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God's Justice in Judgment #3

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 7, 2023 12:00 am

God's Justice in Judgment #3

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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April 7, 2023 12:00 am

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The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

The God of the Bible is indeed the Holy Creator of the universe. He will hold men individually accountable for how they respond to His revelation. We're so glad you've joined us on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello, I'm Bill Wright. And as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word, we continue our series titled, The Justice and Deliverance of God. We have part three of a message called, God's Justice in Judgment. Last time, Don offered the first two of three things to keep in mind when trying to make sense of God's command to the Israelites to utterly destroy the inhabitants of Canaan. We must remember the sovereignty of God as well as his self-disclosure. Today, our teacher will draw our attention to the sin of the nations.

So if you would, have your Bible open to the book of Joshua as we join Don now in The Truth Pulpit. Rahab shows that the inhabitants understood for many years the redemptive acts of God on behalf of Israel, and yet they still rejected the spies and would have killed them if only they had found them. There was no sense of repentance. There was no receptivity to this God who had obviously distinguished himself in the actions of nations, in his power to overthrow kingdoms on behalf of his people.

They didn't repent. Further, there's another aspect of this, the passage that we go to often. Turn over to Romans chapter one for a moment, beginning in verse 20. They had not only the testimony of what they knew from historical reports, they had the testimony of creation written on their hearts as well. Notice how the Apostle Paul puts it in a time reference that would include the Canaanites. For since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen being understood through what has been made so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish art was darkened. Cannot blame God that the Canaanites rejected what they knew, fitting that they should be judged for rejecting the truth. This gives us a sense. And it shows us how, the fact that this is even an issue, the fact that some of you are probably even struggling to accept what I've said here about this point, it shows how much we have been conditioned to diminish the value of the revelation of God.

They had heard and yet they didn't respond. When God's revelation comes to people, even though they don't, they don't take it seriously, even though they don't turn to it, what you and I need to understand is that there is a great moral act that is taking place there. God comes to a man and makes himself known, makes his revelation apparent, brings it to the attention of the mind. And when someone just flicks that away, treats it as something common and profane and unholy and unworthy of their time, oh, oh, oh, it makes me shiver in fright to realize that that is what the majority of people do with the revelation of God. They treat it as something contemptible, not worthy of their time and intention.

Certainly nothing that they would turn their life and submit to. Well look, the fact that that is the common reaction of humanity to the revelation of God is no indication that that's a justified response. From God's perspective, his revelation should be revered. His revelation should be believed.

It should be submitted to. And when men refuse to do that and they suppress the truth in unrighteousness, there will be a day of accounting that comes to them as a result. People have no idea, they have no sense whatsoever that there are massive eternal consequences to what goes through their mind and how they respond when a Bible is opened to them. And the fact that they treat it lightly doesn't mean that God treats it lightly, and as we're thinking through the value of the revelation of God, whether it's in his creation or in his word, the fact that mankind in sin trivializes it, diminishes it, dismisses it, and dismisses us when we bring it, that doesn't mean that we adopt or sympathize with their attitude. We align ourselves with God who says that his word is precious, that his word is like a fire, it's like a rock. And we respect the revelation of God and we defend his honor and we defend his justice when people say, but it didn't seem that important at the time.

It's just a reflection of their own lost condition. God had made himself known to these nations and they had turned away, they had rejected it. Let me give you a contrast to help you think through it, a biblical contrast. You remember the story of Jonah, right? Fifth book of the twelve minor prophets, Jonah chapter three. What happened when Jonah went into Nineveh and he said, forty days and this city will be overthrown?

What happened? They repented, didn't they? In sackcloth and ashes, that pagan city repented in mass at the preaching of Jonah and that Jesus said in Matthew twelve, he commended their faith, said they'll rise up and condemn other generations because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. Something greater than Jonah's here, he said. That's what even pagan nations should do at the preaching of the word of God.

Canaanites didn't do that. There was consequences. When Nineveh repented, God showed mercy to them. When pagans reject the word of God, he displays his holy justice and he is right and righteous when he does because we don't trivialize with the self-disclosure of God.

Rahab trembled and asked the spies to be kind to her. That's what the whole nation of them should have done. But they didn't. Now there's one more aspect to this point number three here, the sin of the nations. We've seen the sovereignty of God, the self-disclosure of God, and now we see the sin of the nations.

In addition to what we just said about them rejecting and not listening to the revelation of God and responding to what was made known to them, their sin is a documented fact of history. You and I should not think of these Canaanites as innocent bystanders on the stage of world history. That's not true.

