Pr Edi Giudetti
The year was 1987 and things were, well fantastic. The market was booming and showed no sign of abating. Husbands and wives had made their plans well and trusted that they were setting themselves up perfectly for a comfortable retirement.
They had set aside money to put into the market. The last time they looked their portfolio was doing well, they had 20 % increase in value on averageon all their stocks, some even grew by multiples. It was an exciting time to be alive. Everyone had an expected end, a good end.
There were many small investors that got in with little of their own money, they borrowed the money knowing that they could easily pay off the loans with the increasing value of their equity . Some even used the growing equityin their stocks as collateral for more loans (sound familiar?).
“Top idea”, “What could go wrong!” all the professionals, the people in power, the officials, all of them just kept encouraging people.
President Ronald Reagan, together with the recently elected Alan Greenspan to the Federal Reserve Chair were still quite bullish on the market that had been rising substantially all year except for a reasonable dip in September.
But there were a few voices, not many of them but they were there and loud, warning that all was not right and catastrophe was looming.
Men like Paul Tudor Jones, a Hedge Fund manager, who saw all the signs for an unexpected end.
But who wants to hear them when things are going so well?
They were just annoying little canaries, and when they are singing, doesn’t it actually means all is good in the coal mine?
CONDEMNATION BY REPLICATION (1-3)
1Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
1Therefore A word that expresses with utmost clarity that all that has gone before it links to what comes after it.
Sometimes it is given as a summation, an adding up of the total of everything above to equal what comes after. And sometimes it is employed as it is here as a logical summary, in other words, all that goes before logically and naturally equates to or equals what comes after.
Romans 1 betrayed the true, natural state of man and finished with words that describe mans complete ruin; look back with me;
28And even as they did not like to retain God intheirknowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
If that is all true, if all man who does these things knows that those who commit them are worthy of death, yet both do the same things and have pleasure in them that do them, are they not THEREFORE INEXCUSABLE?
Hold that thought of inexcusability for a moment;
Consider the first two words;
Since becoming a preacher and having occasionally heard great preaching, I had built in me a desire to become a Words Smith, a person who has the ability to frame perfect wordsand frame them in a way that would cause people to remember the message for the sake of eternity.
Well, there is no greater Words Smith than the Lord;
Therefore THOUart inexcusable, O man…
Here the Lord has chosen to use a singular pronoun to refer to man both personally and globally.
Not only is God referring to all of mankind globally, but he is also speaking to the individual particularly, THOU.
You recall the AV or the KJV is the only version of the Bible that accurately reflects the originals with regard to their use of both the singular and the plural second person pronouns. ‘Thee, Thou, Thy, Thine,’ is the singular and refers particularly to the individual addressed; ‘Ye, You, Your, Yours’ is the plural and refers to a greater number than one.
But in the context of this textGod is referring globally to all of mankind and yet speaks very particularly to the individual reader. THOU.
How often have you shared the Gospel with an individual and they say, “yeh, we’re all sinners”, or “Everybody does that”etc?
What are they trying to do?
They are trying to globalize, or should I say, normalizetheir sin by applying it universally. “if I do what everybody else does, then its ok”.
It’s a kind of beliefthat finds Safety in numbersisn’t it?
Parents both remember this when they were growing up and have no doubt used it on their own children.“but, Johnny does it”, and mum or dad would say, “And if Johnny jumped off a cliff would you do that too?”
We all know the answer to that! and yet that is what people of all ages employ to excuse their sin.
Therefore THOU…No, not them, you, you personally, you know the judgement of God, you, who knows what is right and what is wrong, you! You, that not only does the same but takes pleasure in them that do it, you personally are inexcusable.
1Therefore thou art inexcusable,
How good is man at making excuses?
I mean, really? We seem to be born with it and we employ it almost ALL the time. Have you ever asked yourself how often each day you give an excuse for something? Really, have you ever tried to consciously count it?
You don’t need to even give the excuse to someone who has made the enquiry of you, you can simply excuse your own actions to yourself.
“the only reason I said that was because she said this”
“Well, why should I put that away, I didn’t put it there”
“I did that because…I was just tired”
If you have ever had a position of authority you have heard plenty of excuses.
