Grandpa God

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And coming to know what Christ has done for us. We see the blessing that God has provided, and in Jesus we receive that blessing. And through the life of Abraham, we understand what it means to be blessed. And I’m going to tell you, um, this morning as we talk about blessing. Now we get to talk about judgment. You think of all the all the awesome topics of blessing, judgment coming. How does how does how does that work? I mean, none of us like to talk about guilt and judgment and expose our sin. And when you’re a kid in grade school and you hear go to the principal’s office, that judgment pronounced, you’re like, ah, no, you know, what did I do? We don’t, as people were not inclined to just run to judgment. And I say to you this morning, we’re going to we’re going to discuss judgment. The feeling you have inside isn’t, oh, yeah, give me some of that. You know, the judgment is not not one of the popular topics, but it’s it’s important for us to understand. And specifically, we’re going to deal with the issue of Sodom and Gomorrah and God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. And what takes place here is so important in light of what Scripture says, because it’s mentioned over 22 times in the Bible as an example for us. And understanding the significance of judgment. Judgment comes as a way of warning to those who are guilty.

The judgment also comes as way of security to those who desire and feel protected. Meaning if at your home this morning you have an alarm system, the intentions of those alarm system is to work in judgment or justice towards someone who may intrude your home. It’s a sign to the guilty when you put your little banner or sticker on the window that says, this place is secure, or beware of the dog with blood on his teeth in my backyard. You know those those signs work as as judgment to those who are guilty. But to those who bring those things into their home. The intentions are for protection. Judgment. For believers. As an intended sign for us as the sovereignty of God and the solace that we can take in resting in him. When David writes the Psalms, he would often refer to his lord as a fortress or a rock in which he could hide. Because in the judgment of God and God and his willingness to be just in his judgment, protecting his holiness and his good name, if he were to rest in the righteousness of God on the the good side of the Lord’s judgment, he saw it as a place of protection. And so it’s important for all of us. When we talk about judgment. To ask of ourselves. It’s the judgment of the Lord, a blessing to us. Or do I fear it? And guilt. You can watch the news and the things that are happening against those that proclaim Christ and Middle Eastern countries, the the Christians that were construction workers lined up in Egypt, and 20 of them have their life taken in those moments, I would say the security that they rest in is the ultimate judgment and holiness of a God in which they trust.

So as Americans, we love to emphasize the love of God. But in countries where the pressure and persecution rest daily upon them, they find a place to be thankful. The sovereign justice of God. We as Americans overemphasize the love of God and God, no doubt is love. It is the quality of God. And and love is about giving him itself away. And God in his love created us in in his image so that he could lavish his love upon us. But because he is a God of love, creating in love, his desire is to protect that which he he does love. Sometimes, though, when it comes to the judgment of God, we we desire to avoid it. In our minds, creating a theology that I sometimes joke about as being called Grandpa God. And Grandpa God is the type of God that he never mentions anything bad. He spoils you even when you’re rotten. He’s he’s loving. He sits you on the lap. He takes you to the ice cream shop. He gives you a quarter so you can buy bubble gum.

It’s all the positive things. And. And he never talks about correction or judgment and the importance of walking in the protection of him. Unfortunately for those who hold to a theology of Grandpa God, the Bible mentions judgment. And to acknowledge such a theology in God that doesn’t have any form of judgment is to ignore what Scripture says, and to turn our eyes and blindness towards towards him. But to only acknowledge a portion of him. And sometimes we look at the Bible and we think, you know, I don’t know about this Old Testament God, but I love the New Testament God. It’s like in our minds sometimes when we study, we think he’s different. All of a sudden when a few pages turn and we start in Matthew. But the reality is he is the same God throughout. In the Old Testament. He talks of his grace and the new, and it’s recorded for over a thousand years in history, in the Old Testament and the New Testament, the grace finally arrives. And so the emphasis is there, because it’s what we’ve been waiting for as people. But even in the New Testament, God judges. Early in the book of acts, he judges Ananias and Sapphira and requires of them their life because of a lie. In revelation chapter 19. When Jesus returns, he comes doused in in blood on a horse with a sword protruding out of his mouth, seeking vengeance and justice against those who have come against his kingdom.

