Call to Worship: Psalm 116:5 “The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” Psalm 100:2 “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”
Songs:Yours Is the Kingdom - Hillsong
You Are / You Are Lord - Hillsong
Consuming Fire- Tim Hughes
Scripture:Isaiah 30:1 “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the LORD, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; 9 For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction. 10 They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” 15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! 17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” 18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! 19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 30 The LORD will cause people to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.” Hebrews 12:28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him. 11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.”
Song:While I'm Waiting - Travis Greene
Sermon: “The Great Compassion and Great Anger of God”
Closing Song: Glorious Unfolding - Steven Curtis Chapman
Benediction: Hebrews 12:28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Sermon: “The Great Compassion and Great Anger of God”
It is very important to understand that God can be both compassionate and angry. Too often God is portrayed only as angry, thus you end up with legalism where you live by rules and regulations. The other side of the coin is God is only compassionate and thus you end up without a healthy fear of God and a watered down view of his grace and apathy creeps in as people go their own ways. Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? 14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” We must understand that we serve a compassionate God who when provoked will be angry.
A verse we have read many times is 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” The problem is when it comes to “this gospel” most people have their own definition of “this” which totally changes the meaning of “gospel” The word this is “used to identify a specific person or thing close at hand or being indicated or experienced.” So when the gospel is described by man, they usually describe their gospel by what they know to be true whether it is or not. If you were raised Baptist, this gospel looks that way. If Catholic, Methodist, Reformed, Brethren, etc. this gospel looks that way but if you return to the word of God and adhere to the true words of Jesus Christ without adding or subtracting then you can say “by this gospel you are saved.”
Let me give you an example. Yesterday I was reading about the Mormons or as they now are emphasizing “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” They are returning to the name originally given to them by God, or so they say. In their doctrines and covenants manual it states very clearly “4 For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 5 Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations;” Now just because they say this is the gospel of Jesus Christ does not mean that it is, even though they use His name in their name. This is actually very easy to show that they are a false gospel / cult and you do not want any part of the light they are shining. Remember 2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” Here is what they say right from their site entitled, “The Book of Mormon is another witness of Jesus Christ.” They asked the question, “Does it seem possible that God stopped talking to man after the last page of the New Testament? Or the last page of the Old Testament, for that matter? Our ancestors were taught by living prophets, and those prophets recorded holy scripture—profound spiritual lessons embedded in the history of their people. While many of our questions and struggles are similar to those of biblical times, it only makes sense that a loving God would continue guiding His children with additional messages of hope and wisdom applicable to their lives. The Book of Mormon is exactly that: continued revelation from God that serves as a witness to the truths in the Bible and to the divinity and teachings of Jesus Christ.” Why is this so easy to show a false gospel /cult because the bible says so. Deuteronomy 4:2 “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.” Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.”
Yes this one is easy but the church has done the same thing and added to the word of God. Churches have their own doctrines and books they are written in. Whatever church you choose knowingly or unknowingly you will be following a manual. It is strange that many of these types of teachings came from the 1800’s. Darby, dispensationalism was also from this time period. You even had the Jefferson bible from that time period where he literally took scissors and paste to the bible what he did not like. Biblical criticism, Liberal theology and like Jefferson, “miracles became myths as science grew”. You even have the holiness movement which ended up not being so holy but more of a dress code. You also had some very disappointed people (Millerites) when Jesus did not return in 1844 and they will be disappointed again. This is just a few and yes the Mormons are from this time period also. “This desire to restore a purer form of Christianity” didn’t take us back to the New Testament but away from it with more division than ever. So whether God moved or not people continued to go their own ways instead of following his way. They just couldn’t stop writing their own manuals. Just maybe the awakening wasn’t such an awakening after all.
If the Holy Spirit was guiding into all truth, the church would have looked as Jesus intended but it did not and kept dividing and remained powerless with only a form of godliness of which we see today. It should have looked as Jesus said to John. “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” This gospel is the one we are to be following so it doesn’t matter how long you think you have been a christian, if you are not following this gospel but something from the 1800’s or one from now, then run away and run towards Jesus. Now this isn’t about changing things to modernize the service as so many have done thinking that is all they have to do, all the while never repenting. This is about submitting ourselves before God so that we can be changed by His word so that we will be clothed with power and go to the ends of the earth and do what Jesus did. The kings were told in Deuteronomy 17:19 “It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.” It didn’t say write your own.
Because we have not returned, we face the wrath of God. The teachings of man’s ignorance will not help us find the narrow door and escape that wrath. Lamentations 2:14 “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.” We grew up with false teachings, which have provoked the anger of the Lord, and thus we are captives. Hezekiah said 2 Chronicles 29:6 “Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. Jeremiah 32:30 “The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth; indeed, the people of Israel have done nothing but arouse my anger with what their hands have made, declares the Lord. 31 From the day it was built until now, this city has so aroused my anger and wrath that I must remove it from my sight. 32 The people of Israel and Judah have provoked me by all the evil they have done—they, their kings and officials, their priests and prophets, the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem. 33 They turned their backs to me and not their faces; though I taught them again and again, they would not listen or respond to discipline.” 1 Chronicles 9:1 “All Israel was listed in the genealogies recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. They were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness.”
