ROK-21 - When God Removes His Restraint Humanity Destroys Itself

One of God’s attributes is His wrath. Last time we saw His future, ultimate, smoldering wrath as He returns to judge the world. That is His cataclysmic wrath as He pours out His fiery indignation. There is another element of God’s wrath and that is what operates all the time. It is called His consequential wrath. Cataclysmic & Consequential, both are forms of God’s wrath against sin and sinners who do not repent.

God’s consequential wrath was built into His creation of the universe. Please turn to Hebrews 11. Our Creator-God who is the All Mighty Maker of the Heavens & the Earth, spoke so much into existence at Creation that scientists have never stopped discovering, for thousands of years, more and more of what He did. Underlying all the vast parts of the Universe are laws that seem to govern everything.

Have you ever thought that human scientists only discover and name laws that are already there? Humans didn’t make the laws of physics or biology, they just discovered and try to use them. We know them as the:

Immutable Laws of Nature

We all know that there are laws in science. The well used laws of science lead to constant technological advances. The more we know, understand and harness those laws the faster, smaller and more powerful and efficient our technology becomes.

But for just a moment, think about where those laws came from. Immediately we as believers know that they came from the Almighty God who spoke into existence this Universe, overflowing with the laws of thermodynamics and electromagnetism that frame everything. God invented, instituted and maintains those very laws of science that every scientist lives by and works with.

The laws of electromagnetism have led humans to understand the spectrum of light, sound and all other known waveforms. So much so that we can study, measure and eventually use the various lengths and speeds of these waves, which include the tiny realm of visible and hearable waves of sound and light.

Waves of electromagnetism go in both directions on the spectrum so far studied, from the super large and slow waves (like radio waves) to super small and fast waves (gamma rays)[1].

Someone Made Those Laws of Nature

But all of these observed scientific laws are just that: laws humans have observed and not created. We build our technology on the reality that these laws of nature don’t change, they just remain constant.

God made laws that frame every process of the Cosmos. God decided everything: from the wavelengths of electromagnetic energy, to the water based forms of life, to the composition of the various types of stars and the formations of galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the dynamics of every particle in the atomic world.

The Absolute Laws of Nature are God’s Signature

Universe-wide laws are part of the signature of God. Who or what else can set the rules which regulate the nature of everything? Only God can. The Creator God of the Bible did all those things by a Word. Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV) says that “the worlds were framed” by the words of Christ Jesus, Almighty God the Son.

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

God “framed” the same laws that govern the fusion of hydrogen atoms at the core of our Sun, that heat and light this world every day and the same laws that make water freeze top down so that marine life can exist through the winter, also extend into events on earth.

Human life is also governed by very powerful laws set in motion by God and He has simplified those laws in His Word so that we can know what will happen and not be deceived. Those laws are about consequences in the short term and calamities in the long term.

God’s Word repeatedly illustrates that there will always be both a temporal and an eternal consequence for each choice that we make. Let me explain them as we turn to Galatians 6:7-8, verses that we all know so well. These principles are best known as the:

Sowing & Reaping Laws

The same Almighty God also has established laws that govern the physical, emotional and spiritual existence of humans. Those laws are called the laws of sowing and reaping. Read those very sobering and yet familiar words in Galatians 6:7-8 (NKJV):

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Paul takes a basic law of agriculture (which God also created) and says that whatever seed you place in the ground is what will arise from the ground as it germinates. That law is evident to all, is universal and applies to every farmer and gardener of every age of human history and so it is the undeniable law of sowing and reaping.

Paul reminds us that just like the other laws that govern our universe, whether gravity or thermodynamics, the agricultural law of sowing and reaping governs anyone who plants whether they are experienced or inexperienced, wise or foolish, young or old, man or woman. The law is impartial, immutable and inescapable it its operation. Whatever is sown is what will be reaped.

Consequences are Inescapable

This law of sowing and reaping is then applied by God through Paul, to the moral, spiritual and physical realm of human existence.

The law of sowing and reaping is just as valid in the spiritual as in the physical and moral realms. The frustration and hopelessness of humanistic psychology, psychiatry, and counseling can be traced, among other things, to their refusal to consider the immutable spiritual law of sowing and reaping. A person’s character cannot change until his nature is changed, and that can happen only through the new creation that comes from trust in Jesus Christ[2].

When Paul sat to write these words about sowing and reaping, he was just reaffirming what God has said over and over in His Word[3].

As we consider again the sobering scenes that God paints for us in Revelation, we need to pause and realize what part of those horrors are directly thrown down from Heaven by God (the future, ultimate andcataclysmic wrath of God) and what parts are just the results of the inescapable, immutable laws that God established for the Universe (the sowing and reaping consequential wrath of God). We can even see this in a quick overview of:

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Each of the first four seals are a consequence of rejecting Christ as the Truth and wanting something else other than God the Son.