But when you by nature condemn in others what you yourself do, you condemn yourself.
CONDEMNATION BY REPLICATION
If you are able to judge that what another does is wrong, you logically condemn yourself for doing it.You are THEREFORE INEXCUSABLE on man!
Simply put, your ability to charge anyone with any error at all reveals your ability to know right from wrong. NO BODY can EVER say there is no such thing as right or wrong when they themselves have charged and judged others with doing wrong!
NB: The point of the passage is not about hypocrisy, it is not about condemning hypocrisy, hypocrisy is wrong, no question, and you can go to Matt 7:1-5to understand more about the Lords teaching of hypocritical judgement and its own error, but that is not the purpose of this passage.
The purpose of this passage is to reveal to you that BY your hypocritical judgement you acknowledge and condemn your own self for KNOWING what is wrong, and doing it anyway.
It is your judgement of othersthat becomes the clearest condemnation
of yourself beforea holy God.
You are thereforeinexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
WITLESS TO GOODNESS (4)
3And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Do you really believe that if you have judged others for doing what you do, that you have escaped the judgement of God?
Do you really think that just because everybody else sinsthat it lets you off the hook, that thou shalt escape the judgement of God?
There is such an illogical inconsistency in this type of excuse.
Let me ask you to attend to a personal experience as Christians, and I pray the Lord make you aware of it. Next time, when you have found yourself in sin, see how quickly you begin to reflect upon and/or see the sin in others.
It may be someone you have been hurt by in the past that you are reflecting on, or it might be something insignificant someone has just done to you. In fact, after you have sinned go for a drive and see how many people you tell off while driving.
(Amazing how suddenly we become expert drivers)
What seems to be the case is that, having such a close and recent relationship with sin, qualifies us well to see the sin in others with rapid regularity.
But rather than escape the judgement of God, it becomes a qualifier of condemnation!
4Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
They become willfully ignorant of the goodness of God. not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Witless to goodness!
‘Witless’… is the word I used, which means ‘without wit’, without knowledge, ignorant!
(There you go, I just said the same thing in English, Greek and Latin. Don’t you love the English language? (Saxon ‘Witless’, Greek ‘knoweledge’ and Latin ‘ignorant’))
The Lord is the measuring stick by which all things are measured. And, as we discovered that man instinctively knows God, “because that which may be known of God is manifest in them” (Rom 1:19). Even though “when they knew God, they glorifiedhimnot as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom 1:21), yet they betray their knowledge of the goodness of God by their very ability to judge what is evil!
And it is this goodness of God that leads them to repentance.
They know he is the standard of all that is good, therefore it is he who suffers long with them and by his goodness, leads them to repentance, to sorrow for sin and to turn to God, the true God, the God of the Bible.
Our passage then tells that, while they are judging the sin in others, rather than condemning themselves, they justify themselvesand when they do that they become ignorant of the Goodness of God.
Have you not ever done this? When you are yourself apart from God, turned away as a Christian, have you not found it easy to condemn others? Constantly complaining about what others are doing at work that you can do so much better, elevating yourself by your condemnation of others?
All the while, this justifying of self ignores the goodness of God that would otherwise lead you to repentance.
BUT, when you are willing to take true stock of yourself in humility, when you are willing to STOP and consider yourself and all the evil within, then and ONLY then are you led to see the goodness of God, his forbearance and longsuffering with you. But not until then.
Tragically, far too many people are unwilling to see themselves, to examine themselves, to truly see the rottenness within and thereby “the goodness of God that leads them to repentance”
It is the goodness of God that leads man to him, and the closer man comes to know God, the more his own evil is revealed to him. It happens all the time in scripture;
Moses face shone with the glory of God. He spoke about his inability to deal with all the people God had entrusted to him and in Numbers he pleads
“And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.” (Num 11:15)
Isaiah fell on his face before the thrice holy God and said “… Woeisme! for I am undone; because Iama man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isa 6:5)
When Peter first met Jesus, fishing all night and catching nothing, until the Lord stepped into the boat and they went out again, but this time their nets break and they filled both the ships with the load of fish, Peter, “he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Lk 5:8).
