“Pilgrim Reflections” - “The Wrath of God”
In reality, it’s His “giving us up;” but, thankfully, He doesn’t give up on us.
Regardless of what we believe, there is a God in Heaven Who created everything that is just the way the Bible says. And, He is Perfect, Holy and Just: and MUST punish sin (even if one doesn’t believe in Him or the reality of sin).
In Old Testament days He demonstrated His Wrath and Judgment in various ways: through famines and floods, earthquakes, plagues, pestilences (diseases, epidemics, pandemics), marauding armies, etc.
And, in reality, He still does that today; however, in Romans 1:18-32 we read how “His Wrath revealed from Heaven all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold back (suppress) the Truth in unrighteousness” (v.18) includes something else:
He “gives us up” or “turns us over to a reprobate (perverse, perverted) mind to do those things which are not right, fitting, appropriate, etc.” (vv.24, 26, 28).
Simply put, He turns us over to ourselves to self-destruct: and it would appear our nation (and world) are definitely experiencing that firsthand right now.
Yes, this past week an 84-year-old, five-foot-tall, 120-pound, retired nurse-grandmother was shot in the back while passing out pro-life material in a Michigan neighborhood. After knocking on the door of one house, she was shot by the home’s owner, Richard Harvey—and he and his wife offered no aid at all to Mrs. Joan Jackson, neither did they call 911.
Likewise, 61-year-old New York Fire Department EMS Lieutenant, Alison Russo-Elling, was stabbed multiple times by an assailant near her station in Astoria. She was walking to get some food for lunch when the 34-year-old man with a knife (unknown to her) ran up and began stabbing her for no known reason. She later died in a nearby hospital.
Then, when you throw in the current worldwide drought conditions, food shortages, continuing pandemic, rise of terrorism, etc., it’s clear God’s Wrath is being revealed all over the world.
And, according to God’s Word, it’s only going to get worse.
As I was reading in the Book of Isaiah this past week, it seemed like I was reading this morning’s headlines. The nation of Judah had learned nothing from God’s Judgment on her sister-nation, Israel, to the north: and that’s why Isaiah’s message was so sharp and straightforward—like a surgeon’s scalpel.
He laid bare their sins: how they were “laden with iniquity, corrupt, had forsaken the LORD, were backslidden and sin-sick” (Is. 1:4-6). He also said “Your leaders are rebellious and love bribes. . .you oppress the poor, fatherless and widows. . .you’re idolatrous and immoral. . . you pervert judgment. . .rise up early in the morning to drink intoxicating beverages. . .and continue until late at night, etc.” (1:23-5:11).
Likewise, when we read Rom. 1:18-32 and what it has to say about sexual sins like homosexuality, lesbianism, adultery, fornication (premarital sex, pornography), etc., it’s clear that we’re no different from Israel and Judah in the Old Testament.
So, what can we do? What can we do to stay God’s Wrath and Judgment?
II Chronicles 7:14 gives us the answer: that we must “humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s Face and turn from our wicked ways IF He will hear from Heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land.”
And, we must realize that means “God’s People,” not the world in general. Yes, as I Peter 4:17 says, “For the time has come that Judgment must begin at the House of God—and, if it first begins with us, what shall the end be of them who obey not the Gospel of God?”
In other words, we need to hear and heed the prophet Amos’ message from God and realize that He “hates and despises our religious rituals, praise songs, high-fivin’ worship services” (Amos 5:21-23).
He’s also sick of lukewarm, Laodicean churches that says “Boy, aren’t we something?!?” when, in reality, we’re making Him sick to His stomach (Rev. 3:14-17).
Yes, it’s time to repent and cry out to God: while they’re still time. Help us, O Lord.
(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 614, Mulberry, AR 72947 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org).
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