I ASKED

“I asked for Peace—

My sins arose,

And bound me close,

I could not find release.

I asked for Truth –

My doubts came in,

And with their din

They wearied all my youth.

I asked for Love –

My lovers failed,

And griefs assailed

Around, beneath, above.

At last,

I asked for Thee –

And Thou didst come

To take me home

Within Thy heart to be.”

(D. M. Dolben, 1848-1877)

THE DOCTRINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching from the Book of Romans. The title of her sermon was ‘The Doctrine of the Wrath of God’ (2). Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans chapter 1. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” 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, 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 into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Rom 1:16-25)

The wrath of God is God’s view or sin; God’s hatred of sin; God’s punishment of sin! The word ‘wrath’ means justified anger, and hatred; a passion that leads to punishment. God is Holy! God is Love! God protects His Glory! God hates anything that tries to destroy His holiness, Love and Glory! That is why God hates sin! God’s wrath against sin is a manifestation of His jealous love toward His people! Therefore, to protect His glory and His people, God must punish sin! The Gospel is power because it reveals the wrath of God. The Gospel also reveals the imputed righteousness of Christ received by us thru faith. Both this righteousness and the wrath of God were best manifested at the Cross of Calvary. Both are revealed in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit! You cannot argue with unbelievers about the wrath of God or the salvation in Christ. They need God’s revelation. The word revelation means an unveiling; removing the cover and expose something behind it. Darkness and blindness are removed. The light of God must shine upon the object. “Once I was blind, but now I see…” This is called revelation!

The natural men hate this doctrine. They imagine that God is a God of love who will not punish anybody. Man hates discipline and obeying any law. Paul introduced the doctrine of the wrath of God against sin from the first chapter of Romans. The preaching of the wrath of God is foundational in preaching the Gospel. All evangelism must start with preaching the sinfulness of sin, and God’s wrath against it. Never start with man’s needs. Do not even start with Jesus! Always start with God the Father! He invented the plan of salvation! Always start with God and His glory! Many Christians ignore this doctrine. They say they believe it, but they deny it in practice. Many preachers ignore it too. They fear that people will leave their churches. But truth must be preached!

Romans 1 reveals two problems: the wrath of God and the sinfulness of sin. One of the major problems in the church is that men ‘come to Jesus’ as a Friend, Helper or Healer. They do not come to Him as hopeless desperate sinners going to hell. The preachers do not tell sinners that God is angry with sin and He will surely punish sin! To say that you are converted, and you do not have the fear of God, that is a lie! The doctrine of Justification by Faith is the major doctrine of salvation. God the Father designed it. The Son executed it and the Holy Spirit applies it to our understanding. This is the Gospel and its power: Jesus died on the Cross to appease the wrath of God and to save sinners. Jesus said: ‘It is finished’. You must believe and receive the finished work of Christ! By faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross you become FORGIVEN, CLOTHED IN HIS imputed Righteousness and ACCPETED in the Beloved!     

NOAH’S UNSINKABLE FAITH (Genesis 6-8; Heb 11:7)

“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb 11:7)

Noah’s story is a picture of the terrible wrath of God. His mercy is there too but do not miss His Judgment! It was not just a cruise ride, a vacation on the sea. It is the Gospel! We are born with a sense of justice. We say: this is not fair! We know that evil should be punished! But sin has damaged our conscience and understanding!  The manifestation of terrible sins is increasing! Murder, kidnapping, pedophilia, homosexuality, cheating etc. Very few people openly practice these terrible sins. But they cause great damage. We think that God is sleeping or unjust! But God is watching! He will surely punish sin!     

Noah survived the greatest storm and flood the world has ever seen. He did it by faith. Favor from God must ignite faith in the heart. Do not take God’s Grace for granted! Noah knew God! He received the Word of God, His warning! He lived amid an exceedingly evil generation. But he did not backslide. Noah is an encouragement to us all.

*Noah’s Faith honors God’s Word! He takes God’s Word very seriously! He moved with godly fear to obey God’s warning! Noah has never seen a flood. He believed the Word about things not yet seen. God warned him that He will destroy all men and animals. He did not argue with God. He obeyed!

God told Noah to build an excessively big ark. It was 500 feet long (one and half of a football stadium) or about 20 basketball courts. It was 50 feet high from the ground (equal with 4 stories building). It could carry 450 semi- trailers or about 120,000 sheep. It was extremely large. Noah trembled and trusted and built the ark!

*Noah’s Faith is quick to obey God’s Word! It will take 120 years to build it! Noah was not a sailor. He was the only one who was building a boat. Nobody believed in him. He has never seen a flood. He was a lonely believer! But he did not backslide!

*Noah’s Faith reaches the lost! He convinced his family! They all believed Noah and together they built the ark.  God “did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5).

*Noah’s Faith rebukes the world! The world goes in the opposite direction! With every tree he cut, every nail he nailed, he condemned the world!

*Noah’s Faith received God’s righteousness (a gift he did not work for). It is standing before God fully accepted! God did not sent Jesus to condemn men! He sent Jesus to save them! The ark was not built to drown people but to save them! The people were already condemned! But the wicked people rejected Noah and his God!  