The closer we come to realize God IS and his goodness, the more we see our sin for what it is, and our desperate state apart from him. It leads us to repentance.
Please beloved, you simply must take the time to go before God even daily and pray as David prayed;
Turn to Psalm 139:23
23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see ifthere be anywicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Beloved, I DO KNOW how difficult it is to do this, but nothing is more liberating than seeing your own self, in all its wretchedness, before a holy God and rejoice that he saved you.
What we do is the opposite of all the world does. The world wants you to see all the goodness in yourself, to edify yourself, to lift yourself up and to tell you that you are great and a winnerand to ignoreall the filth and refuse and rottenness within.
But doing so and condemning others for the same things you yourself do, will leave you witless to his goodness.
A goodness that leads you to repentance.
DEFIANCE INHERITS DAMNATION (5-6)
5But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Since both chapter 1 and the beginning of this chapter we have come to recognize that mankind is held accountable to know the reality of God and he condemns himself every time he makes a judgement that has a right or wrong answer, or makes a moral judgement.
Each and everyday he rejects that which is plain concerning God, he continues to makes such judgments and stores away for himself wrath against the day of wrath and the righteous judgement of God.
GET A Can for Coins & 50c pieces
We all like to save money. There was a time when I would save the money I made doing a paper round on a bike my dad found for me at the local tip, to buy myself a “real bike”, these new style of bike were coming onto the market called BMX.
It was a top model I was considering, and it cost $170. I can’t remember how long it took to save for it, but I do remember making $4 per day doing my paper round.
Each day I would store it up for myself against that day when I would spend it all upon myself.
So we all understand what it is to set aside that for which we will later receive.
Those days in which we would set things aside were very plain and normal days, nothing very special, we’d still be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage…But when the day came to reap what we have sown, THAT DAY is a day that stands apart in our minds.
Friends Every single day“the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shewth his handiwork, day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard, their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world…” (Ps 19:1-4).
And every single day, the man that rejects that which is plain to see respecting God, is storing up “wrath against the day of wrath and the righteous judgment of God”.
COINS TO THE COLLECTION OF WRATH
Each time he judges another person yet does those same things, he adds a coin to the collection. Each time he sees Gods handiwork and attributes itto ‘mother nature’, he adds a coin to the collection. He is quite literally treasuringup unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
“Revelationof the righteous judgement of God”!
When an anticipated piece of work, say a piece of art or a statue or monument, is to be presented to select people, that work is usually veiled.
There is a covering over it, lest the impact of its unveiling is diminished until that day in which it would be revealed.
And depending on the magnificence of the work, when it is revealed, the desire is for the select people to feel overwhelmed in it.
The wrath of God is veiled today and will not be unveiled until the day he has chosen for its unveiling comes. When it does there will be a select multitudewho will behold his wrath in all its terror, and they will indeed be overwhelmedin every sense of the word.
They will be seeking to hide and finding no place of comfort.
Turn to Revelation 6:14-17
14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
JER 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord
You can read many atheist posts on the internet, as you read you discover that there is no fear of God before their eyes. There confidence is sure, they truly believe they stand strong, that they have made their plans well and in that day, as said Rob Bell, the apostate Christian pastor of the emergent Church movement to Oprah when she asked what will happen after we die, his response? “we’ll be just fine”.
Who will be able to stand before him?
Let me repeat the words of Jesus;
41The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonasishere. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomonishere.
Whatever the confident boasting scoffs and laughs and ridicules God and those who have trusted in him, all confidence and all comfort will flee from many on that day, all that will be left is the greatest of all fear and dread.
All the plans vain man had made to keep himself against that day, but apart from Christ, will fail. But the memory of every opportunity they had to believe the Gospel will haunt them, day and night forever, and ever, and ever.
The wicked shall be turned into hell,andall the nations that forget God. (Ps 9:17)
Sometime we see man fear man and what man can do, but Jesus said;
Matt 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”
Friends, please understand that Gods wrath is not arbitrary, it’s not subjective or random. It’s not based on chance! According to verse 6 it is to be rendered to every man according to his deeds.
