Sunday, December 4, 2016

Taking God Seriously, Romans 3:4

 With all of the recent talk about multi-faith, interfaith, inter-denominational mergers and alliances, all roads lead to heaven, ecumenism, etc., are we taking God seriously?  Was what Jesus did at the cross not as necessary in order for people to be saved from judgment?  In the end, will God wink at the ignorance and rebellion of man and let everyone into heaven anyway?  Can we just disregard what He says in Scripture? 

Romans 3:4, “So that You may be proved right when You speak and prevail when You judge.”

The other day my wife and I read Hosea chapter 13.  The first and second half of the chapter talks of the judgment of God.  In the middle of the chapter, in verse 14, we read, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death.  Where, O death, are your plagues?  Where, O grave, is your destruction?”

When we read about God’s judgment and then His compassion and grace and then His judgment again, atheists call this “schizophrenia.”  What they do not understand is that God is wholly just and wholly love at the same time.  What we see in Hosea chapter 13 is that there would come a time when the perfect justice of God and the perfect love of God would meet.

Isaiah 53:10-11, “For it was the Lord’s will to crush Him (Jesus) and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.  After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities.”

Jesus would be crushed and would suffer as a guilt offering for the sins of man.  After the suffering of His soul He would be resurrected, see His offspring and be satisfied.  At the cross the justice of God would be satisfied when Jesus stood in the gap and bore the brunt of God’s wrath that we deserved.  He would pay the penalty for our sins and take them out of the way.  Then the love of God could be poured out on all of those who would by faith accept what Jesus did for them.

Romans 3:21-28, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified (declared righteous) freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God  presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.  He did this to demonstrate His  justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

“Where then is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified (declared righteous) by faith apart from observing the law.”

Sin was serious enough in God’s sight that it would bring justice and wrath.  To us.  Jesus stood in the gap and bore that sin in His body on the cross and bore the brunt of that wrath on our behalf.  And having paid the penalty for our sin, He took it out of the way.  Do you want this to be applied to your life?  Do you want your sins paid for and for God to justify you or declare you righteous?  We already see in the last half of the passage above that this does not happen by your observing the law.  It happens by faith alone.  God will credit righteousness to you.

Romans 4:23-25, “The words ‘it was credited to him (Abraham)’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

Ask God to apply what Jesus did at the cross to your life, and He will do it.  Romans 10:13, “For everyone who calls on  the name of the Lord will be saved.”

So what happens to a person after they have asked God to apply this to their lives?  Since the justice of God is satisfied through what Jesus did at the cross, His wrath is no longer directed at you.  1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.”

Now God is able to pour out His love on you.  1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”

That is the Gospel, my friends.  The Good News.  You and I can’t work our way to heaven.  And God does not require that.  In fact, He rejects our efforts.  Romans 3:20, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”  Jesus did for you what you could not and cannot do for yourself.  Romans 11:6. “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” God’s justice and love will meet you at the cross.

This now, brings me to my first point.  What about multi-faith?  What about interfaith?  Does God look away when someone tries to enter into heaven another way than the One who is the way?  Does God wink at this?  If someone falsely tells you another way and preaches a false gospel, will God overlook it?  Will he let it go, or will God judge the false teacher of prophet?  Will God judge those who have followed the false prophet or teacher, or will He overlook it?

Jeremiah 14:14-16, ‘Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in My name.  I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them.  They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.  Therefore, this is what the LORD says about the prophets who are prophesying in My name:  I did not send them, yet they are saying, “No sword or famine will touch this land.”  Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.  And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword.  There will be no one to bury them or their wives, their sons or their daughters.  I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.”

False prophets and followers alike will receive what they deserve.  From the hand of God.  They told you to take a different road, and you followed them.  You did not think God needed to be taken seriously.  You thought God would wink at your following a false prophet, a counterfeit Christ, doctrines of demons and a false gospel.  You will have forfeited the grace that could have been yours.  You will have encouraged your loved ones to follow the same path you were on.  And you will have caused them to also forfeit the grace that could have been theirs.

Hebrews 12:15, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God…”

Let me take this time to focus on a people group that chooses to disregard the truth and perpetuate a counterfeit Christ (a brother of Lucifer and a polygamist), a false prophet (no fulfilled prophecies and did not preach of a righteousness that originates with God), doctrines of demons (God is a polygamist and had relations with Mary to produce Jesus), and a false gospel (Jesus died to ensure everyone a resurrection so that we can work our way to heaven).


I was raised 4th generation Mormon.  My great grandfather moved west with Brigham Young.  In December of 1981 I learned about the grace of God through Jesus Christ and asked Him to apply what Jesus did to my life.  He justified me at that moment and I became a born again believer.  I now have the assurance of eternal life.  A couple of months later God brought me to the understanding that Mormonism had lied to me.  So, I rejected and renounced Mormonism.

Some have said that I now have bitterness and resentment towards Mormonism.  That is not true.  But I have anger towards Mormonism.  They have led countless people to forfeit the grace that could have been theirs.  God does not wink at sin.  God does not wink at ignorance.  Those who have died having forfeited this grace are now in Hades waiting until sentencing at the White Throne Judgment, where they will be sent to Gehenna (the Lake of Fire). 

And of those countless people are my great grandfather, my great grandmother, my grandfather, my grandmother, uncles and aunts, cousins.  And I have loved ones alive today that are forfeiting the grace that could be theirs.  And not taking God seriously, they are also leading their loved ones to forfeit the grace that could be theirs.  Unless they repent and come to Christ on His terms, they will be like the rich man Jesus told us about in Luke 16:19-31.  They will end up in Hades.  After they have discovered there will never be any relief for their torment, they will hope someone will tell their loved ones of this place so they will not end up there.

Will this be the sum of your life?  Tormented in your own torment and tormented that your loved ones ended up there?  Forever tormented.  Forever forgotten. 

It does not have to end that way.  Take God seriously.