What If I'm Unthankful?
Nothing Holding Us Back - Be Thankful! • Sermon • Submitted
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18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all impiety and unrighteousness of people, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what can be known about God is evident among them, for God made it clear to them. 20 For from the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, both his eternal power and deity, are discerned clearly, being understood in the things created, so that they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasoning, and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God with the likeness of an image of mortal human beings and birds and quadrupeds and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to immorality, that their bodies would be dishonored among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God with a lie, and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed for eternity. Amen.
I read a few quotes this weekend that I thought would be great to introduce today’s message. One says: “You’ll never find a happy ungrateful person” - Zig Ziglar. Another says “Ungrateful people complain about the one thing not done for them instead of being thankful for the thousands of things done for them”. Lastly, there’s one that really caught my attention and strongly connects with today’s passage. It says: “The beginning of humanity’s rebellion against GOD was and is the lack of a Thankful Heart”. So in an effort to encourage us to BE THANKFUL, I want to begin by showing us the dangers of not being thankful and how we arrive to an ungrateful character.
In this context Paul explains God’s righteous condemnation upon the sinful world and why fallen humanity fully deserves wrath. Within it, Paul reveals behaviors connected to and resulting from being unthankful.
It begins with Irreverence and Sin
Paul says God has revealed his divine displeasure against sin and lack of respect toward him.
Application: There have been times where certain people have done nice things for me, but because I don’t have much regard for who they are, I throw out a cheap “thank you” but I really don’t feel it. It is the exact same with GOD.
With attempts to deny an undeniable reality
Paul characterizes irreverent and unrighteous people by holding down or opposing the reality and truth of GOD by their sins. He then furthers his case that GOD is just and unrighteous people are rightly convicted because no matter how much they try to oppose, deny, and suppress the truth of God’s reality, it is a moot point because GOD has made his reality so plain for all of humanity!!! What does that mean Paul? That means no human has an argument they can stand on against God’s case against humanity. Not salvation knowledge, but universal knowledge that there is a creator and it is GOD.
Well Brother Evans, what does all that have to do with the dangers of being unthankful?
It breeds stupidity
Paul says those same people, throughout human history, recognize there’s a higher power, and could give him the glory and thanks that he’s due, but they refuse.
Application: That means being unthankful is rooted in sin, irreverence, and denial. An ounce of any of them can cause us to lack thankfulness.
What path did they naturally experience from not being thankful? Stupidity!!! That means their thoughts lacked purpose, and their minds went far from understanding anything about GOD.
Application: This means we don’t need to do any action grow dumber about GOD. All we have to do is be unthankful, and it will naturally happen. Love sin so much, no thanks for blessing my body. No regard for GOD, I bought this food. Is there a GOD? Why are we here if we’re just here to die?
It leads to attempts to substitute GOD
But what they and many humans fail to realize, is that GOD designed everything with order and government, which comes from his own character!!! Ruler: animals, oceanic life, etc. Thus humans too have always sought for a ruler. The problem is, is when humans are unthankful toward GOD, become stupid about GOD, they attempt to substitute what they decide is their ruler, for GOD who is the only rightful ruler of all things!!!
Application: You see the path. The extreme danger of ingratitude, is that it leads to idolatry. First starting with man!!