The flood did not end the sin problem. Sinners outside the boat died. Sinners inside the boat were saved by God’s Grace! The flood reveals the magnitude of sin, wrath and holiness of God.  Noah and his family did not deserve to be saved. It is the Grace of God. They carry the Seed from where Christ will come after the flesh! God saved and protected the Seed. This is amazing Grace!  Noah built the giant ark for 100 years. People said he is a crazy man! This is how sinners perceive grace and faith! Like madness! When the animals were going by themselves to the ark, the sinners should have known that this is God! It was a warning that they did not heed! For the past 2000 years sinners go to Christ for salvation. Every Sunday morning the children of God go to church. The unbelievers still ignore the sign! Repent! Jesus came as the Lamb of God who died for sin! He will come again as the Lion who will judge sin! May we fear God! Worship the Lord!

THE WRATH OF GOD

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (34) THE DOCTRINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD (Romans 1:16-32)

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching from the Book of Romans. The title of her sermon was ‘The Doctrine of the Wrath of God’. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans chapter 1. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” 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 n 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, 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 into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Rom 1:16-25)


The wrath of God is God’s view or sin; God’s hatred of sin; God’s punishment of sin! The word ‘wrath’ means justified anger, and hatred; a passion that leads to punishment. God is Holy! God is Love! God protects His Glory! God hates anything that tries to destroy His holiness, Love and Glory! God hates sin! God’s wrath against sin is a manifestation of His jealous love toward His people! Therefore, to protect His glory and His people, God must punish sin! God created hell where the devil, the demons and all unbelievers will be forever. The unbelievers, the sinners, the children of darkness, will perish when God punishes sin! Understanding the doctrine of God’s wrath against sin will make you wiser. As a doctor I know that the right diagnosis leads to the right, successful treatment. Wrong, superficial diagnosis leads to wrong treatment and possibly death. The Gospel is power because it reveals the wrath of God. The Gospel also reveals the imputed righteousness of Christ received by us thru faith. Both this righteousness and the wrath of God were manifested at the Cross of Calvary. Both are revealed in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit! You cannot argue with unbelievers about the wrath of God or the salvation in Christ. They need God’s revelation. The word revelation means an unveiling; removing the cover and expose something behind it. Darkness and blindness are removed. The light of God must shine upon the object. “Once I was blind, but now I see…” This is called revelation! The natural men hate this doctrine. They imagine that God is a God of love who will not punish anybody. Paul introduced the doctrine of the wrath of God against sin from the first chapter of Romans. The preaching of the wrath of God is foundational in preaching the Gospel. All evangelism must start with preaching the sinfulness of sin, and God’s wrath against it. Never start with man’s needs. Always start with God and His glory! Many Christians ignore this doctrine. They say they believe it, but they deny it in practice. Many preachers ignore it too. They fear that people will leave their churches. But truth must be preached!
The wrath of God has been revealed and manifested in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. For example, God destroyed all people during the flood, leaving only Noah and his family. God confused and scattered the people at the tower of Babel. King David, a man after God’s heart, was punished for committing sin. King Nebuchadnezzar was humiliated for his pride. The people of God were sent to exile, in Babylon, for seventy years, because they refuse to submit to God. The Prophets and the Psalmists warned men about God’s anger against sin. Knowing God’s wrath will help us to repent of sin. God’s wrath is to be feared. It proves the difference between the Creator and the creation! May the fear of God that leads to wisdom and worship descend upon us! This is all for God’s glory! Only in the Book of Romans, the idea of God’s wrath against sin appears ten times: Rom 1:18; 2:5, 8; 3:5; 4:15; 5:9; 9:22; 12:19; 13:4,5. The wrath of God is just. God is the Creator and the Judge of all! God’s anger is not selfish, or erratic. God never ‘loses His temper’ like men do! God is always right! “God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day” (Ps 7:11). God has satisfied His wrath against sin at the Cross! Jesus died to fulfill the law: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23)As believers we do not fear condemnation. We cannot go to hell. A believer may backslide for a time, but he will surely repent before his death. God punishes sin even in a believer. It is called ‘chastisement’. But he cannot ‘lose heaven’. Salvation is an eternal sure gift of Grace! We should remember that one day, we shall stand before Christ, the King and the Judge of the universe who shall judge our deeds, our works. “For we must all appear before the judgment (Bema) seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10). That is why we desire to do all things to God’s glory!


HOW IS THE WRATH OF GOD REVEALED FROM HEAVEN?1-In the universal human experience of physical death! Death is a manifestation of God’s wrath against sin! Every man dies, the believers and the unbelievers. Spiritually, there is Death in Adam, and Eternal Life in Christ! “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification” (Rom 5:12-16). But for the believers, death has lost its sting, terror and power. “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Cor 15:55-57). Because of the Cross, God has removed the sting of the snake called death. Death is a defeated toothless enemy. Death is not a master anymore, but a servant! In Christ, death has become your servant! Death serves you by opening the door to heaven!
2-In the Vanity of life! Vanity is excessive pride, big dreams that leads to something useless, to total disappointment! “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom 8:20, 21). Life is hard! Life is ‘not fair’. People work and suffer to get rich and then they die. Once they die, they cannot take money with them. “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Ecc 1:2). Only God plants hope in futility! For the believer, there is no vanity for at the Cross, vanity is redeemed! “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). As children of God, we are children of purpose! We have a reason to live and to die! Our purpose is to give glory to God and to become like Jesus!
3-In human degradation! On the natural, without the purifying and restraining power of the Holy Spirit, sinners are getting worse. Old unbelievers are full of regrets, torments, and bitterness. We, the believers, hate, fight and conquer sin! We want to please God who warns us against sin and who chastises us as a Father disciplines His son. This is love! For the believers, like with old wine, life is getting sweeter with age. In all things we give thanks to God! My praise belongs to You! Worship the Lord!