Tag Archive | wrath

Bible Reading Plan thoughts: The Terrible Duty of Truth

Our Bible Reading Plan for today brings us to some difficult Psalms, Psalms 9-11.

I love these Psalms where David exhorts to God for justice, for the wicked to perish, for nations that rebel to be put down.

In today’s loving and tolerant climate, such imprecations are seen as unworthy of the Christian.

But they’re not.

The wicked (as we all were, to be sure) who reject the kingship of Messiah and refuse to repent, do polluted things against our most Holy God. These things are evil, they are wrong, they are a grief and a cause for mourning in the Christian that our God should have mud splattered on His holy name. We concentrate so long on the wicked person, praying for salvation, urging repentance, we forget the reason we do these things is to proclaim the name of Jesus among men and urge men everywhere to repent of the evil they do against Him.

I’m with John MacArthur when he said in his book Found: God’s Will:

“If the truth offends, then let it offend. People have been living their whole lives in offense to God; let them be offended for a while.” John Macarthur

In today’s Psalm, David said

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17)

O, terrible thought! It gives me no delight to proclaim the fact of hell and the individual’s sure condemnation of those who reject Jesus. It gives no consolation to know that nations will fall into the lake of fire to remain trapped in punishing fire for all eternity. Yet Spurgeon said it so well,

Many of God’s ministers have been accused of taking pleasure in preaching upon this terrible subject of “the wrath to come.” Indeed we would be strange beings if so doleful a subject could afford us any comfort. I should count myself to be infinitely less than a man, if it did not cause me more pain in speaking about the impending sentence of condemnation, than it can possibly cause my hearers in the listening to it.

God’s ministers, I can assure you, if they feel it to be often their solemn duty, feel it always to be a heavy burden to speak about the terrors of the law. To preach Christ is our delight; to uplift his Cross is the joy of our heart; our Master is our witness, we love to blow the silver trumpet, and we have blown it with all our might. But knowing the terror of the Lord, these solemn things lie upon our conscience, and while it is hard to preach about them, it would be harder still to bear the doom which must rest upon the silent minister…

Reminding the world of the wrath to come is part of the terrible duty of truth. We stand firm in it.

duty 2

Photo EPrata

When a sweet smell is foul

Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me. (Jeremiah 6:19-20).

The LORD had instituted incense offerings which can be seen in Exodus 30:7-8; Exodus 30:34; 2 Chronicles 13:11. According to Easton’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, from 1897, we read of incense that the sacrifices were

a fragrant composition prepared by the “art of the apothecary.” It consisted of four ingredients “beaten small” (Exodus 30:34-36). That which was not thus prepared was called “strange incense” (30:9). It was offered along with every meat-offering; and besides was daily offered on the golden altar in the holy place, and on the great day of atonement was burnt by the high priest in the holy of holies (Exodus 30:7 Exodus 30:8). It was the symbol of prayer (Psalms 141:1 Psalms 141:2; Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3 Revelation 8:4). Source Easton’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

A Renaissance era pomander container. Source

In today’s verse from Jeremiah we read that the LORD had become angry with a sweet smelling offering that was devoid of obedience and love for His law. An empty sweet smelling fragrance would do nothing to satisfy Him or render the giver justified in any way. It’s ineffective. Instead, such an empty sacrifice incurs wrath.

The notion of ineffective perfumes reminded me of the 14th century bubonic plague remedy. People were told to carry pomanders, which were perfume balls containing herbs, flowers, and spices, either around their neck or in their hand, and to sniff it constantly so as to ward off the disease.

Pomanders are traditionally mixtures of fragrant substances which are often held within a container – although the term can also be applied to the container itself. The odours given off by the mixtures were once believed to offer protection against disease and they are particularly associated with times of plague, from the 1300s onwards. Their use is linked to centuries-old miasma theories which suggested that disease was transmitted through foul-smelling air. Keeping a sweet-smelling pomander close by was believed to offer protection.