And so it’s important for us to understand the judgment of God. In fact, when Jesus was recorded in his interaction with people in the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Christ talked of hell twice as much as he talked about heaven. Judgment. It’s a place of warning for those who stand against God. It’s a place of protection. For those who rest in the grace of God. But all of us. Need to discover within our walk with God where? Where the love of God and the justice of God collide together in our lives to provide us his grace and protection and security in him. And this is what Abraham does precisely in Genesis 18, and the Bible promises in Romans chapter one. Click for me. In Romans one and verse 18, it says, for the wrath of God is revealed in heaven against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness. There we go. Good thing I knew it right. Of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. I mean, God’s judgment is revealed against all ungodliness. It’s important to just stop and say, which side? Which side of this justice am I going to be on? In fact, when God tells Abraham before going into Sodom and Gomorrah that he’s going to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham poses the question in Genesis 18 I’m still not working, but give me a click, he says in verse 23, Abraham came near and said, Will you indeed sweep away the the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are 50 righteous within the city.

Will you indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the 50 righteous who are in it? And Abraham’s mind. He’s saying, God, it makes sense that you would provide judgment. I mean, especially when you create a world that is your kingdom. You are king of all of it. You. You reserve the right to judge. But is there even a place of protection at all? Can the righteous. Can the righteous be protected? Thank you. Sorry. Abraham and his mind is trying to discover for himself God. Is there even a place of solace from the judgment in which you bring? As the story continues on in Genesis 18, I might have time to go through all of it. You can look at it later. But he continues to ask the question with God, God, okay, if there’s 50, you spare the city. What about 45? Okay. God, what about 30? What about what about 20 people? If there’s if there’s just 20 people, will you withhold your judgment? And God’s God’s finally says to Abraham, Abraham, if there is ten, if there are ten righteous people within the city, I will I will not judge it. We wrestle with God’s judgment. And I’ve heard, I’ve heard people say as they’ve studied and read in Scripture, um, the stories of God’s judgment.

They say, I do not believe in a God of the Bible exists because he would he would never judge people. I was like, grandpa! Grandpa! God! And sometimes I think within our mind we do better. We do better at understanding that of a sinner than we do a holy God. And Isaiah chapter six. When Isaiah comes before the Lord, he was a prophet. He pursued the Lord in adversity, his life. He was eventually sawn in two because of his faith in God. In Isaiah chapter six, when this beautiful man of God comes before the Lord in a vision, the first thing that he says isn’t, isn’t, wow, how great is God! But he says, whoa! I am a dead man. Understanding the holiness and perfection of a God who is so glorious, and we as people who might stand against him. What it means to stand before such a one. When it comes to the judgment of God. While people may say, I don’t believe in a God that judges people. I would encourage us this morning. Don’t don’t look at God’s judgment and declare he doesn’t exist because he judges. Rather, ask how a loving God exists with the justice that he brings. Part of the reason we dislike the thought of judgment. Because we is, because we misunderstand it. And I believe, truthfully, Jesus is the only one who gives us the avenue to properly deal with any alienation that we’ve committed against God and any sin that we bring.

So when we talk about judgment as it relates to religious world and understanding God, when we realize God is holy and God holds us in judgment, we as people, we we consider that in a religious context. Our reaction is to cower and hide. Adam and Eve did it in the beginning of the Garden of Eden. When they sinned against God, they ran and they put fig leaves on, and they hid from God, and God was the one that pursued them. But here’s the beauty of Jesus is that when Jesus comes, he exposes our sin, but he gives us the opportunity to confess it before him. God doesn’t desire for you to hide it. Because while God is a judging God. He’s also a gracious God. And he’s given us the way of escape and his wrath, as it wrote for us in Romans chapter one and verse 18. In fact, when it comes to the judgment of God, Ezekiel chapter 33 and verse 11 mentions that for us it says, as I live, declares the Lord God. I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. And God’s not the kind of God that says, you know, man, Sodom and Gomorrah, I am so pumped to come into this place and destroy it. But rather God. God knows. He created people in his image.

