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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #16 God’s RIGHTEOUS WRATH! (Part 2)

In our previous post we began thinking a bit about God’s WRATH.  We don’t want to think about God’s wrath.  We would prefer a god who does not become wrathful, vengeful, furious with us sinners.  But that’s not the God of the Bible.

We listed many verses in Part 1, but only summarized through Proverbs 11:23 that says that “the hope of the wicked [ends] only in wrath.”  Let’s look at the 2nd section of those verses one more time in this second of two parts on God’s wrath.  Here are those verses again:

Isaiah 1:24
Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: “Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies.
Isaiah 10:5
[ God’s Judgment on Assyria ] “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
Isaiah 13:5
They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens— the Lord and the weapons of his wrath— to destroy the whole country.
Isaiah 48:9
For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely.
Isaiah 59:18
According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.
Jeremiah 7:20
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.
Jeremiah 7:29
“‘Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.
Jeremiah 10:10
But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.
Jeremiah 21:5
I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath.
Jeremiah 25:15
[ The Cup of God’s Wrath ] This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.
Jeremiah 36:7
Perhaps they will bring their petition before the Lord and will each turn from their wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the Lord are great.”
Jeremiah 50:25
The Lord has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.
Lamentations 4:11
The Lord has given full vent to his wrath; he has poured out his fierce anger. He kindled a fire in Zion that consumed her foundations.
Ezekiel 5:13
“Then my anger will cease and my wrath against them will subside, and I will be avenged. And when I have spent my wrath on them, they will know that I the Lord have spoken in my zeal.
Ezekiel 13:13
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.
Ezekiel 16:38
I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring on you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.
Ezekiel 20:21
“‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness.
Ezekiel 21:31
I will pour out my wrath on you and breathe out my fiery anger against you; I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men, men skilled in destruction.
Ezekiel 22:22
As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath on you.’”
Ezekiel 25:17
I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I take vengeance on them.’”
Daniel 9:16
Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
Hosea 5:10
Judah’s leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water.
Hosea 13:11
So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away.
Nahum 1:2
[ The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh ] The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.
Nahum 1:6
Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.
Habakkuk 3:2
Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
Zephaniah 1:15
That day will be a day of wrath— a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness—
Zephaniah 1:18
Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath.” In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth.
Malachi 1:4
Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.” But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord.
Matthew 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Luke 21:23
How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.
John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Romans 1:18
[ God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity ] The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
Romans 2:5
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
Romans 2:8
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Romans 9:22
What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?
Romans 12:19
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Romans 13:4
For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Ephesians 2:3
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
Ephesians 5:6
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Colossians 3:6
Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
1 Thessalonians 1:10
and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 6:16
They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
Revelation 6:17
For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
Revelation 11:18
The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
Revelation 14:10
they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.

In concluding this study, we see that —
His anger is described as the blood vengeance of His wrath and jealous anger, the fire of His jealousy.

From these verses we learn that God will vent His wrath and avenge Himself on His enemies. He will repay wrath to His enemies. God used Assyria as the club, the weapons, of His wrath. God takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.

His wrath and anger will be poured out, will burn and not be quenched. We read of a generation that is under His wrath. We learn that nations cannot endure His wrath. He has given full vent to His wrath and poured out His fierce anger. God threatens to pour out His wrath and spend His anger on His people. He will breathe out His fiery anger. He will punish them in His wrath. His wrath is poured out like fire.

There will come a time when His anger will cease and His wrath against His people will subside (after He has spent His wrath on them).

About His own people God says He will fight against them in furious anger and in great wrath. His cup is filled with the wine of His wrath. God looks for repentance, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the Lord are great. In His anger God gave them a king and in His wrath He took him away.

God will even unleash the elements of weather (violent wind, hailstones, torrents of rain) against His people. We read of a day of wrath.

The good news is that God’s wrath may be delayed. We can pray that He will turn away from His anger and His wrath. We can ask that He will in wrath remember mercy. We can warn others to flee from the coming wrath.

The hard truth is that those who have not believed on the Son, those who reject the Son, God’s wrath remains on them.

The reality is that we have to leave room for God’s wrath. It is clearly taught in the Word of God (one wonders if there are more verses on God’s wrath than on His love?). And we need to warn people with the gospel to FLEE God’s wrath.

