Someone's Gonna Pay - Romans 1:18 - 3:26
we thank you so much.
For the hope that we have in you.
now we're here because
we know that we can't save ourselves.
We're here because we know that we need you to be our savior. I need you to be our Lord.
father we've abandoned
hoping our own goodness And we trust in the blood of Jesus. That was shed on the cross for us.
Can I pray in these next few moments as we come to your word?
But all the distractions of the enemy be silenced.
Tell it all the distractions of our own desires.
What we're doing after we leave from this place where we're going to eat lunch and whatever they may be.
I pray that you would help us to focus in on your word. At these next few minutes wouldn't be just me speaking.
But that you would speak through me. Speak to our needs speak to what we need to hear challenges and changes by the power of your gospel in Jesus name. I pray. I meant you may be seated.
If you're visiting with us, I want to welcome you to the Naples Church of Christ. You can already see pretty quickly that that we are imperfect here. We deal with technical difficulties and all sorts of stuff. That's that's fine and kind of stresses me out a little bit. But other than that, I am glad that you're here. I want to be known as a community that's committed to becoming more like Christ because we believe that we need Jesus and we believe that this world needs Jesus and we believe that this world needs people who are more like Jesus and we believe that's what God wants to do in each and every one of our lives and if you want to join us in that if you want to join us in the work that God is doing here we invite you to do that as well. The message today is titled someone's going to pay and I know that sounds like a bad Steven Seagal movie, but it is very important when it comes to the truth of the Gospel. I want to start out by giving you two scenarios your scenario a a rich man goes to his mailbox to check his mail. This man has two million dollars in the bank. That sounds nice. Doesn't it? All of his bills are paid. He doesn't have to worry about his next meal. He doesn't have to worry about anything. And when he goes to his mailbox, he opens the door to the mailbox and he reaches in and he pulls out an envelope that he doesn't recognize. It looks like a check only this time it's not junk mail. Anybody ever got those looks like a check. I need to open this right only this time. It's not junk mail. It's a check for $1,500. All right, that's pretty good. Right good news. Now, let me give you a scenario B. A poor man goes to check his mailbox. He doesn't have two million dollars in the bank. He has $2 in the bank. He has hundreds of dollars in bills that are past due is electricity in his water about to be shut off. His food pantry is running low. He doesn't know where his next meal is going to be coming from and he has no options and no alternatives. It goes out to his mailbox dreading it because he knows that there's probably another past-due notice in there and he opens it up and he reaches in and he pulls out a check for $1,500. Now, let me ask you which of these two men is happier about the check in the mail. It's the poor man, isn't it? It's the poor man. Because here's the truth. Good news is always more appreciated. When it delivers us from really bad news. This is true of checks in the mail when you don't know where your next money is in. Your next payment is coming from this is true of good news at a doctor's visit when you are expecting to receive bad news. And this is no less true of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because you and I will never fully appreciate the good news the gospel of what Jesus Christ has done for us. If we do not realize how bad of a shape we would have been in without it.
Last week we read these words from the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 1 verse 16. He says to our I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes but here's the question. We're going to ask an answer today.
God Saves us to the gospel. What in the world do we need to be saved from?
I want to take a poll real quick. How many of you are happy with the state of the world as it's in right now? Everybody just satisfy. The world is just a wonderful place. Now. I can be there are good things in the world. There are people in the world who do good things. I don't want to suggest any of those things life is good. We are blessed. I'm happy to be here. But that being said it could be better. Couldn't it? Couldn't it be a lot a lot a lot better don't we see Brokenness? Don't we see so many things around us that we see the way that people treat each other the way that people talk to each other the way that people act our world is home. And I've got a list here of murders fast lies cheating in Justice division fighting poverty addiction War genocide terrorism racism broken people broken lies broken homes in the list could just go on and on and on and on and we say, man Is there anybody here who hasn't been affected by some of the things that we just listed? Is there anybody here whose lives have not been touched or maybe the lives of someone that they know and love and they care about have been touched by these things. and when these things happen to us when these things happen to people that we care about if somebody steals from you. If somebody lies and a cheat and somebody betrays you.
If you get a call that somebody has attacked. your child
What is your natural reaction to that? It's not. Oh well big deal. Is it? What begins to swell up inside of me? anger and I asked you is that anger Justified? No, I'm not saying every reaction done in Anger is Justified but the feeling of anger when you see something or someone that you love taken from you. Is that justified? And I believe that it is. I believe it is perfectly Justified. It's natural to feel that way. When you are mistreated.
