To The Judgy Church Person
By Bobby Blakey on August 22, 2022
To The Judgy Church Person
By Bobby Blakey on August 22, 2022
Well, this morning’s sermon is “To the Judgy Church Person.” You might be a judgy church person if you're already thinking, I know somebody who really needs to hear this sermon. I'm a church person, I'm a child of the Jesus Movement. I've gone to church my entire life. I've rarely missed a Sunday of worshiping Jesus with God's people. And for some reason, when we hear God's truth, one of the things that we do is we think I know somebody who really needs to hear this. It's amazing how God, you can hear his truth, he can be doing a great work all around you, but it does not mean that God is actually doing a great work in you. It's amazing how many people can tell you right where it is in this book, on this page, this chapter, this verse, and they'll tell you exactly what it says for you, but they can't tell you what it says right here in their heart. And so, I want to invite everybody to open up with me to Romans chapter 2 verses 1-5, and we're going to see how, when he was talking to them out there in the world, well, now all of a sudden here in Romans 2, he's talking to you. And so please open your Bible with me. Romans 2:1-5. I want to invite everybody who's out on the front lawn or over there in the café, will you open your Bible with us to Romans 2. If you're watching online because you're traveling or home sick, will you open up with us as well? This is Romans 2:1-5. Let's all make sure we hear what God is saying today. And I invite you to stand up for the public reading of Scripture. This is the Word of God, it's worthy of your full and undivided attention. Please follow along as I read Romans 2:1-5.
“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 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.”
That's the reading of God's word. Please have your seat. And you can see we just took a hard turn here. There's a big transition. Whoever put the chapters into Romans, they nailed this one, because we have been saying that they are without excuse. Go to Romans chapter 1:20, right there at the end. It says that “So they are without excuse. For they knew God, but” they did not give glory to God, “they did not honor him as God.” They exchanged God for this life; they exchanged the creator for the creation. God gave them over to sin. They are without excuse. Now go to Romans 2:1, where now it says, “Therefore you have no excuse.” So, if you were here all these other weeks being like Amen, when we're saying that anything sexual outside of marriage is immorality, and that's what God has given us over to in America is the lusts of our hearts, and all of that is wrong, and you're saying Amen, all of that sexual morality, that's wrong. Amen. And then we're going through a list last week of 21 different sins that people are full of, and it's coming out in their life. And there's all this pride in our lives. There's all this gossip about other people. There's just this heartless and ruthless way we treat other people, and you're like, Amen. Preach it. Well, it's like he's preaching to somebody over there. And you're like, yeah, give it to them, Paul. And then all of a sudden, he turns this week, and he says, now let's talk about you. And you're like, what? Not me, right? I thought we were preaching about somebody else. But he says, let's talk about how YOU are without excuse. The “you” here is not even “you all,” it's not even plural, it's literally you as in like one person. And our text reads like a diatribe. Like he's having a conversation with one person, maybe his student or an opponent, like a hypothetical imaginary conversation where he's showing this particular person how wrong they are that they're ready to say Amen for THEM being judged for their sin, when they're not even ready. They're going to be judged for the sin themselves.
So, look here at Romans 2:1. He says, “Therefore you have no excuse, O man.” So, it's like he's talking to one individual. That's why this sermon, every sermon, the first person that needs to hear that sermon is you. You need to take it to heart. This sermon more than even most sermons, it's literally like, no, this isn't for anyone else. This is about you, O man. “For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you”—now it's going to give us a title here, “you, the judge.” You, the judge here, you are agreeing that what other people are doing is wrong. You, O man, the judge, but here's what's so hypocritical is when you're ready to say give it to them. They're wrong. You do the same exact thing yourself. You know it's wrong. You agree with other people being told it's wrong, but you still go home and do that same sin. Like you're ready to throw somebody else, they should get wrath for what they're doing, but you do it too. So, then Romans 2:2 breaks it down. If we all agree that God is right to judge people, that God is right to give people over to their sin, and the wrath of God is being revealed even now against unrighteousness and ungodliness. If we all agree that God is not okay with sin, well, Romans 2:3, then ask the question, “Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet” hypocritically “do them yourself?” Do you suppose O man, “that you will escape the judgment of God?” Don't you see how you've just agreed that they are wrong to do that, and God is right to judge them, well you do the same thing? So, therefore, God is right to judge you. We're not talking about anybody else here today. We're just here to talk about you. And this is what they hate us for. This is why they've stopped listening to us. This is why they out there don't want to come and be here with you is they are sick and tired of our hypocrisy. They are sick and tired of us saying that's wrong, and then we go do the same exact thing ourselves. We shouldn't be treating other people like that, then we go and treat other people like that. Shouldn't be doing something like that outside of marriage, then we go and think that same way ourselves, and the world is so fed up with the massive problem we have in American Christianity of hypocrisy, where we're ready to tell somebody else that they're going to get judged for their sin, and we do the same sin and don't judge ourselves.
