Rom.1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him(God), which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him.
So, here it is folks. The unvarnished truth: The God of scripture and of Jesus' own teaching is a God of wrath. Yes, He is also a God of love. That too is plainly taught in scripture(1Jn.4:8). The problem is that there are many preaching that truth while so few are preaching this truth. This post is my stumbling attempt to help give equal time to the absolutely essential teaching of the wrath of God.
The scriptures are filled with examples of God's wrath. His judgement and wrath begin to be seen very early in the biblical record. In Gen. ch.3, because of their sin, God put the sentence of death on Adam and Eve, cursed the earth, and expelled them from the garden of Eden.
Later, because of the corruption of the race, God, by the flood, destroyed both man and beast from the earth.(Except for those within the Ark)
Again in Gen.19 His wrath is poured out on Sodom. He visits His anger on Israel's Egyptian oppressors by plagues and in the Red sea. He opens up the earth to swallow up rebellious Korah and his gang. He even severely judges His beloved king David because of sin. No sin nor sinner ever goes unpunished.
Not only do we see examples of God's wrath in scripture, but we also see warnings of God's wrath. Rom.2:1-11; Heb.10:26-31, Just to name a couple.
God's word clearly teaches that those outside of a saving relationship with Him through Christ, are presently under wrath. Not that they will be under wrath at some later time, but right now, they are living, every moment, on the brink of Divine retribution(Jn.3:18,36). It's going to happen. Divine wrath is going to fall. It may be by sudden death, or by suicide,or by an overdose, or a natural disaster, but it will happen. Jonathan Edward's text comes to mind (Deut.32:35 their foot shall slide in due time...). They will not only be cut down physically, but
they will immediately begin to experience the fiery indignation of His anger.
Yet when it happens people are shocked as if they had no warning or opportunity to prepare. They act as if they had no idea that such a tragedy could befall someone so near and dear to them. How could God do such a thing? Then we as pastors in seeking to offer words of comfort, are tempted to try to explain or even try to defend God's honor against the suggestion that He has been somehow unjust in allowing it to happen.
Here is what we need to remember at those times: 1st of all, God has never made a secret of the fact that He is" ...angry with the wicked every day."(Ps.7:11b)or that their"...judgement...lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."(2Pet.2:3). He has sufficiently given warning.
Neither have His faithful ministers tried to hide the fact that the disobedient are in danger of wrath. We continually proclaim it. The problem is that our people are not hearing us or they don't believe it.
In the 2nd place, we need to remember and report that wrath is the natural result of God's justice, not a violation of it. His actions don't need defending, His truth needs declaring. As preachers of the 'good news',we must also faithfully declare the 'bad news' that those who live a disobedient unrepentant life are every moment in danger of wrath.
Every breath, every heartbeat, and every step outside saving faith in Christ is one breath, one heartbeat, one step closer toward the full outpouring of His wrath.
Jesus, on the cross, absorbed in His own body the righteous wrath of God in the stead of His people. But the overwhelming, overflowing, horrifying wrath of God is reserved for all those who reject His saving mercy.
Every idle word spoken, every thought that does not acknowledge God, every meal eaten in unthankfulness, every work of self-righteousness,or for self-advancement is an act of war against the Ruler of the universe(Pro.21:4). Day by day and moment by moment the unsaved, simply by their everyday activities, are storing up more and more wrath(Rom.2:5). For those who will be the objects of His wrath, an early death would be a mercy, for their guilt is being multiplied exponentially every moment.
In conclusion, what is the proper response to such a frightening truth?
If you are a Christian, get busy! Our lost friends and loved ones require our most valiant efforts of prayer, and witness now. Tommorow may be too late.
If you are not a Christian, run to Jesus! And in humble repentance, plead for mercy. Mercy, oh, how I love that word.