The Wrath of God

A Really Inconvenient Truth – Part 1

Romans 1:16-22

January 22, 2023

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.     Introduction (Romans 1:1,7,8,16,17)


A.   We are studying verse by verse through the Book of Romans

B.   THE Greatest Book in the New Testament!

C.   Paul has mentioned so many positive, encouraging words and truths:


1.    The Gospel (Romans 1:1)  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

2.    Grace, Peace, Faith (Romans 1:7,8)  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

3.    The Power of God, Salvation, Believing, Righteousness (Romans 1:16,17)  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.

4.    Gospel, Grace, Peace, Faith, Power of God, Belief, Righteousness – all are positive, REAL, and TRUE. That is the reality that a Christian lives in


D.   But there is another side to reality – There is a need for Salvation, for the Gospel to be preached and heard, and believed…

E.   “The Wrath of God”

F.    It is REAL!


1.    Romans 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

2.    The truth is, people who have been taught all their lives


a.     That God is “a good God” (and He is)

b.    And God “loves” people (and He does)

c.     But they have never been taught that God is righteous and holy, and the ultimate Judge of all the earth!


3.    THAT is the Inconvenient Truth people need to hear and talk about and face up to!

4.    Because there is a day coming…


a.     Not when the climate will get too hot to live in – forget global warming

b.    Not when the world will become too overcrowded – it is a lie

c.     Not when AI based robots will take over the world – as terrifying as that may be…

d.    But there is a day coming, when God will judge the secrets of men


1)    Romans 2:16  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

2)    Believe me, there are some unimaginable secrets that people are not aware of!

3)    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.


G.   Let’s Look at this Inconvenient Truth… the Wrath of God, and pay attention to all God’s warnings – because it is real!


II.   Message


A.   The Wrath of God is Revealed (Romans 1:18)


1.    Romans 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

2.    It is serious when GOD gets upset, angry, full of wrath


a.     It was true with my Dad when I was growing up

b.    I am sorry for some of you who had fathers and mothers who were constantly angry, and maybe abusive

c.     But some of us had Dad’s who were reserved, and patient with us, but also, when we crossed some serious lines, they got angry! Whew! And they were right to be!


3.    God is slow to get angry…


a.     Psalm 103:8  The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

b.    He delays to punish sin…  thank God! He is not hovering over you striking you every time you sin and do something wrong! No. He is very patient.

c.     But, God’s patience is NOT permission!

d.    Romans 2:4-6  Or despisest thou [MOCKS] the riches of his [GOD’S] goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds

e.     Judgement will happen, and has happened throughout history as I will remind you in a few minutes


4.    Nobody wants to hear about THIS “inconvenient” truth


a.     But THIS generation needs to hear it straight up

b.    That God is NOT dead, and WILL judge sin

c.     Death is NOT the end of a person’s life

d.    Hell is still real, and eternal, and terrifying

e.     Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

f.     We would all do well to learn of AND fear God’s wrath!


B.   It is Described - The Bible Describes God’s Wrath


1.    The descriptions in the Bible leave nothing to the imagination!

2.    Revelation 19:11-15  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True [JESUS], and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

3.    Revelation 6:12-17  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

4.    No wonder John the Baptist screamed at the top of his lung, “FLEE FROM THE WRATH TO COME!”


C.   God has Already Displayed His Wrath in the past…


1.    Upon the entire violent world of Noah’s day with the flood

2.    God poured out His wrath upon the ungodliness and perversion of Sodom

3.    God showed His wrath when He sent the Ten Plagues upon the nation of Egypt

4.    God displayed His wrath against sin when He poured our His wrath on His Son on the cross in all our place!

5.    Don’t forget Ananias and Saphira dying an early death because of their deception

6.    You cannot ignore the fact that God has punished this world in the past, and will again in the future!


D.   WHY is God Angry? (Romans 1:18)


1.    Because of “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18)


a.     The problem is in US

b.    Romans 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

c.     God is furious at sin in us


1)    God is angry that we break His laws that are meant to protect people

2)    That we love our sin – men love darkness, porn, drunkenness, stealing, laziness

3)    That we don’t care that we break God’s Laws.

4)    EXAMPLE of a young man joy-riding in a stolen car, and being caught, and yet not caring that he stole a car and smashed it and a dozen cars along the way, and ran over two people! Certainly people should be angry!


d.    God is angry that sin runs our lives instead of righteousness – He made us for better things than Venereal Diseases, and Emphysema, and Kidney Failures, and Stomach Ulcers, and wasted lives! He is angry that sin is allowed to ruin our lives!