Thank God today for the Son of God who rescues us from the coming wrath!

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #16 God’s RIGHTEOUS WRATH! (Part 1)

Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” way back in the 1700’s as a visiting preacher.  Historians tell us that he emphasized God’s wrath to such a degree that the members of the congregation were clinging to their wooden pews in the fear that they would fall into hell then and there.  It may be that your high school English teacher messed up your reading of Edwards’ sermon.  If so, you may read it here.

Modern man, it is said, has turned his sermon into “God in the Hands of Angry Sinners!”  “God needs to explain Himself — and all the evil in His world!”, they say.  We have lost a sense of God’s anger at sin.

What does the Bible say about the WRATH of God?  Here are (more than) a few verses to keep in mind:

Psalm 7:11-  God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. (KJV). The NIV says “God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.”

Num. 16:46- “. . . Wrath has come out from the Lord; the plague has started.”

Debt. 9:8- “At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that He was angry enough to destroy you.”

Deuteronomy 29:20
The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven.

Deuteronomy 29:28
In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”

Deuteronomy 32:22
For a fire will be kindled by my wrath, one that burns down to the realm of the dead below. It will devour the earth and its harvests and set afire the foundations of the mountains.

Joshua 22:20
When Achan son of Zerah was unfaithful in regard to the devoted things, did not wrath come on the whole community of Israel? He was not the only one who died for his sin.’”

1 Samuel 28:18
Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today.

2 Samuel 6:8
Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.

2 Chronicles 19:2
Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you.

2 Chronicles 32:25
But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:16
But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.

Job 21:20
Let their own eyes see their destruction; let them drink the cup of the wrath of the Almighty.

Psalm 2:5
He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath,

Psalm 2:12
Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 21:9
When you appear for battle, you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and his fire will consume them.

Psalm 38:3
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.

Psalm 76:10
Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.

Psalm 78:38
Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath.

Psalm 78:49
He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility— a band of destroying angels.

Psalm 79:6
Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name;

Psalm 88:16
Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me.

Psalm 89:46
How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?

Psalm 90:11
If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.

Psalm 106:23
So he said he would destroy them— had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them.

Proverbs 11:23
The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

Isaiah 1:24
Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: “Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies.

Isaiah 10:5
[ God’s Judgment on Assyria ] “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath!

Isaiah 13:5
They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens— the Lord and the weapons of his wrath— to destroy the whole country.

Isaiah 48:9
For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely.

Isaiah 59:18
According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.

Jeremiah 7:20
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.

Jeremiah 7:29
“‘Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.

Jeremiah 10:10
But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.

Jeremiah 21:5
I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath.

Jeremiah 25:15
[ The Cup of God’s Wrath ] This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.

Jeremiah 36:7
Perhaps they will bring their petition before the Lord and will each turn from their wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the Lord are great.”

Jeremiah 50:25
The Lord has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.

Lamentations 4:11
The Lord has given full vent to his wrath; he has poured out his fierce anger. He kindled a fire in Zion that consumed her foundations.

Ezekiel 5:13
“Then my anger will cease and my wrath against them will subside, and I will be avenged. And when I have spent my wrath on them, they will know that I the Lord have spoken in my zeal.

Ezekiel 13:13
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.

Ezekiel 16:38
I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring on you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.

Ezekiel 20:21
“‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness.

Ezekiel 21:31
I will pour out my wrath on you and breathe out my fiery anger against you; I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men, men skilled in destruction.

Ezekiel 22:22
As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath on you.’”

Ezekiel 25:17
I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I take vengeance on them.’”

Daniel 9:16
Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.

Hosea 5:10
Judah’s leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water.

Hosea 13:11
So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away.

Nahum 1:2
[ The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh ] The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.

Nahum 1:6
Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.

Habakkuk 3:2
Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

Zephaniah 1:15
That day will be a day of wrath— a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness—

Zephaniah 1:18
Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath.” In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth.

Malachi 1:4
Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.” But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord.

Matthew 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Luke 21:23
How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.

John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

Romans 1:18
[ God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity ] The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

Romans 2:5
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Romans 2:8
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

Romans 9:22
What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?

Romans 12:19
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 13:4
For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

Ephesians 2:3
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Ephesians 5:6
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

Colossians 3:6
Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

1 Thessalonians 1:10
and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 6:16
They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!

