The Reason for The Wrath of God
Introduction: The wrath of God is a proven fact! In fact, the Bible doesn’t seek to prove it; it is merely stated as being a reality. God is a God of love, but at the same time He is a God of intense wrath! His wrath is revealed in the world today and will be experienced in eternity by every person who leaves this world without a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The answer to that question is found in these verses. God tells us in the clearest of words why His wrath is kindled against the children of this world. As we look into this passage we’ll notice four reasons for the wrath of God.
I. MAN’S REBELLION TOWARD GOD (vs. 18)
(Romans 1:18) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,”
A. The Sinful Nature of Man
Man is ungodly by nature and by choice. This means that he has no relationship with God. Because he has no relationship with God, his relationship with his fellow man is also destroyed. Man is in open rebellion against the Lord and this is by his own choice!
(Romans 3:10) “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one;'”
(Romans 3:12) “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable: There is none who does good, no, not one.”
B. The Suppressing Nature of Man
Another sign of man’s rebellion is the fact that he knows the truth about God. This will be revealed more clearly in a moment. Even though he knows the truth, he “holds,” or “suppresses” the truth.
C. The Stubborn Nature of Man
Man willfully suppresses the truth of God so that he may continue in his sins! Mankind is absolutely enslaved to his sin.
(Ephesians 2:1-3) “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
II. Man’s Revelation of God (vs. 19-20)
(Romans 1:19-20) “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,”
What is this truth that man suppresses? It is the very revelation of God Himself. You see, God has a strong desire to reveal Himself to men! God wants them to come to know about Him so that they will come to know Him personally. To do this, God manifests Himself to man in millions of ways every day.
A. The Place of God’s Revelation
Notice where Paul says that God is revealed – “in them.” The idea is that men have all the truth they need to come to know God within them. The truth of God is in the heart and in the mind of mankind!
As a very young girl, Helen Keller was stricken by a disease that left her blind, deaf and mute. A lady named Anne Sullivan worked tirelessly and selflessly to help Helen learn to communicate. Eventually, Helen learned to communicate through touch, and she even learned to talk! When Anne Sullivan tried to tell Helen Keller about God, the girl’s response was that she already knew about Him – she just didn’t know His name.
B. The Power of God’s Revelation
The power of God’s revelation of Himself lies in its scope! God has placed His truth all about us. The Bible backs this up in Psalm 19:1-6.
(Psalm 19:1-6) “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.”
God’s revelation of Himself is so strong and so clear that every rational creature is bound to acknowledge and worship Him!
Notice some areas where God’s Person is on display.
- Think of the seed that becomes a mighty tree.
- Think of birds that are able to navigate by the stars.
- Think that most scientists now believe that this massive universe came into existence at a specific instance in time. Today among many major scientists, evolution is debated and doubted. Many now suspect that a higher intelligence had everything to do with it.
- Think that at any given instant there are over 1,800 storms in operation at any given time.
- Think that there are over 10 million species of insects in the world.
- Think that the earth is 25,000 miles in circumference, weighs tons and hangs on nothing! It spins at 1,000 miles per hour with absolute precision and careens through space around the sun at the speed of 1,000 miles per minute in a yearly orbit that is 580 billion miles long!
God did all these things to prove to man that He is real and that He possesses great power! No wonder the Bible declares:
(Psalm 14:1) “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.”
(Psalm 53:1) “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.”
C. The Purpose of God’s Revelation
The purpose is to bring man to a point of decision! God’s desire is that every person bow before Him in humble repentance and worship.
However, not all will! Therefore, God has given man every conceivable revelation of Himself and has left those who refuse to get right with Him without any excuse for their continued state of sin! Those who refuse to believe in Him have been faced with the evidence and are left with no excuse for their behavior. They’re guilty as charged and when they face Jesus at the Great White Throne, they will hear the charges read in clear terms. Then they will all be forced to bow before Him and acknowledge Him as Lord of all!
III. Man’s Rejection of God (vs. 21)
(Romans 1:21) “because, although they knew God, the did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
A. A Reckless Choice
When man has been faced with the truth of God and he makes his stand against God, he has moved into the realm of rejection. This rejection of God is seen in two areas of life.
1. They gave God no glory.
That is, they refused to magnify and exalt God as God. Their primary goal was the glorification of self! Men fail to honor God when they refuse to give Him the place in their lives that He deserves. God deserves the preeminence, but those who walk in unrighteousness and open rebellion against the Lord give Him no place in their lives. Therefore, He is not glorified in them! As a result, He is filled with wrath at the foolishness and sinfulness of man!
2. They gave God no gratitude.
While they denied God, they took all the things that He had given man to teach man about Himself, and they used it for their own selfish gains without a single thought being given to the Great Creator.
B. The Resulting Condition
1. A hollow life
“Vain imaginations”means a futile existence. They are living for themselves, or so they think. In reality, they are merely wasting their time. They fill their days with themselves, but eventually, those days will end and they will find that their time has been wasted and entirely in vain!
What does it mean if a man accomplishes great things in this life and in the end goes to Hell? The answer is, it means that he has wasted his life and it would have been far better for him had he never been born in the first place! If he dies without Jesus, he has lost the only thing he genuinely possessed. He has lost his soul.
(Mark 8:36-37) “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
2. A horrible life
This verse says that when they turned their backs on the light of God’s truth, “their foolish heart was darkened.” What men seem not to understand is that the only alternative to Light is darkness! As they move farther away from the Light, they move further into the dark.
IV. MAN’S REACTION TO GOD (vs. 22-23)
(Romans 1:22-23) “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.”
A. Foolish Regression (22)
When man turns on the Lord, and closes his eyes to the truth of God, he really thinks he is wise! His perception of himself is that he has all the angles figured out and all the bases covered. In reality, God says that while they think they are so smart, they are nothing but fools!
B. False Religion (23)
Man says “No!” to God, and then he turns around and invents things to worship! Man is a religious creature. If he doesn’t worship God, he’ll invent or manufacture a god to worship. If that doesn’t satisfy, he’ll find another man to give his worship to. If that doesn’t satisfy, then he will set himself up as his own little god and will live his life only to worship and glorify himself.
These are the four reasons why God is angry with sinners!
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