Every religion, every person, is geared towards addressing what they believe to be the biggest problem facing man.
Islam says, “We face the problem of ignorance. We are ignorant of Allah’s will. If only people would read and follow the Koran, this ignorance would be removed.”
Buddhism would posit that, “The big problem is attachment to this world. If only we can achieve detachment, then our sorrow will be removed and bliss achieved.”
Even the secular humanism would attempt to address man’s problem, for example the secularist might say, “Intolerance is the problem. If only we could affirm each other, then the problem would be removed.”
Much of Judaism in the first century argued that the problem was disobedience. What was needed was a radical commitment to the law of God, and that would make God favorable towards us.
If you were asked, “What is the biggest problem facing man?,” how would you respond?
What is the biggest problem facing our country? What is the biggest problem facing our state? What is the biggest problem facing our city? What is the biggest problem facing our neighborhoods? What is the biggest problem facing our families? What is the biggest problem facing us?
Paul makes very clear exactly what the biggest problem facing our country, our state, our city, our neighborhoods, and our families, us:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20, ESV)
Paul goes on to argue that in his day, all humanity had not honored God, rather, “claiming to be wise, they have become fools, and exchanged the immortal God for” all kinds of other idols. Is this not what we see today? All humanity pursuing so many things and ways other than God and his ways, and claiming that these pursuits—these empty pursuits, these idolatries—are wise?
And Paul then describes where such wise-in-our-own-eyes pursuits will lead,
5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. (Romans 2:5-11, ESV)
I invite you now to watch or listen to the sermon on Romans, where we will discover Paul’s heartfelt instruction on the only solution, for every human human being, to the problem of God’s wrath. And in addition, what are the glorious implications of that solution for those who would be disciples of Jesus, Messiah.
May God use his Word to inspire you to help just one other person move one step closer to Jesus.
Preparing For May 26, 20
Do you know why the church exists? Do you know who formed the church, and how it was formed?
Preparing For Sunday May 12, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
This last Sunday, I preached the first of two sermons on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Here was the sentence I began unpacking, which is my summary of both letters:
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Preparing for Sunday May 5: 1 Thessalonians
Over the past few months, I've share this blog post to remind you what book of the Bible to read for the coming Sunday, as part of our Whole Story sermon series.
First, it is Palm Sunday. Which means it is the beginning of a week of remembering the most important events in the history of the world: the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his last meal with his disciples, his death at the hands of sinful men as the result of a sham sentence in a kangaroo court, his burial by those who loved him, and his resurrection from the dead just three days later. All of it for the salvation and rescue of the world.
The Whole Story: Ephesians-Week Two
I attempted to show in the sermon this past Sunday that Paul offers us two anchor points for our lives, and upon which our lives depend.
Preparing For Sunday 19 May 2019
What do you think of when you see these two words together?...