Genesis 18-19 / Matthew 6:1-18
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” Romans 1:28
Many Christians prefer not to talk about God’s judgment. They rightly believe God is love, but have trouble reconciling the idea that the same God brings judgment on people and nations. One reason is because of an incorrect understanding of how God executes His judgment. God does not sit in heaven with a fly swatter, swatting a city here or a nation there for their sin. Neither are people who have committed a grave sin suddenly struck by a bolt of lightning. God’s judgment is not arbitrary, nor contingent upon the gravity of sin, but is entirely rational in that it is the consequence of our own actions.
There is a natural law created by God, which is always seeking to correct ill and sin in this world. There is also a moral law as constant and real as the laws of physics, and the consequences for breaking either law can be equally devastating. If someone jumps off a building, hoping to break the law of gravity, that person, not gravity, will be the only thing broken. Similarly, we cannot break the moral law, which is sin, without consequences.
Romans 1 describes how sinful humanity traded truth for wickedness, worshipped other gods, and believed they were wiser than God. The result is that God gave these people over to their sinful desires, shameful lusts and depraved minds. Such is God’s judgment in action; not fire and brimstone from heaven, but turning them over to the natural consequences of their sin. His judgment is saying, “If you persist in sin, I will leave you to it, but that sin will destroy you.”
There is going to be a day when we stand before God’s throne and receive judgment for our deeds. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” As sinners, the judgment we deserve is death, but only by believing in Jesus Christ who received that judgment in our place, will we receive the gift of eternal life.
In the meantime, God’s judgment is expressed in allowing the corruption of sin to do its destructive work in our lives. This is true of believers and non-believers alike. Those who believe in Christ have their sins forgiven and eternal destinies secure, but God will still allow judgment in this life if we willfully and persistently engage in sin. The struggle with sin is a constant battle, but God’s judgment in allowing sin to take its toll in our lives demonstrates a loving God as He will use it as a means for believers to find their way back to Him and for non-believers to seek Him.
PRAYER: Almighty God, thank You for being equally loving and just. I cannot thank You enough for Your forgiveness and for drawing me away from sin and closer to You. Thank You, Lord.