That's not true at all. They were spiritual perverts. One historian writes, and I quote, Canaanite religion was an extraordinarily debasing form of paganism. Their goddesses are portrayed as sacred prostitutes, pregnant mothers, or bloodthirsty goddesses of war who delighted in butchery and sadism. As in all such religions, numerous debasing practices including sacred prostitution, homosexuality, and various orgiastic rites were prevalent. Pair that historical background with the scriptural record which says the exact same thing. Turn over to Leviticus chapter 18. Leviticus chapter 18, beginning in verse 22. There's an aspect of your spiritual affections that I want to appeal to in this.

There's a desire that I want to isolate in your mind that I know is there and I want it to come forth and flourish. When the honor of God is attacked, you and I as Christians should want to rise to the occasion and appreciate the opportunity to defend it. That's what we're doing here. Many people have questioned the God of the Old Testament, whether he's a just God, whether he's a loving God or not, and do so in derisive, mocking terms. Well, when we hear that, that's like a trumpet call to battle for us. Let the people of God, when that happens, say I'm going to rise to the occasion and say what I can to the realm of people that I can, that that's not true. That I'll stand for the glory of God, I'll stand for the honor of God, I'll defend the honor of God before men no matter what kind of mockery comes my way as a result.

That's what I want us to be like. And Scripture addresses these things and recognizing the postmodern culture in which we live, recognizing that people today in our culture don't even want a principle of absolute truth at all, let alone an absolute truth that says God is a holy God who judges sinners. We're not going to get sucked into that vortex of falsehood, we're going to separate ourselves and stand for the truth. Scripture gives us everything that we need to be able to do that. Leviticus chapter 18 verse 22, Leviticus 18 verse 22, in the midst of what's called the holiness code, God giving instruction to Israel says, you shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it is an abomination. Also, you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it, it is a perversion. You'd like to think that this kind of instruction wasn't even necessary, but we know from our own culture that it is, and the fact that this was necessary even in the day of Moses tells us that what we're seeing today is really nothing new, and so we don't need to get too bent out of shape by it as if it was something new never experienced before in the history of mankind. Now look at verse 24. Speaking to his people, God says, do not defile yourselves by any of these things, for here's my reason for calling you to that aspect of separation and sanctification for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. The land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.

Whoa, does that ever change the perspective of things. These Canaanite people as part of their religious practices, practice homosexuality and bestiality. This is utterly darkened to pray, there's no redeeming that. This can only call forth judgment. Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 9. Deuteronomy 18 verse 9.

Notice how God pronounces judgment almost incidentally as he is giving instruction to his people. Verse 9 of Deuteronomy 18. When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire. God says to Israel, we're not going to do human sacrifice here. They do, we don't.

One who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer or one who casts a spell or a medium or a spiritist or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord and because of these detestable things, the Lord your God will drive them out before you. God as it were says, I am fed up with their sick demonic religion and it is time for me to silence it. The sin of these nations has come to the full and I am going to put an end to it. As my, as is my sovereign prerogative.

Now notice something incidentally here. The moral law of God was the basis for judging these people and they were guilty even though Moses hadn't revealed all of these things. They had been practicing these things before Moses gave the law to Israel and they were guilty all the same. The moral law of God was in effect and written on their consciences and was a proper basis for judgment as they did these things even before Moses wrote them down at Sinai. The moral law of God is universal in nature and only the most obtuse, self-willed, stubborn, insistent rejection of obvious natural truth could lead anyone to any other conclusion. Not just in that sexual realm but why would you consult the dead on behalf of the living scripture says.

Now, kind of bring all of this together. That kind of introduces us to Joshua and defends and vindicates hopefully to some extent the justice of God in the judgment of the nations. Let's wrap this up and kind of bring it around the gospel here and for us to think through the implications of what we, what scripture teaches. Jesus talked about in Matthew 25 that these will go away into eternal judgment.

Scripture speaks of an eternal hell that awaits those who reject Christ, who reject God's word, who pursue the darkness of the sin of their own hearts and who stiffen their neck against truth. Well look, the same things that we've talked about here that would vindicate the justice of God in dealing with the sin of nations is it's the same basic principles by which we defend the sense of eternal hell. God is the sovereign creator and it is no light thing to violate the eternal law of an eternal God. It should, an eternal law calls forth eternal punishment and it is right and it is proper and it is righteous for God to uphold his law and to vindicate it.

