Read: Romans -2:1-16


One of the reasons people think there is no God is
because they can get away with so much and nothing
happens to them. You can sin awful sins and no lightning
strikes you dead. You can lie,


defy your conscience
in a hundred ways and life goes merrily on. So God
must be dead. It must be perfectly safe out here on
the ocean of sin.


In the days of Columbus, men were unwilling to sail too
far out on the Atlantic for fear they would drop off
the edge of the world or that some horrible monster
would rise out of the sea and swallow their ship in one


But brave men began to venture farther out. They kept
going farther and farther until they circumnavigated
the globe and it was safe. No monsters, no abyss.


Now, in the 21st Century, men are trying to do the same
thing in the moral realm - they're exploring the ocean
of sin. Men used to think they'd be struck dead if they
went too far out of line. But now they've discovered
that you can do anything and nothing happens.


"Come on out here, the water's fine. Nobody's
going to punish you!" say a host of explorers
on the moral ocean who are coming back with
tales of adventure.


And there are pirates who use the knife and gun without
fear of any God. And they all return from their voyages
with the amazing discovery that God doesn't strike you
dead. The punishing angels don't pay any attention -
you get away with anything.


Don't worry anymore about God. If He's
there at all, He's asleep.


Go out there and do whatever your heart


This defiance of conscience, this absence of the fear
of God, can be found everywhere. From church dignitaries,
government, business, and union leaders, down to the
respectable, comfortable, average man. God doesn't punish.
There's nothing to be afraid of. If you want to do it,
        go ahead and do it!


When Columbus sailed out across the Atlantic Ocean and
made it to the West Indies, he proved his point - you
don't drop off the edge of the earth. It can be done.

But when you go sailing out on that sea of God defiance,
moral perversity, and you make it out there to your
favorite sin and back home again and nothing happens to
strike you down, you haven't proved that God is dead,

or blind, or doesn't care. You may think you got away with

something because you didn't get punished on the spot. But
you're in for a surprise.


Suppose one day you're at your favorite mall shopping for
a blue necktie. For some reason your charge account has
been cancelled and when you look in your wallet you
discover you forgot to bring your money. You must have
the necktie for an occasion that evening, and so you
decide, "I have no choice - I'll just have to take one
of these ties".


You slip a nice bright blue tie off the rack and are just
about to drop it into your pocket when a clerk comes
around the corner and catches you in the act. But instead
of shouting at you, the clerk smiles and turns to another
customer and pays no attention.  You know he saw you, but
he doesn't seem to care. Hesitatingly you stuff the tie
deeper into your pocket and walk away. Why didn't he stop


The following week you're at your favorite mall again

tantalized by the discovery that you could take a necktie off

the rack and put it in your pocket and walk right out of the
store in front of their eyes.


"I've got to find out if that was an accident -
or if they really don't care."


This time you go over to the watch counter and deliber-
ately, in front of the clerk, you put a watch on your
wrist and start walking out of the store. To your
amazement absolutely nothing happens.


"This is unbelievable" you say to yourself and soon
you can't stop yourself from going back every day,
and every day you do the same thing, openly,


without any attempt to hide what you're doing.

You walk out of the store
with radios,

sporting goods, and no one even asks you a question.


Then one day an envelope comes in the mail addressed to
you from that same store. You open it and behold an itemized
bill. Every single article you walked out with since
you started with the blue tie is carefully listed with
the price and the date of "purchase". The bill totals

No threats,

no warnings - just a bill.


"Well I'm not going to pay it!
They should have stopped me!
They should have made me sign an invoice!
Before I pay $5,103.76 I'm going to leave town."


You drive to New York, find a job, rent an apartment,
and settle down to a new life. But some weeks later the
mailman brings another bill from that store. Again you
ignore it.


Finally, one evening while you're finishing supper,
there is a knock on the door and when you open it, two
men place you under arrest.


You weren't arrested when you took the tie.
You weren't arrested when you took the radio
and the typewriter.
You weren't even arrested when you skipped
town for New York.


