A Hard Man to Do Business With

“Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man…” (Mt. 25:24).

There are three parables set in order in Matthew 25:  Foolish Virgins who knew better but did not prepare, a lazy servant who knew his Lord but did not invest and oblivious goats who knew there were people in need and did not care.  Neglect, laziness and apathy are hated by God and they are sure factors that exclude people from the Kingdom of God.

In Matthew 25:14-30 there is a parable about a master who was going away for a long time who entrusted three of his servants with his goods or his wealth and property.  The word talents refers initially to the measurement of coins given to these servants. But it is also a reference to the gifting or skills of people. It is the clear teaching of scripture that not only do we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in regeneration (Acts 10:45; 11:17) but it also teaches, “…every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.” (1 Cor 7:7).  We are responsible to guard those gifts (2 Tim 1:14) and invest them in other brethren for edification (1 Cor. 14: 12). We are never to neglect those gifts at any time (1 Tim 4:14). 

The Master desired his servants to invest and trade money for profit. That is good business.  Two of the three servants did well in their business transactions and the other was comatose.  Eventually, the Master came back to settle their accounts. Things were going well until the last servant met with him. The Master was not surprised and I can almost  hear the Master shouting. “Nothing?”  “You made nothing and you did nothing!”

Remember his Master was gone away for days, weeks, possibly months and the servant just buried the talents.  If he would have invested and lost the money at least the master would not have called him evil and lazy, maybe a few choice words for being  foolish. But he may still have kept his job. This guy had no sense even to walk down to the bank and invest in a mutual fund so at least he could have made some interest.  This set the master on fire and he was livid, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” (Prov 25:19).

Lazy probably thought that he needed some “Me” time. It was a while before the master came back and he began to think that something is holding his master up or in his twisted mind maybe he was never coming home and he could continue in his career of lollygagging.  That was a big mistake.  The Bible warns that Christ’s coming will catch many people by surprise, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Mt 24:44).  We should be alert and prepared for his coming! I have to say this is not just the second coming or the rapture. Christ said he would come to his church in other ways (Rev. 2:16). Peter speaks of  “the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:12).   Thayer says it is “that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds character, of men.”  That is why fiery trials come our way (1 Pet 4:12) to reveal and to refine. But they also burn away worthless things. In fact, Christ will sit in judgment and  inspect and test our work by fire (1 Cor 3:10-17) when interpretd correctly gives proper understanding to being saved by fire.

If talk is cheap his words are on sale.  His lame, pitiful excuses do not even make sense. It seems he thinks that his master works magic, “harvesting what he has not planted” to make money rather than plain hard work and elbow grease.  It is like he is saying, “I am not like you, and beside you will make money somehow, it’s not like I lost the money.”  Some of God’s servants are just plain lazy and full of excuses. That is characteristic of slothful people (Prov 22:13). They make everything hard (Prov. 15:19) and are  a liability. What is worse he is a talented but lazy man. You have to wonder if his Lord knew about this servant from the beginning. But as tough as the master is, he gave him an opportunity-a simple responsibility. He must have known the character of this servant before hand, thus he gives him a small amount, the least responsibility and if he proves himself he will get credit and be given more authority and all the benefits.

But he did not.  All he got was canned.

Jesus says, “The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” (Luke 12:45-46).  There are those among the church who are hypocrites and play the role of a Christian but they are not.  Newsflash: laziness is not a fruit of the spirit. One day the Lord will come and see this counterfeit lifestyle and it is not going to be pretty. Being cut to pieces is also not very promising prospect. For those who only see God as a harmless tamed Deity-this is the red-letter section of the Bible that some Bible have that highlight the words of Christ. Jesus is speaking here.  No, this is not the Old Testament as many people whine when they see anything to do with justice or sentencing of evil doers. In this case,  our Master Jesus wants to be in the black, not the red. He wants the investment he has made in us to pay off in a life lived to the glory of God. He will see anything else as being ripped off.