Seal # 1 in Revelation 6:1-2 is the White Horse & Rider of global deception, false peace and prosperity and the rise of the superman called the Antichrist.

When the One who alone is the Way, the Truthand the Life is abandoned, all that is left are the lies of deception. Turn away from the True God and the false one will find you. That is what God allows with this first seal.

God gives humans up to what they have always wanted, anything but Him.

Seal # 2 in Revelation 6:3-4 is the Red Horse & Rider of warfare & killing.

When the One who came as the Prince of Peace that gives abundant life is rejected, all that is left is the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy. That is what God allows with this second seal.

God gives humans up to murder, warfare, and death from fighting.

Seal # 3 in Revelation 6:5-6 is the Black Horse & Rider of the spread of famine and scarcity.

When the One who came to be the Bread of Life is rejected, what is left but endless and never satisfied hunger. Without God’s restraint, mankind spirals into non-stop upheaval, unrest, and warfare, disrupting global food supply chains.

God gives up humanity to widespread starvation.

Seal # 4 in Revelation 6:7-8 is the Pale Horse & Rider of the horrific duo of Death and Hades.

When the One who is the Resurrection and the Life is rejected, the only other option is Death that takes the body and the Grave or Hades that takes the soul.

When Christ is rejected, the Spirit is restrained and the Father is unwanted all across the world will be the warfare and famine of the second and third seals, plus the addition of most likely pestilences and plagues called “beasts”.

What happens on Earth that kills one fourth of humanity then, prior to the v. 12 wrath of God? The first four seals are most likely the results of:

The Horrible Consequences of Sin

All the horror that mankind heaps upon themselves in these first four seals is just a reminder of the laws that God has built into the universe. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatever a person sows they will harvest. We need to understand how serious God is about His laws of the consequences of sowing to the flesh.

For all of human history God has allowed the laws of the spiritual world to operate in a day to day way. Those laws are all about the consequences that can’t be avoided when humans sin. Those consequences are often illustrated in God's Word. But of all the descriptions, the most vivid is in Romans 1. In these verses we see the descent of humanity, the decline of humanity drawn into ever deepening levels of sinfulness, as sin begets sin and evil amplifies.

The Road Away from God

In Romans 1:18 Paul explains why the downward spiral of humanity in sin is leading this world a step closer each day to the wrath of God. Now the wrath of God in Revelation is future, cataclysmic wrath that leads ultimately to the Great White Throne and the Lake of Fire. But step by step, man is inching towards that wrath by the inescapable laws of the consequences of sin. Paul defines this present result of sin that we can see all around us in the world each day as the abandonment promised by God for those who persist in their sins. Here is the road away from God.

  • In Romans 1:18-20 (NKJV) God says unsaved humans become Excuseless Suppressors. Sinners want to suppress the truth. They want to ignore God’s signature all around them.

v. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.20 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

  • In Romans 1:21-22 God says unsaved humans become Thankless Fools. Sinners are ungrateful to God and fools in His sight.

v. 21 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. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

  • In Romans 1:23 God says unsaved humans become Evolutionary Idolaters. Sinners refuse the account of God’s creation and instead worship creatures rather than Him as Creator.

23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

  • In Romans 1: 24, 26, and 28 God says unsaved humans become Hopelessly Enslaved. God repeats three times that persistent sin leads to Him giving up the sinner to be imprisoned by their sin. This is God pulling back His restraint and allowing the ferocious power of sin to enslave sinners to ever greater and greater degrees of sin.

v. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 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. 28 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; 

Just as Darwin described the ascent of man, so Paul details the decent of humanity, the decline and fall of mankind from the closeness of the Creators touch when He formed the first human in His image, to the place where we are today. Humanity is now increasingly becoming prisoners to:

The Unavoidable Consequences of Sin

All that lies ahead for sinners are the horrible seals of Revelation 6, where God allows the laws of this world to take their toll as humanity begins to destroy itself.

Then Almighty God reaches in and directly smites the earth, opens the gates of the Pit and floods the earth with demon monsters. God wants us to see ahead of time and warn people about the wrath of God that hangs over every sinner.

But for us, we know that our sins are gone by His grace. Even though we still sin, they are already forgiven. That is the message of hope. That is the Gospel that we have received. Jesus our Savior ever lives and pleads for us:

Before the Throne of God Above 

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart. 

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me. 

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

 

[1] The seven well know forms of electromagnetic waves, from large/weak to small/powerful, are: radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, visible light rays, ultraviolet rays, X-Rays, and Gamma Rays.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Galatians. MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] For example: Numbers 32:23 (NKJV) But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you outJob 4:8 (NJKV) Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the sameHosea 8:7 (NKJV) “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind