The Awkward Truth About God’s Wrath

The Awkward Truth About God’s Wrath

The awkward truth about God’s wrath makes it an unpopular topic. Because, well…the thought an Almighty God is angry and might punish us is frightful and something we’d rather not talk about. But scripture mentions it frequently. So here are three things to keep in mind about it.

The awkward truth about God’s wrath. God’s thoughts and emotions are higher than ours

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (ESV, Isaiah 55:8-9)

We are made in God’s image with His emotions and relational character traits. Along with a will and conscience to distinguish between right and wrong. Furthermore, we have intelligence and the ability to observe God’s existence demonstrated through His creation.

But God is infinite and we are finite. Furthermore, our image is marred due to sin. Therefore, our thoughts and emotions are capricious and unpredictable. And our wrath is often uncontrolled, which leads to irrational actions with disastrous consequences.

But not so with God. He is perfectly holy, righteous, and just. Absolutely consistent in all His ways.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (ESV, Romans 1:18-19)

So what exactly is God’s wrath? It is His divine anger towards and sovereign will to punish sin. What the Bible calls ungodliness and unrighteousness. All who embrace sin and reject God’s provision, Jesus Christ, must face it.

Even so, God’s wrath is not capricious and out of control like ours. Nor does He seek personal vengeance. But His wrath and judgment are individually measured and appropriately dispensed.

That’s the bad news. But there’s good news too.

God’s wrath is received at the end of this life

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. (ESV, Romans 9:22)

God loves us and is patient. He doesn’t fidget on his throne, gleefully rubbing his hands together in anticipation…eager to zap us with lightning bolts. He gives us an entire earthly life to see His truth and respond to Jesus Christ. And many opportunities to seek Him.

However, keep in mind that God is equally love and just. And while He lovingly waits for us to respond, His absolute justice won’t be denied. Furthermore, His absolute wrath and judgment are perfectly measured and administered according to His perfect character. We get exactly what we deserve.

The awkward truth about God’s wrath. It is turned away by God’s grace.

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (ESV, 1 Thessalonians 1:10)

Jesus Christ was God’s gift to us and an expression of His love. As the Son of God, Jesus lived a perfect life, died on a cross for our sins, and resurrected from the dead three days later. When we ask Jesus to forgive our sins and accept him as Lord, we receive God’s grace instead of wrath.

And are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, received by faith. (ESV, Romans 3:24-25a)

The Greek word for “propitiation” is hilastēriŏn, which means an atoning victim. In other words, Jesus’ sacrificial death atoned for our sins and satisfies God’s requirement of perfect justice. Because Jesus was a perfect sacrifice.

Ultimately, we all face Jesus for judgment.

Till then, God’s wrath bears down on us like a speeding locomotive. Standing firm on the tracks means facing God’s wrath. But we can step off by accepting God’s grace. The choice is up to each of us. Those covered by the atonement of Jesus will receive grace. And enjoy an eternal homecoming. Those who reject Jesus will experience an awkward realization and an awful reality. Just don’t blame the train if you chose not to move.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

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