He created people to enjoy relationship with him. And God has paved every every path he can in the coming of Christ and giving his life and and taking the penalty of our sin, that we could just see the joy and the freedom of that and embrace what Christ has done for us. And sorrow. The judgment of God is, when we consider it in our theology, becomes all about about Grandpa God rather than the truth of who God is. And seeing that God’s judgment is actually a place of protection for his people for all eternity. We we we look at things like Christ dying for us. And let me let me just think about this for just a minute. If the father was willing to pour his wrath out on the son, what makes me think I would escape the judgment of God? But on the back end of that, how beautiful and knowing that God is just and God will require payment for sin, that Jesus takes it on my behalf, that I can come to him and just confess and receive the grace through which he is created. Me. And Ezekiel says, God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. But rather we would turn to him and live. God created us for life. In John chapter 11. There’s a story of of Lazarus who has died. Lazarus was a friend of Jesus. And what I’m about to do with the story that Jesus tells here is the same thing that you can do every with every miracle that Jesus performs.

Bible tells us, as the story goes on, that that Jesus goes and visits Lazarus and and Lazarus has been dead for four days. And when Jesus goes and visits that tomb, do you know in those moments what Christ could have done? He could have said before he even arrived, go ahead and resurrect Lazarus. I’m going to I’m going to see him when I get there. But Jesus doesn’t. When Jesus arrives to the tomb of Lazarus. He asked the people, where have you laid them? And come and see. They say, Lord. And the smallest verse in the Bible you can all memorize today. In verse 35 it says, And Jesus wept. And then the Jews said. See how he loved him. And Jesus didn’t have to weep. And Jesus didn’t have to mourn this loss. Jesus could have resurrected at any at any moment. Lazarus. But he chose, in the pain of that moment, to enter in the suffering with the people who are sorrowful over Lazarus’s death. Jesus wept. Jesus relates to us in the midst of our sin. And Jesus could have done this in any miracle he performed in the Bible. When he fed the 5000 and the 4000, he could have just said, bam, your bellies are full. When when he walked on water, he didn’t even have to walk on water.

He could have just teleported to the boat. And here I am. Every miracle. When he healed the blind man, he didn’t even have to show up to the blind man. He could have just said, you know, give him eyes and walked away. Why does he do that? I think it’s because the Lord wants us to understand how much he relates to us in our suffering, and for us to understand how important it is to walk and trust with him and all of that. Because eventually God heals. The intentions of his justice is to wrap me in his protection. You know, the tragedy of talking about his judgment this morning isn’t that God judges. I expect God to judge. But the the tragedy is, is that when God continues to give his grace and pave the way and offer opportunity to come and embrace him and find protection in his justice that people continue to reject. What more can he give than his life? But how blessed we are when we receive it in him. I’ve heard people say sometimes, you know, when I die, I don’t want anybody to cry because I’m going to a better place. Don’t worry about me. And I just want you to know when. When the Lord calls you home. Whenever that is. If I’m there at your funeral and. And we’re with people, I’m going to weep like a baby. You know why. Because death isn’t natural.

God created us for life. Sin is what brought death. And the Bible tells us in the end, in the very last thing, that Jesus triumphs over his death. It says in first Corinthians 15, oh, death, where is your sting? And I think in these moments, Jesus is present with his people, and he’s seeing the suffering and he’s seeing death, and he’s just weeping over the brokenness that the world is in, knowing that he he is the solution. To understand God’s heart and judgment. It’s important for us as people. In Ephesians chapter four and verse 30 it says this do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, saying to us that sin, sin brings God grief, that Sodom and Gomorrah is a place where God’s heart grieved over what was taking place. Let me think this morning. If God weren’t a just God. What kind of God would he be? In our society today, we see the need of for police officers and and military and and the reason we we want those police officers and military it creates for us boundaries. It creates for us this system of justice. And for those who walk in this system of justice, we see it as a place of protection so that we can have freedom. They keep us from harm. And as long as the police officers uphold what is good and right, then, then we find freedom in them. And and as long as God is good and just and right, we we find freedom in him.