Let's get this down for point number one. We’ve got a handout if you want to pull it out and take some notes here. Let's get this down for point number one, based on Romans 2:1-3: You need to make sure the world has one less hypocrite. That's what you need to do. Make sure the world has one less hypocrite. There is nothing you can do, that sometimes it might feel overwhelming to see how much hypocrisy there is in American Christianity, how many churches just seem fake, how many church people just seem like they're putting on a good show, but inside, they're still into sin themselves. You may not be able to solve that problem on a massive scale, but you can do in the name of Jesus and his Church a great deal, you can help represent and what it's really all about. When you make sure there's just one less hypocrite, the person that you can make sure is not a hypocrite is yourself. And so, when you're ready to say yes, that's wrong, people should not do that, people will get judged if they practice that, if they live that way, if that's how they conduct themselves, God's going to have wrath for them. Are you ready to apply what's true for other people to yourself? Are you ready to hold yourself to the same standard?
Now we know what Jesus thought about hypocrisy. Under point number one, write down Matthew 23. If you want to read Jesus going off on the hypocrisy of his day, go read Matthew 23, because he goes off on the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the Jews. And he says, hey, they're the teachers of the law, so you should listen to them when they teach, but here's the big problem. He says they don't practice what they preach. And so, he was saying, hear what the Pharisees preach, but don't live like them because they say it, but they don't practice it themself. Everybody here, you need to make sure you either practice what you preach, if you're a preacher like me, or if you're saying things to other people, or you need to make sure you practice what you hear preached. And you're not just thinking that applies to somebody else. You're taking it to heart yourself, because Jesus, he is not going to care how many times you went to church, how much you knew about the Bible, if you're still doing the same old sins, and you're a hypocrite, Jesus, he's not going to tolerate any hypocrites. I mean, he makes that very clear in Matthew 23.
In fact, turn with me to Matthew 7:1-5. Jesus has something to teach us about this kind of hypocrisy that we see in Romans 2:1-3. So, grab your Bible, go back to the Gospel of Matthew 7:1-5. Right here in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, he gives us a great picture that we all need to apply to our lives. When you are ready to judge someone about their sin, when you're ready to say that that thing that's going on out there in the world is wrong, they are wrong. Or maybe it's even somebody you know, somebody that lives in your house, and they say something or do something, and you're like, that's wrong. When you're ever ready to judge somebody else, you need to remember what Jesus says here in Matthew 7:1-5. “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Now, what does he mean by that? He says, “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Okay, so Jesus is making it clear here that the problem with the judgment here is you're holding other people to a standard you're not using to judge yourself.
So, we have to make judgments. You can write down John 7:24. if you want to. Who's reading the Gospel of John right now here at our church? Hopefully you read John 7 this week, and Jesus says, hey, make sure you make right judgments. Okay? So, you do need to decide what is right and what is wrong. And the scripture will teach you that discernment. You can say that what people out there are doing is wrong, or what this person did was wrong, because the Bible tells you, it informs you that that is wrong. So, there are judgments that need to be made. This isn't against all judgments. No, even Romans one is making an accurate judgment that people have turned away from God, they have exchanged his glory for what is mortal. And so, God is giving people over to sin. And if you see people doing those sins, and you say that’s sin, that is a right judgment that you are making. What he's saying here, though, is do you judge yourself to that same standard? That's the problem. The hypocrisy. The problem with judging other people is you're saying they're wrong, you're not saying I'm wrong. You're looking at what's in their eye, you're not taking the log out of your own eye. That's the problem. H’s saying, look at you, you judge other people, and you go and do it yourself, you hypocrite. Look what he says in verses Matthew 7:4-5, “how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye. You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.”
So, you’ve got a dash there under point number one. Let's get that down: We need to take the log out of your own eye first. If you're my brother or sister in Christ, this is something that Jesus is teaching us that we all need to learn. This needs to become an automatic response. I see maybe on the news, or in some article I'm reading or somebody's telling me something out there in the world that they are doing that is evil. And now we're starting to talk about something that is wrong. And we're making a judgment to say that is sin, my I need to immediately think, hmm, before I'm just ready to say that they're in sin out there. Am I possibly guilty of this same sin? Let me go and look in a mirror and see what's in my eye before I just start pointing out everybody else's problems. That's the idea. I want to specifically just talk to all the dads, all the husbands here in the room. When you go to your house and something's not right at your house, and your kids are not behaving, they're not obeying, or maybe your wife, you feel like I can't believe she said this or did this, and here you come ready to address a problem right there in your own house, hey Dad, do you stop and think that maybe some of the things in your house are because you set that tone in your house? And maybe you need to look at yourself before you're ready to tell everybody else in your house what their problem is. Do you take the log out of your own eye first? Do you make sure that the throne sets the tone for your house, not you setting a wrong tone at your house? See, this needs to become a way that we think. Okay, I'm now at this point where I'm thinking that they're doing something wrong, or even this person that I love that I care about I think they did something wrong. Well, before I go and think about what they've done wrong, have I done something wrong myself? You need to learn a habit of how you're going to take that log out of your eyes, so you can really actually not be a hypocrite when you're trying to help somebody else. This is what Jesus is teaching us. Is this something you actually do? When you see your kid getting angry with their sibling, do you immediately respond by getting angry with your kid? That's not taking the log out of your own eye! When you see the world talking bad about Christians, do you start talking bad about the world? That's not taking the log out of your own eye.