Revelation 6:17
For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

Revelation 11:18
The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

Revelation 14:10
they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.

If you have read all the above verses, my friend, there is a special place in heaven for you. Here are a few takeaways that I see —

1. God is angry with the wicked every day.
2. God’s anger can be “aroused,” can “burn against” sinners, is described as “fierce,” can be “on” someone, can “flare up in a moment,” is described as “his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility.” His wrath “burns like fire.”
3. We read of the “cup of the wrath of the Almighty.”
4. His anger and wrath ought to terrify us!
5. We read that “the Lord will swallow them up in his wrath.”
6. God’s wrath against mankind “brings [Him] praise”!
7. At times God restrains his anger and does not stir up “his full wrath.”
8. We can pray that His wrath would be poured out on nations that do not acknowledge Him.
9. His wrath is as great as the fear that is His due.
10. The hope of the wicked end only in wrath.

And those conclusions are only through the early references in Isaiah. Aren’t you glad for the Son of God who has turned away God’s wrath from you? (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #15 God’s KNOWABILITY! (Part 2)

The God who created us is knowable!  But there is a world of difference between knowing that and knowing . . . Him.  We can know facts about God, but not become familiar with Him.  We can learn information about God but fail to develop intimacy with Him.

The God of the Bible wants to be known.  He is a relational God who does all that He can to develop personal connections with His children.  Here are a few verses which emphasize this truth of knowing . . . Him …

Exodus 33:17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

1 Samuel 3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Isaiah 11:9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 19:21 So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them.

Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Jeremiah 2:8 The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.

Jeremiah 9:24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

There’s a special reward in heaven for anyone who has read this classic!

Jeremiah 22:16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

Jeremiah 31:34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Philippians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ . . .

Colossians 1:10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God . . .

2 Thessalonians 1:8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Hebrews 8:11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1:8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Exodus 5:2 Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”

How do we know God personally? We learn the following truths from these verses:

1. We can know God by name. This is much more than a belief in His existence. It is personal.  Frederick Buechner puts it this way:  “Buechner is my name. It is pronounced Beek-ner. If somebody mispronounces it in some foolish way, I have the feeling that what’s foolish is me. If somebody forgets it, I feel that it’s I who am forgotten. There’s something about it that embarrasses me in just the same way that there’s something about me that embarrasses me. I can’t imagine myself with any other name Held, say, or Merrill, or Hlavacek. If my name were different, I would be different. When I tell you my name, I have given you a hold over me that you didn’t have before. If you call it out, I stop, look, and listen whether I want to or not. In the book of Exodus, God tells Moses that his name is Yahweh, and God hasn’t had a peaceful moment since.”
2. There is a stage in our lives which could be called “pre-knowing” the Lord. Samuel is a case in point.
3. We can have “knowledge of the Holy One” which will lead to understanding.
4. One day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea!
5. The Lord wants us to know and believe Him and understand Who He is.
6. It is possible to be a religious leader and not know the Lord!
7. We need the Lord to give us a heart to know Him!
8. We also need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better.
9. Do I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord?
10. We can grow in our knowledge of the Lord!
11. Punishment awaits those who do not know God or obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
12. We are not to be ineffective or unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
13. We are challenged to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (= God).
14. There are those (like Pharaoh) who proclaim “I do not know the Lord . . .”

What steps will you take today to really KNOW . . . the Lord?

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #15 God’s KNOWABILITY! (Part 1)

We’ve looked at the logic of God wanting to know His creatures, made in His image, and how special revelation makes sense.  A good Creator would want to reveal truth about Himself so that human beings, made in His image, could have a relationship with Him.

Let’s think a bit more about God’s knowability.  He is not some far-off deity who doesn’t care about His creation, but rather One who wants an intimate relationship with each one of us through His Son Jesus.  We can know God!  Of the many verses in the Scriptures about knowing God, several speak to the issue of knowing about God and His works.  For example,

1 Kings 8:60 “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other.”

2 Kings 19:19 “Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”

Psalm 100:3 “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

The entire book of Ezekiel (an Old Testament book seldom read) makes one overall point:  “that they may know that I am the Lord!”

