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James Merritt - Good and Angry

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    James Merritt - Good and Angry
TOPICS: No Hard Feelings, Emotions, Anger

Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the greatest writers and poets in American history said this, "Every minute you remain angry, "you give up 60 seconds of peace of mind. Well I want to admit something. If that's true, I've given up a lot of peace in my life, and I've given up a lot of time in my life, more than my fair share. In fact, we're in a series today, if you don't know this, we've been calling No Hard Feelings, and it's all about the emotions that we all deal with. Some of the negative emotions that really just kind of take the joy out of life. And frankly, the one that probably hits home with me the hardest is the one I want to talk about this morning.

Now I'm not a smoldering volcano of rage, but I can get angry. And I'm not the only one. One out of five Americans report feeling anger a lot in 2018. That was an increase from 17% in the years before, according to the Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report. And if you don't think people are angry, let me tell you what you just do. Just get on social media, just pick your poison, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. And you better have on some fireproof gloves, or you will burn your hands. I mean, people are hot.

In 2001, just 10% of Americans told researchers they were angry at the federal government, 10%. By 2013, that number had more than tripled. In 2012, political scientists at Emory University found that fewer than half the voters said they were deeply angry at the other party's presidential presidential nominee. In 2016, 70% of Americans said they were angry at the other presidential nominee. It doesn't matter where you go in America. It seems like there's a raging inferno. There's road, rage, racial rage, political rage, marital rage, vocational rage, there is financial rage, and anger is a killer in more ways than one. This fascinated me. The relationship between murder and anger.

I know now why Jesus said be careful because when you get angry, you commit murder in your heart. Jesus knew there's this relational connection between anger and murder. Listen to this. There are far more killings that are committed spontaneously and in anger, that's called voluntary manslaughter. There's far more killings like that than those committed with premeditation and thought. As a matter of fact, first degree murder, which is when you think it through, you plan it out, and you kill someone, that is the smallest category of murder of all.

And anger explains why there's a tremendous gender difference in homicide. Women, you'll be encouraged I hope to hear this. Men, this does give little comfort. Women are more likely to respond to adverse conditions with sadness or depression, but men are more likely to respond with anger and they're more likely to express their anger in violence. So it's not a coincidence that of all the murders committed in the United States of America, 90% are committed by men. Now your anger may not lead you to kill somebody else, but it could wind up killing you because it really literally is in our blood. And here's what happens, when we get angry, our blood heats up. And when it overheats, it becomes a poison that can ruin your health. It can lead to all kinds of health problems, like heart disease, diabetes, depression, skin, disease, stress, lack of energy, high blood pressure, and more.

Listen to this. There is a constant unbreakable direct connection between constantly angry, aggressive, mad, hostile, and early heart disease. Scientists have now developed what they call hostility ratings. They have numbers for it. If you have a hostility rating, that is how hostile you are all the time or much of the time, how irritable you are, how angry you are, if your hostility rating is over 55, that is a greater predictor of heart disease than any other known risk factor, including cholesterol, alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, and being overweight.

And you say, well, why is anger so poisonous? Why is it so hard on our bodies? Because when you get angry, here's what happens. Acid pumps into your stomach. Adrenaline pours into your bloodstream. Your muscles tense up. Your internal organs shut down, and your physical body literally takes a physical beating. That's why we now know that people who have these angry outburst are at an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, especially within the first two hours of getting angry. Listen, the Harvard Medical Center of Public Health found out heart attack risk increased about five times in the two hours after you get angry and the risk of stroke more than triples.

Now if you ever go into one, and you've probably seen people do this, I mean a full on raging, volcanic level of anger, your risk of having a heart attack within two hours is four and a half times greater than that of the normal person. Anger is destructive. It is a killer. So it probably shouldn't surprise us that God's word has a lot to say about anger. And in a book called Ephesians, I'd invite you to turn to this morning. It's in the New Testament. It's about six or eight books over from Matthew. In a book called Ephesians, the fourth chapter, there was a man by the name of Paul. And he gives this prescription for those of us who are temper challenged.

