Monday, June 3, 2013

Consider therefore the kindness and sterness of God (Romans 11:22a)

I think we can first start by considering the sterness of God to help us understand what's going on in our world today.  It's important to understand what that is all about, and to understand that it's going to only get worse.

God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden with only one command:  to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They made the choice to disobey God and as a result they died spiritually (they were seperated from the Spirit and life of God) and became by nature objects of God's wrath and judgement.  All of their descendants inherited this nature that is an object of God's wrath and judgement.  The creation was also subjected to frustration.  God cursed the ground as a result of their disobedience.

We read throughout Scripture about the wrath and judgement of God, which should make us aware that God is just and will judge and does judge.  Jesus, in Luke 12:49 says, "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!"  And Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit says in Romans 1:18, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,"  and in Romans 8:22, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

We don't live in a perfect and pleasant world.  Mankind is at emnity with God and is facing judgement.  God is reminding us of that.  We see it everyday in our own lives, and in local, national and world news. 

So where does the kindness of God fit into all of this?  At the cross.  We first find reference to that in Genesis 3:15 where God will put emnity between the serpent (Satan) and the woman, and between Satan's offspring and the woman's offspring.  Satan would strike the heel of the womans's offspring, but the woman's offspring would crush Satan's head.  We find the fulfillment of this at the cross.  Isaiah 53:5 says, "But he was pierced for our transgression, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."  and Isaiah 53:11 says, "After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied."  Jesus suffered to pay the penalty for your sins and for mine.  And then He rose from the dead by the Spirit of Holiness.  Being without sin, death could not keep Him down.  And John 1:12 says, "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God."  And Romans 10:13 says, "Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved."

So mankind is at emnity with God and is by nature an object of wrath.  Creation is in an upheaval.  Tragedy is happening to us and all around us.  God's wrath is being revealed.  His kindness is shown to us at the cross, where the God of justice made the way for people to escape the coming wrath.  What will be your choice:  Will you continue on your path to destruction, or will you receive Jesus as your Savior and ask Him to save you from Judgement?

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