Abusing God's Patience
Romans 1:18, 32, 2:1-5
10-19-20, Pastor Charles Stanley -- Have you ever ignored the press of conviction [aka conscience] upon your heart? Maybe you rationalized your wrongdoing with the thought that if God were really upset, He'd put a stop to things by disciplining you. Psalm 50:21 reminds us that the silence of heaven does not mean approval. Remaining in sin is an abuse of the Lord's patience.
When God seems slow to react, we might hope He's overlooking our transgressions -- we'd like to continue in sin because the momentary pleasure is more appealing than obedience. But thankfully, the Father knows our weaknesses, our innate carnality, and the state of our spiritual growth, and He therefore measures His response. Motivated by love and a desire to gently restore His children to righteousness, God may refrain from doling out immediate punishment.
Instead, He waits for the Holy Spirit's proddings to impact the believer's heart. The weight of conviction is actually an invitation to turn from wrongdoing and return to godliness. [Sadly there are those who deliberately and repeatedly do wickedly with no remorse. These are not born again believers. Hebrews 6:4, 10:26-31]
There are times when some persist in sin because the sentence against an evil deed isn't executed quickly (Eccl. 8:11). In this dangerous situation, it's possible to immerse ourselves in sin that hardens our hearts against the Lord. Then the Holy Spirit's call to repentance falls on spiritual ears rapidly going deaf.
As we learn and understand more about God and His ways, we are increasingly responsible to live righteously. The Lord is not slow; He's patient. Do not abuse His patience with callous disregard for His statutes. Repent [Luke 13:3] and be holy [Jude 1:20] in the sight of the Lord. Source
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