One of the scariest topics to come across or read about in the Bible is the wrath of God. His wrath is not some uncontrollable outburst that is an imperfection of God. Instead, it is a settled and determined response to sin against His holy character. It is actually something to praise God for.
God’s wrath comes in different forms, as well. There is God’s temporal wrath, where He punishes a person with wickedness (David and Bathsheba). There is also God’s eternal wrath, where He will punish sin forever and ever (Lake of Fire). But there is another form of God’s wrath that could be just as scary as those other two. I am talking about the wrath of abandonment. This is where man continually rejects and abandons God, and God then leaves man to his choices. To put it in other words, continual rejection of God pushes God to then withdraw and give man over to his sin.
This is most clearly described in Romans 1, where 3 times it says “God gave them (man) over.” Man continues to abandon the truth of God, so God abandons man to his choices. The first part of this wrath comes when man rejects that God even exists, and replaces God with something else (vv 24-25). This is seen today where atheism is the fastest growing ‘religious’ mindset in our country. This is the essence of man rejecting God, and God gives man over to this mindset.
Consequently, if there is no God, then there are no objective rules for morality or sexuality. This brings about the expression of the mindset that rejects God, when homosexuality and other perversions become the norm and are accepted (vv 26-27). This is the second part of where God gives man over to his decisions.
Finally, if man makes his own sexual decisions, then he decides to just make any other decisions he wants in all other areas of morality and ethics. Man decides he is his own boss and he does what he wants. This leads to things like wickedness, boastfulness, untrustworthiness, and even the casual acceptance of those things (vv 28-32). This shows the extent of the mindset of man rejecting God. And God gives man over to this decision.
Why do I bring this up this month? We need to realize that we have already passed phase one of this wrath of abandonment in our country. Atheism is growing, the ‘smartest’ people in our positions of science and mathematics do not believe in God, and we should not be surprised if it becomes the majority opinion. In the USA, we are currently in phase two of this wrath of abandonment. With the landmark rulings of the Supreme Court, perverted lifestyles like homosexuality are now not only accepted, but defended. This will quickly lead to phase three, where subjective morality reigns and anything goes.
Why do I think this is happening in our country? I believe it is because of the Christian church turning away from the true gospel. In the last 50 years we have seen a rise in easy-believism, seeker-sensitive, prosperity gospel churches thriving. These three types of churches are not preachers of the true gospel so we have many people who can speak Christianese but are not truly converted. Without truly converted people preaching the true gospel, leads to the culture rejecting God. Just ask a Christian in England, because this happened there. England was the source of the world’s greatest preachers, and now you cannot find a church if you want to.
I’m not trying to be entirely pessimistic here about the future of our country. I want us to see the dire importance of true preaching of the true gospel. Without it, man turns away from God, and scarily God turns away from man.
Pastor Mark Scialabba