Miasma theory posited that disease was carried by a cloud of poisonous vapor in the air, which was created by decay and could be identified by a bad smell. Following the logic that bad smelling air carried disease, it makes perfect sense that you could “cure” the air by making it smell good. Hence the perfume. And the long nose to stuff good smelling material into.

It seems silly to think that a perfume ball containing a few herbs and sweet-smelling spices would protect one from bubonic plague! But just as silly were the Jews who thought that they could disobey Him all day long and at the end offer the Lord God a sweet smelling offering and everything would be all right. Such empty fragrances do nothing to ward off the disease of sin. Nor would they protect one from wrath and judgment.

So what would satisfy His wrath and stay His judgment?

Thus says the LORD:
Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls
(Jeremiah 6:16)

The good way is traveling the road of His word. It pleases the LORD and it gives rest to the rebellious soul. We also would do well to inquire as to where the good paths are, and walk on them. The sweetest scent of all is obedience.

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Note: Tomorrow- the link between incense and prayer

Predestination means people are elected as vessels of wrath, too. Part 2

The verse to consider today is from Romans 9:21-24

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

There are vessels of mercy, and there are vessels of wrath. Considering anything regarding God is weighty and should fill the saved and the non-saved with awe and humility. But to really consider His work of judgment should bring to mind the famous comment attributed to martyr John Bradford,”There but for the grace of God go I”.

Here is Scottish pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne preaching on the Romans verse. In my opinion, it’s brilliant. I’ll post M’Cheyne’s point 3 tomorrow, Lord willing. Part 1 is hereM’Cheyne’s full sermon is here.

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The Vessels of Wrath Fitted to Destruction

I come now to the second reason why any are left to perish–it is, that God may show his power. “What if God, willing to make his power known?” We are frequently told in the Bible of the power of God. He said to Abraham, “I am the Almighty God.” We are told in the ninety-third Psalm, that “the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters; yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” We are frequently told of his almighty power; and not only so, but we have brilliant examples of it.

The first upon record is creation. “God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” “He spake and it was done – he commanded and all things stood fast.”

Another example of the same thing is, the constant providence of God. “In him we live, and move, and have our being.” He rides on the swift wings of the wind.

Another example of the power of God is, his restraining and bridling of the wicked. “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with the bit and bridle.” – Psalms 32:9. This is the way in which God holds the wicked.

Another way in which God makes his power known is, in the conversion of souls. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.” This is said to be “the wisdom of God and the power of God.” I believe the converting of a soul is something greater than the making of the world.

Brethren, there is one exhibition of divine power that yet remains – it is, the destruction of the wicked. “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?” I believe, dear friends, that the reason why God has raised up Pharaohs is to show his power in them. He said to Pharaoh, “For this cause have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee.” No, I say, in regard of those of you in this congregation who will die unsaved, that God has raised you up, to show his power in you. Thus, it is said in Isaiah 62, “I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.” And then in Revelation 18, “She shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” And we are told by our Lord in Matthew 10:28, to fear God, “who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” You will notice in this passage that he says, “God is able to destroy”; and therefore, brethren, it is plain that there must be some great power exercised in his destroying the wicked; and I think it is to consist in this – God will destroy their well-being, but not their being. Here, then, is another exhibition of the power of God.

When lately in the north of Scotland, I stood on the sea-shore, and saw the rocks standing out of the sea. It was very remarkable to stand and see the mighty waves dashing upon the rocks. There were two things remarkable in it: first, the greatness of the rocks on which the waves dashed: second, the rocks remaining unmoved – no force of the waves could move them. Brethren, this scene is an emblem of what will be witnessed another day, when God shall pour out his wrath on the wicked. Ah, brethren! will it not be fearful to see God put out his power upon the wicked – to see him upholding them with one hand, and pouring out his wrath upon them with the other? Surely, brethren, the power of God’s wrath is very great. If any of you have seen a great furnace, you will have seen the power that the fire has; but fire is God’s creature. What must his power be who is the Creator?
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Further Reading

Predestination means people are elected as vessels of wrath, too. Part 1
Predestination means people are elected as vessels of wrath, too, part 3

Jesus’ Predestined Life

Is Predestination biblical?

