Despising God in the Church
People judge others all day long. They express their shock at the appalling behavior of others. They identify the sins of those they dislike. They serve as prosecutor, judge, jury, and sometimes, even executioner of those they disdain. Men, of course, are fallible judges. If men can see sin in others, what does the world look like from the view of Him who judges according to truth?
God is the judge of every person (Gen 18:25; Acts 10:42; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5; Rev 20:11), and He must judge because He is the righteous Lawgiver. Not only does God judge man to be ungodly and unrighteous (Rom 1:18), but forgiveness of sins can only occur where sins have been punished. The wrath of God is revealed, and God’s punishment is sure.
The patience of God should be celebrated with man’s thanksgiving and humility before his Judge. Instead, man takes God for granted. He is guilty of despising God because man merely pauses between his sins. He fools himself into thinking God will never execute wrath against him (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7).
People are blind to their being objects of God’s wrath. They speak of God being a God who is love. They quickly mention His goodness. They review the “blessings” they have received from God. They will tell others of God’s kindness. So what is deceptive about all of this praise of men toward God?
The deception is their continuation in sins. Man keeps sinning, in the same way as he did before he acknowledged God’s goodness, kindness, and love. “God is good, all the time, so all the time, I continue in my sins,” would be the honest expression. Why does man take God for granted?
The devil has blinded the mind of those who do not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:4). The wrath of God against sin and sinners is the beginning of the Gospel message (bad news). Still, the wrath of God is often the neglected element of Gospel presentations. Many Christians are embarrassed when the judgment and wrath of God are even mentioned.
The deficient view of the sinfulness of sin, coupled with the unbelief of those who despise the doctrine of punishment for sins, leaves some people in the church behind the veil. They cannot see the truth. They cannot acknowledge the holiness, righteousness, and justice of God.
Turning a blind eye to any attribute of God will invite sin to occupy the void. The primary message of the church in America is that God is love, kind, and good. How is this message received?
People do not feel, as if God is confronting them. There is little talk of repentance (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 17:30), nor is holy living given much emphasis. The rhythm is sin, speak of the love of God, and go and sin some more.
Turning to psychology and philosophy, pastors show their disinterest in the doctrine of the atonement. By avoiding the wrath of God in their “talks,” they have no reason to “chat” about the propitiation for sins (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). Instead, they are ready to lead you into becoming a better you.
People, who are made to feel that God must love them, just as they are, have no reason to turn from their current course. Bad theology, promoting another gospel, is far more pervasive than most Christians realize. Pastors are hosting “parties,” instead of worship services marked by holiness. Unless preachers repent of their diluted sermon subjects, there is no reason to believe the people will be inclined to change their minds, or their ways.
Christian, what is your view on the wrath of God? To deny it, is to deny your profession of faith. What is your view of the atonement? Christ has reconciled His people (2 Cor 5:18–20), by paying for their sins (Col 2:14), with His precious blood (1 Pet 1:19). His work of sanctification is manifesting Christ’s righteousness and holiness, in the lives of His saints (Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2). Is that a reality for you?
You may be deceived, my friend, if you continue in sin, yet hold a theology of love, only. God is not mocked, by those who misrepresent Him, and mislead others by denying certain attributes. Ultimately, these people are despising God for judging according to truth, and they will be required to give an account on the day of judgment (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11). To preach the whole counsel of God is to present the whole Gospel of God, which begins with the wrath of God and His true judgment of sinners, who are called to repentance and faith…every day. Let’s do this!
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 20, 2021