Last week we looked at answering the question “What must I do to be saved?”. That question implies that we are saved from something. If someone said that baptized believers are saved from hell that would be correct (2 Thess 1:8). If someone said that we are saved from death that would be correct (1 Cor 15). If someone was to say we are saved from our sins that would be correct (Acts 2:38). The book of Romans answers it in this way, we are saved from “the wrath and fury” of God (1:18, 2:8).
Sin is the transgression or breaking of God’s standard of righteousness. That standard is revealed in the gospel (Rom 1:16-17). The penalty for just one sin is to face the wrath and fury of God. I understand that people will not understand that because the world looks at sin as not a big deal, but that is the reality. One sin. One transgression of God’s law will cause a soul to be lost. That is how offensive sin is to God.
The seriousness of sin is better appreciated when we bring God’s holiness to the picture. He is perfect. He is pure. Not only does He commit no sin, but he can’t relate to the pleasure we find in it (Psalm 5:4). He has to separate himself from the presence of sin (Isaiah 59:2). Habakkuk says, “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong,” (1:3). God can not even look at sin! His holiness does not allow him to come near sin in any way.
When we sin, we become spiritual fugitives roaming the earth. God has cast us out of his presence because his holiness doesn’t allow sin to be near him. At the second coming of Christ, all will be gathered together to be judged (Matt 25:31-46) and all those who are still in that fugitive, filthy state, will face the wrath of God.
Wrath might bring up an image of someone who loses control of their anger and does some regrettable things. Maybe you have been angry to the point of saying something you wish you hadn’t and then you are left saying “Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that”. That is not how God’s wrath will be delivered. The idea of God’s wrath is something that is calculated and completely controlled. Romans 2:5 says that it will be “righteous judgement”. That means he is going to be judging based on a righteous standard.
Keep in mind that this is the reaction of if we only committed one little sin in our life (Rom 6:23). One lie and we are going to face the wrath of God. We think of hell being full of the worst of the worst, but it is also going to be filled with the best of the worst. Revelation 21:7-8 says that the murderers will be there, but so will the liars. If we are honest and look within ourselves, we all will find ourselves guilty of sin. It truly is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb 10:31).
Don’t you want to be saved from that? Don’t you want your sins forgiven?
I can’t help but compare it to the wrath of the current woke mob.
We are all aware of the protests and riots throughout the country following George Floyd’s murder. The angry mob has decided that if you have a dissenting view from the angry mob, you are racist. Now as far as I can tell with this mob, the only sin is racism. You can sleep with whoever you want, you can lie, you can worship idols, you can be hateful, you can even be racist (if its against white people). You can engage in any sin of the bible, but if you break their rules that change from person to person, you are toast.
Let’s say the mob is attacking you because they found out you said something that they deem racist. What do you need to do to be forgiven? What is the plan of salvation in the world? What are the terms of forgiveness? Good luck. They do not have a just law. They are not Holy. Their wrath isn’t delivered in a righteous form. But people are so concerned with being right with the angry mob. Why? Because they have an awful wrath.
Jesus said, “Do not fear him who is able to destroy the body, rather fear him who is able to destroy the body and the soul in hell” (Matt 10:28). Worry more about being right with God, than the angry mob.
Now consider God’s plan of salvation again. God created a way for us to avoid his wrath, and to forgive our sins. It is clear and it is simple. The goal post is set. He is not going to wake up tomorrow and be outraged by a new thing that wasn’t wrong 20 years ago. He set a standard of right and wrong, and he gave us things we can do to actually be forgiven of our wrong.
It requires full commitment. That is certainly a challenge, but look how simple it is. Hear the gospel (Rom 10:17), Believe it (John 3:16), repent (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus (Matt 10:33), be baptized (Acts 2:38) and we can be forgiven.
Let’s say you are a true racist. You mistreat people based on their race. You realize you are wrong about that. I want to tell you there is no hope of any type of forgiveness with the mob. But if you obey the gospel, if you repent of that sin and make a commitment to change, God will save you from his wrath, and give you hope of eternal life. Not only that, but he adds you to the Church of Christ, a group of people that will accept and forgive you too.