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God’s Fiery Judgment

God’s Fiery Judgment

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Published by: Grace Church Modesto on Oct 26, 2009
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05/11/2014

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\u201cGod\u2019s Fiery Judgment\u201d
(Psalm 21:9)
I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
1. This week, the fires in Southern California have dominated the news.
a. Mainly because of their danger and the destruction they caused:
(i) As of Friday, 490,000 acres were burned, which is an area about half the

size of Rhode Island.
(ii) 1,800 homes were lost, 80% of them in San Diego County.
(iii) Property damage in San Diego County alone is more than 1 Billion

dollars.
(iv) Over 1,000,000 people were evacuated during the course of the fires,

though many have returned home.
(v) 1 person was killed by the fire, many were injured.
(vi) An arsonist who was caught in the act was killed while fleeing from the

police.

b. I hope that during this time, you have been praying, for:
(i) The protection of any family or friends you have in Southern California.
(ii) Our brothers and sisters in Christ who live there.
(iii) The firemen fighting those fires.
(iv) Those without Christ that they might be saved.
(v) And that the Lord would use this for His glory.

2. But to pray as effectively as possible, we need to know what is behind these
fires:

a. Not the necessarily what the fire investigators are looking for: A downed
power pole, a spark from the broken wire, the flare that fell in the dry brush,
the cigarette carelessly thrown from the car window, or even the arsonist
responsible.

b. But the reason the Lord brought these fires:

(i) Remember, God is absolutely sovereign: He is the One who planned
everything that comes to pass \u2013 even sin \u2013 so that He might overrule it for
His glory and the good of His church.

(a) We saw this over the last few weeks with Paul and Silas in Philippi:
(1) The Lord brought them there sovereignly.
(2) He allowed the demon-possessed servant girl to follow them.
(3) He allowed them to be beaten and thrown into prison without trial.
(4) But He did this to convert the Philippian jailer, his family, and

perhaps other inmates; and to give legal protection to Paul and Silas
and the church at Philippi for a while from any further persecution.
(b) God works even the sins (moral evil) of men to His glory.
2

(ii) What we need to understand this morning is that the same is true
regarding natural evil.
(a) Was 9/11 and the war on terrorism that began in 2001 a part of His

plan?
(b) What about the Cedar Fires in 2003?
(c) Hurricane Katrina in 2005?
(d) And these fires in Southern California?

(e) God planned these as well; they didn\u2019t take Him by surprise:
(1) He knows everything that will ever happen.
(2) He knows what His creatures will do.
(3) He knows how, when and where He will intervene.
(4) The fact that these things are happening means He has willed them.
(5) He didn\u2019t start the fires: they were started by men, either on

purpose or not.
(6) But they were a part of His plan.

(iii) The question we should ask is: Why did God bring them? What is His
purpose behind them?
(a) Certainly to glorify His name and to work them together for His

church.
(b) But He also brought them as an act of judgment and as a picture of
coming judgment.
B. Preview.

1. Our passage this morning was written by David \u2013 by the inspiration of the Spirit
\u2013 to express:
a. His thankfulness for God\u2019s blessing to him as king,
b. His trust in Him as Lord.
c. His testimony of how the Lord answered his prayer and exalted him as king.
d. How the Lord had spared his life.
e. How He blessed Him in so many ways.
f. But especially how the Lord would bless him by finding and destroy all His

own (the Lord\u2019s) enemies, which were also the king\u2019s enemies, making his
kingdom secure.

g. Understanding that the office of king in Israel was pointing to Christ in His office as King, and understanding what we do from the NT as to what Christ will do to His enemies on the day of His judgment, we can\u2019t escape the fact that what the Spirit of God had in mind in verse 9 is the fiery judgment God has prepared for all the wicked on that day.

2. There is a Day of Judgment coming \u2013 a day in which the Lord will judge all men according to what they have done, a day when the Lord will cast all the wicked into hell, as well as gather His own into heaven.

3

a. Because this day is coming, and because of the wickedness that exists in the world today, God breaks out from time to time in judgment \u2013 such as through these fires \u2013 giving us warnings of the final judgment.

b. The fact that so few were killed is an act of God\u2019s mercy; that so few
buildings out of the number that could possible have been destroyed is
mercy; the fact that God\u2019s people have reason to praise Him now means that
He has showed us mercy.

c. God is mercifully warning us to turn away from our sins, because further
judgment is coming.

3. This morning, let\u2019s consider three things:
a. First, there is a day of judgment coming.
b. Second, the Lord often gives us glimpses of that judgment in this world.
c. Finally, how we can best use what we have seen of this judgment.

II. Sermon.
A. First, the Lord tells us in His Word that there is a day of judgment coming.
1. The first voice that broke the 400 year silence after the closing of the Old
Testament canon, was that of John the Baptist, calling for repentance.

a. Matthew writes, \u201cNow in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, \u2018Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.\u201d For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, \u2018The voice of one crying in the wilderness, \u201cMake ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!\u201d\u2019\u201d (3:1-3).

b. And why were they to repent? Because of the wrath of God which was
coming: \u201cBut when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for
baptism, he said to them, \u2018You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from
the wrath to come?\u2019\u201d (v. 7).

c. John was undoubtedly referring to AD 70, which was then about 40 years in

the future.
d. But he meant what that event pointed to as well: the final judgment.
e. Judgment was coming, and so they needed to get ready for it: they needed to

run from their sins to the only One who could save them: the Lord Jesus
Christ.
2. Jesus, during His earthly ministry, also told us that day was coming and what
would happen then:

a. \u201cBut when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him,
then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered
before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd
separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right,
and the goats on the left\u201d (Matt. 25:31-33).
(i) The sheep are those who repented of their sins and who submitted to

Christ by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those sick and in
prison, showing hospitality to strangers (vv. 35-36).

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