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The Gospel Explained - Part 3

"When God Gives Up"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2007 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'I want us to turn in the scriptures together to Romans chapter 1. Whilst this is somewhat a special title that I've taken tonight, it is part of an ongoing series that we're looking at from time to time on a Sunday evening - not every Sunday night, but from time to time - entitled 'The Gospel Explained'. It is a series of Gospel messages in Paul's epistle to the Romans, and that's what this book is all about in the Bible - it is an explanation, sometimes a bit difficult, of what the Gospel is all about. It's worth spending time in, breaking up and applying, so that we can really understand what many folk are confused about. The portion that we have reached is very contemporary to what has been going on in our past week, particularly in the Houses of Parliament and the House of Lords, and I feel led to take up chapter 1 again.

It's important that we stress this evening that everything we say is based on the scriptures, we're not expressing our own opinion, but we are expressing what the Bible teaches...

We'll read from verse 16, though we have already dealt with 16, 17 and 18, and we'll be looking at 19 through to the end of the chapter this evening. We'll read from verse 16 so that we understand Paul's flow of thought, so do read with me. If you don't have a Bible, don't worry, just listen to God's Word or share with someone kind, perhaps, beside you, their Bible. Paul says in verse 16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness", or who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over", or gave them up, "to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them".

It's important that we stress this evening that everything we say is based on the scriptures, we're not expressing our own opinion, but we are expressing what the Bible teaches in everything that we say. Perhaps we can bow just now in a word of prayer, and express to the Lord what has just been sung - that we need Him. Let us pray: Father, let us never ever get to the stage where we don't need You, or feel that we don't need You any more. Lord, we need You now, and this moment has the greatest need ever, and Father we just pray that You will come and be everything that we need in understanding. Lord, we pray that folk in this gathering would have hearts that are open, minds that are disposed to understand what the scriptures teach: the awful situation that our land is in, and we as individuals are in, if we are without Christ. We pray that the good news of the hope that is in Jesus will be what will remain with folk this evening from what we share. Lord, open the windows of heaven, pour out a blessing. As You blessed churches in this province in bygone days, we pray that You will bless them again, and bless this company tonight with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, with salvation, and Your children with revival. In the Saviour's name we pray, Amen.

These are laws which many religious and non-religious commentators believe will pose a significant threat to freedom of conscience and freedom of speech in our land...

'Why God Has Given up on the United Kingdom'. What led me to take that title is, on Tuesday evening the House of Lords failed in an attempt to annul the Sexual Orientation Regulations for Northern Ireland. You may or may not know that the Sexual Orientation Regulations for England, Scotland and Wales have not been published yet, but they are to be soon. It is envisaged that they will be imposed upon those nations around April. However, we have already, here in the province, had the Sexual Orientation Regulations for Northern Ireland imposed on us by Westminster. Even though 2000 people gathered outside to protest, the motion was rejected by 199 to 68 - that is a two thirds majority. The government obviously is intent on bringing forward laws not only here in Ulster, but across the United Kingdom, to outlaw sexual orientation discrimination - laws which many religious and non-religious commentators believe will pose a significant threat to freedom of conscience and freedom of speech in our land.

It has been widely acknowledged how these laws could interfere with our freedoms. Even the BBC, which I'm sure you will agree is no friend to Christianity, on the 10 O'Clock News on Tuesday evening said, and I quote: 'A photographer refusing to work at a civic partnership', that is, the civic partnership of two homosexuals, 'could be prosecuted under this new law. A printer asked to produce leaflets for a Gay pride march might also fall foul of it. A hotel owner who would not allow a gay couple to sleep together may find himself in court'. This controversy over the Bible's teaching on homosexuality has already affected many people in our land and organisations. I want to really stress that: this is not something that is going to happen. I am not prophesying or predicting that it will occur. It is taking place now in our land.

It has affected university Christian Unions, some of which have been expelled from the Students Union of the universities that they belong to. The present one in the news is Exeter University. This is beginning, and will affect schools. It will force teachers to teach that homosexuality as an orientation is an equally valid lifestyle to heterosexual marriage. Teachers may be prosecuted for insinuating, even, that marriage between a man and a woman is the desirable choice for relationships. Now I've highlighted these examples, but you can only imagine how these new laws will affect churches and Christians.

Let me say, before I go on any further that we strongly oppose, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, harassment or hatred of anyone. I don't want anything I say this evening to be misinterpreted. It is not an incitement for people to go out and 'gay-bash'. It is not in any way trying to get folk to be unkind to others who are of a different persuasion than us. But let me stress this: though that is the case, there are already firm criminal laws protecting everyone in our land, whatever their race, whatever their culture, whatever their religion, whatever their sexual persuasion - the laws are already there. These laws will do more damage to those who believe that homosexuality, according to God's word, is sin. It is certain that there are those in our society who will seek to use these laws against churches and Christians.