So, we’ve got to learn this response that Jesus is teaching us here. It reminds me of the story when Nathan, the prophet, went to speak to King David. Do you remember this in 2 Samuel 12? And Nathan shows up and he says, hang on, I have a story of a rich man and a poor man that I want to share with you. And this rich man, he had many flocks. This rich man, he had all kinds of different sheep. And then this poor man, he's just got one little lamb. And at his house they love this lamb. They treat this lamb like a member of the family. It's there with them all throughout the day because it is their one lamb. And then a visitor comes from afar. And the rich man's going to have a feast for the visitor and the rich man, he doesn't take any of the many sheep that he has in his many flocks., but he goes over to the poor man's house, and he takes the poor man's one little lamb, and he makes that the feast for his visitor. And King David, he thinks that is wrong. And he says that man deserves to die. And do you remember what Nathan the prophet said to King David, “You are the man.” Every single one of us should go look in the mirror and remind ourselves that we are the man.
Matthew 7:1-5 is talking about the biggest problem we can see is the log in our own eyes, not what's going on in somebody else's eye. And if you don't learn to think this way, you will end up being one of the hypocrites. And we don't need more hypocrites. We need everybody here to commit to make sure there is one less hypocrite, in the name of Jesus in America. Can I get an Amen from anybody on that? I want to wake up every day and be one less hypocrite of a pastor; I hope you want to wake up every day and be one less hypocrite of a Christian, because we don't need more people judging other people and not stopping the sin ourselves. We need more people taking logs out of their own eyes. And, America will be a much better place if we just address our own sin. So, I want to really encourage you to think the way that Jesus is teaching us in Matthew 7.
Now go back to Romans chapter 2, because after those first three verses where he addresses this man, this one who judges, and the real problem is not that you agree with Romans 1 that all of that is sin. The problem is you're still practicing that sin yourself. You haven't, as we see here, you haven't repented from your sin. And that's been true of a lot of people who have joined us here at Compass HB, a lot of people, maybe they've gone to church, they've read the Bible, they know something about Jesus, but they've never really repented, they've never really turned from their sin. And that's what Romans 2:4 gets into. You might know this verse, it's a famous verse. It's often quoted, it's a beautiful a statement here in Romans 2:4. It says, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” It’s the one time it says repentance in the entire Book of Romans. This idea that God has not yet judged you for your sin, God has been kind to you, he's had forbearance for you, patience toward you, and all of this time that God is bearing with you is an opportunity for you to turn, for God doesn't want you to burn for your sin. He wants you to turn from your sin. He wants you to say, this is wrong what I'm doing, and I'm going to turn around and go the other way, not pointing the finger at anybody else. I'm just talking about me. I’ve got problems, and I'm turning from those problems and I'm turning to you. That's the idea. This person has not repented. They are judging other people for sin that they are still doing. And so, it really begs the question, has God granted you a radical turnaround in your life? Has there been a big change of mind in your life, where you used to think live in this way, and then you realize God was not okay with it, and his kindness and not judging you for your sin was actually the opportunity for you to turn from your sin?
I mean, these are three beautiful words to describe our God here. And they're not the most popular words. Look at them with me here in Romans 2:4. You may want to write these three words down if you're taking notes, because we love God, because he loved us, we’ll sing about his amazing grace all day long, we’ll sing about his mercy that is new every morning. Great is his faithfulness to us. But these words are not as famous as love and grace and mercy. So, let's talk about them here. First of all, kindness. That's really the key word in this verse, because it's mentioned both in a noun and then again in an adjective, because God's kindness is supposed to be leading you to repentance. The fact that you've sinned, and God hasn't yet judged you, he's been good to you, you haven't gotten what you deserve from God. Wow, that’s kindness. Don't make the mistake of thinking you're getting away with it. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's okay to keep sinning. No, the fact that God has been kind to you, and he's not judging you for your sin, should make you think, wow, God is good. I want to turn to him. And so, this is the same word that is used in Titus 3:4, where it says, “But when the…kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us.” Or maybe 1 Peter 2:3, where it says, “if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Has anybody here tasted that the Lord is good? That goodness, that's what it means here when it says his kindness.