And I'm not going to ask you. You don't have to raise your hand, but maybe some of us, some of you I know are mild mannered, and you're calm, and you're collected all the time. But those of us who have Scottish Irish descent, that's me, we're not always that way. My dad wasn't that way. My grandfather wasn't that way. I'm not that way. And if you're one of those people that may be at times temper challenged, there's a piece of scripture that actually I believe is God's prescription on how to divinely manage your anger. And here's the good news. I've heard people say, well, I was just born that way. Well, we're all born that way. But you can manage your anger. You can control your temper, rather than your temper controlling you, if you'll take three simple steps that Paul talks about in Ephesians, chapter four. You ready?

Now, the first one's going to surprise you. If you want to get a hold of your anger and get control of your temper. If you're tired of having these angry outbursts, if you're tired of having this hair-trigger temper that just goes off at nothing, the first thing you've got to do, Paul says, is you've got to express sinless anger. Now what Paul says in just a moment, it's really only in two sentences. I mean, one sentence is actually two verses is one sentence in the Greek language. But the first thing that Paul says is a shocker. Here's what he says. Be angry.

Now, let me stop. Those of you who are tempered challenged, just hold on. You said, I liked that. Hold on. Be angry, but do not sin. Be angry, but do not sin. That may surprise you. That is an imperative verb. That's a command. He says be angry, not a request, it's a command. So Paul lets us know. Yeah, there are times we ought to be angry. There are things that ought to make us angry. There's something wrong with you if, and I don't mean this to be, I'm not trying to be funny, but if you don't ever get ticked off at anything, you need help. You need to go to see a therapist. There is something wrong with you. He says there are things that ought to make you so angry, times that we ought to be angry.

So let me just say right up front, sin and anger are not necessarily the same thing. Paul lets us know. It's not always a sin to be angry. Think about this. If it's always a sin to be angry, then Jesus was a sinner because Jesus got angry. If you remember, all of you probably remember the story. Let me tell you when Jesus was cleaning out that temple, he was turning over those tables, and throwing food out the window, and cracking a whip, and running people out the door. He wasn't cool, and calm, and collected. He wasn't gentle Jesus meek and mild. He was royally divinely ticked off. He was angry. And he got angry on several occasions.

Now God is a God of love, but the Bible also says, God is a God of anger. And this may shock some of you, but sometimes one of the godliest things you can do at certain times is to be angry. Let me give you an example. There's an organization called MADD, M A D D. You know what that stands for, right? Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. Let me tell you something. Those mothers ought to be mad. It ought to anger us every time a drunk driver kills somebody that's innocent. That oughta make your blood boil. It ought to get you upset. And it's past time the church got mad and angry at certain things, because let me just give you this thought. The things that anger God, should anger us.

And I know this is politically incorrect, but we should never be okay with something God's not okay with. So read my lips. I'm not okay with gay marriage. I'll never be okay with gay marriage because God's not okay with gay marriage. I'll never be okay with sexual sin because God's not okay with sexual sin. We ought not to be okay with gossip because God is not okay with gossip. There are a lot of things we should be angry about. There are things we should not be okay again, but unfortunately we have lost our ability to be good and angry at the same time, because we live in a world today where every day the shores of righteousness are being flooded with the waves of wickedness and the winds of evil and the storms of sin are attacking innocent hearts and homes everywhere.

So I want to put it this way. If you are a person of real character, and if you have any real conscience at all, you should always be angry at wickedness and injustice. I think maybe the problem regarding anger is not just sometimes we get angry for the wrong reason. I think there's a bigger problem. I think too often, we don't get angry enough for the right reasons. So let me give you some things we ought to be angry about. We ought to be angry at racial injustice. We ought to hate discrimination and prejudice everywhere we find it. Discrimination and prejudice because of the color of someone's skin should have no place in any nation in any place in this world.

We ought to be angry at sexual immorality. When God's plan for marriage and sex are decried and denied. We ought to be angry at the spiritual idolatry that we see in a nation that has substituted gold for God, and tolerance for truth, and popularity for principle. And yes, we ought to be angry at the medical inequity of abortion, where unborn children who have the same right to life that you and I got, should be allowed to live. And I know some women will say, you're a white man, you've got no right to say that. Gender and color has no boundaries when it comes to speaking the truth. We ought to be angry. There are certain things in our world that ought to make us angry. We ought to be angry about poverty, and about homelessness, and environmental distress. We ought to be angry at the state of the church.

