The Judgment of God
August 9th, 1992 @ 10:50 AM
THE JUDGMENT OF GOD
Dr. W. A. Criswell
8-9-92 10:50 a.m.
Welcome the throngs of you who share this hour on radio and on television, you are now part our dear First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the senior pastor, W. A. Criswell, bringing the message. We are preaching through the Book of Romans and we are in the first chapter, the last part and the first part of chapter 2. And the title of the message is The God of Judgment. Reading from the second half of the first chapter:
They change the glory of the incorruptible God to an image…of four- footed animals . . . Therefore God paredōken, paradidōmi—“He delivered them up He handed them over” [Romans 1:23-24]
And three times that paradidōmi is used, “God gave them up.” Verse 26, again:
God gave them up to vile passions. Their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
Also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in lust to one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error [Romans 1:26-27].
AIDS and all of those tragic diseases, then verse 28:
Refusing to retain God in their knowledge—paradidōmi—God gave them over to a debased mind [Romans 1:28].
Knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death [Romans 1:32].
Chapter 2, verse 2:
The judgment of God is according to truth [Romans 2:2].
How shall you escape the judgment of God? [Romans 2:3]
Treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath [Romans 2:5].
And verse :
God will judge the secrets of men [Romans 2:16].
Dear me! What a comment on that passage in Hebrews, chapter 10:
Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.
And again, the Lord shall judge His people.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God [Hebrews 10:30-31].
For our God is a consuming fire [Hebrews 12:29].
Two beautiful men, gorgeous, shining like the sun, two beautiful men—they were angels in human form. Two beautiful men came to the gate of Sodom. And Lot, who was the mayor of the city, welcomed them not only into the city, but into his home [Genesis 19:1-3]. And that evening, word came that two beautiful men were guests in the home of Mayor Lot. And they came to the house and demanded that Lot bring them out, that they might, the Bible says, “know” them: that they might violate them [Genesis 19:4-5]. And Lot said, “Here are my two daughters. They are virgins. They have never been violated. Take my two daughters and desecrate them [Genesis 19:85]. But these two beautiful men; lay not hands upon them” [Genesis 19:8]. And they said: “You foolish idiot, get away! We want those two men!” And they began to storm the house. And those two beautiful men pulled Lot back into the house and struck the throng with blindness and so saved Lot and his family [Genesis 19:9-11]. And they were cautioned by those two gorgeous men to leave the city. And when they did, God! God! God did it! God rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah [Genesis 19:12-29]. He is the God of judgment.
Not long ago there were two hundred fifty thousand people marching down the streets of San Francisco in behalf of the Sodomites. And here in the city of Dallas, time and again, a headline says thus and so, because of the Gay Alliance in Dallas. Richard, God is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah, if He does not do something, confronting Dallas and San Francisco and the gay-lesbian communities of our great nation: the God of judgment.
And the Lord said, concerning Israel—God said, “The children of Israel have done secretly in their hearts and in their lives. They have done wickedly to provoke Me to anger” [2 Kings 17:11]. And the Lord testified against Israel by all of His prophets and His preachers, saying: “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and My statutes.” But, they would not [2 Kings 17:13-14]. They caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire. They offered their children as sacrifices; they sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger [2 Kings 17:17]. The Lord rejected the descendants of Israel. He afflicted them. He delivered them into the hand of the plunderers, and He cast them out of His sight [2 Kings 17:20]. So, Israel was cast away from their own land to Assyria [2 Kings 17:23], as it is to this day. God did that, the God of judgment. There was not a godly king in the history of Israel. And God finally said: “It is enough!” And in 722 BC, the Assyrian army came and carried them away into captivity and destroyed Israel forever [2 Kings 17:5-6, 18].
I turn the page. Manasseh was king and he did evil in the sight of the Lord—king of Judah. He made his sons pass through the fire; he offered them as a sacrifice. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger [2 Kings 21:6].
Manasseh seduced the people to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before them. And the Lord spake by His servants, the prophets, saying: Because Manasseh, king of Judah has done these abominations…therefore thus says the Lord . . . I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both of his ears will ring with horror . . . And Manasseh shed more innocent blood in Jerusalem, from one end to the other, besides the sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
[2 Kings 21:9-16]
And the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations . . .
And the Lord said, “I will remove Judah out of My sight, as I removed Israel, I will cast off this city which I have chosen, and the house in which I said, My name shall be there.”
[2 Kings 23:26-27]
And when Jehoiakim, his successor, was king in those days [there] came Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and destroyed the city and the nation and carried the people into captivity. God did that! God did that! Jeremiah the prophet lifted up his voice in 605 BC and cried to Judah, saying: “Repent ye!” And they heeded not his voice [2 Chronicles 36:17-21]. Jeremiah came in 598 BC, crying: “Repent ye!” And they heeded not his voice [2 Kings 24:11-14]. And Jeremiah came in 587 BC, and said: “Repent ye!” [Jeremiah 3:12-14, 4:1, 7:3] And he didn’t have to cry any longer, for Nebuchadnezzar came under the hand of God and destroyed the nation and carried them into captivity and into slavery [2 Chronicles 36:17-21]—the God of judgment.