Second word is forbearance. This is not used very much in the Scripture. It's used more not like a noun like this, it's used more in the verb form, where it says, bear with one another, okay, where it says, like, endure with one another, carry one another's burdens. Really, forbearance is almost the idea that, hey, God has put up with us. Even though a lot of us, we sinned, and we knew it was wrong, we knew we shouldn't do it, we felt bad when we did it, and then we did it again. And then we told God, how sorry we were, and then we did it again. And who knows how many times we just went in that little circle of not really turning from our sin, but sinning, feeling bad, saying sorry, but not really being sorry, and sinning again and feeling bad, and saying I shouldn't be doing this and then doing it. God, he bore with you that whole time. He put up with you through all of that. Maybe you lost count of how many times you kept going back to that same old sin. And here is God showing you forbearance every single time.
And then his patience. That's our third word here is patience. This is the Greek word makrothumia. When you hear makro, you have an idea that's the big picture, that means long, and thumos is a way to say wrath. So, it's a long time till you get to God's wrath. God has a very long fuse. You could say another way, it is said that God is very long-suffering. He'll suffer with your sin for a long time before he gives you the judgment that you deserve. We just need to make it very clear here today that not one person hearing this sermon has gotten what they deserve, and that is because of God's patience. Can I get an Amen from anybody on that? Okay. Just because you have never seen God's judgment yet, doesn't mean it's not coming. One of the things about God is it's a long time till his wrath shows up, because God is patient. And maybe the first verse that comes to your mind when you hear about the patience of God is that God is not slow, as some count slowness, according to 2 Peter 3:9, but God is patient, not willing that anyone should perish, but that all should reach what? Repentance. See, God is giving people today, the reason we're still here is today, people have the opportunity to turn from their sin before it's too late. Today, people could say, yes, I'm guilty. I'm still sinning. They could point the finger at themselves. Today someone could go home or even as they're sitting here, they could take the log out of their own eye, they could confess their sin to God, they could genuinely turn to him from their heart, and they could repent and be saved. And who knows how long God waited for you to do that, depending on how many days he's given you. I know we’ve got some brothers and sisters here; God waited a long time before he saved you. He was very patient with you that whole time. Even the fact that we're here in 2022 is a testimony to the patience of our God with the sin that is against him every day. He is so patient because he wants people to turn from that sin before they've experienced wrath for that sin.
So this is who God is. And if you're still judging other people and doing the same sin yourself, then you don't really know who God is. Like, when you know God… see, notice what it says, there is the question, do you not know that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? When you really know how kind God has been to you, to not judge you for your sin, but to give his son Jesus instead, when you realize that you have not gotten what you deserve, and he has been so kind, so good, he's bared with you for so long. Wow, look how long God put up with me and my sin! That is meant to create within you a vision of the kindness of God, that you turn to him, that you confess your sin to him, that you come to him with a broken heart, and you find forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ. If you really know who God is in his kindness, it leads you to repentance. And so here you are judging other people, not even knowing God yourself.
Turn with me to Luke chapter 6. Another sermon from Jesus that I want everybody to see what Jesus says here about God's kindness. We recently read this in the Gospel of Luke. I thought this was such a helpful verse about God being kind, I want to bring it to everyone's attention here. And we just looked at one thing Jesus said from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7, well, here in Luke 6, it's called the Sermon on the Plain, because it says, in Luke 6:17 that Jesus “came down with them and stood on a level place.” And there was “a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem,” all the way up to “the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon.” And so, this is a massive crowd of people from a large area, all coming to hear Jesus preach to them, to teach, and it's all not like he's up on a mountain. Everybody's down below him like in Matthew, no, this is like, it's all this big level place, and he's teaching this massive crowd. So, I don't know if you've really studied Luke 6, it's got a lot of similarities to the Sermon on the Mount, but it's known as the Sermon on the Plain. And I want to zoom in on Luke 6:32-34. And here, Jesus is going to say the same thing three times. So, he's using repetition to make a point. Let's see if we can get the point here. Luke 6:32-34, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.” So, three times he's saying, if you treat other people the same way that they treat you, that doesn't mean anything. Sinners, people who don't know God, treat other people in a quid pro quo, you scratch my back I scratch your back, kind of a way. You're going to treat me this way, I treat you and kind you treat me good, I'm good back to you. You treat me evil, I'm evil back to you. That's how sinners treat other people. Then he says this in Luke 6:35. “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.” Why? Your “reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.” Here it is. Underline it, for he got our Father in heaven, “he is kind to the ungrateful and that evil.” Here's something about God's kindness. God does not treat people based on how they treat him. If he did, we would all be judged for our sin, we would all be under wrath.