We strongly oppose, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, harassment or hatred of anyone. I don't want anything I say this evening to be misinterpreted...

Let me give you a few examples. Take a church like ours, where to be a member you have to be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who is converted, and of course, if the Bible teaches that we are to repent of all sin, a practising homosexual could not become a member of this church and many others in our land. That will become grounds, potentially, for suing churches like ours. But it's more general that - forget about membership - even a night like this evening, preaching on this subject, a homosexual may be given the right to sue if they feel that an offensive environment has been created for them. There are already many examples of how Christians are being affected for their faith, and for their stance against sin - not against individuals, but against what God has said is abomination in His sight.

In 2005 a Christian couple from England, Joe and Helen Roberts, were interrogated by the police because they complained about their local council's gay rights policy. The police said that they were responding to a reported homophobic incident. Later the police admitted that no crime had been committed - but that was after the event. In 2002, you may have read this in the press, an elderly street preacher was assaulted by gay rights activists, and then he was arrested - he was arrested! - for carrying a placard which said: 'Stop immorality, stop homosexuality, Jesus is Lord'. At his trial he was convicted, fined £300, plus costs of £395. Shortly after that the elderly gentleman died.

On the screen you will see an advertisement that was published by the Gay Police Association in the UK. What it does is it effectively blames Christians for homophobic attacks. Now maybe your eyesight doesn't allow you to read it, but this is what it says: 'The Name of the Father', a picture of the Bible and blood spilt on the ground, and the caption says 'In the last 12 months the Gay Police Association has recorded a 74 percent increase in homophobic incidents where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the predator. Verbal abuse and physical assault against gay men and women is a criminal offence, and should always be reported to the police. Discrimination against gay people in the workplace is also unlawful and should be reported to the employers, who have a duty of care to prevent it. Homophobia can never be justified, and must never be tolerated'. Down below, on the bottom right, you can see: 'Gay Police Association in Scotland and Northern Ireland'.

Now whilst, we repeat again, we do not encourage or condone physical violence against anyone, but clearly this advertisement is blaming Christians, and those who believe that homosexuality as a practice is a sin, for these homophobic attacks. Now, just in case you think I'm some kind of religious fanatic, the Advertising Standards Agency ruled that that advertisement breached the industry's rules on decency and truthfulness. They were, in fact, saying that it was wrong to blame Christians and those with a religious conscience for homophobic attacks. This is the propaganda being released by even the police.

That is exactly what our government is seeking to do, turn the faith of our fathers into a crime for the stance that we take against sin, upholding God's word...

On the 7th of September 2006, Melanie Phillips, a journalist with the Daily Mail, wrote an article, and this was the caption on it, the headline - as an evangelist, his name was Stephen Green, is arrested for handing out Bible verses, that was at a Gay Pride march - 'How Britain Is Turning Christianity Into A Crime'. Her premise was that that is exactly what our government is seeking to do, turn the faith of our fathers into a crime for the stance that we take against sin, upholding God's word.

Now all of these contemporary developments, I believe, according to Romans chapter 1 are definite signals that God has given up the United Kingdom. Now don't misunderstand what I'm saying: the United Kingdom has always been a sinful land. We do not believe in the unification of church and state, and there is no such a thing as a Christian country - but our land has always come under the benefit and the blessing of days gone by, when she revered the Bible and Christian Gospel. That influence has been detracted over several years, decades, we could say centuries, and we are beginning to see signs that are also evident in Romans chapter 1 to show us not that God is about to give this nation up, but that God has given the United Kingdom up. Now why is that? Simply, to answer, because the United Kingdom has given up on God. God gives up on those who give up on Him.

Now the book of Romans is a book explaining the Gospel, in other words it teaches us how man can be right with God. Now that presupposes that man is wrong with God in his relationship - because man has given up on God, generally speaking, right across the globe. So what Paul does in these first two chapters of Romans is, he proves to us how wrong man is in God's sight. In verse 18 we read these words: 'The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness'. Now what Paul is doing is, he is causing us to enter into God's courtroom, and he begins to indict all mankind before God as the Judge. His general charge is: mankind has suppressed truth in order to sin.

