I believe that salvation is not just going to heaven when we die, but to reign in life by the power of God’s grace to the fullness of the resurrection of the dead. That life is a knowing of God the Father and Jesus Christ the son in all the situations of your life; thus you are a son or daughter of God your Father in heaven for eternity. God wants all people to know His salvation of love and destiny. He wants all people to come to Him and to know Him as their Father, the one who truly loves them.
God’s wrath is not against people, but against ungodliness and unrighteousness done by men. Those actions work to suppress the truth of God’s love for men. Those actions suppress God’s true intention of showing His love to people through other people. God doesn’t hate people, He hates what causes them to ignore Him and become self-seeking in their focus of life.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…
God’s wrath is not against ungodly or unrighteous people. It is against the powers of ungodliness and unrighteousness at work in those who do not have an internal revelation that they are children of God.
God invites all people to this truth. He reveals Himself to people through the internal witness of human conscience and the external attributes of the created world in which they live. The pure things within us and the untainted things of creation around us tell us of the reality of God’s love for mankind. It is when men view creation as the source of their understanding that they stumble on the concept of a Creator who made all things. This is especially true when they try to define God through a twisted view of how God really created things to be. They call the perverted things good and error in their judgments of themselves and of God. Even the world as we see it is not the pure world as it was in its original creation, but a world of the consequence of man’s failure to seek God and to know Him.
2 Peter 3: 5, 6 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
The flood of Noah’s day was the consequence of the hardened conscience of men toward God and the world as we see it with its violent extremes and catastrophic weather patterns is not as it was in God’s original creation. The very stratum of the earth’s terrain has been altered as a consequence of man’s ignorance of God. This is why the earth groans for the manifestation of human beings who know who they really are. The twisted state of creation was man’s doing under the sway of spiritual powers of darkness that hate God and His image in the earth. God’s words to creation were simply the consequence of man’s actions and it requires the manifestation of true children of God to bring back true freedom.
Romans 8:20-22 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
God wants to reveal Himself to people and He wants them to know that He loves them. He is not responsible for the evil or wicked things that so often infest the lives of men. It is the ignorance of men and their subtle submission to a prince and power of the air that causes them to be swayed to become wicked in their actions and destructive in their ways towards their fellow men.
Romans 1:19-25 …because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
God simply gives people over to their own perceptions of who He is and who they are in this world. Jesus came to free men from the consequence of the human perceptions of mankind. When mankind looks to themselves or to creation as the source of life and knowledge they become fools and end up creating concepts of themselves and concepts of God that they believe to be wise, but are really the testimony of educated fools. The iniquities of men then become accepted inheritances and the transgression of their hearts leads them to paths of sin that kill them and they wonder why.
Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
It is not God who gives them the penalty of their error. The penalty of their error is the consequence of their own foolishness. God wants them to come to Him that He might heal their iniquities. An iniquity is not a sin; it is the source of sin. It is a weakness that leads to a transgression in the heart that results in believing a lie as truth and looking for love in a place other than God. We cannot define what is life or what is true inheritance without including God in the equation. Not everything we have inherited is intended to be ours. We have inherited weaknesses, iniquities, from our natural DNA and God wants to visit every part of us and bring His healing to make us whole. The way we were naturally born is not the way God intends us to be. He accepts us all as we are but He wants us all to confess that none of us are as we should be. God in our lives can transform us to become as we should be and this is the miracle of His grace. If we simply seek to be tolerated as we are we will find ourselves in a great deception.
Romans 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
We all like to point the figure at things like unrighteousness, sexual immorality, and various forms of wickedness, but malicious intents, envy, hate, strife, deceit, evil thoughts, gossip, and backstabbing are very often quite present in what we call the culture of church. We must all look to God to make us as we should be and simply recognize that it is time for all of us to come as we are that we might be changed.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson