Saturday, April 30, 2016

Each Day the Unbeliever Builds Up the Wrath of God Against Himself

While the unbeliever justifies himself every day, with his professions that "there is no proof for God," each breath he draws, each draft of water he drinks, and every crumb of food he consumes comes as a gift from God.

In Romans 2:4-5, the Apostle Paul asks us, "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 is a stark warning! God gives each of His creatures the gifts of life (Matthew 5:45). Yet the unbeliever not only refuses to thank Him for His gifts but even denies Him who has provided these gifts. How can God not be offended by such abuse? Or that of the idol-worshiper who attributes God's gifts to some demon, whether he calls it Mary or Ganesh or Allah? If a human father were to give a gift to his son, and that son were to respond by spitting in his face and running to thank some passing stranger, would that father not feel abused?

In Psalm 103:10, David tells us, "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities." Centuries later, the priest Ezra repeated those words (Ezra 9:13): "You, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved." They pointed to a simple truth: our sins deserve eternity in Hell because they are acts of rebellion against our eternal Creator and Lord. Therefore, every moment we spend outside Hell is a gift from God.

These are the gifts of God: our existence (Acts 17:28), our daily sustenance (Matthew 5:45), and our daily experience of His mercy (Psalm 103:10). Why does He grant them to us? That they may inspire us to turn to him in repentance. It is much like when a man waves a bit of food to entice a wild animal to approach and eat from his hand. But unbelief is like such an animal biting, not the gift, but the hand of the giver. In an unthinking animal, such a reaction can be understood, but in a rational human being it is an act of evil.

However, as long as a man draws breath, repentance is available to him. To every person who acknowledges his rebellion and turns to his King for pardon, that King, God, extends this invitation (Isaiah 55:1-3):

"Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to Me;
hear, that your soul may live."

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