You can hear the servant nervously saying,  “Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.   I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.”(25:24 NLT). The lazy servant says, “I knew thee..”  This is when things got ugly. The lazy servant professes to know what kind of master he serves.  He is the only servant that says anything in this parable. The others are basically quiet and received a promotion from their employer for a job well done.  But this man knew how to talk.  He knew how to make excuses.  He was a servant who was a master at rationalizations. He did not say that he was not feeling well, he had a family issue or his vehicle was giving him problems. These are all the unforseen circumstances which employers expect.

The real conflict in this passage is not just the laziness. This man makes it personal with his Master. He said, “I knew thee.”   That comment crossed the line and ticked the unnamed Master off  and almost smacks of this lazy servant blaming the Master for his actions.  If I may paraphrase the unnamed Masters reply, “If you knew me you would have done this or that, but you did not, so do not know me as well as you think.” 

The servant was not incorrect in his view. The man he worked for was a harsh businessman. He was not only an austere investor (Luke 19:21) he was “hard” and callous. This does not mean that because the master was so hard he was unrighteous.  He trusted his servants to manage his affairs.  He gave them responsibility which he thought they could handle.  He was not so harsh that he did not pay and reward his servants in fact, we only see him harsh on the laziness of the last employee.

The master does not disparage his servant’s comments and say,  “No you are wrong, I am a kind, loving and laid back individual.  I am really hurt.”  The master expected that servant to invest His Lord’s money!  The Master Christ says, “The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” (John 13:16).  It is like he tells the servant, “I work and so should you. You see here is how we are different, you bury, I plant. I work in such a way that everything pays off.  You acted like this money was yours and extension of yourself. But it was not. It was my money. I wanted you to do with it what I would do with it. You could have easily made a return on what I gave you.”

His language was the bottom line and he rewarded those that spoke it fluently.  “He says, Lord, you are a hard man to do business with.” This “hard”  view of  Our Lord and God is one the truths that most ministers bury beneath their pulpits. The Lord is tough. He saves us by Sovereign Grace, but he expects a one hundred percent return on his investment in our lives. Jesus teaches “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.”  (Luke 12:47-48). The idea of punishment set forth here presents an attribute of God often set aside or ignored, but it must be seen. God is holy, He is no joke, he means business and plays for keeps.

I think this is a problem for many so called Christians. You can hear the shouts, “God is a merciful God”  and people picketing such teaching in the church parking lot. They are confused about the “god” they serve which is more characterized by the sinful culture in which they live rather than the God of the scriptures. They have created a mental idol that is a  permissive, tolerant God, which is not his true nature. God says of his people in the Old Covenant that, “they know not me…” (Jer. 9:3).  You see that people today, especially in Christianity are just as or more ignorant of God, less conversant in scripture than at any period of history before. “For the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land…My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee. (Hosea 4:1,6). 

It sickens me how we will chant and sing, “I am a friend of God, he calls me friend”  and live in such disobedience.  But Jesus Christ tells us, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:14-15).  Well, there you go. As a servant, he DID NOT know what his master was doing. You must be a servant before a friend. There should be a sense of duty before devotion. You may be saved, but growing in friendship with Christ, means becoming more sanctified. Running around and calling yourself a justified sinner or telling everyone, “I know the Lord” gets old if you live in such a way that evidences no growth or deeper love for Christ!

There is a sense of finality in this passage that is inescapable especially after he takes the one talent gives it away to the man who has ten talents and kicks the man out in the dark unemployed and broke and weeping. That is sad.  My suggestion is start using and investing your talents and grow in Kingdom business because from what I see the Master is a hard man to do business with.

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THE SALVATION UNDERGROUND GONE PUBLIC!

“But those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!” (Isaiah 26:19NLT).

