to a world that is free of injustice and sin, and exploitation and racism and greed and perversity. He wants to bring us to heaven, and heaven can only be heaven if there's no sin there a way to heaven is describe things that we long for. It is a place where there is no pain or crying but want to be there right how many times is my sin because somebody else pain or cause them to cry. There is a place we don't allot doors only cannot let doors of nobody's ever tempted to steal. So when somebody says to me why didn't God just destroy all into the really was a God he would destroy injustice.
My question is always what if you started with you.
If God decided to get rid of all evil tonight at 12 o'clock which of us is good to be here at 1201 right God's holiness means is love means that he cannot tolerate Sam because he loves us and it love toward us, gives rise to anger towards him. He loves his purity loves creation.
When theologians are this way God anger is his unrelenting uncompromising and steadfast antagonism towards evil and injustice in all of the defendant line Jamie Greer will return to her teaching in just a moment, but I wanted to remind you about our brand-new featured resource different. Our prayer is for you to have a bigger view of God. As a result of hearing the messages here on Senate life and that in response to your prayer life. Your communication with God, will be transformed.
So this month we are offering a bundle of resources to help me praying regularly little easier. It's a three block bundle with each book called five things to pray. It includes praying for your community. Praying for your parents and praying for you can. It comes with your generous gift to the ministry right now so give us a call at 866-335-5220 or you can always firstname.lastname@example.org now to contact her teaching for today to receive God's love goes out of his goodness third thing we see is a God's wrath often consist letting us experience the consequences of the choices that we make God's wrath consist of just often letting us experience the consequences of the choices we make it. Theologians call that back at this passive wrath of God. Passive means God is can assess back and says okay as you wish. You see that in this passage with this phrase here. God is the one watch visiting the iniquity of the fathers and the children.
The children children down the third of the fourth-generation people read that verse and the first thing they think is what I doesn't sound very fair. Well, I got a holding accountable the great-grandchildren for the sins of the great-grandparents and that would be unfair and that's not what that verse meets the here's how I knew that Moses expressly denies that in Deuteronomy 24 he says each person will be punished only for their own sin. Easy gold repeat that Ezekiel 1820.
He would said the wickedness of the wicked will only be upon that person. The parents will not be punished for the sins of the children or vice versa treasonable. If it doesn't mean that and what does it make is what makes this actually very logical and obvious means that parent sends always have consequences that affect their children right. If I embezzled money from this church and I go to jail are my kids going to suffer because of that.
Of course they are. If you cheat on your wife and you leave her for somebody else will your kids suffer because of your action. Of course they will. God's judgment.
You see, often consist of simply allowing us and those around us to experience the painful consequences of our choices is the passive wrath of God. And when you do see the active wrath of God, the lightning bolt in Scripture it's always consistent with an extension of the passive wrath. For example, Genesis 3, the first, punishment on sin and gravity sin.
God drives them out of the his presence in the garden. Okay what had Adam and Eve done right, just before the done just right before that been hidden from God's presence said I was given to them what they desired.
They were hiding from God's presence when I'm Pharaoh is judged in the midst of the plagues in that story is is a God judged him by hardening. His heart, but that was only after Pharaoh had hardened his own heart. Several times. In fact, the way that Jesus describes hell shows it to be the fruition of our sin and the full fruition of what we are looking for in our sin we might miss that because Jesus uses a bunch of Jewish metaphors that might be unfamiliar to us but he says things like hell is a place with a warm diet not what that is a him a job is an image of a conscience that is continually being eaten away by guilt and regret.
He says it is a place of outer darkness which represented in Jewish thought, the total absence of God in all of his goodness with God was light and goodness in everything that we love on earth is a place of the gnashing of teeth. Jesus said, which is a Jewish image that meant self-condemnation and self loathing is a place of fire, which is the agony of God's displeasure. Jesus is saying essentially hell was just the full fruition of you telling God to get out of your life and God saying okay I'm probably nobody is help me get my mind around the hell the idea of hell.
More than CS Lewis, he says he says you know there's a lot of things in your life that you wouldn't really worry about if you only deliver 80 years but the Bible teaches that every human being is eternal and he said there some things that grow in you that if it only last for 80 years probably would get that bad. He says sin is like is like cancer never stops growing, or have heard some time to say that there are certain kinds of lizards that never stop growing. They will grow as long as their liability to middle get huge is because they have a short lifespan. What is it look like CS Lewis says for sin that never stops growing. What is it look like when it grows in you for eternity is in the space of 80 years, your pettiness, your jealousy, your foul mood. Your tendency to abuse others on your selfishness, that probably doesn't look that bad in 80 years. But when that has grown in you for a million years. He said the word you would use to describe that condition would be nothing less than hell itself. God's final statement of judgment in the book of Revelation is to the people. He says let him it was unjust the unjust. Still other words that's a path you choose as you wish. Hell is God giving you what you are asking for.
Here's how Lewis summarizes it in the long run.
The answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell is itself a question. What are you asking God to do you asking God to wipe out our past stands at all cost to give us a fresh start smoothing every difficulty in offering every miraculous health is exactly what he's done at the cross are you asking him to forgive them. They will not be forgiven to leave them alone. Alas, I am afraid that is precisely what God does in the end, there are only two kinds of people. There are those who say to God that I will be gone and there are those to whom God says, thy will be done. Hell is you telling God I don't want you in my life and God simply saying as you desire it, by the way, that means that God's mercy now for you is letting you taste some of the painful consequences of your sin in order to wake you up. We always think of when a husband or wife gets caught in the middle of an affair that's God's judgment.