Predestination means people are elected as vessels of wrath, too. Part 1

A few days ago I’d posted an essay about predestination. This is the doctrine where the Bible teaches that God is completely sovereign over everything that happens, including individual salvations. He elects people to salvation, independently and apart from foreknowledge of any decision they make. It’s all His grace, and not our decision.

People dislike that doctrine and fight against it. One of the reasons people resist the plain truth of the doctrine is that people want to think that somewhere in their heart or mind, they chose God. However, we are dead in sins and trespasses and have no ability to choose God, or ‘make a decision’ about our salvation. It is granted to us. (Galatians 3:22). We have no part in it, except the resulting gratitude and service in His name.

The verse to consider today is from Romans 9:21-24

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

There are vessels of mercy, and there are vessels of wrath. Considering anything regarding God is weighty and should fill the saved and the non-saved with awe and humility. But to really consider His work of judgment should bring to mind the famous comment attributed to martyr John Bradford, “There but for the grace of God go I”.

Here is M’Cheyne preaching on the Romans verse. In my opinion, it’s brilliant. I post ed M’Cheyne’s point 2 here. I’ll post point 3 tomorrow and the next day, Lord willing. The full sermon is here.

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The Vessels of Wrath Fitted to Destruction

The following sermon preached on the afternoon of March 12, 1843, was the author’s last in St. Peter’s. “It was observed, both then and on other occasions,” says Andrew Bonar, “that he spoke with peculiar strength upon the sovereignty of God.” The following evening McCheyne’s illness commenced and on Saturday, March 25, he went to the Saviour whose glory he lived to proclaim.
“What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory?” – Romans 9:22,23

In a former discourse, brethren, I attempted to show you that the reason why God will punish the wicked eternally is, because he loveth righteousness. It is said in the eleventh Psalm, “Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup, for the righteous Lord loveth righteousness.” I then tried to show you, that God has created hell, and will maintain it for ever, not because He loves human pain – I believe it is not so, nor is it because He is subject to passion, as men speak of passion – but because the righteous Lord loveth righteousness.

And I showed you, as you will remember, what a certainty hell is to the wicked. If it had its origin in the love of human pain, then you might have hoped that it would have an end; or, if it proceeded from passionateness, then it might cool; but ah! when it proceeds from Jehovah’s love of righteousness, I see, brethren, in that a reason why “the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

There is a second question which no doubt has occurred to you: why are there any left unpardoned at all? Why was Adam left to fall? Could God not have held him up? Or, if it was necessary that Adam should fall, in order that Christ might die, why are not all saved? Surely there is efficacy in the blood of Christ to pardon all – why, then, are not all saved? There are many answers to that question which we will know in a higher state of being; but here is one; “What if God, willing to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory?” You will notice, brethren, that in these words the apostle Paul tries to give an answer to that question. He does not answer it directly, he employs a “what if”.

Let us enter into this subject a little more deeply. There are three reasons set down here why men are allowed to perish.

I. The first is, that God was willing to show His wrath. These words are terrible. We are told frequently in the Bible of the wrath of God. It is not like human wrath: it is calm, settled – it consists principally in a regard to what is right. This is the wrath of God. We are told a great deal about it in the Bible. It is revealed against all sin. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” – Romans 1:18 Observe the word “all” – it is against all sin. Then Colossians 3:6, “For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” We are told also, brethren, that this anger is constant. “God is angry with the wicked every day.” – Psalms 7:11. The bow of God’s justice is, as it were, already bent against the wicked, the arrow of God’s is already on the string against the wicked. And then we are told that His wrath is intolerable. In the Psalm which we were singing (Psalms 90:11), it is said, “Who knows the power of thy wrath?” And we are told in Revelation, “The great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”

But we learn more by example than even by these declarations. We have many examples of God’s wrath and its consequences. The first example we have is, his casting the angels out of heaven. We are told by Jude, “That the angels which kept not their first estate, He hath reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.” And we are told by Peter, “That God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” Now, brethren, in several respects this was one of the greatest examples of divine wrath we have, for it seems to have happened in one day. One day these angels were in heaven – the next in hell. One day they were angels of light – the next fiends of darkness. And then this made it fearful, when the Lord left them no room for repentance. One thing the universe might have learned from this was, that God will certainly punish sin.