On Oct 13, 2010 the whole world watched in awe as 33 Chilean miners that were trapped two thousand feet below the earth were lifted to safety by what many call a miraculous rescue. They spent 69 days (a much shorter timespan than predicted) underground but just a few days ago they took a 15 minute journey upwards to the surface in a small capsule that was no wider than an average man’s shoulders. There was a lot of joy, men thanking God and family reunions. In a time of really bad news in the world, I think this was a real boost to the global morale of  the millions of people who watched the rescue updates on television. I posted on Facebook, “EVEN NOW MEN ARE COMING UP OUT OF THE GROUND!

I read in one article, “They were trapped underground, in a place like hell itself — claustrophobic, dark, fetid — and they come up like they were resurrected,” says Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University. “Western civilization doesn’t come up with stories much better.” 

Salvation in the Bible is often compared to being brought out of  a pit, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” (Ps. 40:2). I CALL THIS THE SALVATION UNDERGROUND GONE PUBLIC. He brings people up from out of the ground of death and distress into new life. The idea of  salvation, the resurrection of the body, heaven and eternal hell are biblical  concepts of the Christian faith.  Problems of many kinds were illustrated often as a pit into which people fell and were trapped. A pit also symbolized unsolvable problems and desperation  from which only God could save you.  A pit was a place where unless you received outside help you would die. 

God is the wonderful Savior of all men (1 Tim 4:10). It is because of Who He is that He delights to rescue his own people (Ps. 18:19) and he  even shows kindness to the most miserable, unthankful characters (Luke 6:35). No one is like God who still loves doing awesome wonders (Ex. 15:11). he brings men and women up out of the ground all the time. But we should note that here are two kinds of salvation: one is temporary and the other eternal. Sometimes in the scripture physical salvation illustrates and symbolizes eternal salvation. One is the saving of the body, the other is the saving of the soul.  Your body can be saved, but that does not mean your soul is saved. Your body may not be saved, but your soul can be saved. You see my point: they are not the same. The physical salvation of the Chilean miners is only temporary, the salvation of the soul is eternal.  

Jesus Christ spent his life before he went back home to heaven doing good, especially temporal acts of salvation: healing the sick, opening blind eyes, unstopping deaf ears, providing miraclous food, walking on water, evicting demons and raising the dead (see Acts 10:38).  Talk about the SALVATION UNDERGROUND gone public!  He did so many wonders that the whole world could not contain the records (John 21:25). But one time he warned the crowd that was fed miraculously, “Do not work for food that spoils; instead, work for the food that lasts for eternal life. This is the food which the Son of Man will give you, because God, the Father, has put his mark of approval on him.” (John 6:27GNT).  We get out of trouble only to fall back into trouble again. That is the life we live. That is the here and now. Those who are healed physically can get sick again, those who are provided for financially can lose their money, those who were raised from the dead will die again. 

But eternal salvation is the greatest gift from which real joy comes. The gift of eternal life begins by the most powerful act of God! He takes the soul of  men and women that were once dead spiritually (Eph. 2:1-5) and regenerates them (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5) or brings them back to life. They are born again with a living hope (1 Peter 1:3)! When the SALVATION UNDERGROUND goes public, once a person is born again that life can never be taken from them because it is the beginning of eternal life (John 10:27-29). Even if they die physically they will go on living eternally in heaven, because we are at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).

There is physical life on earth and spiritual life in heaven. Jesus said, “Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. ” (Mt. 6:19-20GNT). Things do not last on earth. They can be eaten away, rusted away and taken away. In heaven everything lasts forever.

Christ even empowered his disciples then and now to do wonders (Mt 10:1; Mk 16:16-18). But He laid out his disclaimer about miracles and taught his followers that real salvation is not because you can do wonders or have experienced miracles yourself (John 4:48).  The real joy of salvation is that our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).  God can and will use people on earth to rescue others but only God can rescue our souls from eternal death and hell. “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.” (Eph 2:8-9). We should rejoice and be thankful when God rescues us in this life as he does so many many times. But his greatest gift is when he gives eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9) to those who trust in Christ alone as Savior because “Salvation is to be found through him alone..” (Acts 4:12GNT). 

