by Shawn Brasseaux
“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They [His compassions and mercies] are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22,23 KJV).
Unbelief and rebellion have plagued humanity ever since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. We will take a brief run through the Holy Scriptures to present a remarkable story to you. In its six millennia of history, humanity has been so shameful, so unfaithful, and so disobedient toward God. Man has ruined everything, but God in His grace has tolerated mankind all this time. Man has been so disloyal to God, but God has remained faithful to man. Our goal here is to tell you the remarkable story of grace!
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Adam made a very foolish decision in the Garden of Eden; he listened to Eve, who listened to Satan. Adam really messed it up for all of us: consequently, we suffer the curse of disease, misery, and death. But, do not be too judgmental toward Adam, because as we will see later on, we are no better today.
Long before Adam sinned, gracious God had already pre-planned the solution. God could have let the human race go off forever in its lost state, but His grace kept Him from completely destroying us. According to Genesis 3:15, the Lord promised Adam and Eve that He would send “the seed of the woman,” a reference to Jesus Christ the Redeemer (cf. Galatians 4:4). This Messiah would eventually become the Saviour of the world, to completely forgive man of its sin and sins.
Now, let us fast-forward to Noah’s lifetime, in Genesis chapter 6, some 1,600 years after Adam’s fall. Here, there is nothing but violence and murder in the world. Similar to the events in Eden, man caused God much grief and heartache. The LORD caused a global flood to cleanse the world of the rampant wickedness, but man was no different afterward. Instead of scattering throughout the world like God instructed them, Noah’s descendents gathered around the Tower of Babel in pagan, idolatrous worship! In righteous anger, God confounded the languages, and scattered the people. Even after the catastrophic flood of Noah’s day, man showed no reverence toward God. But remarkably, God showed grace toward them! He did not wipe mankind from the face of the earth!
Then we come to Abram (Abraham), about 350 years after Noah, and the world is still set in its old ways. According to Joshua 24:2, even Abraham and his ancestors were guilty of worshipping false gods. Although Abraham later became a believer after God appeared to Him in a visible form, most of mankind was still lost and worshipping gold and silver idols. Same sinful creatures like at the time of Noah, and the same gracious God who put up with it.
Abraham had a son Isaac, Isaac had Jacob, and Jacob had twelve sons (eventually becoming the twelve tribes of Israel). You would think that since Israel was God’s covenant people, they would have lived exemplary lives. On the contrary, Israel was so wicked it was pitiful; for the most part, they were no better than the pagan Gentiles around them (Romans 2:23,24). We cannot begin to imagine how saddened God was, but again, look at world today, and it is not one bit different.
God brought Israel out of Egyptian bondage, with the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, His cloud of glory for shade, and His pillar of fire for protection and guidance. While Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, Israel created and began to worship a silly golden calf in Genesis 32:7-10! After everything God had just done for them, the Jews were literally dancing naked around a silly pagan idol as though it had delivered them from Egypt. Ridiculous! “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).
God was very angry at Israel because of their unbelief. Moses was so upset to see Israel committing such vile acts that he broke the original Ten Commandants’ tablets of stone! Even when God guaranteed Israel the Promised Land, Israel in their unbelief basically called God a liar (Hebrews 3:17-19). But God did not give up on them; He was faithful, even when they were not!
According to Isaiah chapter 57 there was rampant idolatry in Israel approximately 700 B.C. Verse 5 says there was an idol under every tree to worship, but that is not the worse part. Israel even sacrificed their babies and children to Molech, a pagan god of fire. They would literally burn their children alive on altars and then beat drums to drown out the sounds of their children’s screams. Horrible! Look at verse 6. Can you imagine Jewish people worshipping smooth rocks they found in riverbeds!?! Unbelievable, not only to know how wicked their acts were, but how our God of grace tolerated it!
The book of Judges contains nothing but Israel slipping into idolatry and apostasy. God warned them time and time again that if they would not straighten up, He would send Gentile armies to overrun them. Israel would beg God to forgive them, God would restore them with a new judge, and then Israel would fall away again into idolatry. Over and over the cycle repeated. Go look in the book of Hosea, and even Israel’s priesthood was guilty of pagan idolatry. What a remarkable story that God in His grace did not destroy Israel from existence.