Another example of God’s punishing sin was not in heaven, but one earth, when He sent the deluge upon it. “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.” And so it came to pass: “The flood came, and carried them all away;” and it has left traces on our world still, to show that God will not fail to punish sin.

Another example of divine vengeance was, when God destroyed Sodom. “Now, the men of Sodom were wicked, and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” The cry of its wickedness went up to heaven, and God sent down two angels, to see if it was according to the cry that came up; and they found it even so; and, when they had taken out just Lot, God rained fire and brimstone upon the devoted city; and he has left traces of it there to this hour.

There was yet another exhibition of divine wrath on earth – it was the death of God’s dear Son. If ever there was a time when God could have said that he would forego his wrath it was surely this. It was this for two reasons. First, because the object of that wrath was dear to God. There never was on in the universe so dear to God as his Son. And another reason was, Christ had no sin of his own. Just as his robe was seamless, so was his soul sinless. Nay, brethren, that one act of his – laying down his life, was so glorious, as an exhibition of God’s justice, that the universe never saw its “marrow”. “Yet it pleased God to bruise him.” These words do not give the least shadow of his suffering from God on account of our sin. Brethren, if any thing in the world can show that God will punish sin, it was the death of his dear and sinless Son.

There is one exhibition of his wrath yet to come. Verse 22 – “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?” God is yet to destroy the souls that he has made–not the angels that fell, for he has done that already, when he cast them into hell, but the souls on which he has waited. There is to be a new exhibition of wrath that the world never saw the like of before. He is going to show what he will do to the despisers of his Son – to those who despise his gospel. it will be a new thing when “God will be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know him not, and that have not obeyed the gospel.” God waits to show his wrath. Ah, brethren! it will be fearful to feel it – it is fearful even to think of it. so I believe it will be with the wicked: they will be beacons, to show how God will punish sin.

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One day as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day

The reality of a faith-filled life is a beautiful thing. Jesus’ sweet intercessions, His providential care, the magnanimity of His salvation, the ongoing gratitude we feel during increased sanctification, are all wonderful buttresses to the daily grind we experience. It’s wonderful to have Him to focus upon as the object of our adoration and awe.

Just as pondering His love and kindness is an encouragement, His wrath and judgment are weighty topics that should be mulled over as well. The fact is, many human beings will populate the Lake of Fire for all eternity, a devastating thought if you really chew on it for a while.

I’ll be posting a three-part series on the verse from Romans 9:22 about the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. I’d found a wonderful sermon from Robert Murray M’Cheyne, his last sermon in fact. He raised three important points about God’s electing people to be His ‘vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,’ and I intend to post them piecemeal over the next 3 days.

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about the reality of hell for the lost. One of the verses I studied today was this from 2 Peter 3:8.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8).

In context, Peter is assuring his readers that the Lord’s final plan regarding His return and the judgment WILL come to pass. God is not slack concerning His promise, Peter goes onto state. The point of the verse was to remind the audience that God is outside of time and in control of everything. We read a parallel to the time thing in Psalm 90:4,

For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night

The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary explained the thousand year/day v. day/thousand year part of the 2 Peter verse.

No delay which occurs is long to God: as to a man of countless riches, a thousand guineas are as a single penny. God’s œonologe (eternal-ages measurer) differs wholly from man’s horologe (hour-glass). His gnomon (dial-pointer) shows all the hours at once in the greatest activity and in perfect repose. To Him the hours pass away, neither more slowly, nor more quickly, than befits His economy. There is nothing to make Him need either to hasten or delay the end. The words, “with the Lord” (Ps 90:4, “In Thy sight”), silence all man’s objections on the ground of his incapability of understanding this

When reading the J-F-B about the gnomon, œonologe, and horologe, I got pretty excited! More stuff to study. But for today’s thought, back to the beginning of thinking over the fate of the lost in the Lake of Fire for all eternity, it might be helpful to see the thousand year part of the verse this way. Though there is not a literal ‘day’ in heaven or in hell:

–Those who are with the Lord in heaven experience such post-life joy that a thousand years passes as one day.
–Those who are with the Lord in hell (He is not there but His wrath is), experience such post-life torment that one day is as a thousand years.