God may be speaking to your heart even now through this article. The Salvation Underground can go public in your life. He will bring you back from the dead and the first sight you will see will be Jesus Christ reaching his hand to you in this horrible pit of sin you are living in. You know without his help you will be lost!  He is the only One who cares and can save you!

DO NOT DISHONOR GOD’S NAME

“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.”  (Isa. 33:22).

The last time we focused on the immensity of God the LORD. This message is much more sobering because it deals with God’s holiness and the grievous sin and error of  misusing God’s name and titles. God’s  name shows all that He is.  It shows God’s disclosure to us, pulling back the curtain on all his attributes. The recent controversy calling the God of the Bible the Islamic name of  “Allah” is seen as blasphemy according to scripture.

That is among the many reasons why we should hallow his name and never at any time misuse it. Understanding something about His name should produce a holy horror and a sense of scared sacredness in our hearts!  This is not theophobia. In fact,  it is only because of people’s love of sin and hate of God, that they see him as dangerous and they run away in fear from Him (Gen. 3: 10; Ex. 20:18-20). 

I know many men do not preach this way today, but the Bible does not give us a surface report of the human condition. It gives us a diagnostic of the human heart and life and exposes its depravity for all to see.  Oh how I long for men of God who will teach people, “the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” (Ezek. 44:23). People may have redefined the fear of God to the point that even their definition of it as “reverence” is watered down. It is not just respect. It is loving God for all he is: His wrath and peace, his love and holiness. They are devoted to Him for who He is, even if it scares them they want to know and become closer to Him. 

The Bible teaches in the third commandment, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7).   The Word “vain”  is sheqer in Hebrew which means all that associates God’s name to anything that is deceptive or false (Ps 119:29).  It is anything that misrepresents, defames, blasphemes his name. “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the Lord.” (Lev. 19:12NLT). We should not even  “idly utter”  his name (Ex. 20:4 Darby).

Blasphemy  is a serious sin (Lev 24:16).  People have such hardness of heart and a dangerous willful rebellion and ignorance when it comes to holy things. 

The Hebrew word for blasphemy is nĕ’atsah. It means a disgust and hatred considering God unworthy of respect (2 Kings 19:3)  and it also involves actions that provoke God’s anger (Neh 9:18, 26).  The Greek word blasphēmias paints a picture of  character assassination upon God Almighty (Mt. 12:31)  with disrespectful actions and speech that  brings disgrace to God’s majesty (Col. 3:8; Rev. 13:6).

God is offended by disrespect and it  provokes him to holy anger (Rom 1:18). The Bible says, “ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:15).  “For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.” (Ps. 139:20).  God is so insulted by this that  he says he will punish anyone who dishonors his name, as a Judge would sentence a criminal and, “he will not hold him guiltless.” 

This sin is so often committed and is so obvious that there is no need to illustrate it. We should avoid using God’s name as a swear word or meaningless exclamation. We are not to commit blasphemy which means we are not to use his name flippantly, tell jokes about God or spiritual things, laugh at spiritual things or connect anything that relates God, Christ, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost  to profanity because all these violate the third commandment.

I have heard even some “brethren” justify their use of profanity with some lame cultural arguments. It is clear that anger is connected to cursing and profanity. It is a sinful habit. When it comes to saying, “Oh my God!” a common exclamation we have developed, it would help us to know that it is profanity  in any other use than prayer. It’s very simple. Do not connect God, Christ, Lord or the Holy Spirit to anything except in testimony, preaching and prayer-period.

It can also be the misinterpretation and misapplication of scripture by false doctrine (Deut. 13). It is a violation of God’s law to attach God’s name or approval to something that  human beings came up with on their own (Deut 18:20-22). This is something every pastor, expositor, preacher and teacher should keep in the forefront of what they say: does what I teach and preach glorify and represent God Almighty correctly. The idea that the preacher gets behind the pulpit as a humble servant and representative of God should bring a godly fear to his heart.

