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The signs are everywhere - men are without excuse

Tonight I was working on the Romans 1 study from my small group Bible study and thought I would share.  Pray the Lord's word is a blessing to us all this evening.

Romans 1:16-17 (NASB)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Romans 1:17 (NIV)

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

How does the gospel reveal the righteousness of God? (the unyielding HOLY HOLY HOLY GOD required nothing less than a perfect HOLY sacrifice - it cost nothing less than the death of the divine)
Romans 5:7-8, Matthew 26:39, Luke 22:42

Romans 1:18-32 (NASB)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

1. How are God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature clearly revealed from what has been seen? (any of the common apologetics, such as the moral argument-generally everyone has an innate sense of right and wrong-Ecclesiastes 3:11, cosmological-if something exists it must have been created, teleological-the universe is complex-it needs some being greater to have built it, ontological, prophetic fulfillments, etc...)

Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

Psalms 8 comes to mind as well (out of the mouths of infants you have ordained praise).

What are common Christian reactions to sin?

1.     Defeat - nothing we can do anyway, why try?
2.     Compromise - let's just love people, inclusiveness, all roads lead to heaven....
3. Condemnation - Doom and gloom - sensationalism.  We feel better about ourselves and less insecure, by comparing ourselves to those who are "worse"

I am of the camp that believes we are living at “the end of the age”.  I find that there are some common reactions from those who share this view:

1. Sensationalism, fatalism, date setting, post abandonment and when do we leave? (you would not believe the email we get asking for the date, with never a mention of the commission - Matthew 28:18-20)
2. Arguing every fine point and detail about the Anti-Christ, 10 horned beast, the False Prophet, Gog and Magog, The Burden of Damascus, the Mark of the Beast, Pre/Mid/Post trib, Pre-wrath, Armageddon…  The gnostic spirit is alive and well.  Many believe they are saved by their inside knowledge, as if some better understanding was going to help our righteousness before a HOLY PERFECT GOD ALMIGHTY.  This deep need to get everyone to think the same way in some kind of self-validation, is just another expression of works based fear.  God said spread out, fill the earth, depend on Him.  We are not the Tower of Babel self-validating collective.  I'm not condemning diligent study.  It is commanded.
3. MREs, Preppers, Guns, Ammo, Montana, Bunker and self-directed survival.  Reminds of the Essenes - the dead sea scroll people.  Isolationists.  I'm not condemning preparation, but self-centered isolation.  There is work to do in the kingdom and we the church are plan A - there is no plan B.  Ever notice that the red states and blue states are divided by population density?  Those jammed into large urban centers, abandon God and vie for the will of the collective wisdom of the day.  On the other end I often see those that scream for freedom at every venue, with little regard for the fallen, broken depravity of the black horse of commerce.

Rarely.  Very rarely, do I find someone who comes to me to share their top 10 list, with a broken, earnest, diligent prayerful heart, who is working out their salvation with fear and trembling.

The answer: we are to be at our post and be diligent.

Luke 19:13 (NASB)

And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’

2 Peter 3:10-18 (NASB)

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

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1 comment:

  1. Very good thoughts. Blessed by this this morning. It's really not about arguing the finer points, but being generally aware of the lateness of the hour, how close it appears we are, and how focused are mission needs to be in these "last minutes, of the last hour, of the end of the age" (as J.D. would say).



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