But I want you to think about this from a big picture perspective.
Imagine how God Who created this world? I got who loves us. A God who loves us more than we could ever imagine a God who formed each and every person in their mother's womb. Imagine how he feels when he looks down at the world and he sees the way that we treat one another.
What feeling do you think? He responds with.
In Romans chapter 1 verse 18 Paul says that God looks down on this mess.
and everything that I listed Everything that I listed is due to the way that people treat one another. How does he feel Paul writes this the wrath of God? is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people who suppress the truth by their wickedness and he continues since what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them first 20 for since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made so that people are without excuse now, let's stop here and let's talk about what Paul is saying
Paul says that God is angry when he looks at the state of our world when he looks at the way that we treat each other and when he looks at the way that we respond to him. Are there are people out there who say there is no evidence that God exists. There is people out there who say, you know, I'm not really sure if there is a God or not because hey, I've never seen him. Have you ever seen God? I've personally never seen God. The Paul says that God has actually left us plenty of evidence in this creation that he is made.
That points us to his existence. I think about this for a second. How many you've ever gone to the mountains are gone to the ocean?
And you seen this picture of something that is so much bigger than you are.
Have you ever thought about the fact that when you look at the night sky that you're only seeing like a tiny not even a fraction. Are the amount of stars that are out there in the universe? Never thought that there are actually more stars in the universe. Then there are grains of sand on the seashores of every Beach. on the face of the Earth
in the nearest star other than our sun is so far away that we would never get there traveling hundreds of thousand miles an hour in a hundred lifetimes. And there are so many out there. How can we look at this creation this universe this world that is so vast.
That we would never be able to explore or see it all. And think you know what? I'm going to live like it's all about.
Is a song that I heard up growing up. I just saw her growing up by Steven Curtis Chapman in the words of the first verse of the song. They go this way. How can I stand here and watch the sunrise to follow the mountains where they touch the skies to ponder the vastness and the depths of the sea and think for a moment that the point of it all was to make much of me. It's just I'm just a whisper but you got you are the Thunder.
And yet even though it is like the Pinnacle of pride and arrogance to say that I am number one in this universe. I am the most important thing in this world. So many people live like this. We do. Paul says in Romans chapter 1 verse 21 for although they knew God.
They neither glorified him is God nor gave thanks to him. But they're thinking became futile and their foolish hearts. It came darken. If you live like the point of all creation in life is to live for yourself. You're going to run into a problem pretty quick.
The problem is that nobody else is going to recognize that you're the most important person in the world. Are they? Nobody else is going to just give you whatever you want. If you're going to get what you want in the things that are going to make you happy. You're going to have to skiing you're going to have to lie. You're going to have to cheat you're going to have to do all sorts of things to try and get what you want. And when you do these things when you mistreat other people when you reject God in this way.
What's going to happen? when you send just a fancy word that the Bible uses for all the wrong that we've been talking about.
You are going to bring down the wrath of God and that doesn't sound Pleasant doesn't the wrath of God on yourself. But here's the thing about God. God is going to let you. Go your own way. He gives every single person the choice. He gives us Free Will and when we say to God God, I don't want to live for you, but I want to live for myself 3 times in this chapter Romans chapter 1 Paul says that God gives us over. Their own way he gives us over to the consequences of our own actions. It says in he says instead of serving a good righteous God we serve the sinful desires of our own Hearts, whatever our hearts tell us that we want. Now that's common wisdom. Just follow your heart. Whatever your heart tells you you go and you get it because that's the thing that's going to make you happy. How many of you have lived that way and how many you recognize that it just doesn't work. Even if you get what your heart tells you you need your heart's going to set its sights on something else and you're never ever going to be satisfied. I said it gives us over to shameful and unnatural desires. It says we're going to serve he's going to give us over to serve whatever thought comes into our minds as we were ejected knowledge of God. And when we look around at this world that not a single one of us is happy with and I'm willing to bet that even those who don't believe in God or probably not happy with the state of the world. As we look at this we see the consequences of this cycle playing out in the billions of people in the world many of them are living just for themselves.
at the end of chapter 1 Paul describes who we are as people apart from Jesus Christ.
How many people will look at these words and they say well that's just being hateful or judgemental. But can I ask you as we read this see if you can't think of somebody that you know or somebody that you at least heard of?
Who's done some of these things?
