Posted in god's wrath, theology


By Elizabeth Prata

After the sorrow of Saturday afternoon’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, where after praying and thinking and mourning and pondering, I went to bed. I awoke to news that overnight in Dayton Ohio, another mass shooting had taken place. A man shot up a bar. Ten people were killed and 26 were injured.

All the people killed who went to grab a beer or go buy some crayons for their kid, instantly arrived up in either one of two places. No one expects this day to be their last day. But it always is, at some point.

I read these sad facts on Twitter from a news organization:

Dayton mayor: Gunman wearing body armor used large, high-powered gun with multiple magazines. Death and injury toll from mass shootings attacks in public spaces in past week across the US in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton: At least 34 killed and 71 injured.

7 of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have happened in the last 7 years. With 20 confirmed dead in El Paso, it ranks as the 8th deadliest.

These shootings are happening because God has abandoned America. This isn’t unique to us here in America, it’s happened to every nation in history.

 Acts 14:16, the apostle Paul said, “In the generations gone by, He” – God – “permitted all the nations to go their own way.” This is the story of history. All the nations of history go their own way. So like the nations of old, like the nations past, we follow the same cycle of having the truth, rejecting the truth and being abandoned by God. John MacArthur

In 2006 MacArthur delivered the sermon I’d quoted above, titled “When God Abandons a Nation.” I found it helpful then and I found it helpful this week. It explains the process from Romans 1 when “God has abandoned America to the effects of its sinful choices.”

This abandoning act on God’s part is the removal of restraining grace. He gives over a society to the their sinful wants, which only further depraves the mind and makes it futile. He explained here,

What is a depraved mind? Well, the word literally means tested and found useless, disqualified for its intended purpose, a non-functioning mind. Reasoning is so corrupted that it is crippled. The faculty, the intellectual faculty can no longer function. The moral law of God written in the heart has been literally stomped and replaced with cultural immorality. The conscience cannot function.

And so, says verse 28, they do the “things which are not proper,” not moral. So immorality goes in every direction and now you can’t find your way back because the mind is so corrupt. People don’t think right. People’s brains don’t follow the paths that they should.

They arm themselves and go into a public space and shoot people, children, and babies. No one in their right mind would ever do that. But these people are not in their right mind, they have been given over. Our nation as a whole has been given over, en masse.

Sadly, that means you never know if, when you’re happily shopping for school supplies at Target with your kids or attending a SEC football game with your husband or enjoying Shakespeare in the Park with your date and suddenly a mass shooting will happen.

Public spaces are some of the most dangerous places you can go these days. They will happen more frequently, as the statistic above shows. 7 of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have happened in the last 7 years. As God has given us over, the minds that are darkened in sin will deepen in their inability to find conscience, and we whose minds are full of His light will be subject to their depraved choices. That depravity shows itself in gunmen and murder and riots and moral chaos.

I’m sorry the news from here isn’t happier. But in a way it is happier. The more depraved the nation becomes the more it’s obvious we are progressing along exactly as God said we would in Romans 1 down the path of “no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.” (Romans 1:31b). Sin that has long been contained in a depraved thinker’s mind is now showing itself. Their inner pollution is worn as an external robe of corrupt unrighteousness, showing itself in all its inky sump.

Be ready, sisters, with scripture, with confidence, with patience for those among you and me who do not know Jesus. Their sinful mind will only sink lower and lower. We can and should share the light, in hopes that some, as we go through life in a nation abandoned by God, will repent and believe.

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Posted in earthquake, ecuador, god's wrath, sin

Powerful 7.8 quake hits Ecuador

7.8 magnitude quake 170 miles WNW of Quito Ecuador.

Screaming shoppers run for their lives as powerful 7.8 earthquake strikes Ecuador

… Ecuador’s Vice President Jorge Glas said in a televised address that the dead were located in the cities of Manta, Guayaquil and Portoviejo. He said the earthquake was the strongest to hit Ecuador in decades. … The major jolt came as rescuers in Japan were racing against the weather and the threat of more landslides to reach people still trapped by two big earthquakes that hit that country’s south.