And I turn the page:
Jesus cried, saying: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who killed the prophets, and stoned those who are sent to you.
How oft would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but, you would not! Look, your house is left to you desolate.
And in a few years, in 70 AD, the Roman armies came, surrounded Judah and Jerusalem, and carried them away and destroyed them until 1948 A D, almost 2,000 years—the God of judgment!
It’s the same God who sits on His throne and looks upon the people of today: the God of judgment. A few months after 1945, I went through Germany, this way and this way. I never saw such devastation in my life. I stood in the midst, in the heart, of the city of Hamburg, their greatest city. There was not a building standing, from horizon to horizon, nothing but vast, indescribable desolation—the God of judgment.
And before the communist regime fell twice, I went through one side, up and down, in communist Russia. The Rasputins, the Lenins, the Stalins, and the Revolution in 1917; and instead of turning to God, they turned to atheistic communism. And the God of judgment came down upon Russia—starving, not food enough to eat. I have flown over the Ukraine this way and that way. I’ve never seen a more fertile, rich land in all the earth than Russia, and yet, the people [are] starving to death: the judgment of Almighty God.
And America, America: by law, the only land and nation in the earth where you can’t pray in a public school; by law, the only land and nation in the earth where you can’t have a Bible in a public school; by law, can’t have a chapel, can’t have a service. And the Lord God looks down upon America and instead of carrying Bibles to school, now they’re carrying guns. And America has more crime than any other nation on the face of the globe! And LA is burning up, and Dallas—a few days ago, had a court decision in a certain way. “Lest,” the community said, “they burn down Dallas, as they burn down Los Angeles”; the God of judgment.
That’s why the written Word of appeal, and that’s why the assembly of God’s people in the house of the Lord, and that’s why the lifting up of the voice of the preacher, “Oh, for a turning, oh, for a revival. Oh, for a visitation from heaven!” A revival—a turning will save a city. And in those days, Jonah walked through the city of Nineveh, three days journey, lifted up his voice and cried, saying: “Yet forty days. Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed!” [Jonah 3:4] And the king left his throne and he cast off his kingly garments, and he put on sackcloth and sat in ashes. And the great population of a million people followed the example of their king, and they fell before the Lord God of heaven and cried and pled for intervention, for mercy, for God’s love and grace. And the Lord turned from His announced purpose to destroy them [Jonah 3:5-10]. And God saved them. What repentance and calling on the Lord will do for a city.
In 390 AD, the city of Antioch, the third largest in the Roman Empire—the city fell into rebellion and riot. And Emperor Theodosius, the emperor of the Roman Empire, took his army and came to Antioch to destroy it! But before Theodosius the emperor could arrive with his Roman armies, there stood in the midst of Antioch the great mighty preacher, John Chrysostom. And he preached the gospel of Christ and called for repentance and faith and turning. And when Theodosius, the emperor of the Roman Empire, with his armies arrived, the people were on their knees. They were praying before God. They were confessing. They were giving their hearts and lives to the Lord Jesus. And the emperor, Theodosius, had it not in his heart to touch them, and he spared the city. Revival, repentance, faith, commitment to God will save a city, it will save a nation.
The Lord God looked down on France and said: “It is enough. It is enough. I will destroy them!” And the streets of Paris literally ran with human blood. When a guillotine was placed at an intersection, it became so sodden with human blood that they had to move it to another intersection. It was a reign and a day and a visitation of horror; those infidel French people took a whore and put her where the high altar was in Notre Dame, and bowed down before that harlot and worshiped her as the goddess of reason. And the Lord visited France with the greatest, bloodiest revolution the world has ever seen—God did it!
And the same Lord God, the God of judgment, looked down on England at the same time. And God saw in England the exact thing that He had looked upon in France. And before God could rain out judgment and terror upon England, Michael said, “Lord, come here. Come here, Lord. Look. Look!” And the Lord God looked down upon England, and they were in the midst of the greatest revival any nation had ever known: the first Great Awakening. Under the preaching of John Wesley and George Whitefield, a great revival swept over England. A mighty revival swept over us, the English colonies here in America. And not only did Michael say, “Lord, Lord, look there. Look down. Look at that great outpouring of the Spirit of God and the turning of those people to Thee.” But, Gabriel said, “Lord, come and look. Come and look. Listen, Lord, listen.” And the Lord bowed down His ear to hear. And what did He hear? All England was a-singin’ these songs of Charles Wesley:
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth
And mercy mild;
God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King.”
[“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” Charles Wesley]
Singing about the birth of our Lord Jesus. Charles Wesley, teaching the people, singing about the wonderful life of the Lord Jesus:
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread thro’ all the earth abroad
The [honors] of Thy name.
