Tuesday, June 11, 2013

God's Wrath

The wrath of God is an unpopular subject. Most people, even Christians, seem to prefer to think of God and his Son Jesus as mainly gracious and forgiving. Others see the wrath of God in the Old Testament, and the grace of God through Jesus in the New Testament, and thus they assume that God changed his ways when he sent Jesus to the earth. Or one may even believe than God has no wrath; that is, he would never send anyone to hell.

The problem with each of these opinions is that none of them uphold the attributes of God in a biblical way. God is 100% of all of his attributes, 100% of the time. He doesn't decide to be wrathful one day (or in one testament/covenant), and gracious the next day (or in a new testament/covenant). God maintains 100% of all of his attributes all of the time. All his attributes work in perfect harmony all the time! This is good news for us because it means that with him "there is no variation or shadow due to change" (Jas 1:17). We can always count on him to be the same gracious, loving, wrathful, powerful, sovereign ruler that he has always been. Therefore, to ignore or dismiss the wrath of God is to make up and worship our own God, instead of humbly bowing before the true God who is worthy to be praised. Would it be okay to ignore or dismiss the love or grace or sovereignty of God? Most people would say No. Neither should we treat God's wrath with such contempt. As Shai Linne says in the opening line of the song below, "God's wrath is a perfection for which he should be adored."

The Bible warns sinful man to flee the wrath of God and throw themselves on his mercy by believing in the person and work of Jesus Christ. If you have done so, remember what you have been rescued from! Grace is only tastes sweet when we remember the bitterness of the wrath we should be tasting. If you have not yet thrown yourself on God's mercy and grace in Jesus, the Savior says you are condemned and under wrath already, but you can be saved today! (John 3:16-18)

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