And if you don't like this and it makes you mad, you come ask me and I'll forgive you. We ought to be angry at a church that allowed itself to get more political than it was spiritual. Shame on the church, shame on the church. We ought to be angry. We ought to be angry at people who would say, we believe politics and policy are more important than the gospel of Jesus Christ. We ought to be angry. I will not do anything ever that will put a boundary between me and anybody to allow me to share the gospel with him. I will not do that. The gospel is above all. I get angry at times, can I be honest? At how far I fall short of the glory of God. Listen, I am sometimes guilty of the very things I preach against. I'm sometimes guilty of doing the things I say we shouldn't do. And here's the point. Righteous anger is not an option. It ought to be a choice that we expressed on every day.

Now, on the other hand, Paul says be angry, but then he says this, but do not sin. That's hard. I get it. You say, gosh, how do you do that? He says, be angry, but don't be angry in a sinful manner. So here's what he's saying. There's a right way to be angry. There's a wrong way. There's a right time. There's a wrong time. There's a right place. There's a wrong place. There's a right way to express this. There's a wrong way to express it. And it's very difficult to walk that razor line, it's so thin. The philosopher, Aristotle said this, listen to what he said. He said, "Anybody can become angry. That's easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, in the right way, that is not within everybody's power. And that is not easy". I say amen to that.

But then he said this. "A person who is angry on the right grounds against the right persons in the right matter, at the right moment, for the right length of time deserves very great praise". Okay, so let's define it. Pastor, when is anger wrong? When is it wrong? When is it you say, okay, you just crossed the line, now you're sinning? All right, let me just give you some ways. First of all, it is wrong to be constantly angry. If you're one of those people, you just fight, you're just almost ticked off about something all the time. That's just wrong. I mean, I've known people, you've known people, they're just one big, hot button. Doesn't matter what you say, they can get upset about. They're irritable, they're bad tempered. They find something to be angry about every single day.

And here's how you will know that you're talking to that kind of person. They always blame it on their upbringing. They always blame it on their genetics. They always bring it up on the way they were raised or they blame it on their glands. Well, it's also wrong to be quickly angry. It's just, when you've got a hair trigger temper, you got a quick fuse, that's wrong. And then it's wrong to be violently angry. You lose total control. You know people like this. You begin to shake with anger. Your face gets white hot, your body trembles, your eyes are blazing. You become verbally and physically abusive. No, there's nothing wrong with anger per se. But what is damaging is how we express our angry. We cause injury to property. We strike someone. We damage someone's esteem. We crush someone's heart. We give someone the finger when they pull in front of us.

Now, I see some guilty faces out there. The truth of the matter is this, and this is true. I'm preaching to me. Either you will control your temper or your temper will control you. Either you will get the best of your anger or your anger will get the worst of you. And when your temper gets the best of you, it always reveals the worst of you. So Paul says, when you get angry, make sure you're expressing sinless anger. And then it gives a second step to take. He said, we need to exclude sinful anger. It's okay to express sinless anger, but he says, we need to exclude sinful anger.

Now, one thing to remember about anger is this. Here's the number one thing the Bible says about anger. And I know why it says it, it's great advice. And there's sometimes I don't take my own advice. Be slow to anger, be slow to anger. James, the brother of Jesus wrote these words. He says, my dear brothers and sisters, take note of this. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry? But you know what we do? What? We're slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to get angry. Somebody said a good rule to remember is this. If you're about to get angry, count to 10 before you say anything. And if you're about to get really angry, count to 100 and say nothing. It's a good piece of advice.

You know another good rule about anger? Not only should you be slow to anger, be quick to get rid of it. That's why Paul goes on to say this. Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Anger is a fine friend at times. It is a terrible bedmate. And what Paul says is this, hey, one thing you need to do with your anger, every time you get angry, you got to put a time limit on your anger. And by the way, in Paul's day, the setting of the sun was the closing of one day and the beginning of the next day. And the point is what Paul is saying is by the end of every day, before you lay your head to go to bed at night, you should not be angry toward anyone for any reason.

Now, I can relate to this as an accounting major, because what Paul was really saying was this. Look, he says, at the end of every day, clear out the books, clear all your accounts. Wipe everything off of the debit ledger. Make sure the books are closed. You make sure the slate of your heart is wiped clean of all anger. By the way, I know after being married for four and a half decades, it will greatly help your marriage. Husbands and wives, never go to bed angry at each other. Never. You shouldn't go to bed mad. And you say, you mean we should stay up and fight? No, you shouldn't do that either. You need to stay up and get right and then go to bed.