[“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” Charles Wesley]
Singing about the beautiful life of our Lord. Charles Wesley, teaching the people to sing about the triumph in our death:
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high:
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of death is past;
Safe into Thy haven guide;
O receive my soul at last.
[“Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” Charles Wesley]
And God bowed down His ear to hear the people sing the songs of Charles Wesley. And then, just once again, like the song you sang a moment ago: a song of the coming of Jesus.
Lo! He comes with clouds descending
Once for favored sinners slain.
Thousand thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of His train.
God appears on earth to reign.
Yea, Amen! Let all adore Thee.
High on the eternal throne.
Savior, take the power and glory
Claim the kingdom for Thine own.
Christ shall reign and Christ alone!
[“Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending,” Charles Wesley]
Now I want to ask you something. Do you think God Himself, the God of judgment, could devote to destruction a people singing the songs of Charles Wesley? Do you think so? It would be unthinkable and unimaginable! And what happened was England—and all history proclaims it and avows it—England was saved and never had a revolution. England was saved because of the great revival under the Wesleys and under George Whitefield. That’s God, that’s the Lord.
And what shall I say about America? In 1944 the word came to me as to the other pastors, “We’re going to assault the shores of continental Europe and attack the Nazi army.” And when the word comes, they said that all God’s people gather in prayer. At two o’clock in the morning, in Muskogee, where I was undershepherd of a church just like this, has a balcony all the way around—at two o’clock in the morning, 1944, the word came to our parsonage, “Our soldiers are storming the beaches of northern France.” When I made my way to the church, I had difficulty getting in. It was jammed. It was full: People there, praying and beseeching Almighty God. And God gave us an incomparable victory. We won that war; it was an answer to the prayers and supplications of America.
Today, Richard, I don’t know whether you saw this or not. A few days ago, Richard Halverson, one of God’s great servants, the chaplain of the United States Senate—a few days ago, Richard Halverson said, “Just over 200 years, for over 200 years, we’ve been living off the interest of the inheritance that’s left by our founding fathers.” They took God seriously. They built a constitutional form of government, based upon the reality of God. In the words of James Madison, “Without the intervention of God, there never would have been a Constitution.” Having exhausted the interest the past four decades, we have been squandering the principle of the moral and spiritual capital of our forbearers’ legacy. America is on a vast, tragic decline and that’s why this appeal, and this sermon, and this prayer:
God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that is hold not Thee in awe,
Such boasting as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
[from “Recessional,” Rudyard Kipling, 1897]
The God of judgment—O God!—and yet filled with mercy and love, if His people turn and repent and pray. The nation is “we.” The nation cannot repent if I do not repent. The nation cannot believe if I do not believe. The nation cannot have faith if I do not have faith. The nation cannot be saved if I am not saved. And that is our appeal to God as a people of the Lord.
I’m going to do something different. You men, who are on the platform, if you’ll pray God’s remembrance and blessing upon our nation, would you get down on your knees? You men up here on the platform, if you’ll pray for God to have mercy upon our nation, would you get down on your knees? And to the great throng in the balcony and on the lower floor: if you’ll pray that God will save our people, would you get down on your knees, wherever you are, and ask for the intervention of heaven? Ask God to send us revival. Ask God to intervene in the judgment of the Lord upon our people and upon our nation.
And O Lord God in heaven, how devastating these headlines are in our newspapers: rape, and pillage, and violence, and murder, and thievery. The jails and the penitentiaries cannot hold the people that are convicted. Even here in Dallas, we dare not walk down our city streets—used to be so filled with men, women, and children downtown—now it’s deserted; they’re afraid, they’re afraid. Great God, what has happened, even in our city of Dallas? Please God, may there be a turning, may there be a great revival, may there be a great outpouring of the Spirit of God. May God do something, and in His mercy and forgiveness, look upon us, Lord, and save us and spare us. Humbly we pray and plead in Thy dear and precious name, amen. Amen.
Hebrews 10:30-31, 12:29
I. The judgments of God
two beautiful men at Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis
Francisco – 250,000 marching in behalf of sodomites
– the Gay Alliance
B. Israel(2 Kings 17:7-23)
one godly king in history of Israel
cast away from their land to Assyria
Judah(2 Kings 21:2, 9-16, 23:26-28, 24:1)
Did not heed the cry of Jeremiah to repent
to Rome in 70 AD
The desolation in Hamburg, Germany in 1945
– the Rasputin, Lenin, Stalin and Revolution of 1917; but instead of turning to
God, turned to communism
By law no prayer, no Bibles, no chapel in public schools
Burning and rioting in Los Angeles – threatened in Dallas if a certain court
decision was not made
II. Revival and restoration
Save a nation
at the same time – the Great Awakening
John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Wesley
Songs of Charles Wesley
1944 – call to prayer
Today – Richard Halverson
The nation is we – the nation cannot repent if I do not repent(2 Chronicles 7:14)