Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why Is God's Judgment So Shocking To Us?

I have been preparing to preach on Acts 5 and the story of Ananias and Saphirra on Tuesday night for our church's college/young adult gathering. This verse has stood out to me as significant.

Acts 5:5-6 - When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

This is just divine, on the spot, judgment. Seems pretty shocking doesn’t it? Ever asked yourself why that is our usual reaction?

Our presumptuous natures are quickly exposed. We simply assume that God is gracious.

This text should shine a huge light on the grace of God for us. You know why? All of us should end up like Ananias when we sin. Do you know anyone who has been killed on the spot by God? Not me. I can’t name a situation like this. Do we know anyone who probably deserves to be treated like Ananias? I do. I only need to look about as far as my own nose.

Our starting point as a people is not to ask, “God, why are you so good to me?” Our starting point is usually to take God graciousness for granted.

Do you ever get out of bed in the morning and thank God for the breath and life that he gives you that you don’t deserve?

John Piper has reminded me to marvel at the fact that God allows the sun to shine on a wicked city like Albuquerque. Day after day after day. All you have to do is turn on the news and see that if God was going to bring judgment on a city, Albuquerque would be first in line.

God doesn’t have to be gracious. Do we really believe that? If he was obligated to give grace, it would cease to be grace right?

So may we have a revolution of our minds so that this story is NOT that shocking. May our starting point be that we stand in awe of any sin that is forgiven as opposed to taking forgiveness for granted. May we seek to remember that God is not obligated to forgive anyone. He doesn’t HAVE to do it. He LOVES to do it because he loves to shine a huge light on his mercy but always remember that he doesn't have to.

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