19You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20On the contrary, who are you, you foolish person, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21Or does the potter not have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one object for honorable use, and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with great patience objects of wrath prepared for destruction? 23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon objects of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24namely us, whom He also called, not only from among Jews, but also from among Gentiles,
19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Why does God allow evil to exist? Many see the presence and reality of evil as something God should extinguish. In this sermon on Roman 9:19–24 titled “God’s Wrath,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that what fails to be seen is that evil is not an external force acting upon humanity, but an internal reality within people. To extinguish evil would be to extinguish humanity. The holiness of God will not tolerate anything sinful in His presence and His wrath is completely justified to protect His glory. That protection should immediately send every sinner to hell; however, it is God’s grace and mercy that restrains His wrath. As seen in the example of Pharaoh, God endures sinners for a time so that His kindness may be on display and people brought to salvation (Romans 2:4). However, His kindness is not to be abused and His patience and longsuffering are not to be ignored. Though for a time He may endure sinners as Christ did with Judas, that patience did not save him and it only prolonged the time until his punishment. That is the lesson of the Old Testament – that God waits, longing for people to repent. However He will not delay punishment forever and when it does arrive, it will be without recourse. The lesson to humanity today is to repent while there is time and while the longsuffering of God endures their sin. Be reconciled to God today and embrace the forgiveness only available through Jesus Christ.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.