It doesn't burst 29. He says they have become filled. With every kind of wickedness evil greed and depravity. They are full of Envy murder Strife deceit and Malice. They are gossip slanderers got haters insolent arrogant and boastful. They invent ways of doing evil. They disobey their parents. They have no understanding no Fidelity. No faithfulness No Love No Mercy, although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death. They not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. This is the situation that we are in
And we're in trouble.
Because someone's got to pay for all that's going on. You see you can ask yourself. What is God to do with a world full of Brokenness and sin like ours. Should he do nothing?
City ignore the problem City just let these things go let it slide.
What do you be a good and loving God if he did that?
I mentioned before if if if one of your kids got attacked and you were a parent, would you sit back and do nothing? Is that the right response? I don't think so. That's not how God should do. Because God loves this world and he loves every person on it. He is not indifferent to our suffering in our pain and he has to do something. The Bible says that he will that one day he is going to judge the world for their sin. There is going to come a time when every single person who ever lived. Will meet their maker.
and everything that they have ever done
God will not forget.
And God will punish them. For what they have. We might think well, I can think back to some of the wrong things that I did and I think that I can explain what was going on in that situation. I think that I can maybe talk my way out of it. That's not how it's going to work. You see this isn't going to be like any normal courtroom where a judge really has no idea whether there is guilt or innocence this God knows everything about us. He knows the motivations of our hearts better than we know. I'm in Romans chapter 2 verse 16. Paul says this he says this will take place on the day when God judges people Secrets through Jesus Christ. You want to think about every single one of your thoughts? every single one of the motivations of your heart There are things about me that I would be terrified to be placed up on front of the screen. There are things about me that I don't want you to know.
I gotta know something. And it's going to come a day when every single one of those is exposed. And God will look at you and he will look at me apart from Jesus Christ. We're not to the good news of the Gospel yet. without Jesus God will look at you and he will look at me and he will say You're guilty.
And for those of us who have made the claim that we want to be the god of the universe that we don't want to serve this God. God will finally and ultimately say to us fine. You can have it your way.
He will banish us from his presents from his goodness from his life.
for all eternity And when he does this here's the thing a lot of people think of a god this way. It's just horrible and we can't picture it here. So I think he is going to be 100% completely right and Justified to do so.
And at the end of it all we're going to recognize that.
You see when it comes to our relationship with God. We are a lot more like the poor man than the rich man.
When it comes to our relationship with God we have bills that are coming do that. We are not going to be able to pay.
We're in trouble.
We're in trouble.
But you might say this isn't Paul just being a little bit too extreme. Cuz there are good people in this world.
There are nice kind people. I met people who don't believe in Jesus and they're they're nice. They're atheist who are very moral who look down on murderers and say that's not a good thing and you know, we we we see this all the time, don't we? What about good moral people?
In Chapter 2. Paul says we cannot trust in our morality to save us. And why? Because even good moral people still send. Even good moral people live for themselves. The morality is convenient and it works for them and they use it as long as it works for them. But but
what we tend to do is people is we tend to base our definition of goodness on comparing ourselves with other people. We say I know that I'm not perfect but at least I don't do what so-and-so does.
You see the way that she treats her kid. You see the way that he does this you see how he is cheating and doing things at work. You see how he's cheating on his. You see this that or the other we base our goodness off of looking at other people. There was a m. A Ministry in New Orleans after Katrina where they went and they began to just talk to people about Jesus and Heaven and Hell and all these kind of things to people who were on the streets weather in a prostitute to street performers. All these kinds of people out there. And I asked them questions about heaven and here was here's my favorite one. Fastest guy about heaven. He said you know what? I don't even believe in heaven. But if there is a heaven, I'm a hundred percent sure that I go there.
Hundred percent sure that I got there. What are you basing your confidence on man?
Well, I'm a good person. I don't do what so-and-so does and I don't do this that and the other. Are you telling me you're perfect you telling me that you haven't said why don't we do this? Why do we think that when it comes to all of these things? And you said you can all think back the things that you've done wrong things that you don't want being projected on the screen. Why do we say, you know, what at the end of the day? I'm not that bad.
Because we're willing to give ourselves breaks. We're not willing to give other people breaks. I love what it says in Psalm chapter 36 verse 2. It says this man in their own eyes. He's talking about people they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. We flatter ourselves too much to say at the end of the day now, I'm I'm not that bad of a person.
it still Have you done things to make God angry? Have you done things? I was going to bring the wrath of God on you. Pulse is morality will not save us but here's the thing that I really want to press into everyone of us here today.
