The contrast I encountered this morning was overwhelming and discouraging. On the one hand, I read today’s entry in J.I. Packer’s daily devotional Knowing God Through The Year. Then, shortly thereafter, I logged on to Facebook and a post from a high profile and influential pastor popped up in my feed. The difference was stifling. . . and concerning. Packer’s words reckon with the need for the Gospel, the brokenness of humanity, the occasion for the incarnation, and the character of God as put forth in the Scriptures. The post from the pastor came from the heart. . . a heart shaped and informed by a combination of personal desire and the cultural narrative, as opposed to being grounded in God’s revelation of Himself in Scripture.
All of this got me thinking. . . what are you teaching in your home and in your youth ministry? Without a deep understanding of human depravity and God’s holiness, we cannot fully appreciate and respond to His mercy, grace, and love.
Consider both. . .
From J.I. Packer. . .
“God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.” – Revelation 16:19
“Wrath is an Old English word defined as ‘deep, intense anger, and indignation.’ And wrath, as the Bible tells us, is an attribute of God.
How often during the past year did you hear – or, if you are a minister, did you preach – a sermon on the wrath of God? How long is it, I wonder, since a Christian spoke straight on this subject on radio or television? (And if one did so, how long would it be before that person would be asked to speak again?) The fact is that the subject of divine wrath has become taboo in our society, and Christians by and large have accepted that taboo.
One cannot imagine that talk of divine judgement was ever very popular, yet the biblical writers engage in it constantly. As A. W. Pink said, ‘There are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness.’ God is good to those who trust Him and terrible to those who do not.”
And from the Pastor’s Facebook post. . .
1. Claims humans have a problem (separation from God) we do not have.
2. Offers a cure (reuniting with God) we do not need.
3. And in turn creates illnesses (shame and estrangement) we do not deserve.