Can we all take a moment right now to worship God, that God didn't treat you the same way that you treated him? Can I get an amen from anybody on that? Were you ever ungrateful for God in your life? Were you ever doing evil things against God in your life? Are you so thankful that God responded to you with his kindness rather than based on the way that you were treating him? So, if we don't want to be hypocrites, we don't want to be people who are judging church people, always judging other people for things we do ourselves, then we need to see God's kindness, we need to really know God's kindness that would turn us from our sin. And not only does God's kindness lead us to repentance, but God's kindness changes the way we now interact with other people, where even if other people are sinning, even if they're sinning against me, even if I've done something good to them, and they're not grateful, even if I've done something good to them, and they have treated me in an evil way, I can still be kind to them, because I'm not treating them how they treat me, I'm treating them how God has treated me. And the kindness of God has changed my life. So, I'll be kind to everybody because I'm a son of the Most High. That's how we're supposed to be. So, this is a real soul-searching question that you’ve got to ask yourself. Here's a big old log you’ve got to take out of your eye during lunch today. Do you treat people the way that they treat you? Or do you treat people the way God treated you?
Look in your own heart on this one. See, it says here in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” You're going to treat people in common with the way you've been treated. The question is just who are you going to treat sinners in common with the way that they treat you? Or are you going to treat sinners in common with the way that God treated you? Who's your common denominator with? Is your common denominator with other people or is your common denominator with the Most High? As one of his sons and daughters, you've received his kindness, and you can pass his kindness on to other people, even if they're ungrateful, evil, even if they're coming at you like they're your enemy, and they're against you. You respond to them with kindness because you're being merciful as your father has been merciful to you.
Point number two: Make kindness your common denominator. Make kindness your common denominator. Be kind as a son or a daughter of the Most High. Don't treat people in kind. Be kind like God has been kind to you. If you really know his kindness, if it's really turned you from sin, that kindness is meant to be passed on. What everybody needs to meet here in America is one less Christian who's a hypocrite, and just one Christian who is kind to them. How far that would go with our fellow-Americans if they could see that we are not hypocrites, but we are actually people who treat others, even when they don't treat us well, we respond to them with God's kindness. We don't give other people what they deserve. We give them mercy as we have received mercy from our Father ourselves. Okay, so I'm asking my Christian brothers and sisters, when you're ready to say somebody else has done something wrong, number one, can you take the log out of your own eye first, and examine yourself first? Number two, when it's time now to respond to the person who is wrong to you, can you respond to them in kindness, in the same way that God responded to you?
Now go back to Romans chapter 2, because there was one more verse, actually, the hardest hitting verse out of the five is here in Romans 2:5, because even though I'm trying to apply this passage to us here at church, and I'm trying to say to people here who believe in Jesus, to our church family, to those of you who are Christians, I'm trying to say, hey, don't judge people before you judge yourself. Hey, don't judge people; respond to them in kindness as God has been kind to you. Even though I'm applying this to those of us who are Christians, these five verses are not written to you, O man, the judge. The person that Paul is diatribing with in these five verses is not a Christian. This person is a complete hypocrite. This person is one of the people that's going to be like, Jesus, Lord, Lord on that day, and Jesus is going to be like, I don't know you. That's who this is written to. Because look what it says in Romans 2:5, this person who's still practicing sin, who doesn't know the kindness of God, it says, “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.” Wow. So, this is a statement exposing people's heart. This is what the Bible can do that we can't do. This is what God knows that we don't know. We don't know what's going on in somebody's heart, but God knows what's going on and everybody here’s heart, and God will speak to you about your heart. This Word of God is like a sword, and it cuts straight to the thoughts and intents of your heart. And it's saying that the reason some people at church are always ready to judge other people, and they don't show a lot of kindness is because they're not saved themselves. They’ve got a hard unrepentant heart. That word “hard” there in Romans 2:5, you could translate that “stubborn,” and the word “impenitent” there, you could translate, “unrepentant”. This person is stubbornly stuck in their ways, and they have not changed, they have not turned. And so this person, just as much as they out there are going to experience the wrath of God, so as this person right here among us, the judgy church person is going to get the wrath of God just like any other sinner.