When the creature violates the standard and the character of the creator, there must be consequences for justice to be upheld. And so the fact that the idea of eternal judgment is mocked and hated and despised by men who are sinners has nothing to do with the justice of it. Just as I said at the beginning, we start and we look at these things and we evaluate these things from the starting point of what God has declared to be true in his word and from the standard of his holiness and from the inerrancy of his word. And we let that word define for us what justice looks like to sinners rather than letting sinners define for us what the justice of God should look like.

We have to know where our starting point is and we have to reason from there even when it brings us into direct clash with the culture in which we live. We must think about these things biblically and not according to the spirit of our age. The God of the Bible is indeed the holy creator of the universe. He will hold men individually accountable for how they respond to his revelation. As we look out on the world around us, we can see that it is a great consequence that men have turned away from God's revelation and embraced the darkness of the occult, sexual perversion and false religion.

Beloved, I'm telling you that which I know you already know, believe and embrace. But we need to say it publicly from this pulpit often. God hasn't changed and wickedness brings judgment and the consequences are far too devastating and eternal in scope for us to do anything but tremble at, to step back in holy fear. And so you and I must respond to the spirit of our age by defending the justice of God in his judgment. He is right in what he does. He is the sovereign God who has revealed himself in the Word, the written Word and the incarnate Word.

Men are utterly without excuse. And on that we will stand. And from that perspective, we would gladly proclaim the Gospel even to some of you today. That in the midst of the righteous judgment of God, the clarion call of grace goes out.

Christ crucified and resurrected for sinners. Christ calling men saying, be saved from this perverse generation. Come out of that wicked world and come to me for salvation, Christ would say. Come out and come to Christ. Flee that which would bring about the destruction of your own eternal soul. Why would you perish? And beloved, the promise of God is for blessing upon those who would come to Christ. At the same time, there is a severe warning as well. If the Canaanites would be judged for rejecting news of the Red Sea in the language of Hebrews, how much severe judgment will come upon those who despise the blood of Christ and deem him unworthy of coming to for salvation?

Yeah, it's serious. The consequences are great. And doesn't that make you glad as a Christian to realize that God has had mercy on you? Doesn't that make you glad?

Doesn't it make you joyful? Doesn't it make you want to sing as a believer to realize that that somehow for reasons known only to him, God laid his hand on me and had mercy on me and brought my soul out of the destruction that I myself deserve. And now I stand in the grace of God. What a great salvation. What a great savior Christ must be. How perfect must be his blood that washed away his sin.

How joyful and how confident I am as I look to that time when he returns for his own. Against the black backdrop of God's judgment on sinners and those who reject him, we stand in grace. We stand in the favor of God. We sing as those redeemed by the blood. How great is our position of grace. Let's pray together. Father, we do gladly defend your justice and we gladly submit to the totality of your revelation.

We have no interest whatsoever in qualifying all that you have set forth in your word. Father, we thank you for our salvation and Lord we grieve for those who do not yet know you. We are concerned for them. We know what you say about judgment and it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Father, for perhaps one or two or three or four here today, we ask for your mercy to be extended to them that as they wrestle through these things in the hours to come that you might graciously lay hold of their hearts and open their minds, open their eyes to Christ.

May they flee to Christ, crying out for salvation that they might be spared from the wrath that is to come. Lord, we honor your word to the best of our ability. We ask you to forgive us where we fail and fall short in our fidelity to your word and Lord where we sin in word and thought and deed. Father, even the sins of this day we bring them to you and confess them. We want to be as far away from sin as we can.

It clings to us. We ask you that in the same mercy that first brought us to Christ that you would forgive and cleanse us that we might walk out of this place rejoicing and singing the goodness and the grace of our holy and righteous and gracious God. The Lord, thank you for our time together to pray in Christ's name. Amen. Today on The Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green has completed his message, God's Justice in Judgment.

You should now have a better grasp of how the destruction of a pagan civilization fits into the sovereign and righteous will of God. Next time, we'll move further into our current series, The Justice and Deliverance of God, so be sure to join us then. Right now, though, here again is Don with some closing words.

Hi, friend. Let me give you just a closing word of encouragement as we wrap up today's broadcast. I know that many of you have found us for the first time on Christian radio and that's wonderful, but I also realize that sometimes your schedules don't let you work around the broadcast schedule.

We have made it possible for you to be able to still get The Truth Pulpit on a regular basis. We have a broadcast of each radio broadcast that you can find and you can have it automatically delivered to your favorite listening device. If you go to our website, you can find a link to the podcast. Sign up for it and be sure to catch every episode. Here's Bill to help you find it. Just visit us at thetruthpulpit.com to grab those podcasts. Again, that's thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time when Don Green again teaches God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 04:58:26 / 2023-04-07 05:06:35 / 8

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