And when you hear someone who joins the military and they just remark as to why they they entered into the military, the the common theme that they typically say is, I want to protect my country and my family. I mean seldom, unless something’s gone. A little few screws or loose. We hear them say, you know, I sign up just because I want to kill people. That’s not the intended design of what the justice they bring is about. It’s about protection. In Second Thessalonians chapter one and verse six. It says this about God’s people that are apt in his justice. It says, in his justice he’ll pay back those who persecute you. And God will provide rest for you. You who are being persecuted and also for us. When the Lord Jesus appears from heaven, he will come with his mighty angels. When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people. Praise from all who believe. And this includes you. For you believed what he told you about him. For those who are trusting, for those who are experiencing persecution, for those that are facing, uh, the persecution of their country where there could be loss of life. They’re looking to these verses, recognizing how how important the justice of God is, because in that they receive protection and they think about eternity in verse ten, they see it as a place of just utter rejoicing because God is their solace and strength.

But we as people. You don’t understand the justice of God. We can become hypocritical in our judgment of God. On the one hand, we might shake our fists at a God who judges justly. But on the other hand, if God were not to be just, we would say he is no good because he can’t provide the protection and security that a sovereign Lord should. There is a place in our lives that when it comes to the justice of God. We simply need to place our faith in a God who is good. Lot struggled with this in Genesis 19, which is the second passage I just want to point out to us in Genesis. Genesis 19, it starts Abraham’s concern with the righteous, and it tells us in Second Peter chapter two, verses 7 to 10, that lot was a righteous man, and and God. When he comes in to Sodom and Gomorrah, he comes in to spare lot and his family. And so it says. Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, as lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed down with his face to the ground, and said, now, behold, my Lord, please turn aside and your servant’s house, and spend the night. In verse 15, when morning dawned, the angels urged lot, saying, up, take your wife and your two daughters, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.

But he hesitated. So the the men seized his hand, and the hand of his wife, and the hands of his two daughters. These men are angels. They’re literally dragging the family out, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him, and they brought him out. And when they had brought from from outside, one said, escape for your life. Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley. Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away. And then lot says, but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. In verse 20, now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please let me escape there. Is it not small that that my life may be saved? He said to him, behold, I will grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. Hurry! Escape there, for I cannot do anything until you have arrived there. Therefore the name of the town was called Xoar. Commentators on this town will say about this city that this reason Xoar was called little. It was actually a representation of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was a little mini. Sodom and Gomorrah. I guess it’s maybe in proportion of Vegas as to win over, I don’t know, but.

Lights. Looking at the judgment of God. Not only is a young concerned and not even wanting to flee the city, when he does flee the city, he doesn’t even recognize how good God’s hand has been, and he chooses to return to the type of environment in which he left. We struggle and the sinfulness of our humanity, understanding the beauty of God’s justice. We look at Sodom and Gomorrah. We question God, right? I mean, hypocritically, as people, we can look at places like Nazi Germany and we can say to ourselves, you know, it was good that we invaded such a land to stop the destruction of, of millions of people, that that was just that was righteous to do. When we think of places like, uh, attacking ISIS today and military involvement in that and how they’re slaughtering innocent people, losing their lives, and if they’re not killing them, they’re starving them. And, and and how great it would be to stop such a thing. There is justice. But when we look at a God who comes to a city where people are killing each other, and in just the beginning of Genesis 19, when angels go into the city to talk about the destruction of the city, the city gathers together to rape the angels. And we wonder if God is good when he brings justice. How hypocritical of us to judge our own judgment better than that of a holy God.

The truth is, there is a place in our lives where we place our faith. And the goodness of who God is. The Bible shows us in John the heart of God towards people, and Ezekiel 33, the love of God and humanity, even even in our wickedness. Christ comes for us. He enters in, he suffers with us. He gives his life for those who reject him. God desires for us to know him and to find grace in him and experience that for eternity. And the Bible tells us. Is also just. He is more just than I. He is more gracious than I. He is more loving than I. He is. He is good. He is perfect. He he knows the beginning from end. And he promises that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Abraham asks. God. What about the righteous? Lord, is there a place of protection in a God who judges? God, how can that judgment work in my favor? Where I find myself comforted under the security you bring. Rather than feeling like an enemy and rebel on the outside. Sodom and Gomorrah makes us face the fact of judgment as a as a reality. And sometimes, rather than just conceiving or conceiving in our mind all about Grand Paul God, he he brings us to the thought and reality that his judgment serves a purpose. Hebrews 927 tells us as people it says, maybe, oh.