You know, Teresa and I, we were talking about it last night. It's hard to believe we've been married 45 years. And we got married, we made several promises to each other. We'd be faithful to each other and we'd do things. We'd manage our money well, and we'd always give God more than a tithe of our income, all that kind of stuff. But one of the things we said was we said, we will never go to bed angry. 45 years, 45 years, we have never gone to bed angry. 45 years, never. And we stayed up one time for four months, but we have never, ever gone to bed angry. And I'm telling you, you just, you can't let anger sit and settle.

Because let me tell you what happens. If you go to bed angry, if you allow anger to fester and you hold onto it overnight, I want you to think about it this way. Holding onto your anger overnight is just like leaving milk out of the refrigerator. Because here's what happens. Your anger will sour, and that milk of anger you went to bed with will curdle into a froth of bitterness. To put it another way, if you go to bed with a tumor of anger in your mind, and your heart, and your body, it will be benign when you go to bed, it will be malignant then you get up. That's why Paul said, do not let the sun go down on your anger, because if you do, it will metastasize through your entire body. And ultimately it will kill you spiritually and it will kill you emotionally. And that's what anger becomes. Not just sinful. Here's what happens. It becomes systemic. It will consume you. It will control you. It will condemn you before the Lord.

So Paul says, look, express sinless anger, be angry, but you exclude sinful anger. Do not sin. Well, how do you do that? Well, he gives this as a third and the biggest step. He said, the way you do that is you expel stubborn anger. You have to expel stubborn anger. If you allow anger to fester, to build a nest in your heart, to take root in the soil of your soul, if you allow the stream of anger to become a raging river that overflows the banks of your mind, Paul says you will have just fallen into the hands of an invisible enemy that wants to absolutely control your life. So he concludes with this warning, give no opportunity to the devil. Give no opportunity to the devil.

Now, let me stop right here. Yes, we live in the 21st century, and we live in a modern day, and we live in the space age. We live in the age of computers, and iPads, and cell phones, and internet. And you can call me old fashioned, you can call me out of date, call me a fundamentalist. I still believe in a literal being called the devil. I read my newspaper and I say, boy, you are real. And I look at the way the home is being destroyed today, and I say, you are real. I look at the way we have turning our back increasingly on God, as fast as we can, and I say, you are real. I see the lack of civility growing every day in our country, and I say, boy, you are real. And I see how God's perfect plan for marriage and sex and happiness is being thrown down the garbage can of life, and I say, boy, you are real.

As a matter of fact, you know what I'm convinced of? The biggest trap you'll fall into with the devil is to quit believing in him, because you will never take something serious you don't believe in. I'll give you an example. I love Mickey mouse. He's a sweet guy, but he's never on my radar screen, because he's not real. If you treat the devil like you treat Mickey mouse, I'm telling you, you have fallen into his greatest trap, because you'll never take anything seriously you really don't believe in it. And oh, by the way, you say, I can't believe you believe in the devil. Jesus believed in the devil. The Apostle Paul believed in the devil. Every disciple believed in the devil. I believe in the devil.

And so Paul says, don't you ever open the door of your heart to the devil, because here's what will happen. The moment you open your door to the heart of the devil, here's what he'll do. He'll kick open the door of your heart. He'll kick you out. He won't pay any rent. You'll find yourself on the outside, looking into where God wanted you to be, which is in perfect harmony with him and perfect harmony with others. So what Paul is trying to warn us of is this. When you allow the spark of anger to turn into a fire of bitterness, the devil will throw wood on that fire, and he'll pour kerosene on that flame. And he'll make sure that fire burns 24/7 in your heart, your soul, and your mind. And that's when that sinless anger you started out with will metastasize into that sinful anger, and it becomes stubborn anger.

Let me go back to God for a moment. I told you, God's angry. The Bible talks about God's anger. It talks about God's wrath. God is a God of love, but God gets angry. Here's the difference between our anger and God's anger. God is always in control of his anger. Anger never controls God, God controls anger. And his anger is always sinless. And when God is in control of you, guess what? You will be in control of your anger and you will keep the devil where he belongs. But the moment you let the devil in the door of your heart, you will no longer be in control of your anger. Your anger will be in control of you. And let me tell you, that's exactly what he wants. Because you know what the number one thing the Bible says about the devil is, right?