Morality won't save us but religion won't save us either.
Religion will not save us either. At the end of Romans Chapter 2 Romans chapter 3 Paul talks to Jews and these were religious people these were people who grew up reading the laws of God. And I think the same thing could be applied to people who go to church to people who who grew up in church. Maybe you grew up in church and you learn the Ten Commandments and you know them backwards and forwards. Maybe you have done all of these religious rituals. Maybe you pray everyday and maybe you fast twice a week and maybe you tie 10% and maybe you do all of these kinds of things. Maybe you filled out a card. Maybe you got baptized. now say a word about baptism towards the end because I think baptism is very important, but
it's possible to go into that water for the wrong reasons.
Maybe you've done all of these religious things. Does that guarantee?
Does that guarantee?
That you were going to escape God's judgement.
Paul says no.
Even if you try to follow all of God's rules and laws, do you know what you have to do in order to be saved? You have to follow them perfectly your entire life and there's only one person who ever lived who was able to do that and it is not you and it is not me. And we are still guilty before God. Paul says this to verses Romans chapter 3 verse 9. He says this what shall we conclude then do we and he's talking to religious people. Do we have any advantage? She says not at all. You see it's easy for religious people even to look at people on the outside and say, you know what? I'm better than that person because I do this and I do that and I do the other we are not we are all on the same playing field before God. He says not at all, but we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles are you could say religious people and pagan people you could say anything that you want are all alike under the power of sin and later in that chapter and verse 20. He says this he says therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's side by the works of the law. It doesn't matter how many verses in the Bible you memorized. It doesn't matter. How many times you pray? It doesn't matter. How many times you do? You cannot save. Yourself by any of these means we are all all of us in trouble. This is our predicament. now some people will look at this and say, okay. The why doesn't God just forgive isn't that God's job?
What is ingest forgive?
Let me tell you why it's not that simple.
Let's say that a man broke into your house while you were gone. He murdered your entire family.
Amanda Scott He's arrested. He's tried in the trial drags off for a long time and it's found that this man is guilty. He did actually do this.
And you are hoping for justice to be served when the judge looks at him and says you know what? You're not that bad of a guy. That I kind of like you. So tell you what, I'm going to let you off this time, but don't do it again.
Would you think of that judge?
I can judge. Is that someone who is upholding Justice and truth and upholding the law? No? That's a guy who throws out the book just because of his own personal feeling. That is not a good judge. And God is not that way if God is truly just and fair. He cannot just overlooked our sin. He has to do something about it. That's why the writer in preacher. John Stott says this and I think it's true. He says that forgiveness for God is the profoundest of problems.
Because if God were just to say you know what? I forgive you.
Is he fair? Is he just
You see this is why? It's so important for us to recognize the power. It's in has in our lives.
several weeks ago my wife was at dance class the two oldest girls and while she was in there. a guy came and he said I guess a tire iron or something and he smashed out the window of our car because it was locked. They reached an and he stole my wife's purse very nice purse. Everything that was in it. We did our best to try and and catch him he went and use our credit cards to buy a couple of $500 Visa gift cards from Walgreens in before he split down man. Hadn't called him since now when he did that to us. He took something from us. That was ours.
And if he was caught would it be wrong for me to expect him to to pay us back? He owes us something doesn't he? I tell you the truth. I mean just restoring the things that were stolen and fixing the window and everything else and all the hassle that went with it. It took us a days it cost is probably over $1,000.
He took something from us.
and I believe That one day. Maybe not today.
He's going to pay for that. She doesn't trust in Jesus.
BC you've been wrong to maybe you haven't been robbed in that way. Maybe you haven't been stolen from but in a way you have Have you ever been hurt before? Have you ever been cheated? Have you ever been betrayed? Have you ever been verbally attacked by someone? In most cases they didn't steal money from you per se but I took something from you. I took your trust. I took your confidence. They took your faith. They took any number of things were they attacked you with?
And then anger you're probably your first Temptation was to try to get them back for the things that they had done to you. Why?
