hos 13.4Hosea closes this thought in Hosea 13:15-16 after giving the problem (sin, judgment, and death), the answer (ransom and redemption that require repentance, and the power of resurrection) and now the terrible reality of what is about to happen because of Israel’s stubborn refusal to hear and heed the Word of the Lord. “15 Though he is fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come; the wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness. Then his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up. He shall plunder the treasury of every desirable prize. 16 Samaria is held guilty, for she has rebelled against her God. They shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child ripped open.”  This horrible description of judgment demonstrates for us the horrors of sin. Assyria from the east was going to blow through the land like a hot, parching wind. Here we see a nation being judged, near death, about to die. And what do we see? There is violence, warfare, plundering, pillaging, and the children are killed.

Look then at our nation. In our affluence we have become complacent. We are deteriorating morally. Violence. Fear. Children are being killed. We murder infants in the womb. Do you know what that means for our nation? The end is near. God is giving us over to our sin.

You see, He is not judging us for abortion. Abortion is the judgment. We are murdering future generations for the sake of convenience. We are sacrificing our children for the sake of selfish pursuits. We are killing ourselves as a nation. We want freedom from responsibility and consequence as we pursue our sin and God has opened the door and given us what we want. Woe be unto us.

We must take Hosea 13 to heart. Nations die. Yet we are not citizens here. Our citizenship is in heaven. We are members of a holy nation, a separate ethnicity, a people who belong to God. And our only hope? The God Who tells us “There is no savior besides Me.”

Back to Ephesians 2. And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

And it is Ephesians 4:17-24. 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

He has given us new life, a renewed soul and heart, and with the promise of the resurrection He will give us at glorification a new body as well! This is Romans 8:29-30. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

And just as Hosea tells Israel that they have already died, Paul tells us we are already glorified. Past tense. Not because it has happened yet, but because it is sure and certain, because “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6).  Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.

Let us end where we began this morning. Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.