Many verses talk about God’s actions on behalf of His people Israel and against those enemy nations that sought to do them harm.  But there is a difference between knowing that and knowing . . . Him (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #14 God’s OMNIPOTENCE!

“Can God create a rock heavier than He can lift?”, asks your provocative non-Christian friend. Be careful how you answer this question! If you say, “Of course! God can create such a rock!”, your friend will say, “Then it’s a rock He cannot lift!” If you say, “No! He can’t create such a rock!”, he will say, “Aha! Then there’s something He can’t do!” (we’ll give our answer to this question at the end of this post).

Omnipotence means God’s all-powerfulness.  What do the Scriptures say about God’s power?

Daniel 4:35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

Isaiah 43:13 “Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”

Isaiah 14:27 “For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”

Matthew 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

Job 42:2: “I know that you can do all things and that no plan of yours can be thwarted.”

Some lessons from God’s omnipotence:

1. God exercises His power according to His will — which no one can successfully question or overcome.

2. When God acts, or proposes to act, no one can reverse His hand!

3. No one can frustrate the plans of God; no one can turn back His stretched-out hand.

4. What is impossible with man is possible with God — especially the salvation of lost people.

5. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord!

6. He can do all things and no plan of His can be thwarted.

But the Bible does say there are some things that God cannot do, such as lie (Heb. 6:18) or cease to be God.

So, here’s my answer to the question “Can God create a rock heavier than He can lift?” The answer is — that is a bad question! It is like the question, “Have you stopped beating your dog?” If you say “Yes!,” then the person could say, “Oh, you’ve been beating your dog?!” If you say “No!,” then the person could say, “Oh, you’re still beating your dog?!”

God can do all things consistent with His nature.  He cannot sin; He cannot cease to be God.  And, aren’t you glad?

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #13 God’s OMNISCIENCE!

God never needs to be brought up to date.  He never needs to be informed of something He otherwise would not know.  All things knowable, He knows!  He never learns; He never increases in knowledge.  This is what we mean by God’s omniscience.

From our fallen human perspective, this might sound a bit boring.  Part of the joy of life is learning things, growing in knowledge, discovering new truths.  But God’s all-knowingness is not a vice, but a virtue.  What Scriptures indicate that God is omniscient?

Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.

1 John 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.

Psalm 139:4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.

Matthew 10:30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Psalm 147:4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.

Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.

Psalm 44:21 Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.

Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired His understanding is inscrutable.

Isaiah 46:9-10 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,

1 Kings 8:39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men,

Acts 1:24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen
(from https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God,-Omniscience-Of)

Here are a few practical applications of God’s omniscience:

1. Our hearts can deceive us, but God knows all things and is greater than our hearts.

2. He knows what we are going to say before we say it.

3. His knowledge includes even the very minor things like the hairs on our heads and the major things like the stars in the sky.

4. There are no secrets before God; all things are open and visible to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

5. Even in our prayer lives He knows what we need before we formulate our prayers — but we are still to pray!

6. He searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts.

7. His understanding is inscrutable (that word is worth looking up!).  God never has to say, “I misunderstood.”

8. He alone knows the hearts of all the sons of men.

What is one practical application of God’s omniscience for you today?

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #12 God’s OMNIPRESENCE!

As we continue our brief exploration of some of God’s attributes revealed to us in the Scriptures, we come to His omni-attributes. “Omni” means all. His omnipresence means He is not limited by space.  His omniscience means His knowledge is not limited in any way.  His omnipotence means He is able to do all things consistent with His nature as God.

Let’s consider His omnipresence.  “Wherever there is a where, God is there,” says the noted theologian Millard Erickson.  It is true that sometimes God’s presence is difficult to discern.  We’ve noticed in a previous post that occasionally God hides Himself.  And there is the experience of what some call “the dark night of the soul” when He appears to have abandoned His child.

What verses in Scripture indicate God’s omnipresence?  Here are a few:

Jeremiah 23:24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.

1 Kings 8:27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Psalm 139:3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

Isaiah 66:1 Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?

Jeremiah 23:23-24 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off?

Acts 17:27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Job 34:21 “For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps.

What can be learned from these verses about God’s OMNIPRESENCE?

1. We can’t hide from the Lord! There is no hiding place which excludes His presence!

2. His omnipresence implies His omniscience. HIs “eyes” are in every place. He sees both the evil and the good. We are to pray to our Father “who is in secret” and He will reward us!