So, there's another transition. Not only does it go from they out there to you, “you” singular right here, it also goes from a wrath that is revealed right now in a present tense, when people are given over to sin. Well, this wrath, look at the wrath here in Romans 2:5, this wrath, that you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. You thought the wrath was over? In Romans chapter 1, the wrath has just begun in the book of Romans, everybody. Yeah, it's not pleasant. Okay. The wrath is mentioned twelve times in the book of Romans. Do you remember when I said, we're going to go through the book of Romans as a church, and everybody here was like, yeah, Romans, I love that book. We all signed up for twelve helpings of wrath is what we all signed up for. All right? And we're getting a double dose here today. Okay, there is a day of wrath that is coming that if you go home and tell your kids about what the Bible says about this day of wrath, you will freak them out of their little minds. There is a day that is a terrible day that is coming, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of gloom and great dread, a day that you don't want yourself or anybody you know, to ever experience a day of the Lord, when he will finally pour out his righteous judgment on all the sin we've been doing. And just because it hasn't come yet, do not make the mistake and thinking that people are getting away with it, and it is not coming. Every single sin will be judged in full. Either Jesus paid it in full, or it will be judged in full. Those are the only two options. No sin will be unpaid for when this day. You we haven't even seen God's righteous judgment. It hasn't been revealed yet. It hasn't been made known. We've gotten some pictures. And even the pictures we got of God's wrath were disturbing. We got a picture in Sodom and Gomorrah, of just fire falling from the sky. We got a picture of the flood with Noah, of just drowning the whole world with water. We've gotten pictures of God's wrath, but we haven't seen anything like the great and terrible day, the day of wrath that is coming. And there will be people who will have gone to church their entire lives, always pointing the finger at other people. I mean, I've seen so many people like this in my lifetime at church, more people than I can count. You ask them about a sin, they'll start telling you about that sin. They'll tell you right where that sin is in the Bible. They'll tell you who's doing that sin, and how messed up that sin is, and how wrong. They'll even go off on other churches and how bad those churches are for all the hypocrisy that they’ve got going on at that church, and all the things that they're doing over there at that church. Can you believe what those brothers are doing at that church? And then you say, hey, brother, well, I'm here to talk to you about your sin. They’ve got nothing to say. Crickets. You just went on this massive, judgmental statement about what is wrong with the world, and all of them and even the other Christians, what's wrong with them? And now I'm like, how can I pray for you, brother? I'm just fine thanks. That person is headed towards the day of wrath just like everybody they just went off on. That's what Romans 2:5 is saying. It's saying if this is what we do here, God could be doing great things all around you, but if it hasn't gotten in here, it doesn't matter. God could have saved your family. You might see people that you know, and you do them one way and they are a whole new way. If you've been here at this church from day one, you've seen God do some pretty awesome things in people's lives. You're at this church, and it can be all around you, the power, the majesty, the love, the grace, there is a God, he is real. He's moving here in Huntington Beach. And here, if it's all around you, and if it's here, but it's not in here in your heart, you're going to wrath just as much as anybody else. In fact, how terrible it will be to know all the truth of it, and then to still get all the judgment.
See there's some debate, if you read the Bible scholars about Romans 2:1-5, they're always trying to figure out who exactly is Paul writing about? Who is this “you,” “O man, the judge”? And one of the theories that people have is he's now transitioned to talking about the Jews. And the reason they think that, look down at Romans 2:17, where it says, “But if you call yourself a Jew,” so clearly, by the time we get to Romans 2:17, he is describing Jews, clearly. There's no debate about that. But these first 16 verses of Romans 2, are they also about the Jew, because some people think that there in chapter one, and into chapter two, not only did we go from “they” out there to “you” right here, but we also went from Gentile to Jew. Now, it doesn't explicitly say that in Romans 2:1-5 that he's writing to a Jew. He's writing to anybody who knows that their sin is wrong but can't see that their sin is wrong in their heart. That's who he's writing to. But this definitely was the heart. And I think even these words, hard and impenitent heart, that was a description of how the Jewish people were, the nation of Israel, back in Deuteronomy.
So, everybody turn in your Bible with me to Deuteronomy 9:27, because they translate this word translated, stubborn here, and Deuteronomy 9:27, when they translated this verse from the Hebrew to the Greek, they use the same word as Romans 2:5. So this heart, attitude that people have here in Deuteronomy, is very similar to the, if not the same as the heart that Paul is describing in Romans 2:5. And think about the people of Israel. Have the people of Israel at this point in Deuteronomy, which is Moses telling them the law the second time, the duo time, that's what Deuteronomy is getting to the second time of the law, have these people that are hearing the law for the second time, have they seen God do amazing things? Have they seen God deliver them out of slavery in Egypt? Were there ten amazing plagues in Egypt? Did he take them through the Red Sea on dry ground and then close the red sea behind them on the army of the Egyptians? Was he a pillar of cloud leading them by day and a pillar of fire lighting away by night? Was manna, was bread, was doughnuts falling from the sky? Was water flowing from the rock? If you are an Israelite, did you see miracles? Did you see God's wonders? Did you know that God was real? He was among us, and he was mighty to save? Yes, you did. That does not mean a God to your heart. You can know everything about God on the outside, that does not mean it's real for you on the inside.
