What Makes God Angry?
Romans 1: 24-25; 2: 1

This is not a popular sermon for preachers to preach.
A preacher must never consider his popularity.
I pity the preacher whose primary purpose is to be popular.
A preacher is not likely be popular and prophetic at the same time.

I don't believe that Noah was popular when he told the people of his day that God was going
to cause it to rain so much that a great flood would destroy the earth, and they better prepare
to get in the ark for that would be the only way to stay alive.

I don't believe that Elijah was popular when he told the king that it was going to rain
for three years, and people had better turn to God.
Amos was not very popular when he said to a sinful people: " Prepare to meet thy God."

Paul was in Corinth when he wrote to the Christians in Rome.
Paul had hoped to visit Rome, but his visit had been delayed.
So, he wrote to the beloved of God, called to be saints, and assured them of his concern
and of his prayers.
It is in this letter that Paul talks of the power of the gospel and of his commitment
to its preaching.
Paul declares that he is not ashamed of the gospel.

The tone of his letter changes in verse 17.
Paul speaks of the righteousness of God, and in verse 18, Paul speaks of the wrath of God.
Here Paul speaks of the anger of God and of God's indignation.
God's anger is filled with pathos.
God's irritation is punctuated with passion.
Paul wants the people to know about God's anger.

" A year ago last May, I suffered a heart attack.
I was told by a heart surgeon that I did not know, and had never seen before
that I needed a four bypass heart surgery.
The next day this heart surgeon opened up my chest and held my heart in his hands.
The surgery was successful.
I am extremely grateful that God gifted this heart surgeon to do the surgery that saved my life.
I would never do anything to make that doctor angry
."
-- Dr. Harold L. White

God is the giver of all life.
Everyone who lives or has lived on this earth has been given human life by a gracious God.
I don't understand why anyone living would want to anger this almighty God who holds
his or her life in His hands.
Any time, and any day God could take life from any one of us, and we would be gone from this earth.
God could say, " That's enough! You have angered Me, and I will take away your life."
Then, where will you spend eternity?
I would never want to make the Giver of my life angry!

Paul tells us in this scripture passage that there are some things that make God angry.
There are things that agitate and antagonize God.
There are things that aggravate God.

Our unrighteousness and and ungodliness makes God angry.
When people use their unrighteousness to prevent God's truth from being known,
it makes God angry.
Whenever people claim that they know Him, and yet, they do not honor Him
with their words or actions, it makes God angry.
God created people to worship Him, but instead, they worship the images they created,
and this makes God angry.

Now, if you really want to know how angry God becomes, and if you really want to know
what aggravates God, then read to verses 24 through 25.
Whenever God thinks about those who have angered Him by their unrighteousness,
Paul tells us that " God… gave them up to uncleaness through the lusts of their own hearts,
to dishonor their own bodies between themselves; who changed the truth of God into a lie,
and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator
."

So, whenever men or women change the truth of God into a lie, that makes God angry.
Whenever men or women take that which God has made by His own creative power
and turns it inside out, that makes God angry.
Whenever anyone takes that which God has said is right and makes it wrong,
that makes God angry.
So, whenever men or women take the truth of God and turn it into a lie,
that makes God angry.

To understand the nature of the world at the time Paul was writing this letter,
then read what William Barclay writes in his exposition on the Book of Romans.
He calls this era in which these Romans lived an " Age of Shame."
This was an age in which the morals of Rome had degenerated, and was almost
unparalleled in human history.

Virgil states that in this Rome, " Right and wrong were confounded."
It was a world where violence was rampant.

Tacitus described the era as one " rich in disasters, gloomy with wars, rent with sedition,
savage in its very hours of peace
"

Propertius, the poet, wrote with appropriate pathos: " I see Rome, proud Rome perishing,
the victim of her own prosperity
."

This was an age of moral suicide.
Seneca said it was an age " stricken with the agitation of a soul no longer master of itself."

It was an age of unparalleled luxury.
The Emperor Caligula had even sprinkled the floor of the circus arena with gold dust
instead of saw dust.

It was an age of unparalleled immorality.
History states that Agrippina, the empress herself, wife of Claudius, was known to
slip out of the palace at night, and go down to the local house of prostitution
to satisfy her own lust.

And even more of that, this was an age when 14 of the first 15 emperors
of Rome or homosexuals.

This is the world of Rome that Paul wrote about.
This is the Rome to which Paul wanted to preach the gospel.
This is the Rome to which Paul sent a word about the saving power of God.
This is the Rome to which Paul wrote about the righteousness of God.