II would argue to you, that's God's mercy God's wrath is when he or she gets away with it. There is nothing that it represents the judgment of goal God more than him just backing up and saying okay, have it your way.
The absolute worst thing the guy can do for you is to give you what you want when your heart is not right with him. Read this week. An account written by Christian leader who got caught in this Ashley Madison scandal should Madison website were pure.
People have their email addresses cheat on their spouse and he said you know I said I never acted on Lisa but I did know when I'm signed up and he says I never even paid a started to his as I knew it was wrong and I knew I shouldn't do it and so he sums two years ago and I just walked away from. He said now two years later it comes out of my email address is one of those email addresses their step down from ministry for a good while. He said at first I thought it was God's judgment that I got caught the guy was paying me back is that you know a says, but I've come to see it really is God's mercy toward me is because of a lot of sense in my life, including this one that I have just never really dealt with. I just managed to keep my nose clean enough that I stayed out of trouble and I didn't really deal with the did the repentance that I had never really went that deep, he says, and it is God's mercy.
Allowing this to be exposed so that I would see the depth of the wickedness of sin, so that I can finally repent of this thing and reaching truth for the first time. Here's my question. Where is God doing that with you because I would say that there some of you that are beginning to taste some of these painful consequences of sin and you're tempted look at God is a God what's going on. Why are you judging me for God said I'm not judging you. This is mercy. Judging will be for me to back up and say as you wish and let you go the full fruition and never wake up. I am allowing these things to come into your life just to say you really want this path.
Number four we see in this passage that God chose to let his love overcome his wrath. This passage shows is that God shows keyword to let his love overcome his wrath. There's a contrast that is set up here in the presentation of of God's name to be steadfast love for thousands this Namibian send all the way down to the third and the fourth generation is you that brought your Hebrew Bible have already noticed that in Hebrew there is no more generation because this is a poem and verse seven is a poem in Hebrew and there's a parallel structure set up between the first phrase in the last race so that this was to compare just as a thousand in the third port.
Really, it's a safekeeping steadfast love, for a thousand generations, and in keeping the iniquity of 1/3 porch or in other words, God's mercy is greater than his wrath by factor of 250 times.
Now here's the other phrase he says he is slow to anger, slow to anger those of you who are extra credit and I have not only your Hebrew Bible but also your Aramaic one which is called the Targum, which it would've been what Jesus would have memorized and quoted from, you'll notice that when the Targum translates slow to anger, it translate it this way, the one who makes anger distant and brings compassion near slow to anger means he made anger distant and he brought compassionate God felt to write full emotions when he saw us in our sin.
The first rightfully motion was anger and the second rightfully motion was compassion and sovereignly of his own free choice.
He chose to bring one close and push another away.
He didn't have to do it that way.
God was fully justified when he felt wrath for our sin, he would have been fully justified to push us away forever.
But each shows to push away that wrath and he chose to bring compassion near it's one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
The apostle Paul in one of the most remarkable passages of Scripture may be the most remarkable passage in the Bible pulses is Romans five watches you see when we were still powerless.
It was then that Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though maybe for a good person. Someone might possibly dare to die.
In other words, it's very rare that you see somebody actually die for somebody else but we know situations or somebody's God for their spouse or to enter good friend, but there always somebody that they love and any and you think it was a good person but God but God demonstrated his love for us in this while were still sinners, Christ died for us see what we were God's enemies we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, use an analogy of the last several weeks about God's anger that breaks down. I need to show you where breaks down because until you understand where breaks down will never understand the depth of God's love for you and so I'm going to critique myself but all analogies break down so I compared God's anger toward our sin. Like my anger toward my kids sin when they lie and I just I love them so I want them to be purified of their anger, but here's what that analogy breaks down even when my kids sin there still my kids this passage in Romans says that our sin and rebellion made us God's enemies, not like his enemies or his disobedient confused wayward children. It says our sin made us his enemies. So God choosing to push anger away and bring compassion near was not like me wanting to see one of my kids be free of dishonesty because I love them is choosing to push anger away and bring compassion there would actually be like me choosing to love and adopt into my family and Isis member who beheaded my daughter is a lot and I were not that bad. What about all of our good works. You and I we look at good works, and we do and they are genuinely good, but our whole lives are spent in rebellion against God living for our glory instead of his living with ourselves as our authority and rejecting his authority in our rebellion killed Jesus and not shrouds. Even our good deeds and a cloak of evil so there is no greater wonder in the universe that the Angels can comprehend that the apostle Paul feels like he can't describe the love of God for you and me listening to Senate life in a message titled, by no means from pastor author and theologian JD Greer if you joined us a little late today can hear this entire message. Again, free of charge on our website. JD Greer.com JD, I spent a lot of time praying for my kids but often I find myself praying this painting things over and over for not really knowing how to expand my vision of prayer for them. So how can the short, but that we are offering five things to pray for your kids. Help me get my meaning both as I've become apparent. To be honest with you become less confident some of my great series on parenting. The one thing that I have grown in over the years is how to pray for them. Knowing what Scripture teaches me to pray for can't tell you how comforting it is that teenagers kids writers Molly cobblers and sometimes like to do here and then to be able to open up something that will instruction promises and say pray this for your kid. This is way for you to pray God's words about your kids back to himself and the believers promises of God is part of a three book bundle that were given away how brief your kids up with your parents not with your city to reach out to us would love to get this to you think it wasn't for your vendor when you donate to the ministry today.
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