And there aren't some people, they come to this church every Sunday. And when you talk to them, they're always talking about somebody else. They are the judgy church person. And it's not clear whether God's Word, which is all around here, has really made its way to their heart. So, look what Moses has to do for the people who have seen all the miracles, for the people who are known as God's people. Look at verse 25. This is Deuteronomy 9:25. Moses is lying down on his face praying for forty days and nights, begging God not to judge them, to destroy them. Deuteronomy 9:26, Moses says, “And I prayed to the Lord, ‘O Lord God, do not destroy your people and your heritage, whom you have redeemed through your greatness, whom you have brought out of Egypt with the mighty hand. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not regard the stubbornness of this people or their wickedness or their sin.’” It is possible to know everything about God and to still be so stubborn in your own heart. It's amazing how people will brag to you how stubborn they are. They'll just act like hey, this is just who I am. Just what you get when you get me right here. This is just how I am, and it's really sad when you hear somebody say, this is how I've always been, this is how I'm always going to be. I'll be this way till I die. It's just me, I'm just stubborn. Moses is begging God not to judge people who are stubborn, who are set in their ways, who are not letting the work of God on the outside do a work on the inside. They're hardening their heart against the work of God, making excuses why they can't do what God is telling them to do. Even pushing away God's own kindness and forbearance and patience, where God is giving them opportunities and being so merciful to them. And they're rejecting his grace as they continue to sin. So, Moses is pleading, please don't judge your own people. You’ve got to remember how you rescued them from Egypt. You’ve got to remember your promise to Abraham. What will the other nations say if you wipe out your own people? Here's Moses begging God, I know they are stubborn in their hearts, but please don't give them the judgment they deserve.
Hey, if you are stubborn in your heart, you need to know here today judgment is coming. If you don't change your ways, you will experience a day of God's wrath. And so, in the very next chapter, Deuteronomy 10, look at what he says in Deuteronomy 10:12, “And now ,Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you?” What does the Lord your God expect of you? What does he demand of you? And he begins to go through things. And he says in Deuteronomy 10:15, just like our passage, he reminds them of God's kindness to them. He says, “Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your father's and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.” God chose you out of love, nation of Israel. He made a promise to Abraham he would be good to you, he would bless you, and through you all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Look what God did to deliver you out of Egypt. Look at how he brought you through the Red Sea, how he's providing everything you need. Look at how he said he will take you to the Promised Land. God loves you. He's been kind to you. And then he says this, Deuteronomy 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no longer stubborn.” See, the Jewish people, the symbol of being a Jew, was to be circumcised on the outside, and he's saying, you’ve got to have something happen to your heart on the inside. You have to stop being stubborn.
Point number three: Make your heart soft to stop being stubborn. If you don't do what it says here in Deuteronomy 10:16, if you don't take it to heart, if you don't let it get to the inside, if you don't stop being you and start being who God's telling you to be, there is a day of wrath coming for you. It is not going to matter how many days you went to church, how many Bible passages you can quote. Look at what it goes on to say in Deuteronomy 10:17. “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.” If it's not in your heart, you're going to get judged. But I memorized all these Bible passages, but I went to church so many times, but I did so many good things. I cast out demons in your name, I did mighty works in your name. Hey, Jesus, don't you remember all the things I did for you? If it's not in your heart, he doesn't remember all the things you did for him, because you didn't really do them for him. It wasn't coming from your heart. You weren't loving God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. That wasn't really you. It was just the outer man, not the inner man.