Because somebody's got to pay for this, right? someone's gotta pay
Now let's say that you did the Christian thing and you eventually forgave them. That restore your confidence that that restore your money to that restore the things that they had taken from you no, of course not. So when you forgive somebody who is hurt you. Who ends up paying the price for that? either
that's why when the Bible refers to this idea of seeing it often talks about it in terms of death. When Jesus pray the Lord's Prayer forgive us our debts.
as we forgive those
as we forgive our debtors
and before God we have racked up such a bill of debt that we will never ever be able to pay it back. It doesn't let me in it. It doesn't matter if you live a moral life. Are completely Godless immoral life. We've all got that that and someone is always going to pay the price. percent if you're feeling in blank, that's blank number one. Someone will always pay the price for sin. And here's where the good news of Jesus comes in.
in Romans chapter 3 verse 21 Paul says this but now apart from the law. Remember the law can't save us. Apart from the law the righteousness the goodness of God has been made known to which the law and the prophets testify. He continues this righteousness is given it's not something that's earned. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. There is no difference between people who live a good moral religious life and those who have not for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God verse 24 makes all the difference and all are Justified freely by his grace through the Redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Now, how does this work? Paul tells us in the next verse. He says this God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood to be received by faith. Now what in the world does that mean when Jesus went to the Cross his blood atone for our sins? What does that mean? When I say that I tried to atone for something wrong that I've done. What does that typically look like? It means I'm trying to to to make up for the things that I've done to hurt you. I'm trying to dig myself out of this pit this mess that I've gotten into what he is saying is that Jesus blood shed on that cross actually takes away the penalty of our sense that he took our place and receive the punishment that we all deserve the wrath of God fell on Jesus know he had done no wrong. So that we can be saved through his righteousness. He did this Paul says to demonstrate his righteousness because in his forbearance. He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. Let me ask you a question. If God is angry with the world. Why hasn't he done anything about it?
What does forbearance mean patience? Is being patient? God doesn't fly off the handle and anger like we do.
God's anger is just in his ride and he always responds appropriately, but he's patient because he's giving us time. To accept this free gift of Grace that he has given why because he loves us.
And inverse 26. He says this year's it's amazing. Remember I said before that forgiveness is the profoundest a problem to God because if he were just to forgive willy-nilly that he would not be just got says this Paul says he says he did it to demonstrate his righteousness of the present time. So as to be just to be fair, And the one who justifies those who have faith. in Jesus
only the blood of Jesus can atone for our sin we said earlier. Only the blood of Jesus can save us from the consequences of our actions only through the blood of Jesus. Can we be forgiven? And this is why the gospel is such good news. When you realize the desperate need that we are all in apart from what he is done.
And we recognize how gracious and how good it is that he has sacrificed his son and he's given us everything.
To give us everything.
I told you those those words from Steven Curtis Chapman song earlier. Second verse of that song goes like this. This is how can I stand here?
I think of the cross. The blood and the Whip and the nails and the spear the infinite cost to purchase my pardon. The cover my shame. and think that I had anything worth boasting at except for your name for I am a sinner.
Is that how you see yourself? I am a sinner but you got Are the savior?
our response to the grace of God should be one of gratitude. But if there's anyone here who is not made the choice. The Trust In Christ Jesus to put their faith in what he has done for you.
I leave you with one question of warning. Because the way has been put before you to be saved.
The truth of the Gospel is that someone will always pay the price for sin. But here's the question and I'll leave you with. Will it be Jesus?
I want to be you.
Heavenly Father your gospel is truly good news.
the father we talked about so many things that
can be hard to accept and hard to understand for so many different reasons.
I got to believe that. Will never be able to accept your truth without the power of your spirit.
So I trust in them. But these words that you have spoken through your servant Paul that these words that you have spoken. Capture our hearts will help us to see the urgency in the importance of what you have done for us. Will inspire those who don't know you. Through Jesus Christ to come to faith in you.
And will cause those of us who have put our trust in Christ to just be overly thankful. for the good news
That you have given us.
We thank you for the time that we had together this morning. We give you glory and honor and praise in Jesus name alone. Are you staying with me to church? Philips going to, he's going to lead us in one more song. That she does this and we want to open up the front as an invitation if there's anyone here who needs prayer the elders and I will be here to receive you if there's anyone here who wants to give their life to Christ to be baptized into Jesus Christ. We invite you to come forward as well. If you're here and you have questions about things that we said if you disagree with things that I said, that's okay come talk to us. We're not afraid of disagreements and we're not going to argue with you. We want to help you to see the truth. Just as God has helped us to see the truth as well. So let's talk about these things because there's nothing more important in life. Then understanding the truth of the Gospel.
I love you Church. May the Lord bless and keep you.