1)    EXAMPLE: All those homeowners that found out Mica was used in the concrete and ruined their walls and foundations! People are furious! Rightly so!

2)    EXAMPLE: Every parent understands this feeling of wrath when they think of someone attempting to molest their children!

3)    EXAMPLE: If your son’s or daughter’s life was being run by a gang member or a pimp, wouldn’t that infuriate you?

4)    Sin is getting worse and worse everywhere


a)    People’s language is vile

b)    You can’t watch a cartoon without something sexual on it

c)    What movies can we watch that are clean anymore?


e.     So, He HAS to judge sin


1)    He would not be a GOOD God if He wasn’t a holy God!

2)    God is not like politicians, and modern judges – protecting their friends, and destroying their enemies

3)    He holds everyone including Himself to absolute justice


a)    God is holy, pure, right, and good

b)    And we humans, simply are NONE of those things!

c)    No wonder He is upset!


E.   What is Wrong with Mankind?


1.    The Bible, like an X-Ray machine, tells us the inconvenient truths about OURSELVES! The truths that we do NOT like to hear, but need to hear!

2.    We are a mess on the inside – ruined – depraved – enemies of God!

3.    People Know God (Romans 1:19-20)


a.     Romans 1:19,20  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:

b.    We are not ignorant that God exists

c.     We all know about God


1)    God is not so hidden like people think. He has revealed Himself to every person

2)    Evidences for a Creator everywhere – we know God exists because of Creation


a)    DNA design

b)    The design in atoms – they should not exist

c)    Uniqueness of the earth in a universe of a sextillion stars and planets and galaxies (10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)

d)    The very size of the universe expects a Creator – impossible for it to exist without Someone intelligently starting it, and keeping it running!

e)    If I find some toys on a beach, it would be beyond stupid to believe they just appeared, and were not made by someone!


3)    Our Conscience tells us there is a God


a)    A moral compass – evolution has NO compass.

b)    We have instincts about right and wrong wired into us – just TRY and take away a toy from a 10 month old! That kid will cry and throw a fit because even HE knows it is wrong to steal!

c)    No matter what country we are born in, we all sense that there is a God out there, and all people worship something!

d)    Every nation, culture, language

e)    We all grow up knowing there is some sort of a God, and have to be SHAMED in to no longer believing in Him


4.    But Refuse to Glorify Him as God (Romans 1:21)


a.     And yet, knowing that there is a God, mankind actively rejects God

b.    People REFUSE to honour God as the ruler of heaven and earth!

c.     Romans 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God

d.    And they replace God with images, statues, objects, money, power, and feelings…

e.     That hurts!


5.    People Are NOT Thankful (Romans 1:21) – ungratefulness is a SIN


a.     And it all going back to one foundational sin – ungrateful

b.    Romans 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful

c.     People generally are not thankful for what they have, and what others do for them

d.    People have to be TAUGHT to be thankful - Evidently parents have forgotten this important requirement!

e.     But THE sin that causes SO many other sins… is the sin that says, “I don’t need God, I don’t need my parents, I don’t need to be thankful for anything. Nothing has ever been perfect, and I never get what ‘I’ want, etc, so why be thankful?”

f.     And so, mankind only goes DOWN-HILL from there!

g.    The arrogant pride of a person, causes them to think they do not need to be thankful for…


1)    Their life, Their breath, Their health

2)    Their height, gender, eye colour, hair colour, parents, siblings, neighbours, teachers, their pastor, their clothes, their shoes, their HOME!

3)    Hardships, trials, troubles, disappointments, and even disasters are never valued – only hated!

4)    No wonder we are a generation of bitter people who hate life and hate ourselves


h.    When we refuse to THANK GOD for everything, we open the door for the devil to take charge of our heart and bring unimaginable sins into our lives!


1)    Ephesians 5:20  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

2)    Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

3)    It is a SIN to not be thankful, and not say THANK YOU!


6.    People Change the Glory of God into Images and Idols (Romans 1:23)


a.     Idolatry is a sin, and it really upsets God


1)    Like a man replacing his wife with something else, or some-ONE else

2)    That would really upset her, wouldn’t it?


b.    Romans 1:23  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.

c.     They change God into an IMAGE! Idolatry.


1)    They let their imagination take over

2)    They worship people, people’s bodies, people’s accomplishments

3)    Others worship trees, mountains, stars, the Sun, moon, demons, ‘aliens.’

4)    Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats, frogs, serpents and beatles

5)    People in India worship cows and rats

6)    All the while calling themselves Professors, Doctors, TDs, Senators!