Notice the prophetic role of the preacher is seen simply in this: preach the Words of God as he conveys it in scripture.  Do not add anything to it, do not take away from it, tell them what I tell you. Anything else is vanity. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Tim 4:16).

Misusing or taking God’s name in vain can be  seen as saying one thing and acting in another way: hypocrisy,  offensive unchristian behavior and backsliding. This is always a danger for those who profess to know Christ as Savior. That is why the King prays,  “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” (Prov. 30:7-9). Matthew McMahon (my favorite Presbyterian) puts it this way, ” …When we profess God’s name but do not live answerably to it. It means we live hypocritically. Thomas Watson said, “pretended holiness is merely double wickedness.” Whenever we do not live up to the call of the Christian life, we take God’s name in vain. We are mirrors that should reflect the perfection of God. If the mirror claims to be Christ’s and reflects tendencies of hell, then we use the name of Christ in vain, and people see that.” 

There is a relatively unknown passage (as far as the exposition of it goes) in the book of Leviticus that illustrates the serious nature of this subject: “And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp. And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.” (Lev. 24:11-16).

While that was an unforgivable blasphemy. People will still protest, “Oh well, that is the Old Testament.”  But it is still a sin in either Testament and payback of sin is spiritual death (Rom. 6:23).  This is not to promote a legalistic nitpicking about every word you say-so be cautious about that. Blasphemy falls under what the Bible calls presumptuous sins or a willful reckless, unthinking rebellion against God which despises his Word (Num 15:30-31; Ps 19:13). Whereas all manner of sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit that a person that is not a child of God commits, “shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Mt 12:32).  There are certain sins that result in physical death (1 John 5:16) even among Christians for which God chastises them with death and calls them home. Christians once saved do not die spiritually, but some sins causes God to discipline them by physical death.  

This happened when the Corinthians approached the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy, undiscerning manner (1 Cor 11:23-34).  Some of them became sick and some even died (1 Cor 11:30) I know pretty scary-and this is the New Testament!  That is why the Bible says,  “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” (1 Cor 11:31-32).

People misuse and take the Lord’s name in vain so much these days, to correct others would be like cutting open a pillow and chasing its feathers. This is not to be legalistic but we do have a responsibility to confront people. “And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.” (Lev. 5:1).  God’s law is for all people but I think this applies more to people who should know better an profess to be Christians!  How is it they can swear, use profanity or take the Lord’s name in vain? Among Christians this should be a settled issue. We should avoid abusive, corrupt, obscene, filthy, foul language (Eph 4:29, 5:4; Col. 3:8) and never misuse God’s name.  As brethren we are accountable to one another for the witness of the gospel should be seen in our words and actions.

What about the unsaved or unbeliever? Some people might say, “Well it’s not me but I am around it every day at work or when I visit my unsaved family. What am I supposed to do? I can’t keep rebuking and correcting them.”   We are concerned as appearing self-righteous (but we should be more concerned about God’s glory) yet I would like to offer  some plausible  imaginative ways of approaching this.

When people at my work place break this commandment (which they do creatively and continually)  I have found if I am in the vicinity they apologize.

Funny how that works right?

They know what I believe and they think they are offending me. I appreciate that. I attempt not to be snotty or discourteous with them but I sometimes say, “You did not sin against me!” 

Or I will smile and say, “Don’t speak about God that way he is bigger than you!”

Sometimes they say, “Jesus Christ!” I reply, “He is worthy to be praised!”

I do sometimes hear them connect the expletive “damn” to the Divine (you know what I mean) and I tell them, “there will be no damnation today!”

Sometimes I just say. “Easy, easy, gentle…”

Let us hallow his name with our lives and magnify the Lord in the eyes of others and honor his name to the best of our ability.