Deadly earthquake hits Ecuador

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake has killed at least 28 people in Ecuador, Vice-President Jorge Glas says. A state of emergency was declared in six provinces and the National Guard has been mobilised. The quake, centred near the coastal town of Muisne, destroyed an overpass in the city of Guayaquil about 300km (190 miles) away, local media say. The tremor also shook buildings in the capital Quito, forcing residents to flee their homes. “We have 16 people dead in the city of Portoviejo, 10 in Manta and two in the province of Guayas,” Mr Glas said at a news conference.

It has been a busy week for quakes. I’d written yesterday, Powerful series of jolts hits Japan. At that essay you can see the list of powerful earthquakes this week, as well as a short paragraph noting the link between God’s displeasure with sin and earthquakes, from john Newton.

The Lord shakes the earth as He wills, as a token sign of His anger with sin.

Posted in god's wrath, scripture photo

Scripture photo: Wrath ("Church Bulletin" series)

Church bulletins are great. They contain information the congregant will need during the week, such as which deacons are ‘on call’, who is going to staff the nursery next week, and what time the church supper starts on Wednesday. Some pastors include sermon notes, or a devotional.

The cover always contains a pretty picture and a lovely verse. The picture is always eye catching. One might see a meadow-covered mountain top or a close-up of a pretty flower. The verse is always likewise. Always. It’s encouraging, or it speaks of God’s love or a promise of God.

I’m irked by this.

Leave it to me to be irked by something pleasant, right? But just once I’d like to see a different kind of verse on the front of a bulletin, a verse that speaks of God’s wrath, or His justice, or something unpleasant. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” says 2 Timothy 3:16, so let’s not always focus on the verses that please us or encourage us. What about the verses that challenge us, or convict us, or make us think, or speak of an aspect of God that’s increasingly denied these days, such as His wrath?

Here is today’s entry:

Have you heard this statement lately? God is a gentleman, He would never…” and fill in the blank with whatever you think God is too gentlemanly to do, usually like overcome your resistance to the Holy Spirit and regenerate you anyway. However from this verse we see that our God is a God of wrath. His wrath is not only stored up for the Day of Judgment, or has exhausted itself on Jesus while suffering on the cross, or is solely a historical thing such as on the Israelites when they were carried off in war and captivity to Babylon. No. God is angry every day with sinners, He displays His wrath every day says Psalm 7:11.

In this Romans verse, Gill’s Commentary explains what Paul is saying

By “the wrath of God” is meant the displicency [aversion] and indignation of God at sin and sinners; his punitive justice, and awful vengeance; the judgments which he executes in this world; and that everlasting displeasure of his, and wrath to come in another world, which all through sin are deserving of, some are appointed to, God’s elect are delivered from…

Though the covers of church bulletins are always lovely and nice to look at, and the accompanying verse is always encouraging and sweet, the importance of balance can’t be overstates. Through this verse we are reminded of an aspect of God’s holy character, His hatred of sin. What better place to be reminded that God hates sin and is angry with sinners than at church, where one comes to repent, to hear the word, be strengthened in the Spirit to go out and be renewed in our Christ-like character? What better place to be reminded that those who aren’t saved yet dwell under a mighty sword of anger, and we should be merciful to them and share Jesus with them?

Gill asks and answers the question as to where this wrath is seen?

This is said to be “revealed”, where? not in the Gospel, in which the righteousness of God is revealed; unless the Gospel be taken for the books of the four Evangelists, or for the Gospel dispensation, or for that part of the ministry of a Gospel preacher, which represents the wrath of God as the desert of sin, the dreadfulness of it, and the way to escape it;  

but this wrath of God is revealed in the law, it is known by the light of nature, and to be perceived in the law of Moses, and may be observed in the Scriptures, where are many instances and examples of divine wrath and displeasure; as in the total destruction of the old world by a world wide flood, the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, turning Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt, the plagues of Egypt, and the several instances mentioned in this chapter. 

I’m not thrilled with sin or wrath, of course, but I love my God and I love all His attributes. Even His holy justice will be something to behold, in solemnity (Revelation 8:1) and in awe (Habakkuk 3:2). We should not hide it or omit it from Christian and Gentile public consumption.


Scripture photo “Church Bulletin” series #1, Vulture

Scripture photo “Church Bulletin” series #2, Anguish

Scripture photo: “Church Bulletin” Series #3, Hell

Scripture photo “Church Bulletin” series #4, Lake of Fire