It is a sobering thought.

The Drumbeat Warning of Divine Judgment on the USA

I’ve been warning of coming judgment for a while. When believers look out over soft pastures, busy and productive streets, viable farms, and thriving factories, they have a hard time seeing a nation under judgment. They think everything is OK if brimstone and 100 lb hailstones aren’t falling. But it’s not all right. We are crumbling from the inside and rot has set in, permanently.

There are different kinds of judgments. Judgment can be eschatological and very visible, as the coming prophecies and past histories show us. Judgment can be invisible, secret, and deadly, as God said in Hosea 5:12, I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah. Judgment can be an abandonment, as when God simply releases a nation to itself to pursue its sin. (Romans 1:24).

The discerners have been warning, and warning, and warning. We warned judgment would come, we warned it was about to come, and we warn that it is here.
Continue reading

Is America under judgment?

Seven years ago I wrote in an email,

Obama is in Cairo today and he gave his friendly speech to the Muslim people. The unprecedented excitement prior to Obama’s arrival reached a fever pitch when shops began selling pendants labeled “Obama – new Tutankhamen of the world.

Other news articles go on to decry how inappropriate it is to call a US President a messiah or king. However, any Christian who knows their bible knows that King Tut was a Pharaoh, and Pharaoh was one of the most evil rulers in the Old Testament! (Book of Exodus)

President Obama claims he is a Christian, yet he has reneged on his campaign promises. He says he is a Christian yet his Notre Dame speech on abortion was positively chilling. He says he is a Christian yet he promotes the gay lifestyle and all its attendant perversities: did you know that Obama proclaimed June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender month? No…Obama is looking more like Pharaoh all the time.

In the bible, God judged Pharaoh harshly because of Pharaoh’s insistence in doing things his way instead of God’s way, and that after seeing the proof of God’s miraculous judgments throughout the land. I do not know what God will do, of course, but I do know America is ripe for judgment. I think it is highly interesting that the Egyptian people are calling Obama a Pharaoh. And as a real Christian, the last person I’d want to be compared to is Pharaoh.”

“America seems ripe for judgment”… The discerners of the church body have been saying ‘judgment in America’ for a while. I know I have since 2007-2008. In 2010 I’d written that America seemed to have passed the “point of no return. Before the Economic Crash of 2008, all had been going along like it had been in this country. America was strong and mighty and seemingly invincible. Warning that judgment was coming soon was met with strange looks and shaking of heads. No brimstone was falling, after all. Just because we don’t see brimstone falling from the sky does not mean we as a nation are not experiencing judgment.

Many people think of judgment as the kind that occurred at Sodom and Gomorrah: brimstone from the sky and obliteration of the entire city. (Genesis 19:24). And that IS one kind of judgment.

Bible Fact: There are 13 mentions of brimstone (sulfur) in the Bible. Six mentions are in the Old Testament. Seven mentions are in the New Testament. Of the 7 mentions of brimstone in the NT, six are in Revelation.

The wrath of God is not one-dimensional. There are in fact many different kinds of wrath that God displays. Hosea 5:12 says “He is as a moth to Ephraim or or dry rot to Judah”, working silently and invisibly. In his 2012 sermon “When God Abandons a Nation“, John MacArthur outlined five distinct kinds of wrath the Lord has displayed throughout the Bible.