If God is going to render to every man according to his deeds, Jesus was not being hyperbolic in Marks Gospel, turn to Mark 9:43-48
43And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night” Rev 14:11
There will be no end to their torment.
“The nature of man desires happiness; it is the nature of the soul to crave and thirst after well-being; and if it be under misery, it equally pants after relief; and the greater the misery is, the more easily doth it struggle for help. But if all relief be withholden, all strength overborne, all support utterly gone; then it sinks into the darkness of death.
We can conceive but little of the matter; we cannot conceive what that sinking of the soul in such a case is. But to help your conception, imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven, all of a glowing heat, or into the midst of a blowing brick-kiln, or of a great furnace, where your pain would be as much greater than that occasioned by accidentally touching a coal of fire, as the heat is greater.
Imagine also that your body were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, 15 minutes full of fire, as full within and without as a bright coal of fire, all the while full of quick sense; what horror would you feel at the entranceof such a furnace! And how long would that quarter of an hour seem to you! If it were to be measured by a glass, how long would the glass seem to be running! And after you had endured it for one minute, how overbearing would it be to you to think that you had yet to endure the other fourteen.
“But what would be the effect on your soul, if you knew you must lie there enduring that torment to the full for twenty-four hours! And how much greater would be the effect, if you knew you must endure it for a whole year, and how vastly greater still, if you knew you must endure it for a thousand years! O then, how would your heart sink, if you thought, if you knew, that you must bear it forever and ever! That there would be no end! That after millions of millions of ages, your torment would be no nearer to an end, than ever it was; and that you never, never should be delivered! But your torment in Hell will be immeasureably greater than this illustration represents. How then will the heart of a poor creature sink under it! How utterly inexpressible and inconceivable must the sinking of the soul be in such a case.” (Jonathan Edwards).
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath
The hard and defiant heart will inherit damnation.
And, Just like the anticipated unveiling of a statue revealing the greatness of the artist, so too will be the revelation of the righteous judgement of God in that day, to all who love their sin!
THE DESIRES OF LIFE DETERMINE ETERNITY (7-10)
7To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;Romans 2:7-9
The beginning of this text does not suggest in the doing well as Good Works to merit salvation, this we know of all scripture that the law is not the instrument of salvation but of condemnation. Doing well by the law of God is not the way of salvation;
But To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
We do well to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ! Paul makes clear that it is both knowing our state before a holy God and believing what God has done to save all of mankind from that state, that he can be saved.
He seeks for glory and he seeks for honour and he seeks for immortality, and through the Gospel of Christ he gains “eternal life”
“he that hath the son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” that is the essence of the Gospel in nineteen single syllable words in 1 John 5:12.
8But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
To them who are such as this, to them all then, it is
9Tribulation and anguish, that they shall receive, and thisupon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
There is no respect of persons with God. Only two people groups exist, the Jew and the Gentile, and these all are under the condemnation of this passage.
Monday 19thof October 1987, the sun rose up like it did every day. People were rising up and getting ready for their day to begin at work. The tremors of the market dropping substantially before the weekend didn’t do anything to stem the sentiment of more good times ahead, so Monday just began as normal.
Until it happened.
It began in Hongkong, where the market that evening took a bigger hit than the Friday before, then Eurpre until it came full tilt in the US with the market opening with sell orders everywhere. Within the space of a couple of hours the market plunged almost 25% of its total value and the wealth of many were ruined.
The stories of suicide were true that day. The stories of families needing to begin again with nothing were true, the stories of semi retired people no longer having anything to live on for their comfortable retirement, also true.
One adjective used for that day is simply “Blood bath”.
But many were the signs ignored, and many had no excuse.
A few People, like Paul Tudor Jones mentioned at the beginning of the message, made a fortune, they knew what was coming. Unlike the many who ignored the signs, and the noise of wishful thinking drowned out the reality that the canary stopped singing.
Today, many are hoping that life will go on as the know it. They know it wont but few are preparing for it. They think the good times will role on and when we speak of their ultimate death, they have their fingers crossed.
None are preparing.