That applies to nations: they reject truth in order to get up to what they want. It applies to individuals: we reject God's word, and the claims of the Gospel upon our lives, in order to sin and be selfish. We shut out God's light because, as Jesus says, 'This is the condemnation of this world, that light is come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil'. We are moral burglars that like to go about our ill-gotten gain in the dark, morally speaking. We shut out God's light so that we might dwell in the dark. That's why the Bible says God is angry.

We are moral burglars that like to go about our ill-gotten gain in the dark, morally speaking. We shut out God's light so that we might dwell in the dark...

Let me dwell on that thought for a moment: 'The wrath of God has been revealed from heaven against all sin'. Now what is the reasoning behind that? People don't like to hear about an angry God these days, but let me try and explain it for you. Verse 19 tells us: 'Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them'. This is why God is angry, because what can be known about God, God has made known to mankind. Paul says God has made it plain from the beginning, He has shown to humanity what can be known about Him. Now that means that He has shown it to you. Now you might debate that, but bear with me: how has God showed Himself to you and everyone else? Well, He gives us in verse 20 how - first of all, creation. 'The invisible things of him from the beginning of the world, from creation, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse'.

Paul is saying that men, from the beginning, should have perceived God in the wonderful creation all around us - but they didn't perceive Him, they chose to suppress that knowledge by futile thinking! The reasoning of the passage is that because of their suppression of truth, rather than opening themselves up to it, they became foolish and their heart was darkened even more. So first of all, what he does is he tells us that God has designed this world intelligently, just as a watchmaker makes a watch, and everything you see around you is a creation coming from an intelligent mind and imagination. This world around us is no accident. Because of that, through the order, the laws of nature and science, the principles of this universe, we should reasonably conclude that God made everything, and we should bow to His mastery. But what man has done in verse 21 to 23 is, he has suppressed that knowledge, he has shut out the light because he loves the darkness, because he can sin in the darkness.

So, a hardening process of foolishness has entered into his life. A hardening process when light has been rejected. Do you know that ice is produced not just through the drop in temperature alone, but because of the subtraction of the sunlight's rays? That is a very basic and simple, yet profound explanation for the reason of the demise of our nation and many lives of people in it. Men have suppressed the knowledge of God and have exalted their own knowledge rather than His knowledge, and verse 22 says they have become fools! The process of suppression and darkening results in an incredible rejection of the knowledge of God.

Paul says that man has rejected the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal men, birds, animals, reptiles. So what he is saying is that animism and idol worship that we see in the jungles and third world nations of our planet - that has not evolved, or that has not come because these people never knew the true and living God, or never heard who the God of the heavens and the earth really is - what that is is a living lesson to all of us, that these people once had knowledge, Paul says in Romans 1, of the true Creator, of the living God, but because they suppressed that knowledge and light to get up to a depraved, darkened way of life, they have grown harder and harder and harder, until there is no remembrance of that God at all.

Because men have suppressed the knowledge of God and worshipped the creature rather than the Creator, God gave them up...

Our nation, I believe is on the same downward spiral. Now what is God's reaction? He has revealed Himself in creation, man's response has been suppression - and what is God's reaction? Verse 24 tells us: condemnation. 'Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves'. Because men have suppressed the knowledge of God and worshipped the creature rather than the Creator, God gave them up. Let me say that you don't have to bow down to stone or idols of wood to be an idolater: you can worship yourself and forget about God; you can worship your sin, live it up, forget about God and spirituality and your soul. How do you know if a nation is under condemnation like I have alluded to? How do you know if an individual is coming under the judgement of God now? Remember what I'm saying: I'm not talking about something that's going to happen a hundred, a thousand years from now - although there is a judgement coming - I'm talking about what's going on now in our land.

How do we know? Well, there are four regressive steps that are, in themselves, proof that God has given up a nation, and at times a person. Verse 24 says that the first step is He gives people up to immorality. Lust, sexual immorality, deviance. Callum Brown, in his book 'The Death of Christian Britain' - I quoted this at Christmas time - says: 'It took several centuries in what historians used to call the Dark Ages to convert Britain to Christianity, but it has taken less than 40 years for the country to forsake it. Really quite suddenly in 1963 something very profound ruptured the character of the nation and its people, sending organised Christianity on a downward spiral to the margins of social significance'. What happened? The sixties happened, a sexual revolution, a social, moral revolution where they didn't just burn their bras, they burned their Bibles. They rejected the light of God for their own way.

The first step was immorality. The second step is found in verse 25: idolatry. Immorality and idolatry are always linked: 'They changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen'. Now there is an increase in the worship of foreign gods in our land, and let me say that everyone should be free to worship as they see fit - even when it is, according to God's word, sin. But you don't have to worship a foreign god to be an idolater. Affluence, materialism, egotism, selfishness provides us with plenty of our own little idols and gods.

