Rom. 1:18-23 THE REASONS FOR THE WRATH OF GOD
Intro: The wrath of God is a proven fact! In fact, the Bible doesn't seek to
prove it, it is merely stated as being a reality. God is a God of love, but at
the same time, He is a God of intense wrath! His wrath is revealed in the
world today and will be experienced, in eternity, by every person who leaves
this world without a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some may wonder why God even possesses wrath as a part of His
nature. The answer to that question is found in these verses. God tells us
in the clearest of words why His wrath is kindled against the children of this
Let's look into this passage together and notice these 4 reason that are
given for the wrath of God.
I. V. 18 MAN'S REBELLION TOWARD GOD
A. The Nature Of Man's Sin - Man is ungodly by nature and by choice.
This means that he has no relationship with God. Because He has
no relationship with God, his relationship with his fellow man is also
destroyed. Man is in open rebellion against the Lord and this is by his
own choice! (Ill. This is proven by verses like Rom. 3:10; 12.)
B. The Suppressing Nature Of Man - Another sign of man's rebellion
is the fact that he knows the truth about God. This will be revealed
more clearly in a moment. Even though he knows the truth, he
"holds", or "suppresses" the truth.
C. The Stubborn Nature Of Man - Man willfully suppresses the truth of
God so that he may continue in his sins! Mankind is absolutely
enslaved to his sin, Eph. 2:1-3! Beyond that, man stubbornly holds to
his sins while he seeks to undermine the truth of God.
I. Man's Rebellion Toward God
II. V. 19-20 MAN'S REVELATION OF GOD
(Ill. What is this truth that man suppresses? It is the very revelation of God
Himself. You see, God has a strong desire to reveal Himself to men! God
wants them to come to know about Him so that they will come to know Him
personally. To do this, God manifests Himself to man in millions of ways
every day. Let's notice some of them tonight.)
A. The Place Of God's Revelation - Notice where Paul says that God
is revealed - "in them". The idea is that men have all the truth they
need to come to know God within themselves. The truth of God is in
the heart and in the mind of mankind!
(Ill. As a very young girl, Helen Keller was stricken by a disease that
left her blind, deaf and mute. A lady named Anne Sullivan worked
tirelessly and selflessly to help Helen learn to communicate.
Eventually, Helen learned to communicate through touch, and she
even learned to talk! When Anne Sullivan tried to tell Helen Keller
about God, the girl's response was that she already knew about Him -
she just didn't know His name.)
All this teaches us that even without a Bible, man can come to know
about God! I praise the Lord for this truth about God! His desire to
reach man runs so deep that He places the revelation of Himself
within the very creatures that have turned their backs on Him! What
B. The Power Of God's Revelation - The power of God's revelation of
Himself lies in its scope! God has placed His truth all about us. The
Bible backs this up - Psa. 19:1-6. God's revelation of Himself is so
strong and so clear that every rational creature are bound to
acknowledge and worship Him! (Ill. The Prodigal Son - Luke 15:17)
(Ill. Notice several areas where God's Person is on display!
1. Think of the seed that becomes a mighty tree.
2. Think of birds that are able to navigate by the stars. Even when
they are raised in a windowless room and shown an artificial sky,
they are able to turn themselves in the right direction.
3. Think that there are giant telescopes that can view objects that are
over 4 billion light years away. That is a distance of 25 million
4. Think that most scientists now believe that this massive universe
came into existence at a specific instance in time. Did you know
that among major scientists evolution is very much out of vogue?
Many now suspect that a higher intelligence had everything to do
5. Think that at any given instant there are over 1,800 storms in
operation at any given time. The energy needed to create and
sustain those storms amounts to the incredible figure of
6. Think that there are over 10 million species of insects in the world.
7. Think that the earth is 25,000 miles in circumference, weighs 6
septillion, 588 sextillion tons and hangs on nothing! It spins at
1,000 miles per hour with absolute precision and careens through
space around the sun at the speed of 1,000 miles per minute in
a yearly orbit that is 580 billion miles long!
8. Think that the head of a comet can be from 10,000 to 1,000,000
miles long and travel at a speed of 350 miles per second.
9. Think that the sun's radiated energy could be converted into
horsepower it would be equivalent to 500 million, million, billion
horsepower. Each second it consumes about 4 million tons of
10. Think that like from the sun travels at 186,281 miles per second.
At this rate, it would take light 125,000 years just to travel across
our galaxy, and the Milky Way is just one galaxy among billions
in the universe.
Now, imagine that all of this just happened! No way! God did all these
things to prove to man that He is real and that He possesses great
power! No wonder that Bible declares, "The fool hath said in his
heart, there is no God."
C. The Purpose Of God's Revelation - The purpose is to force man to
a moment of decision! God's desire is that every person bow before
Him in humble repentance and worship. However, not all will!
Therefore, God has given man every conceivable revelation of
Himself and has left those who refuse to get right with God without
any excuse for their continued state of sin!
