GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #419
††††††††† ARE YOU COURTING THE WRATH OF GOD?
††††††††† Pastor Don Fortner
††††††††† Grace Baptist Church of Danville
††††††††† 2734 Old Stanford Road
††††††††† Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
††††††††† Are you courting the wrath and judgment of God? Without a doubt, some of you are. Those who wilfully neglect and despise the gospel of Godís free and sovereign grace in Christ court his wrath and judgment. Be warned, my friend, God Alimghty will not trifle with those who trifle with his Son. This is what our Lord Jesus Christ taught us in the parable of the marriage feast in Matthew 22:1-14.
††††††††† This is the third in a trilogy of judgment parables by which our Lord describes the basis of Godís judgment upon those who despise the blessings and privileges of grace. In the parables of the two sons (20:28-32), the husbandman (20:33-46), and in this parable of the marriage feast, our Savior shows us why God cast off the nation of Israel and sent the gospel to the Gentiles.
Without question, it was Godís purpose from eternity to save his elect among the Gentiles. Indeed, he predestinated the fall of the Jews as the very means by which he would save his elect among the Gentiles (Rom. 11:11,25,26). There are no accidents in Godís universe (Rom. 11:33-36). Yet, the cause of divine judgment upon that nation was not Godís predestination, but their unbelief.
††††††††† The gospel was first revealed to the Jews, the nation of Israel, in the types and shadows of the Mosaic economy. To Israel alone God gave his law, the priesthood, the tabernacle, and his prophets. When Christ came, he preached the gospel to none but the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Yet, that nation, being blinded by their religious leaders, despised the opportunities of grace God gave them, the gospel of his grace, and his dear Son.
Though they feverishly adhered to the rites and ceremonies of the law, they had long rejected the message of Godís prophets. When John the Baptist came preparing the way of the Lord, they ignored him. When Godís own Son came, they hung him up on the cursed tree to die. When God sent the apostles and disciples of Christ to proclaim the message of Christ the risen Lord and King, they rejected their message, imprisoned them, beat them, and murdered them.
††††††††† Therefore, in 70 AD the Lord God sent the Roman army, under the command of Titus, into Jerusalem. By the hand of Titus, God destroyed both Jerusalem and the nation of Israel.
At the end of Danielís 70th week, the house of Israel was left desolate. Their light was turned into darkness. Never again would that nation have a word from God or a visitation of his grace. God said to his servants, Israel will not hear. Leave her alone. Go ye therefore into the highways of the world, and as many as you find, whether Jew or Gentile, bid them come. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
††††††††† Israel rejected God; therefore God rejected Israel. Israel despised the light God had given her; therefore God withdrew the light. Israel despised and rejected Godís Son; therefore God cast her off forever.
Godís judgment upon the nation of Israel stands as a beacon to warn us. God will not trifle with those who trifle with his Son and the gospel of his grace. An awesome weight of responsibility lies upon the shoulders of all who hear the gospel of Christ faithfully preached unto them. It will not be heard without consequence. It will either be to you a savor of life unto life or of death unto death (II Cor. 2:15-17; Rom. 11:21; Pro. 1:23-33). The same sun that melts the candle hardens the clay. And the same message that melts the believerís heart before God hardens the unbelieverís heart to judgment.