Immorality, the first step. The second step, idolatry. The third step, verse 26 and 27, homosexuality. Men with men, women with women, and I've already cited examples in recent politics, how our nation and our people are going headlong down this third step. Genesis 19 tells us of Sodom and Gomorrah, that God destroyed because of this practice. Leviticus 18 tells us that it is a sin in God's eyes. Romans 1 that we read, 1 Corinthians 6 and verse 9 tells us that people will be shut out of heaven for committing this sin, along with many other sins. It is sin, and God's word says it is a perversion of God's design - but it is also the third signal that a nation and an individual has given up on God, and He them.

It is sin, and God's word says it is a perversion of God's design - but it is also the third signal that a nation and an individual has given up on God, and He them...

The fourth and final step is verse 28: 'And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient', mental perversity. Immorality, idolatry, homosexuality and mental perversity. Verse 30 talks about 'inventors of evil'. We've lost the ability to be surprised, haven't we, regarding sins that are being committed. Even verse 32 tells us that not only are those condemned who do these things, but those who give approval to those who practice them. We have legislators for sin in our government. They may not be homosexuals themselves, but they are legislating for those who are - taking pleasure in those that do these things. Many sins and sinful practices in our land are causing people to be tortured in their minds, and it derives from their sin, rebellion against God.

That is the fourth step, where people are losing their minds and all reason concerning morality. Can I say to you that there is a precedent for this in Scripture. In Genesis 6 God cited the reason for the flood: 'God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them' - and He destroyed the world with a flood. We are seeing this fourth, final step in our land now - mental perversity. Today people are filled with what is found in verses 29 to 31, they are filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness; people are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

I wonder where your personal problem lies in that list of sins? I wonder can you say that you feel given up to sin, the thing that you have dabbled in has caught hold of you, and there is a condemnation in it of itself - because you have shut out God's light, rejected His law and His claims, and gone down your own way, you are reaping the wages of sin which is death, judgement. You're given up to sin, that's what this means. As man took his own road, made his own choice, God was rejected, God retracted His influence and grace in man's life, and man was given up to his sin. Three times in this passage - verse 24, 26, 28 - God gave them up, why? Because they gave up on God.

Our land has done it. I wonder, my friend, are you doing it? The big question, I hope, that is in your mind tonight, is: is there any hope for a nation or a person who God has given up? Let me say: the answer to that question is yes and no. No, if a person or a nation continues to suppress truth and give up on God, there is no hope. But there is hope if a man, a woman, a boy or a girl, a nation repents of their sin, turns from it, forsaking it, and embraces the Gospel that is Jesus Christ by faith and faith alone. Yes, the message of Romans 1 is that God is angry against all sin, but praise the Lord it is also that God is gracious towards sinners.

The big question, I hope, that is in your mind tonight, is: is there any hope for a nation or a person who God has given up? Let me say: the answer to that question is yes and no...

You see, whilst God condemns sin and He judges sin, He loves the sinner. Let me say to you tonight, if you've come into our gathering and you are a homosexual, or you're a lesbian, the Christian is responsible - although to preach the truth - he is also responsible to love you. For Christ loved a world of sinners, and Christ proved it - Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrated His love in that, while we all were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The reason we know that, though God hates sin, He loves the sinner is because He sent His only Son to die for sinners. That's why the prophet Isaiah said: 'He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the punishment of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; but the LORD hath laid on Christ the iniquity of us all'.

That is the good news! The message we have to preach as Christians is not condemnation, it is good news! God's wrath may be revealed from heaven, but praise God He has also revealed His righteousness for sinners in His Son. 'I'm not ashamed of the gospel', Paul says in verse 16, 'for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes'. Man might be very wrong in God's sight, but the Gospel is the message of how the wrong can be made right. That's what I want to tell you tonight, the reason is: Christ has died for sinners, Christ has died - you listen to it - for homosexuals. 'For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved'. Christ has suffered once for sinners, the righteous Christ of God for the unrighteousness homosexual, or any other sin you want to name - why? That He might bring us to God!

Don't for one minute perceive that Christians' opposition to homosexuality is to keep everybody like that at arm's length - oh no. It's the same reason Christ came to die: to bring men and women to God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. You see, mankind is condemned already because he has chosen the path of his own sin and selfishness, he has given up on God - that's why God has given up on him. But the gospel of Jesus is that there is power to deliver all men, irrespective of their sins. Jesus said, and I love this verse, in Matthew 12:31 that all kinds of sin and blasphemy is forgiven of men. John said in 1 John 1:7 - all in the Bible - 'the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin'. It doesn't say 'every sin except homosexuality', or 'murder', or you put whatever your sin is in it - no! All sin!