You were given plenty of time to settle your account

but at last your time ran out. You pushed your luck too

far and now you will face just and severe consequences

of what you did.


Of course, malls don't operate that way. They couldn't
and stay in business. --But God does.


Do you presume upon the riches of God's

kindness and forbearance and patience?
Do you not know that God's kindness is meant

to lead you to repentance?
But by your hard and impenitent heart you are
storing up wrath for yourself on the day of
wrath when God's righteous judgment will be re-
vealed. For He will render to every man according

to his works.


You're not dealing with an absent-minded fool, my friend,
you're dealing with the Holy God. We shall receive just
recompense for the deeds done in our bodies - good or bad.


"Marvel not at this. The hour is coming when
all that are in the grave shall hear His voice
and shall come forth. They that have done good
to the resurrection of life, and they that have
done evil to the resurrection of damnation."


You get away with nothing - everything you do is seen by
eyes that miss nothing and forget nothing.


Every once-in-a-while something happens in your life that's
like getting a bill - it comes as a shock.  It's a warning.
It may be an illness, or a setback in circumstances or a
few lines from a book, or words from a friend or from an
enemy - but it brings you under conviction, makes you
realize that God does know what you've been doing.
Instead of striking you down with the punishment you
deserve, instead of throwing you into the prison of the
damned, God holds back his wrath and speaks to you a
message of sheer love.


"Come now, let us reason together", saith the
Lord. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they
shall be white as snow. Though they be red
like crimson, they shall be as wool."


"No matter what you've done.
No matter what you've been.
I can make you clean", He says.


Instead of striking you dead with lightning and casting
you into the abyss that has no bottom and where the fire
never dies, God sends his only begotten Son to a cross
         to die in your place,

         to suffer your punishment,

         to pay the full price for your sins in His body.


All the wrath of the Holy God that should be falling on
the human race is funneled down on that one point in
time and space: Calvary.


Calvary is the only place where the wrath of God touches
the earth.


- If you're wondering why you're getting away
with so much, look at Calvary and you will see.


- if you're wondering why others can sin and
nothing happens, look at Calvary. It's going
on Him instead of on us.


And, if you fix your heart, soul, strength, and mind on
the crucified Christ and let your sins drain out of you
and flow into Him and die with Him, you will be saved!
The wrath of God will never fall on you for it has
fallen on Him for you.


God is

- giving you time to get to Calvary and get

- giving you time to get your brother there,

- giving the nations time to hear this gracious
call to repentance.


And that call is going out with or without the help of

churchianity. With or without the help of famous evan-

gelists. It is going out in places in this city and on

this earth you wouldn't believe.


The only reason for the existence of the Body of Christ on
earth is to proclaim the mercy of God


- to the multitudes around us who think God
is dead because they don't get punished for
their sins


- to show them that God is not blind - He's
just good, so good,


- to bring them into the grace of God while
there is still time.


You don't have to tell them they're sinners - they know
they're sinners.


Tell them God loves them.

Tell them the door of the Lamb's house is open.
Tell them He's waiting for them to come home.

Show them the way.

Show them that beautiful Cross where
our sins were conquered.


Don't jump on a man because he does dope or drinks too
much or waists his money on gambling machines..


Show him the love of God in the face of
Jesus Christ.


Tell him how Christ can make him clean


Give him something to hope for, so he'll
turn and call on his Lord.


And warn him that he does not have forever to
make up his mind.


The Cross is the lightning rod taking all the lightning

of God's judgment to itself. But soon the lightning rod

will be removed - the age of grace will be ended.


Then, lightning and the thunder of Holy judgment will
strike every man,

every nation.


He will render to every man according to his works.
Every account will be settled in full and forever.


God grant that when the lightning begins to strike and

the fire falls you may be in the company of those whose

sins are covered by the blood of the Son of God.


If you're not in that company now, may God help you to
find your way to the Christ


- who loves you,

      and calls you,


- and is able to save you this very hour.


Do you not know that the kindness of God (and what else
has enabled you to live this long?) is meant to lead
you to repentance?