To this perverted social order that Paul cried out: " The just shall live by faith!"

If you will look around the world in which you live, and you will see that many of these things
that made God angry are happening in our cities, and throughout our nation and the world.
Paul is very explicit about what is going on in Rome, and how God would act against those
who had given themselves completely to the work of ungodliness and unrighteousness.

Paul says: " God gave them up unto vile affections.
Women changed the natural use in to that which is against nature.
Men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another.
And finally, God gave them up to a reprobate mind
."
He was saying that God gave them up to a " corrupted" mind, the kind of mind
that everybody rejects and nobody wants.

Paul is very explicit.
Paul was very graphic.
Paul was dogmatic and descriptive of a situation with which those to whom
he wrote were very familiar.
Paul was writing to Christians who were struggling to be a Christian in a non-Christian world.
Paul was saying: " This is what sin does!"

This is what sin is doing to our cities to our nation.
We are becoming more pagan.
Look at Rome which was the most powerful nation on the earth, and the most prosperous.
Rome fell because of its internal rottenness, and became an easy prey for the Barbarians
to defeat them.
That is what sin does!

To anyone who thinks that one or two insignificant vices is okay, and that what they do
really doesn't matter very much.
Anyone who thinks like that should look at Rome.
That's what sin does!

This is not comfortable for many preachers to preach.
But I am convinced that the church cannot afford to be silent on the subject of sin.
The church cannot close its eyes to those sins which go against the will and Word of God.

We live in a modern age that exalts personal expression and worships at the altar of independence,
but Christians should say to the world, " Look at what sin does!"
We live in a modern age that has rejected puritanical morals, and has accepted a lifestyle
that says, " If it feels good, then do it."
But, before it is too late, Christians must be bold enough in the Lord to say:
" Look at what sin does!"

Sin cause Solomon to say that " Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach too any people."
Sin caused David to declare: " I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."

If we know the power of sin, and if we know the reality of sin, and if we know what sin can do,
then we need to pray: " Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me…
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit
."
(Psalm 51: 10, 7, 12)

People have come to decide that they don't need God.
But everyone has a need to worship something, even if a person becomes his own god.
In Genesis 3: 5 we read that the serpent, Satan, told Adam and Eve that they did not need
to worry about God because if they would eat of the tree that God told them not to eat of,
" Ye shall be as gods."
And then death and sin entered, and continues today.

So, if man is his own god, he can do whatever he pleases.
If man is his own god, and the creature has become more important than the Creator.
If man is his own god, he can fulfill all his desires.
If man is his own god, then man has taken the place of God, and attempts to put God on his level.
This is what makes God angry.

This is idolatry!
Any time or anything man worships anything other than God, that is idolatry.
Any time man thinks that what he wants is more important than what God wants, that is idolatry.
Any time man moves from self-indulgence to self-deification, it's not very far from immorality to idolatry.

Look at this list that Paul provides in Romans chapter one of those who make God angry.
The list includes unrighteous fornicators, the wicked, the covetous, those who are malicious,
those full of envy, murderers, debaters (those looking for prestige and prominence),
the deceitful, the devious and the underhanded, gossipers, and slanderers, haters of God,
the despiteful and the proud, those who hate others simply for the sake of hurting them,
the arrogant, those who have contempt for everyone except themselves,
the boasters, those who pretend that they have what they have not, those without natural affection,
who do not love anything or anybody, the implacable and unmerciful.

Then, read what Paul says in Romans 2: 1: " Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man,
whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein the thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself;
for thou judgest doest the same things
."
Paul is not just talking about one sin, he is talking about Sin.
Sin is sin.

Remember what Paul wrote in Romans 3: 23:
" The wages of sin is; but the gift of God is eternal life."

In the midst of all the sin and shame, and in the midst of all of this degradation and perversion,
Paul said: " I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also."
And Paul said: " I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God
unto salvation to everyone that believeth
."

Preachers, we must preach the same gospel today because the gospel of the
Lord Jesus Christ has the power to change people's lives.

It doesn't matter how deep the person is in sin, God has the power to get that person out of it.
There is no habit that is addicting or enslaving but that God has the power to free
that person of that habit.
There is no sin that you have committed that God will not forgive.
I don't care who you are or what you had done -- God can deliver you!

If you will come to the Lord Jesus and trust Him -- receive Him as your Lord and Saviour,
He'll well forgive all your sins, and give you everlasting life, and gave you wonderful peace and joy.
If you will come to Him, you can leave here today, singing:
" What a wonderful change in my life in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought
Since Jesus came into my heart
!"

Sermon adapted by Dr. Harold L White