GOD NEVER LOSES TRACK OF SIN

Technology can’t even keep up with sin and those that commit them.

The other day according to the news an electronic monitoring system run by BI Incorporated maxed out its storage capacity that tracked the location of 16,000 sex offenders, parolees, substance abusers and other offenders leaving law enforcement blind for 12 hours. They questionably detained 140 offenders as well.  This is amazing because apparently the technology can hold over 2 billion records and they are working on expanding the threshold to a monstrous one trillion records.

This is scary stuff.

We no longer have to imagine or limit it to a sci-fi tale about  people having the power to track information about anyone at anytime. It is obvious we have that technology as imperfect as it is.  The idea of locating the whereabouts of incorrigible criminals is not what bothers me-but I wonder what it would be like if the government expands that power to any citizen.  I do not know of Orwellian conspiracies as of yet, but in the name of security freedom can be  lost. The search and seizure of information and the fourth amendment of the U.S. constitution must remain a precious right to us in this country.

I chuckled at the company’s name “BI.” Some of you will remember when we used to say as kids: “Its none of your BI business!”  We used to purposely misspell the word business as “bizness”  to emphasize and intensify the “stay out of my business” idea.  It is not childish to have privacy and we should all be careful, very careful about who knows what about us. Something to think about. 

The BI information grid broke down with this company and the law enforcement with which it works were blind for 12 hours to any criminal activities. 

But God will never stay out your business. He is never blind. He keeps track of sin. There is no right to privacy with him.

The Bible says that, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” (Romans 2:5).

Did I read that right?  People treasuring the wrath of God?

The archaic word treasurest is the Greek word thēsaurizō  and in Latin thesaurizas where we get the word thesaurus. This is not referring to the book we use that groups similar and differing words together. It comes from a  root word that means a place where valuables and riches are stored.  Paul teaches those that refuse to repent and  make an 180 degree turn from thinking about and doing those things that the All seeing and All knowing God hates  despite God’s tender goodness and kindness to them are actually accumulating wrath, adding to God’s anger that will be vented against them one day.  He never loses one byte of information.

I know we do not hear much about God’s anger against sin and there are those who actually teach he does not become angry today. But God witnesses and weighs out sin (Jer 32:10). God says of those who refuse to repent, “Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” (Deut 32:34-35).  He keeps in reserve and under lock and key the sins of men and women who refuse to repent.

In fact, Hosea the prophet said of Israel that,  “The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid.” (Hosea 13:12). This actually can be translated that his sin has been collected and kept in storage for punishment!  “Ephraim’s wickedness is on record. The record of the people’s sins is safely stored away.” (GWT).

John Calvin states that, “that the ungodly not only accumulate for themselves daily a heavier weight of God’s judgments, as long as they live here, but that the gifts of God also, which they continually enjoy, shall increase their condemnation; for an account of them all will be required: and it will then be found, that it will be justly imputed to them as an extreme wickedness, that they had been made worse through God’s bounty, by which they ought surely to have been improved. Let us then take heed, lest by unlawful use of blessings we lay up for ourselves this cursed treasure.”

Frightening information. But there is hope.

Only Christ can save you from God’s just, inflamed anger against you.  Divine Justice demanded a payment for sin and Christ made that payment on the behalf of his people. It can not be extorted by doing good works, it cannot be ignored by changing the rules.

One day you will stand before God for all you have done and there will be no escape unless you have run with all your might to the only place of safety and the person who can save you-Jesus Christ. He will expunge the record of sin that is against you. He made payment by pouring out his blood, the only one in the universe whose blood was untainted by sin. God only accepts that payment for sin.

He will not be bribed by how much good you do and weigh it against the bad you have done and let you off the hook. No. It cannot and will not happen. Every day he has been kind and merciful to you and you have spurned his love. Put your faith and trust in what Christ has done alone or face the horrible withdrawal of your sins and God’s unbearable justice one day soon.