1. Eternal wrath: that is the punishing eternal, judgment God brings upon sinners in their death.
2. Eschatalogical wrath: God’s stored-up anger unleashed at the end of this present age upon the world, promised by Old Testament saints, outlined at length in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, and seen unfolding through Revelation.
3. Cataclysmic wrath: These are tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., the result of sin and the curse upon the world.
4. Consequential wrath: this is a person receiving the just due for their actions while on earth, the sowing and reaping.
5. Abandonment: This is the wrath seen in Romans 1:18-32. MacArthur preached, “God will abandon sinners to their own choices and the consequences of those choices. And just what is this abandoning act on God’s part, it is the removal of restraining grace. It is when God lets go and turns a society over to its own sinful freedoms and the results of those freedoms. No Scripture more directly confronts this abandonment and its consequences than Romans 1 does.”

A Hillary Clinton presidency would be a Jezebel judgment in my opinion.

MacArthur said in that 2012 sermon that “It’s pretty convincing that God has abandoned our nation.” God has done so in the past to other nations, many times. InHosea 4:17 it is recorded that God said, “Ephraim is joined unto idols, let him alone.” America isn’t special that we should not expect the same treatment as other rebellious nations when we abandon Him.

In 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. ~MacArthur

Can you think of a worse wrath than for God to leave you alone? Whether He is abandoning you as an individual or as a nation, it is a deeply disturbing thought. In Romans 1:18-32,

Three times you have the statement, “God gave them over.” This term paradidomiin the Greek can have a judicial sense. It can be used of a judgment made on a criminal who was then handed over for punishment. Each of these phrases expresses the fact that the wrath of God has acted judicially to sentence sinners. It is God officially giving them over. It is God letting them go to the uninterrupted cause and effect their sinful choices produce. When this judgment falls, there is a depriving of restraining grace and sin runs rampant through a society. (Source)

I’ve been thinking about the real possibility of a woman for president. I am working through the Bible to determine what its stance is on women in political leadership. Queen Esther was a queen, but she didn’t lead and had no influence. Queen Jezebel led, and she did have influence- evil influence. In this life, we have seen successful women leaders in Queen Elizabeth 1, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher… Since God ordains leaders for His purposes, He allowed those female leaders to serve His inscrutable purposes by leading for a time. Yet in the Bible we read in Isaiah 3:12 that it is a national shame for a woman to lead, My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. Barak begged Deborah to accompany him on the military campaign and she said OK but it will be a shame to the men. (Judges 4:9).

I see the political pundits saying that a Trump presidency would be a judgment upon America, but what about a Hillary presidency, a female president? That would also be a judgment, I believe. A Jezebel judgment.

Do the people of a nation under the wrath of abandonment know it is happening when it is happening? Non-believers don’t of course, and even most believers don’t. But the Prophets certainly did, and it was a deep lament to them.

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 7:29)

I’ve sensed for a while that America was under judgment, as I mentioned at the start. So have a lot of other people. Some who have a pulpit occasionally use it to calm their flocks and re-orient them to a biblical perspective.

To that end, at specific points in his 47-year pastorate at Grace Community Church, John MacArthur would do this. My opinion is that he is a man like the men of Issachar, as 1 Chronicles 12:32 describes, “men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do;” and as Treasury of Scripture describes, “intelligent men, who understood the signs of the times, well versed in political affairs, and knew what was proper to be done in all the exigencies of human life”.

These culturally-focused sermons have struck a chord with me at the few times he used the pulpit this way. They have helped me make sense of what is happening around me in terms of God’s sovereignty and His ordained plan. There is a lot to think about with this Fall’s Presidential election. Phil Johnson has been vocal about the two main party candidates. As recently as this week he said on Facebook that Donald Trump is an inveterate narcissist and a shameless adulterer, and the other candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a pathological liar with a Jezebel complex, and that both are blatant antichrists and utter moral reprobates. Wow.