“I can’t run fast enough to flee from God!”

3. He is not “contained” or limited by space. If I am in one place, I can’t be in another. God isn’t confined in that way.

4. His presence (especially in the difficult matter of church discipline – Mt. 18:20) ought to encourage us to do what is honoring to Him.

5. There is no escape from the Lord. The fastest runner in the world (Usain Bolt) can’t get away from the Lord!

6. Our tiny houses (churches) don’t contain God!

7. His omnipresence ought to encourage lost people to search for Him.

We don’t need to “invite” the Lord to our church meetings.  He is there before we arrive.  A better prayer might be, “Lord, make us aware of Your presence with us.”  How might you become aware of God’s presence with you today?

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #11 God’s HOLY HATRED!

“You Christians have simply made God in your image!  You’ve created a deity you are comfortable with!” Really?  My unsaved friends have sometimes expressed such an opinion.  If their charge were correct, my God would be a lot easier to live with!

But the Bible presents the true God as holy, judgmental, and, at times, hateful! Really.  Let’s think for a few minutes about the HATRED of God. (The following is from my book When Temptation Strikes):

In a culture whose mantra is “God is love (if there is a God),” God condemns the Canaanites by saying to His people in Deuteronomy 12:31, “You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.” The God of the Bible is not into respecting religious pluralism, is He?

Really?

The Psalmist says in Psalm 5:5, “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.” This seems a bit difficult to reconcile with Christians often saying that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. Similarly we read in Psalm 11:5, “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.”

In fact, one passage even tells us that the Lord turns from loving to hating those who commit sin: “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.” (Hosea 9:15).

We learn from Scripture that God despises empty religion, rituals that have lost their meaning. The Lord says to Isaiah, “Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.” (Isaiah 1:14). The Lord’s burdened, exhausted soul is fed up with their empty festivities. The prophet Amos records the Lord’s words: “”I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies.” (Amos 5:21). When we just go through the religious motions, leaving our hearts at home, I wonder what the Lord feels about our meetings?

(This one’s clever.)

Several specific sins are listed by God as those He abhors. Isaiah 61:8 tells us, “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.” The Lord speaks of certain practices as “detestable things” that He “hates,” such as not turning from wickedness or not ceasing to worship other gods (Jeremiah 44:4). Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us that “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him . . .” The six things listed are “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and . . .” [I’m going to leave the seventh for you to look up. The Hebraic wording indicates that the seventh is something that God absolutely despises]. Zechariah records the Lord saying, “‘. . . do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,’ declares the LORD.” (Zechariah 8:17).

In our divorce-addicted and violence-obsessed culture, God declares, “‘I hate divorce . . . and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,’ says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” (Malachi 2:16). God has a hate list and it includes such sins as robbery, iniquity, plotting evil against one’s neighbor, loving to swear falsely, divorce, addiction to violence, breaking faith, etc .

(Do you agree?)

Not only does God hate wickedness (Psalm 45:7), but the Psalmist says that God’s followers are to do the same: “Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 97:10). The Psalmist follows his own advice, for he says in Psalm 119:163, “I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law.” In fact, the very definition of fearing the Lord, says Proverbs 8:13, is “to hate evil.”

There is “a time to love and a time to hate,” Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:8. Amos 5:15 tells the believer to “Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.” And it is not just the Old Testament that contains such hate speech. Paul tells us that “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9). John compliments the church in Ephesus by saying, “But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Revelation 2:6). Believers are to hate their own actions which are inconsistent with God’s Word. Paul confesses in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

The mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg once said, “I never liked anyone who didn’t have a temper. If you don’t have any temper, you don’t have any passion.” While there are differences between anger and hatred, we must realize that there is a holy hatred that we must have. Hating what God hates shows a passion for Him and His truth. I realize this could sound crazy, especially in a culture that expects Christians to show only love, but could it be that we have not learned how to hate?!

Some have suggested that the God of the Old Testament was a God of anger, fury, and wrath, but that the God of the New Testament is a God of mercy, love, and forgiveness. This old liberal saw does not survive serious examination, especially in light of Jesus’ declarations about hell in the Gospels and the book of Revelation’s descriptions of the Lake of Fire. We learn in Daniel 12:2 that “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Those who die outside of the saving work of Christ will be in the end not eternal objects of God’s love, but of His wrath and of His holy hatred.

