Restoring Righteousness – Part 4

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Light uncovers what the darkness hides.

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The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 

Romans 1:18-20 NIV

In 2016, I began to take notice of what appeared to be a rise in unrighteousness around the time of the elections. I have been observing the uptick for the past several years.

At first I thought Satan is running rampant. Today, I sincerely believe this is the result of God’s wrath (anger) being revealed against all ungodliness of men (Rom. 1:18). The increase in evil may well be the result of the Holy Spirit at work bringing to surface what is already there, revealing the human condition without God.

When the unregenerate me surfaces, albeit not as often as before I became a mature believer, I must look at it and deal with it. Even as I write this blog post I’m in awe of God’s Word. It is heart changing as the Lord reveals areas of my life that need to be bought under the blood of Jesus while trusting that the path ordained for me requires vigorous testing and tribulation.

Paul’s letter to the Romans so relates to what we are witnessing today across the globe. The many issues prevalent in society such as political upheaval, gun violence, church and synagogue bombings, racism, hatred, homosexuality, perversion, self-centeredness (concern solely with one’s own interests, welfare)  disrespect towards authority, insolence  (rude and disrespectful behavior), and so forth.  What also stands out is the “spin doctor” spinning a story to sway people’s opinion by bending the facts to make them sound appealing, with little or no regard for truth. We see this the daily news media and in the church. These issues are being exposed that they might be repented of and righteousness restored.

This is an indication of what Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 AMPC:

But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress andtrouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

We try to soften our own sins with mild words while sharply criticizing  or ridiculing others with harsh words. Even worse, we see the sins of others and are blind to our own. Hard truth!

Satan wants the church to put on the “face” of righteousness. That way, he remains hidden, controlling humankind through deception that plunges them into hatred and enmity, which they rationalize as righteous motivations.

As it says in Psalm 106 and Amos 4, God sends leanness and hardships in order to reveal what is in men’s hearts.

So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. 1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV

It is an uncomfortable truth that, faced with a sinful world God’s wrath is an unswerving and unwavering manifestation of His love and His holiness.  God hates sin! A Holy God cannot be true to Himself and tolerate the presence of evil in His creation indefinitely. His wrath is nothing other than His hatred of sin and its devastating effects on humanity.

Throughout history, human beings have chosen to rebel against God and reject His sovereignty, refusing His love, ignoring His goodness, flouting His holiness, despising His justice and mocking His mercy.

God created a perfect world, yet human beings have damaged it and spoiled its beauty. But God had a plan of redemption to restore His righteousness on earth. Because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ, God gave people and nations in exchange for His life.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4

It is rare that anyone would die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die (Rom. 5:7). This is why the church must catch the fire of God’s heart for revival.

God knows our hearts are desperately wicked (Matt. 15:19). He only wants us to see it, admit it, and be made whole. The victory is already won!

God is a consuming fire. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of fire. And Jesus said, “I’ve come to bring fire on earth.” There is no escaping the fire.

—Leonard Ravenhill

As the Lord entrusts His Word to me I hope that it will stir in your heart the desire for change so that together we will impact this world for God’s Kingdom!

Shalom,

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