7)    Yet in all their education, they became VAIN, empty, worthless, air-heads!

8)    Worshipping numbers and pieces of paper that claim to have value, called money

9)    Exodus 20:2-5  I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.


d.    People create Idols to replace God


1)    Romans 1:28  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

2)    Reprobate is: a mind empty of God!

3)    They don’t want the God of the Bible so


a)    They didn’t like to retain God in their knowledge. He’s not popular

b)    They start following their own gods. Gods made with their own hands, in their own image


7.    People Change Truth into a Lie (Romans 1:25)


a.     Romans 1:25  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.

b.    People change truths into lies!


1)    They change the beautiful truth of one man, married to one woman for life into anything-goes!

2)    People change the truth that we arre all created by God into the lie that so many people were accidents, and are imperfect!

3)    People change the truth that a man is supposed to be masculine, and women are supposed to be feminine into the lie that you can be anything you want to be!

4)    People change the truth that God is a spirit and must be worshipped by OUR own spirit and in truth, to the lie that God doesn’t care how we worship, or what we worship!


c.     The result is that people are worshipping PEOPLE and THINGS instead of God

d.    EXAMPLE: If I met someone who hand crafted a beautiful watch, and I ignored the Creator, and just bragged on owning the watch, that would be pure stupidity! The guy who engineered the watch is greateer thasn the watch!

e.     The same is true with everything in the universe!


1)    As beautiful as the stars and galaxies are, and as amazing as this planet of ours is, it would be stupid to worship TREES, mountains, cattle, cats, dogs, rocks, gems, gold, silver

2)    The GOD who made everything is far greater than anything we see!


F.    The Results (Romans 1:21-22)


1.    There are serious, and even eternal consequences of our attitudes towards God and truth… I am going to show you the first two results!

2.    God makes fools of people


a.     Romans 1:21,22  … became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools

b.    A fool is someone who decides against all the evidences that there is no God (Psalm 14:1) “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

c.     If you want to be a fool, God will make a fool out of you


1)    You will start believing that we all just crawled out of a pool of goo, 3.2 billion years ago

2)    You will believe life is an accident, and human life is worthless

3)    You will give women the RIGHT to destroy unborn life - I wonder what women would say if a MAN forcibly took the life of unborn children in her womb!

4)    You will worry about mushrooms, and rare snails, and life on Mars

5)    You will spend all your time on social media, and in political arguments

6)    You will watch as marriages fall apart, and families hate one another


d.    We have been made fools by our attitudes towards God!

e.     With all our education, and technology, our world is dumber than ever!


3.    And so, God begins to abandon people


a.     He lets their sin become their master, and their ruin


1)    Giving them up, mean’s letting them go their own way

2)    Romans 1:24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness

3)    Romans 1:26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections

4)    Romans 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind

5)    To the place where God leaves a person completely alone


b.    It doesn’t happen all at once

c.     But bit by bit, as people mock God, He begins to mock back

d.    And as people walk further away from God, God walks further away from them – like a mirror

e.     That’s why it is harder for you to humble yourself and get born again today than it was a year ago, or two years ago – it never gets easier, only harder!


4.    This ought to terrify you – like it did me, 42 years ago! The Bible says, NOW is the accepted time, TODAY is the day of salvation!

5.    More next week!


III.         Conclusion


A.   There is an Inconvenient Truth… Nobody wants to hear about THIS truth

B.   It is called, The Wrath of God


1.    It is Real!

2.    It is Revealed (Romans 1:18)

3.    It is Described - The Bible Describes God’s Wrath

4.    It Has Been Displayed in the past…

5.    It is Because of “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18)


a.     Not just the vile and wicked sins

b.    But the sins of Refusing to Glorify Him as God

c.     The sin of NOT being Thankful

d.    Of Changing the Glory of God into Images and Idols

e.     And of Changing every Truth into a Lie


C.   The Results Are:


1.    God (not just sin) makes fools of people

2.    And God begins to abandon people

3.    And will ultimately judge every one for every sin

4.    This ought to terrify you – like it did me, 42 years ago!


D.   Now you know why there is a need for Salvation, for the Gospel to be preached and heard, and believed… because even if you believe there is a God, you can not ever know Him unless you know Jesus His Son!

E.    That is why you hear the Gospel here every week:


1.    That “Ye must be born again”

2.    “Flee from the wrath to come”

3.    Jesus came into the world to save sinners

4.    Let Him, ask Him to save YOU right now!

5.    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.