27 Dec 2022
In sharing the Gospel, we noted that it is essential that we share about the depravity of sin in humankind, and the wrath of God manifested now, in some degrees, as well as at the ultimate judgement seat of God in the final judgement.
The subject of the wrath of God is very muddled among many; some claim that since God is a God of love, he would not send humans to hell; after all, he is not a capricious, bad-tempered angry supernatural being and surely he is not a resentful and malicious being.
However, we need to note that the wrath of God is as personal, and as potent, as his love; and just as the blood-shedding of the Lord Jesus was the direct manifesting of the Father’s love toward us, so it was the direct averting of his Father’s wrath against us.
The wrath of God is the function of the holiness which is expressed in the demands of God’s moral law (“Be holy, for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16), and of that righteousness which is expressed in God’s acts of judgement and reward. “We know who it is that said, ‘Justice is mine; I will repay” (Hebrews 10:30).
God’s wrath is in fact “the holy revulsion of God’s being against tat which is the contradiction of His holiness”; it issues and results in “a positive outgoing of the divine displeasure”.
And this is righteous anger – the right reaction of moral perfection in the Creator toward moral perversity in the creature. What would be morally doubtful is for God not to show His wrath in this way; if, He, the almighty perfect holy God, does not act in the way that is right, if He does not do what is proper to a judge, then He is not just – unless He inflicts upon all sin and wrongdoing the penalty it deserves.
It is no wonder that the author of Hebrews wrote: “It is a dreadful to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). Jude, a brother of James wrote: “In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings…Yet these people speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct like unreasoning animals – these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed into profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion” (Jude vv 8,10-11).
Note the characteristics of the sins of these individuals: polluting their bodies, rejecting authority (as in Korah), seeking profit, even in rejecting truth (Baalam), hating and murdering the brother (Cain) – doing things they do not understand (for their eyes are spiritually blind), speaking abusively against God and His servants, behaving like animals, seeking to satisfy their animal instincts and caring not for the law and authority of the Creator.
The Gospel is directed at such ones. But for those who have responded positively, by God’s grace, the warning to be holy still remains. As God’s children, we have a new nature which desires holiness and obedience to God – a nature that does not sin as a way of life. Heed the warnings of Scripture:
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be. You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:10-12a TNIV).