For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Romans 1:18 NKJV
From my last post, we learned that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Ro 1:16)to everyone who believes. However, unless we understand what salvation means and what we are to be saved from, we might say to ourselves "Who cares about that, anyway?". The word "salvation" as it appears in Romans 1:16 is derived from the Greek word "soteria" which means "rescue" or "safety" according to the Strong's Concordance. Hence, we must be rescued from something by this Gospel. We are rescued from the wrath of God in both His active judgment (condemnation of the unbeliever to hell) and His passive judgment (repurcussions of sin in our lives) due to the power of the Gospel.
But God is love, right? Why would we need to be saved from Him? The short answer is because He is perfectly holy and we are "perfectly" not. The pattern was set long ago with God "residing" in the Israelites' tabernacle and temple. God dwelt in the inner courts - the Holy of Holies - where no one could enter in because God could not and cannot be in the presence of sin (sinful man). It is only through Jesus that we can enter into God's presence today through holy living and tomorrow in heaven by being born again into His kingdom.
I believe that God's wrath stems not only from His extreme distaste for all that is impure and unholy in this world (i.e. sin) but also for His passionate love for His creation. As I watch the rain pouring down today and think of the rain the past few days, I'm saddened as I picture God weeping over His fallen creation who has ignored Him to pursue the very things that repulse Him -- the very things that He knows will cause our demise both on this earth and in the life to come. Could the rain be God's tears over our obsession with sex, violence, greed and other acts of rebellion toward God that are plastered all over the TV, radio, magazines and internet? Think about what destroyed the world back in the days of Noah and the Great Flood. 40 days and nights of rain. God doesn't want to judge us, He has to. And I think that breaks His heart.
1) What activities do I participate in that break God's heart?
2) How am I rationalizing my behavior - which I know might be wrong - so it is "okay"?
3) What truth of scripture am I suppressing so that I can continue in my current lifestyle?
4) What one change am I going to make in my life starting today?