927 says it’s appointed for a man once to die, and after that comes judgment. So here’s the promise every one of us have. You don’t have tomorrow. Guaranteed. God doesn’t owe you anything. But you will face judgment. In fact, all of us will. First Corinthians refers to the judgment of believers of that of BMC. Bmc during during the time that Paul wrote that was a was a place of reward. It was the place where they would compete in games in Corinth, these isthmus games. And and the guy that won or whoever competed that one, they would come before the Bema Seat and the judge would place over them a wreath of of success, a winner’s wreath crowning them victorious. And so judgment. It’s not always bad. Sometimes we hear that word and we instantly think about the things that I’m going to get in trouble for. But when God talks about judgment towards the righteous. That’s one of great reward. But the Bible says all of us will face judgment. And then he says this in Romans 310, to even the playing field for all of us there is none righteous, no, not even one. So he sang to all of us. Listen, this. This is a reality that before a holy God. None of us measure. But before that, holy God. You can be blessed and protected. The important question, I guess to conclude, is how? The answer of a religious world at this point is do good.

Romans 328, which I don’t have on the screen, tells us through the works of the law no flesh will be justified. No flesh is is made right in him by doing good. Because God’s standard is perfection in. Sorry if I offend you in saying this. You blew that a long time ago. Here’s the good news. God still loves you. God doesn’t delight in the punishment of the wicked. God loves you so much that even in sin, Christ came for you. As a matter of fact, Romans five eight says this. And then Romans says that that God loves you even in your sin. And in Romans five nine goes on and says this much more then having now been justified or made right by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift, by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which I came through the one who sinned.

For on the one hand the judgment arose from transgression, resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand, the free gift arose from many transgressions, resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one death reigned. Talking about Adam through the one much more than those who received the abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, will reign in the life through the one who is Jesus Christ. Picture in revelation. 21. In the beginning, when God creates the new heavens and new earth. He says there is no more pain. There is no more suffering. There is no more weeping. God makes it whole. You know why. Because his justice reigns. God. Provides for us a place of security in Christ. God poured his wrath on Jesus that I may escape his judgment and experience his grace for eternity. And rest on the glorious side of his justice as my rock and my fortress. Question for you this morning. How do you perceive the judgment of God? If you’re concerned about it. If you look at it and feel guilty in it. Can I just ask you? Have you accepted what Christ has done on your behalf, that you may experience the joy of the freedom that he has brought? God uses the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and his justice against people who persecuted, who raped, and who slaughtered innocent lives.

That’s a warning. That’s a reality. God doesn’t desire. To bring his wrath against the wicked. But God is a just God. And that’s what makes him good. It’s because he does something about the injustice we experience in this world. And here’s the beauty of it. He gives you the opportunity to rest, secure on his that side of his justice. Or you’re protected by his grace. According to Romans five, which we just read, he makes it this easy. Embracing what Christ has done. He’s given you a place to come before him and confess your guilt and realizing realizing that he isn’t a God that’s going to knock you away. But he’s a God who created you for life in him. And we come to him and we just say, God, God, I’m sinful. God, God I’ve failed. God, God, you’re holy and perfect. And and in light of the beauty of who you are, I don’t deserve to be in a kingdom like that because of what I present. But I understand that Jesus has taken this on me or on himself for me. So, God, I’m just trusting what Christ has done. God rescue me that when I think about seeing you face to face, it’s no longer a concern of my heart, but a rejoicing in my life, knowing there is a King whose justice reigns so secure for all of eternity that I can just experience the freedom of life and love in him. Embracing Christ. Is the way to see the freeing work of his justice on your behalf.