With just under 4 months to go, any Christian with a pulse must be thinking hard about our election quandary and the future of our nation. My friend Landon Chapman said, quoting Jerry Bridges:

Historically, God has not spared the righteous when He judges a nation (though He is well able to do so if He chooses, see Exodus 9: 5-7). – Jerry Bridges

A sobering thought. Even though brimstone is not falling, if the moths have been at work and for example, if we are attacked by an eager enemy, the righteous die under the bombs and fallout just as much as the unrighteous. So I list these helpful, biblically re-orienting sermons so that perhaps if you listen, you might yourself become re-oriented to God’s word and take hope in our future and live in peaceably in His joy. Abandonment leaves a vacuum, and we already see the enemy horde from the spiritual realms advancing with maniacal glee to take up ramparts.

Iowa: Push to apply transgender laws to churches
California: A state bill intended to restrict Christian colleges and schools from discriminating on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

The above two bills are serious and if passed, impacts could be widespread with a cascading negative effect on all American churches and Christian colleges. It’s coming. Therefore, I offer these cultural/biblical sermons for your consideration. They have all helped me, some more than once. I hope they help you as well.

And so, we are under His wrath. That brings the question…is there any hope? Is there any hope for this country, for any society in this condition? Well, I will take you to a passage of Scripture that gives us hope. Turn in your Bible to the Psalms, and I want you to look at this, Psalm 81…Psalm 81 because this cycle is a constantly visible cycle in history, going on all the time. It has happened before in Israel. It is happening even now in Israel. Many generations of the Jewish people, God’s chosen people for a future redemption, many generations have gone through this cycle, rejecting the true God, rationalizing about their condition, inventing complex religion, descending. Is there any hope for them in the future? Is there any hope for the western world? For any nation in the world? For us?

This is not about politics, although there are things we could talk about. You’re not voting for a pastor, you’re not voting for a spiritual leader, you’re voting for someone who has some sense of morality. Since the Bible says that the role of government is to punish evil doers and protect the good, you better have somebody in power who understands what is good and what is evil.

2012: Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality

One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm. What God punishes, they exalt. Shocking, really. The Democratic Party has become the anti-God party, the sin-promoting party.

2015: We Will Not Bow

A lot is happening at a very rapid rate. And with all the discussion that’s been going on, I’ve been kind of eager to get to you, and maybe help to give you a perspective. … This nation, at its highest level, has taken a position against God. Such blasphemous rebellion is energized—it is energized by the corruption of the collection of sinful hearts, which make up this nation or any nation. There’s no question about that.

My friend Greg Flowers summarized the next two sermons this way: “Pastor John emphasized the nation’s need to respect the law of God to prevent its own destruction, and declared God’s standards as the only standards by which a nation is measured. While acknowledging Christians’ inability to bring an entire nation to worship at the Master’s feet, MacArthur stressed the fundamental need to see the one true God elevated above all other gods.”

2016: Who is God’s Candidate? Part 1

My good friend Iain Murray said this: “A secular state is a lie. Government is a divine institution. The powers that be are ordained of God.” America likes to talk about the separation of church and state. Of course, our constitution doesn’t say that. But the separation of church and state, which is now the new perspective that dominates everything is essentially paving the way for the death of a society.

2016: Who is God’s Candidate? Part 2

The truth of the matter is God has requirements for all rulers, all those who have authority over people, and it’s laid out in Scripture. … I told you that all people in all nations were created in the image of God for His glory, so no one is exempt – no person is exempt, no family is exempt, no society is exempt, no nation is exempt, no race is exempt, no ethnic group is exempt from being responsible to acknowledge God and glorify Him. All people who are created, were created in the image of God for His glory.

The day is sobering and the times are troubling. We all strive to display the joy of Christ in our daily life, to persevere in and aura of hope and peace. We know to be gentle and humble, and to love our friend, neighbor and enemy. But there is no doubt that the times demand of us a careful attention to the Bible and its paths, more than ever in fact. We don’t like to be downers but we also don’t ignore the fact that we are living in difficult times that are on the precipice of being massively more difficult soon. We know that God created each person on earth specifically and for a specific purpose in their era. If I am here now, for just such a time as this, what can I do to both advance the kingdom like I’m supposed to, and also prepare for the times ahead? We must do our diligence to lift Jesus’ name to the highest with all our strength, soul, mind, and heart.

The wrath of abandonment