Go to Jeremiah 44:15-25, and God is rightly accusing Israel’s women of burning incense to a false pagan goddess (the Ephesians knew “the queen of heaven” as Diana, and Roman Catholics know her as Mary; see Acts 19:23-28). Their husbands said absolutely nothing about it! When the LORD sent the prophet Jeremiah to warn Israel of His impending judgment and wrath, see their response in verse 16: “as for the word that thou has spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee!” Paul writes that Israel was guilty of killing many of their own prophets who God would send to deliver His messages to them (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16)! Israel did not care what God said, and the world is no different today—not a bit! The world does not care about the Bible and what God says: look how they treat us Christians!
We have the same sin nature that the Jews had, and the same sin nature Noah’s contemporaries had. We are all descendants of Adam, wicked little creatures with a sin nature that hates God. We find it amusing to challenge and disobey God. God’s wrath is kindled against the human race, but grace is keeping the wrath from pouring in. He has given mankind ample time to repent (change their way of thinking), but most of the world does not have one ounce of guilt. This the Dispensation of Grace will come to a close one day, and even most of those living during the horrors of the wrathful Tribulation will still be rebellious toward God!
Amazingly, as Saul of Tarsus was persecuting and murdering the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, God saved that wicked man—His chief human enemy—and made him the apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11). Let us notice 1 Timothy 1:12-15 KJV:
“12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
God in His grace saved Saul of Tarsus to make him Paul our apostle! (God could have just destroyed Saul.)
Flash back to Calvary’s cross. Look how the Jews (and the Romans) treated the Lord Jesus Christ! To think of how they spitefully and defiantly mistreated the Creator God in the flesh. And God the Father actually forgave them of killing His Son. As Christ hung on the cross, he had God’s omnipotence (He was God, after all). He foresaw all the horrible world sin for which He was now dying. He saw all human time, forward and backward (from Adam long into our present-day and even beyond). He saw the wars, the Holocaust, the corrupt politics, the mass deception in most churches, the Christian persecution during the Inquisition, the terrorist attacks, and the millions of abortions, and all the world events yet to take place even today.
Why in the world would God Almighty want anything to do with us? Why?! GRACE!!! Considering all that man has done, God in His grace still said, I commended My love toward you in Christ Jesus, and “you are forgiven!” Even today, as people are cursing His name, ignoring Him, trying to bargain with Him by “meriting favor,” corrupting and wresting (twisting) His Word, using His name to extort money from people via counterfeit “ministries,” perverting His plan of salvation, and marring His reputation, God still has an attitude of grace toward us. God in mercy holds back His wrath! And God’s grace gives us His peace and salvation in Christ Jesus!
It almost makes you cry, that God has been so good to us, and mankind has been so ungrateful and disrespectful toward Him. Even some Christians are bringing God heartache with their lifestyles. What a shame, but how thankful we are that grace came through when we should have all been cursed with deserved wrath—me included. Praise the Lord that He still went to the cross, knowing what a failure man would continue to be! NEVER FORGET THE GRACE THAT GOD HAS DEMONSTRATED TOWARD US IN THE PERSON OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!!! “WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND” (Romans 5:20 KJV)! Hallelujah! I get so excited, and you should too!
The problem is that man wants God to be nothing but gracious: they want God to bend the rules and give them leeway, but He cannot and will not compromise with man. You either have faith in what God said in His Word, or you do not. God will not alter His Word to accommodate your opinions or religious system. God will not tolerate man’s evil ways forever, so man better had straighten up and straighten up quick, because the day is coming when God will deal with man on the basis of wrath, and anger, and righteous judgment. Lost mankind will no longer experience His grace, peace, love, and mercy. And that day is quickly approaching….
“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb…. The LORD shall laugh at him [the wicked]: for he seeth that his day is coming” (Psalm 37:1,2,13 KJV).
If you are not resting peacefully in God’s grace, and you want to avoid the coming wrath, right now, please place your faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross. God commended His love toward you, when you did not deserve it. The Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins, His blood was shed, He was buried, and He rose again the third day. That can be found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Trust in Paul’s Gospel of Grace alone for salvation. Please do not take God’s grace for granted, or you will regret it (literally) forever. Trust in Christ Jesus alone as your personal Saviour! I hope and pray your receive His grace and hold firmly to it forever, because if you take grace by faith, God’s grace will firmly hold you forever.