Those who have gone before us have not acted according to the word of God. The have followed false gospels and not “this gospel.” They have turned to other gods. Sure you may not be a Mormon but you can still be following a false gospel and think you are a christian. 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”
Many have been deceived because they refuse to listen to the truth of “this gospel that Paul preached. Galatians 1:11 “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” 2 Peter 1:20 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Yes many like the Mormons or false prophets and teachers will tell you what they received was from God but the end result will look like Jesus and not something their hands have made. Jeremiah 23:32 “Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:8 “Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.” satan is very cunning and remember he masquerades as an angel of light so everything will be similar but at the same time totally different. He is arrogant and tell you the problem just like the article I read off the Mormon website. The title gave away the answer. “The Book of Mormon is another witness of Jesus Christ.”
Today we are looking at the great compassion God has for us but at the same time the great anger. If we just looked at God’s anger there would be no hope, for he is a consuming fire. Deuteronomy 4:23 “Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” So we know that God does not change and still expects us not to forget His covenant. Josiah turned back and followed wholeheartedly. It was said about him 2 Kings 23:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” If we follow false gospels, we will continue to arouse the anger of the Lord. These false gospels have provoked the Lord to anger because we have not followed this gospel. Because of this, our God’s anger rages because he was provoked to anger. Josiah heard from the Lord after they had found the book of the Law. 2 Kings 22:13 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger.” When you talk about this gospel today you provoke the anger of those who do not want to turn back but God is prepared to strengthen you as you seek him.”
Today there is no fear of God in the land. Psalm 36:1 “I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” If there was, there would be great repentance. Psalm 90:11 “If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.” Numbers 11:1 “Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.” Deuteronomy 9:7 [ The Golden Calf ] Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 29:22 “Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it. 23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. 24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?” 25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.” Jeremiah 21:5 “I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath.”
In an amazing turn of events God gave the kingdom to Jeroboam but he rebelled against the Lord. 1 Kings 14:8 “I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. 9 You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me.” The other kings followed in His ways. To king Basha he said, 1 Kings 16:2 “I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins.” I ask again why do people today think it is any different than then. 1 Kings 16:33 “Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him. Jeremiah 25:4 “And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. 5 They said, “Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. 6 Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.” 7 “But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.”
Then moving on to the New Testament. Mark 3:1 “Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” Today we get the same reaction by talking about “this gospel”. Luke 19:41 “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you. 45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.” John says it this way. John 2:13 “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.
Now ask yourselves; Is God’s anger still aroused when we do not act according to his word? The answer is obvious if you base that answer on the word of God. If you base it on your own feelings, you will be on your way to believing there is no hell and that God would never send you there, even though Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” The fact that God is God and his word never returns void, means we should be fearing God and making sure we are not following false gospels. John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
We have been given a choice to choose life and not death. We have a choice to choose compassion and not anger. The amazing part is we do not deserve this amazing grace to have anything but death offered to us. Yes it would be very easy to stop at His great anger but all through scripture we see his compassion. When David counted his fighting men and realized his sin he was told This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’” 13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” 14 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” Psalm 86:15 “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Exodus 34:5 “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” It is a good thing for us that God is slow to anger or else we all would be dead with no hope of eternal life.
The problem is the church wants God to be compassionate and loving while they go their own ways. In Jeremiah we see where we are at and that captivity is because those who went before us did not act according to scripture. Jeremiah 32:37 “I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.” Jeremiah prophesied, Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” This is a God who knew what the future would hold, that they would crucify his own son yet he sent them back to the Promised Land.
The God we serve is waiting for His people to return to Him. Joel 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” That relenting may come to an end as it did for Israel so we must make sure we follow the truth wholeheartedly. David said to Solomon
1 Chronicles 28:8 “So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever. 9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” Hezekiah said to the people 2 Chronicles 30:6 “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
We have this good news that even if we are in captivity to farthest reaches of this earth, we serve a compassionate God who will hear our cry but we must cry out to be heard. Solomon started his prayer saying 1 Kings 8:23 “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.”
Nehemiah 9:26 “But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they turned their backs on your law. They killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. 27 So you delivered them into the hands of their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.” We saw in Judges how they repented and then returned and then turned away again. Nehemiah continues 28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.” The question you should be asking is what happens if you don’t repent. Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent. Revelation 16:9 “They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.” Instead as we read earlier 2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
Sadly most have been deceived into believing that the way they follow is the way and the truth and the life yet it is not this gospel. It is not the gospel because there is no power and it is based on man’s word, because the word of God has been changed to suit their own beliefs. This is the same as following idols and worshipping false gods. God’s anger was aroused but as Paul said in Romans 5:20 “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul on to say Romans 6:1 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” We cannot go our own way without arousing the anger of the Lord.
God has made it clear that he will hear our cry if we turn from our wicked ways. 2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” We read in Hebrews 10:26 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” By returning to the word of the Lord and turning our backs on mans word we are submitting ourselves to the mercy and compassion of our God that he will hear our cry and return to us and shine His face upon us once again. Psalm 80:19 “Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” The good news of this gospel is God is not only angry but merciful. Numbers 23:19 “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Joshua 21:43 “So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” 2 Samuel 22:50 “Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.51 “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” Jesus makes us a descendant of David but we must believe in his gospel, the word of God. We desperately need his anointing. We desperately need to be clothed with power.
1 Kings 8:22 “ Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said: “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today. 25 “Now Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.’ 26 And now, God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.”
Yes we have provoked the Lord to anger but we have returned to Him. We know that he has heard our cry because he said he would. Malachi 3:7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord” Yes God is angry but we know the he is a merciful God. Repent for the Kingdom is near!