Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Deu 28:63  And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

Without question the above verse should cause a Christian to do some serious reflection on just exactly who God is and what he expects of his creatures.  It isn’t a passage that we should read through casually for sure.  But I think equally obvious is that most people and probably most Christian don’t realize the Bible even contains such passages.  When our theology is mostly a questionable interpretation of John 3:16 it is going to be very difficult to understand a God who does all things for his own glory including judging sinners instead of trying to get as many saved as he can. 

The fact of the matter is that sin brings God's wrath upon the sinner.  Sin is to live our way and to reject God as the sole reason and motivation for living.  Such an affront to God must be punished if God is a righteous Judge.  I recently made a statement while preaching that we are not saved from sin so much as we are saved from the wrath of God.  Such a statement caused some of my own people who have heard such preaching before to take notice.  I suppose it is because in modern times we tend to hear only that God loves everyone and very little else about the nature of God. 

Right after I made this statement in a message I had it illustrated to me when I came across a recent development in the Presbyterian Church USA.  It looks like the committee putting together their new hymnal has rejected the Getty song, “In Christ Alone”.  The reason stated is because it contains the phrase, “Till on that cross as Jesus died/The wrath of God was satisfied”. 

One wonders why this would cause controversy.  The Bible speaks of the wrath of God towards sinners throughout, Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  Eph 2:3  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  

But evidently there are many in the PCUSA (and all other denominations) that don’t want to think about the wrath of God.  They asked the Gettys if they could change the words to, “As Jesus died/The love of God was magnified”.  Thankfully the Gettys said no.  There is certainly nothing wrong with what the committee wanted to change the lyrics to but it is the fact that they were offended by the first ones that show why these lyrics cannot be changed.  Too many today have no idea that they are going to face a wrathful God someday unless they repent and believe in Jesus. 

By rewriting biblical truth we take the teeth out of the gospel.  If God loves us just as we are then what incentive do we have to repent lest we fall into the hands of an angry God if God, in fact, isn’t really angry at all?  By all accounts Jonathan Edwards was a dry speaker who read his sermons verbatim.  Yet it was through his and other’s preaching about “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” that led to the Great Awakening.  I imagine this explains the ineffectiveness of the church in our day when some are doing everything they can to remove all references to this “Angry God”

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