What response to sin would we want God to have? Some think He is actively torturing His creation, that He is a cosmic sadist who entertains Himself with human misery. Others believe that He combines both the good and bad in Himself, the Yin and the Yang, that there is a dark side to God. Still others suggest that God is impassive, that He doesn’t care one way or the other what happens in His universe, that He is really “beyond all that.” But as Sam Mikolaski says, “Unless God is angry with sin, let us put a bullet in our collective brain, for the universe is mad.”  (your thoughts?)

 

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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If There Is No God . . . (Will Durant quote)

“In a frank interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, the famous atheist Will Durant admitted that the common man will fall to pieces morally if he thinks there is no God. ‘On the other hand,’ said Durant, ‘a man like me … I survive morally because I retain the moral code that was taught me along with the religion, while I have discarded the religion, which was Roman Catholicism.’

Durant continued, ‘You and I are living on a shadow… because we are operating on the Christian ethical code which was given us, infused with the Christian faith…. But what will happen to our children…? We are not giving them an ethics warmed up with a religious faith. They are living on the shadow of a shadow.’ ~ Cited from Norman Geisler, Is Man the Measure, 170-71.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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Back to the Basics: Theology Proper #10 God’s JEALOUSY!

One of the many attributes of God which is seldom preached on — is His JEALOUSY!  But, wait a minute!  Isn’t jealousy as SIN?  How can it be right for God to be jealous and for us not to be?  As with all other questions, we need to ask not what we think, but what does the Bible actually say?

Here are some texts on the jealousy of God:

Exodus 20:5 – You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

Exodus 34:14 – Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 4:24 – For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 32:16 – They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols.

Psalm 78:58 – They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols.

Psalm 79:5 – How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire?

Ezekiel 16:42 – Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.

Nahum 1:2 – [ The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh ] The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.

Zephaniah 1:18 – Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath.” In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth.

Zechariah 8:2 – This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.”

James 4:5 – Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

There is no doubt that God is a jealous God, that idolatry makes Him furious, that His jealousy is intimately connected to His anger and vengeance, etc.  We even read in the book of Numbers about a law of jealousy:  Numbers 5:15 – then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.

However, believers are told in Romans 13:13- Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. We also read in 2 Corinthians 12:20 – For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.  The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:2 – I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.

How are we to understand the jealousy of God?  The answer, I believe, is that there is a godly jealousy.  Just as there is a godly hatred and a godly anger, there is a godly jealousy.  How can jealousy be a virtue in God and a vice in men?

  1. Biblical statements about God’s jealousy are anthropomorphic, i.e. descriptions of God in language drawn from the life of man. In reading anthropomorphisms, we need to remember that man isn’t the measure of his Maker, and that none of the limitations of humanhood are implied. Consequently, God’s jealousy isn’t tainted with frustration, envy and spite, but is a zeal to preserve something precious.
  2. There are two kinds of jealousy among men. One says, “I want what you’ve got, and I hate you because I haven’t got it.” The other is manifested in romantic relationships, and is the fruit of marital affection. This sort of jealousy is a positive virtue, as its aim is to keep the marriage intact.

John Stott says, “In the second commandment God goes on to describe himself as ‘a jealous God’. There is no need to be disturbed by this. Jealousy is a resentment of rivals, and whether it is good or evil depends on whether the rival has any right to be there. Since God is unique, and there is no other, he has the right to ask that we worship him alone.” (John Stott, from page 96 Christian Basics, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969).

J.I. Packer in his Knowing God put it best:  “But there is another sort of jealousy—zeal to protect a love-relationship, or to avenge it when broken. This jealousy also operates in the sphere of sex; there, however, it appears, not as the blind reaction of wounded pride, but as the fruit of marital affection. As Professor Tasker has written, married persons ‘who felt no jealousy at the intrusion of a lover or an adulterer into their home would surely be lacking in moral perception; for the exclusiveness of marriage is the essence of marriage’ (The Epistle of James p.106). This sort of jealousy is a positive virtue, for it shows a grasp of the true meaning of the husband-wife relationship, together with a proper zeal to keep it intact.”

Are you thankful for God’s JEALOUSY today?

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2018 in doctrine of God

 

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