Jesus said, the devil is a liar. What does a liar do? He deceives. The devil is a deceiver. The biggest favor you can do for the devil is not believe in the devil. He laughs at people that don't believe in him. The moment you say, I don't believe in that. You talking about the guy with a red tail and pitchfork? Come on, dude. Well, the Bible never says that. I think he's uglier than that, but he's real. But the moment you fall into that trap, saying, you're not real, he says, man, I got you right where I want you. And you know what the devil will do? He will deceive you into thinking that bitterness is the way to go, that it's great to nurture your anger. It's wonderful to refuse to forgive and move on. And it's great to obsess over how you can get even with someone who's done you wrong.

Here's what he doesn't tell you. And we're going to talk about this next week. You know what bitterness is? Some of you are bitter right now, and don't say you're not. You are, you're bitter. You fight it. Bitterness is smoking the cigarette that will give you cancer. That's what it is. It's smoking the cigarette that will give you cancer. The devil is a deceiver. Listen, he's also a divider. The Greek word for devil is the word, And it comes from the verb that means to split. The devil is a splitter.

Think about this. What is the first thing the devil did in history? What's the first thing? He divided Adam and Eve from God. And then what did he do? He divided Adam from Eve. What did Eve say? I didn't do it, it's his fault. What did Adam say? Not my fault, you made her. He's a divider. He loves to divide. He loves to divide husbands and wives and see them get divorced. He loves to divide parents and children and see that they never speak to each other again. He loves to divide friends and friends, and nations and nations, and church members from church members. He's a deceiver. He's a divider. He is a destroyer. He is a destroyer. Jesus called him a murderer. You know why? He loves to kill everything in your life. He'll kill your joy. He will kill your peace. He will kill your contentment. He will kill your happiness.

Now, if you're a believer, I know you may say, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, wait, stop, timeout. I thought Jesus defeated the devil at the cross. I thought his heel crushed Satan's head. Well he did, but remember something about Satan. How is Satan described in the first book of the Bible? What was he? What kind of an animal was he? He was a snake, right? Did you know, and Mike Phelps is my security guy, he's here today and he loves to pick up snakes, so this is for Mike, dead snakes can be deadly. I don't know if you do that or not.

This happened just recently, about a year ago. There was a chef over in Asia and one of the things they love to eat, and I wouldn't, thank God they don't serve this at the varsity, but there was a chef in Asia and he had just mixed up spitting Cobra soup. They make soups out of spitting Cobra. He had just made the soup. He was killed by the decapitated head from that snake when it bit him 20 minutes after the head had been removed from the snake's body. The chef had cut the head off of that snake, had made that soup, served it. And all he did was went to go pick that head up and throw it into the garbage. And that's when it bit him. And he died before they could get him to the hospital. But the snake had been dead for 20 minutes.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study concerning people bitten by dead snakes. They discovered, listen to this 15% I didn't know this, 15% of people who were admitted for a snake bite in the United States, 15% were bitten by a dead snake. Thought it was harmless, but you know what? Snakes have a reflex action that continues after being killed. And for this reason, a decapitated rattlesnake can still bite you up to an hour after death. So that's why if somebody ever dies that you know, and they were mad at you, don't touch the corpse for at least an hour. See the devil, listen, the devil still has a bite. And if you think he's completely dead or you ignore him, or you just say, nah, he doesn't exist. He's still deadly.

That's why Paul says, listen, don't give place to the devil. Don't give him one square inch of your heart. You put the devil in his place and you do that by being good and angry. You say, okay, tell me how to do it, pastor. Here's three practical ways to do it. And we'll finish up. How do you do it? You say boy, pastor, I do want to control my anger. I'm tired of my anger controlling me. I do want to be a person of self-control. Tell me how to do it. We'll give you three keys to do it. Ready? First of all, you've got to confront your anger. That's step number one, you gotta confront your anger. If you're one of those people that say, oh no, I don't have a temper, you've already lost the battle. You're done.

When you feel anger begin to rise up in you, you got to call it what it is. You got to meet that anger head on. You got to realize what's happening the moment your temper rears its ugly head. You gotta ask yourself, okay, wait a minute. Am I righteous right now in my anger? Am I angry in the right way at the right time in the right place for the right cause for the right reasons to the right person? If you know, deep down, no I'm not, don't excuse your anger.