(Ill. The universe in the Lord's courtroom. In it, He has proven
conclusively that He exists. Those who refuse to believe in Him have
been faced with the evidence and are left with no excuse for their
behavior. They are guilty as charged and when they face Jesus at the
Great White Throne, they will hear the charges read in clear terms.
They will all be forced to bow before Him and acknowledge Him as
Lord of all!)
I. Man's Rebellion Toward God
II. Man's Revelation Of God
III. V. 21 MAN'S REJECTION OF GOD
A. A Reckless Choice - When man has been faced with the truth of God
and he makes his stand against God, he has moved into the realm of
rejection. This rejection of God is seen in 2 areas of life.
1. They Gave God No Glory - That is, they refused to magnify and
exalt God as God. Their primary goal was the glorification of self!
Men fail to honor God when they refuse to give Him the place in
their lives that He deserves. God deserves the first place, but
those who walk in unrighteousness and open rebellion against the
Lord give Him no place in their lives. Therefore, He is not glorified
in them! As a result, He is filled with wrath at the foolishness and
sinfulness of man!
2. They Gave God No Gratitude - While they denied God, they took
all the things that He had given man to teach man about Himself
and they used it for their own selfish gains without a single thought
being given to the great Creator
B. The Resulting Condition - Because they rejected the Lord and His
truth, they were given over to wretched lives. Note what the rest of
this verse says about their condition.
1. Theirs Is A Hollow Life - "vain imaginations" means a futile
existence. They are living for themselves, or so they think, in reality,
they are merely wasting their time. They fill their days with
themselves, but eventually, those days will end and they will find that
their time has been wasted and entirely in vain!
(Ill. What does it mean if a man accomplishes great things in this life
and in the end goes to Hell? The answer is, it means that he has
wasted his life and it would have been far better for him had he never
been born in the first place! If he dies without Jesus, he has lost the
only thing he genuinely possessed. He has lost his soul - Mark 8:36-37.)
2. Theirs Is A Horrible Life - This verses says that when they
turned their backs on the light of God's truth, "their foolish heart
was darkened." What men seem not to understand is that the
only alternative to Light is darkness! As they move farther away
from the Light, they move farther into the dark!
(Ill. This is why I say their life is a horrible life. It is bad to think of
the possibility of anyone going to Hell without God. But, add to
that a life spent in this cruel world without a relationship with the
loving, heavenly Father! That is a horrible life! To life all those
years trapped in a dark dungeon of your own making. Living there,
thinking you are happy and whole and all the while the cancer of
sin is destroying you from within. Then, when it is too late to
realize that all the while you could have had a relationship with
God and then went to His Heaven and spent eternity there with
Him. That is a horror beyond words!)
IV. V. 22-23 MAN'S REACTION TO GOD
A. V. 22 He Reacts In Foolish Regression - When man turns on the
Lord, and closes his eyes to the truth of God, he really thinks he is
wise! His perception of himself is that he has all the angels figured
out and all the bases covered. In reality, God says that while they
think they are so smart, they are nothing but fools!
(Ill. Sinners have it all backwards! Look at 1 Cor. 1:25-31. To the
world's eyes the Christian is the biggest fool in existence! He misses
out on all the pleasures of the world. He places his faith in a man who
died 2,000 years ago, but looks for Him to return at any time. From
God's perspectives, however, the wisest decision any person has
ever made is to place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I would
rather be perceived to be a fool tonight than I had to live in sin and
prove that I am a fool at the end of the road.)
B. V. 23 He Reacts In False Religion - You see, man says "No!" to
God, then he turns around and invents things to worship! Talk about
foolish! What the Lord is telling us is that man is a religious creature.
If he doesn't worship God, he will manufacture a god to worship. If
that doesn't scratch his itch, he will find another man to give his
worship to. If that doesn't fit the bill, then he will ultimately set himself
up as his own little god and will live his life only to worship and glorify
(Ill. That's what a man does when he is left to himself! However,
notice if you will the downward spiral: man, birds, animals and
reptiles. It is just the opposite of what some people believe about
evolution. Notice that when man steps away from God he doesn't
evolve, he devolves. He doesn't progress upward, he regresses
downward. All of this tends to prove the point that a life without God
is a life that is on a downward pathway! Walking away from God
doesn't prove that you are wise, it merely proves that you are a fool,
and it proves that you want your life to be a disaster and your eternity
a failure. It is a sad shape to be in!)
Conc: These are the four reasons why God is angry with sinners! If you ask
me, a holy and righteous God has plenty of reason to be filled with wrath!
I wonder, this evening, if their were areas of this message that spoke to
some rebellion that may be in your own heart. Some are or the other that
has never been given fully to the Lord. I don't know your hearts this
evening, but I am sure that not everyone here is precisely in the center of
the will of God. There is always room for improvement and if you would like
to make that improvement, then I would like to invite you to do so right now.
You come if there is a need in your life. Regardless fo what it is. Whether
it is a need for salvation, for confession or to pray about some need or to
pray for some lost person, there is no better place than this altar. If the Lord
has spoken, then you come! Will you do that?