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wrath to come

I'm reading through Francis Schaeffer's Bible study commentary on Romans chapters 1 through 8, published posthumously by Crossway in 1998. These talks were originally given in a student flat in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the 1960s. I was impressed with a point he made on Romans 2:6-8, which had to do with recognizing the wrath of God upon lost humanity. These days, when I find myself irritated by words and actions of people, I try to remember that they are made in the image of God. But Schaeffer adds another point, and that is to remember that those who continue in rebellion against God will face his fiery and eternal judgment. This truth should arouse our pity and concern for their lost condition. We should try to place ourselves in their situation.  

"...who will render to every man according to his deeds." (Romans 2:6) 

"This is not talking about salvation by works. Rather, Paul is saying that we will be judged, not on the basis of what we profess to believe, but on the basis of a man's actions. We are dealing with a God who is truly there. Nice little professions of faith don't count with Him. What matters is what we really say and what we really do. We are dealing with a God who is really there and who responds to what we believe in fact."

"To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath..." (2:7-8)  

"Here is the word 'wrath' again. It is God's wrath against people who all have a conscience, who see creation, who are rational beings, who understand moral principles, and yet who still disbelieve and disobey the truth. As Christians, we should be deeply concerned that the unsaved world is under the wrath of a holy God. We should not be able to think about this without some emotional reaction. Let's get it in our heads: People are lost. If we think of the unsaved world being under the wrath of God merely as an intellectual concept, remaining unstirred emotionally, we have already entered the door of dead orthodoxy. These people are my fellow humans, and they are under the wrath of God.

"Try for a moment to think of yourself as a nonbeliever, hearing this for the first time. The Holy Spirit is striving within you and suddenly you realize that you are under the wrath of God. Think how you would be on tip-toe, to see if God was going to do anything about it. Paul's great message, of course, is that God has done something about it. It is the theme he began back in 1:16: Mankind is under God's wrath, but there is salvation from that wrath."

Here's more from Francis Schaeffer on Romans. 



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