You have to confront your anger. Number two, you have to confess your anger. You have to call it what it is. I mean, if you feel yourself getting angry, particularly at the wrong time, in the wrong place, at the wrong person for the wrong reason, then please listen to me. Don't try to hide it. Don't try to camouflage it. Don't try to excuse it. Don't try to justify it. You immediately say, Lord, first of all, Lord, I'm angry. Forgive me. If the person you're angry with, stop right there, listen, I'm sorry. Let me back up. Let me calm down. Look at your anger through his eyes and see it for what it is. So what do you do with your anger?

Number one, confront it. Number two, confess it. But now watch this, third thing, you have to confine it. You have to confine it. What do you mean? How do you do that? You have to, number one, limit the duration of your anger. You do not let the sun go down on your anger. You got to put a time limit on that anger. You do not let it go down on your anger. You got to limit the duration of your anger. Then you've got to limit the direction of your anger. What does that mean? Always be angry at the problem, never angry at the person. Always be angry at the problem, never angry at the person. And then limit the dimension of your anger. Never fly into a rage. You know what Will Rogers, do you remember who Will Rogers was? You know what he said? He said, "He who flies into a rage Never makes a good landing. He who flies into a rage, never makes a good landing".

So let me just tell some of you this, maybe this will help you. Some of you kind of waved the white flag a long time ago and you let the devil convince you, you'll never get a control of your temper. You've got that Irish blood in you. You are just like your dad. Anger has been in your family generation after generation, after generation. You are not going to stop it. You have convinced yourself and let the devil convince you. I just can't control my anger. No, you can't. You say, I can't? No, but you can allow God to control you. Get that in your mind. I'm agreeing with you. Pastor, I've tried. I've done everything I know to do. I can't control my anger. Nope, you can't. But you can allow God to control you. And the God through his Son Jesus conquered death can conquer your temper. If you'll simply be like him, you can be good and angry.

So I want to close with this. Do you know where you saw the greatest display of righteous anger in history ever? You saw it at the cross of Jesus Christ. Because you understand what happened to cross? You don't know this, you don't really understand the cross. God showed just how angry he is with sin, and how much he hates sin, and how much sin makes his blood boil. And he took his wrath out on Jesus, so he wouldn't have to take it out on us. So I want to close with this. The God that loves you so much that even though we were undeserving, even though we were unworthy, he sent his son to die for us. We owed a debt we couldn't pay. He paid the debt he didn't owe. He sends Jesus to die for us on a cross. And all he asked from us is to confess Jesus as our Lord, repent of our sinful ways, and surrender our life to him.

And I'm going to say something I don't think I've ever said my ministry, but I stand by it. To reject that God, to look at that God for whatever excuse you think you can come here with, and say, no thanks, not interested. Keep your son to yourself. That God deserves to be angry. There's a God up there. He wants you to spend eternity with him so much, he paid the ultimate price for us to do it, so that when we come to him, and know him, and love him, and live for him, we can be good and angry.

Let's pray together. With heads bowed and with eyes closed. I want to say something to those who are watching right now and those in this room. And you've never really trusted Jesus as your Lord, as your Savior. And you somehow have convinced yourself and let the devil convince you, hey, I'm good. My religion will take me to God. My goodness will get me to God. I'm not the worst person in the world. I don't really need a Savior. I'm not angry at you. I'm really not. But I'm angry at the ones that's deceived you and I am angry at the fact that you would, to be blunt, be so arrogant, to be so self-righteous, that you think you don't need somebody dying for you.

We're all sinners and we all need a Savior. And that savior is Jesus. And I'm going to ask you today to give your life, and your heart, and your soul to the one that loved you so much, he took all of God's anger and all of God's wrath against sin, so that we would never have to even know what it's like. So if you've never trusted in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and you're sitting in this room right now, or you're watching us online or by television, would you just simply do this? Would you just simply in your heart, pray this to the Lord?

Lord, you have a right to be angry at sin. You have a right to be angry with me that I've never, ever really seriously considered what you've done for me and never really accepted it. But today I'm coming to you and saying, I'm a sinner, I need a savior. I can't save myself, but you sent Jesus to die for my sins. You raised him from the dead. He is alive right now. So Lord Jesus, I confess you as my Lord. I receive you as my Savior. I believe in my heart that God raised you from the dead. I ask you to forgive me of all of my sins. I repent. I turn away from my old way of life. I accept your gift of eternal life. I give all that I am to all that you are.

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