And so, you have to do something to your heart. You have to take what we talk about from God's Word. If you don't take it to heart, if your heart is still stubborn, and you are unrepentant, you will experience the judgment of God. He will not be partial to you because you went to church, and you tried to be a good person. He knows who you are on the inside. And if you're thinking, but I don't think I have the power to change. I don't think I'm able to stop being the way that I am. I've tried before. I've given it a good effort. I can't stop being me. Well, let me just tell you, if you go to God honestly today, and you have a broken spirit and a contrite heart, if you are genuinely sorry about who you are in your stubborn self before God, God will do a work on your heart. If you really bring your heart… If you see people do this every Sunday, when we finish up here, like we're going to in just a few minutes, and people have heard the word of God, and the sword has come, and it's cut into their soul, and it's given them a little glimpse into that mirror where they can see that log in their own eyes, and they can see the way they treat other people, and they get a little dose of reality there for a moment that there's things in me that need to change, and then they go out of here, and they go on with their day, and they drive off to lunch, and they change nothing, that's what hardening your heart looks like. That's what being stubborn looks like. It means hearing from God and being the same you. That is not okay
You’ve got to hear what God is saying, and it's got to get inside of you, so that it produces a change. And if you go to God and you confess that I have hardened my heart, I am stubborn, and you own it before God, look what it says. Go to the end of Deuteronomy, chapter 30, because it gets back to this idea of your heart being circumcised, not a change in your outer body, but a change in your inner soul. And it says this in Deuteronomy 30 that after you've sinned, when you see how wrong it was, and you see the consequences of your ways, and you turn back to God, when you repent, then God will relent of his judgment. And God will restore the promises here, God will restore the nation of Israel when you come to God and you confess that sin in genuine repentance, and you're sorry over your own stubbornness and hardness of heart. Look what it says Deuteronomy 30:6, “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” See, it's so fascinating, because in chapter 10, he's addressing the people and he's saying, you’ve got to do something with your heart. And by the end of Deuteronomy, he's saying, God will do something in your heart. When you address your heart, and you bring your heart before God, God does a work in your heart. And it's powerful. Then you are able to respond to God with a real love, then you really love God, because he loved you. And now all the things you're doing, they all come from who you really are. They're all a genuine response to the way God has been to you. And now you're really living. Now you're really living from your soul. See, that can happen in your heart. And if it’s has happened in your heart, let's praise God here today that we're not still a judgy church person. All right? And if it hasn't happened in your heart, you need it to happen before this day of wrath comes, you should have it happen today. Let God's kindness lead you to repentance right here, right now. Okay? God changes hearts. That's what he's looking for. That's why the command is, love God with all your heart, all the other commands, all the other things God wants you to do, they all flow from who you really are on the inside.
So please don't go be stubborn. Don't go hard in your heart. Don't go keep doing the same sense. Please hear who God is. Here's what he wants to do to you. Bring your heart before God and let God do a work in your heart. That's what it's saying here. And Deuteronomy 30:6, this is really kind of a foretaste here in the law of what the prophets are going to make clear. This is the new covenant. This is the new kind of relationship that God wants to have with people where he will write his law, not through Moses in five scrolls, but he will write his law on your heart. In fact, God will take out that heart of stone that was hard and stubborn, and God will give you a new heart, God will put his Spirit in you. And with this new heart that God gives with the Holy Spirit indwelling you, you will be able to walk in God's ways, you will be careful to obey God's commands, you will be able to live in a way you've never lived before because God has done a work now in your heart. His kindness has changed you; his love has given you a love for him in response. That's who we're here to be. We are the people that God did not judge. How messed up for church people to be known as judging, when we're the people that God loved, and he didn't judge us. Let me pray for us right now.
Father in heaven, we really need to hear this word today. Not somebody else needs to hear it, Father, we need to hear it. And I pray that you would work in everybody's hearts here. I pray for my brothers and sisters, that will go home and take the log out of our own eye. I pray for my brothers and sisters, that we’ll be sons and daughters of the Most High, we’ll take the kindness that you gave to us, and we’ll give that kindness to other people, will treat other people how you've treated us, not how they treat us. So, I pray that you will help all of us who believe in you, all of us where you've already done that work in your heart. God, I pray that we would really not judge other people, but that we would live out this new heart that you put within us. That we would live in your kindness and your mercy, and your love. And that we would be able to right now, as we sing this song, that we would be able to say, and really mean it from our soul, I love you, Lord. I'm so thankful for this work you've done in my life. I'm so thankful that that you saved me out of that sin I was once in. I'm so thankful I'm not the same old me I used to be. Father, I just want to praise you for your kindness, and your forbearance, and your patience, because you actually did a work in me and I'm new because of you. So, Father, please let this be pure worship we offer to you now. Let this be your people coming to you from our hearts, not just singing a song with our lips, but really a genuine response from the hearts that you made new. The hearts that used to be hard and stubborn and unrepentant, now they're soft, and now they're changed. And now they're filled with love. Let us now really come to you and give you our hearts, and Father, I just want to lift up those who this passage was to, those who are here., those who have a hard and impenitent heart, who are storing up even now wrath for themselves. God, let them cry out to you now. Let them stop being worried about other people's sin and let them confess their own sin. Let today be a day where people have new hearts, where hearts are softened, where repentance takes place because you love us enough to save sinners like us. We thank you for your heart of kindness to lead sinners like us to repentance. So, we sing this song to you now as our response.
I love you Lord, and I lift my voice to worship you, O my soul rejoice. Take joy my kind in what you hear, let it be a sweet sweet song in your ear.
Yes, father most high, we thank you for giving us new hearts so that we can love you with all of our hearts, with the same love that you have given to us. So, Father, we worship you together. And we pray that you are pleased with our hearts, and we thank you so much for the work you did so we're not a bunch of judgy church people, because you didn't judge us. We worship you in Jesus’ name. Amen. Have a great day everybody. Thanks for being here.
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