Saturday, December 24, 2011
“[God] Who will render to every man according to his deeds: Unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation, and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;” (Romans 2:6,8,9 KJV).
Christmas folklore teaches that naughty children receive lumps of coal in their stockings. (Of course, we know parents just use this as an incentive to persuade their children to behave properly.) Actually, throughout the year, the parents have been just as naughty as their kids: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)—no exceptions!
The heart of man is evil (Jeremiah 17:9): “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Our Lord Jesus declared: “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23).
Galatians 5:19-21 further exposes mankind’s heart: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Psalm 14:2,3 reads: “The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).
Can the Bible be any clearer? Because of Adam, we are all inherent sinners (Romans 5:12). As today’s Scripture says, we sinners are deserving of God’s wrath. We all deserve lumps of coal. However, there is Good News….