Thank God for that! For I wouldn't be here tonight if it wasn't. You say: 'That's all right, but where is the evidence for this?'. Well, let me point you to one book of the Bible - and I'm almost finished - it's the book of Corinthians. Paul wrote two epistles to these people in this great city. Let me fill you in a little bit about Corinth. Corinth was a city that had many gods and goddesses, and one of the famous goddesses was Aphrodite, the goddess of love - and we'll hear all about her in February. On the hill called the Acropolis in the city of Corinth, there stood a temple - historians call it a temple to, I quote: 'a cult dedicated to the glorification of sex'. The old Greek city of Corinth had a thousand prostitutes that served in that temple by day, and at night they swarmed down into the streets and lanes of the city. In addition to that temple, the Acropolis, there was the Temple of Apollos - he was the god of music, song and poetry, and also the ideal of male beauty. In that temple there were nude statues of him everywhere in sensual poses, and that was designed to encourage his devotees to physical displays of devotion with the god's beautiful boys. It was the centre of homosexuality. The term was coined 'to Corinthanise' - and I'm not going to go into it, but it just means to commit sexual immorality.

The message we have to preach as Christians is not condemnation, it is good news! God's wrath may be revealed from heaven, but praise God He has also revealed His righteousness for sinners in His Son...

This was an awful, a depraved city. Charles Swindoll, the Bible teacher, says that it was a sailor's favourite port, a prodigal's paradise, a policeman's nightmare, and a preacher's graveyard - sound familiar? Let me share with you what the apostle said to them in 1 Corinthians 6: 'Do you not know', verses 9 to 11, 'that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God'.

What's he saying? They were forgiven, their lives were transformed, they were changed to become children of God. They repented - who says that there cannot be changed lifestyles through Jesus Christ? There has been since His Gospel was first preached, and there are changed lives today. If the love of Christ can take root in Corinth, it must be powerful anywhere! Now let me say to you a word of warning, and to our nation: God will allow you, like a nation, to go down the road of depravity as far as you desire. He'll not stand in your way. In fact, He will remove His restraint on your life and let you do it - but oh, my prayer tonight is that you would stop, and see your sin, see the Saviour who died and suffered on the cross for your sin. Turn from your sin, and turn to Him by faith.

Richard Halvorsen's Bible studies on Romans were very effective. Among the congregation, as he was going through this book that explains the Gospel, was a doctor. The doctor became a Christian, and this is what he said after the event: 'I don't ever remember reading the Bible, but tonight I have seen myself in Romans 1. Now what do I do about it?'. You may never have read the Bible, my friend. You maybe never have heard it preached like this, but if you have seen yourself in Romans 1 - whatever your sin - what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about the Saviour who died for your sin, and offers you forgiveness, and cleansing, and life to the full if you will repent of it and trust in Him?

I wonder are you a person here tonight who has given up on God? Though the effect of your action has been a retraction of God's influence in your life, perhaps God has reminded you tonight that He hasn't gone away, He's still there, and He still wants to lavish His grace and forgiveness upon you. You have an opportunity tonight - the danger is, and this is not an idle threat, that again, if you reject the Gospel, that lack of influence in your life of God will be less. It's a knock-on effect - you give up on Him once more, His influence will retract again. But if you open up your heart and your life, He will come in. Say: 'Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins, I'm willing to forsake them if You give me the help to leave them. Lord, I trust You and You alone because You died for me, to be saved and cleansed and delivered from sin, to know eternal life, and one day salvation in heaven'.

Father, we pray tonight that You will do a work in people's lives. Show them that, because of their sin, they are naturally under the condemnation of God already - but in Your love You have expressed the desire to save men and women of every tongue, tribe, people and nation - whatever their sin may be. Thank You, Lord, that the chief of sinners, though I be, Jesus died for even me; died that I might live on high, lives that I might never die. Let none shut themselves out of this salvation message tonight, but may all come in and be saved through Jesus Christ. For our land, Lord, we know that You in Your judgement have given us up to our sin, because we have given up on God and Your law - but, Lord, we pray for a fresh reviving, that Your people may rise again to speak that which is true, to call upon Your name and implore You to turn Your back and give us a blessing. Oh, that revival might come again in our land, across our nation, to the glory of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Don't miss part 4 of "The Gospel Explained": 'The Moral-Religious Myth' Jump To Top Of Page

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins
Preach The Word.
January 2007
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Evangelical Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the third recording in his 'The Gospel Explained' series, entitled "When God Gives Up" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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