One of the least talked about attributes of God is his wrath. By in large, people love to hear about the love, mercy, or grace of God, but when wrath is mentioned people think you are out of your mind. With that said, a biblical view of God is essential in order to have a conversation about the wrath of God. The wrath of God helps us to have a balanced perspective on the sinfulness of mankind and a right view of the love, mercy, and grace of God. For example, when we see God’s wrath, we see his grace more powerfully.
In order for us to get excited about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we don’t get what we deserve, we must first understand God’s wrath. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is only good news when we hear the bad news first, i.e., that we were under a curse, that God’s wrath abides on sinners twenty-four-seven, yet mercy and grace is extended to the vilest sinner through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus! That most glorious news should send us sprinting to the cross.
As we consider the wrath of God, it should also lead us to understand how undeserving we are of the grace of God. In turn, a proper understanding of the wrath of God we justly deserve should lead us to have a passion for an urgency to evangelize the lost. May we be like Wesley who saw heaven and hell before his eyes, which motivated him to give his life to proclaiming the glory of the gospel for the souls of mankind. In this article, I have three points about the wrath of God; I want to highlight for your consideration.
First, we will define the wrath of God.
Second, we will consider the wrath of God displayed.
Lastly, we will explore how the wrath of God impacts our daily lives.
The Wrath of God Defined
The wrath of God can be defined as God intensely hating all sin. While that’s true, it’s also important to say more; specifically that the wrath of God is the ultimate expression of the justice and holiness of God. Since God perfectly loves all that is right and good, then he must perfectly hate everything that is sinful. The Old Testament describes God’s Wrath as one who is being heated up, consuming with hot anger against idolatry & disobedience (Ex. 32:9-10, Deut. 9:7-8, Num. 25:3). Additionally, the New Testament adds to this reality, showing us that the Wrath of God is calculated precisely to the individual. The New Testament paints the terrifying picture of God abiding and storing wrath upon sinners. We see that it is an abiding wrath (John 3:36) and a stored-up wrath (Romans 2:5). Therefore, the Bible makes it clear that God’s wrath abides right now over every head of the sinner. It is terrifying to that that right now they are storing up wrath for the final day of judgment.
Now, the question becomes, “Well, if God intensely hates all sin, then how does a sinner ever get right with such a holy God?” To answer this particular question, we need to now to draw our attention to the Wrath of God displayed at the Cross. In this, we will see the redemptive wrath of God, which gives the ultimate hope for the sinner.
The Wrath of God Displayed
As we fix our minds upon the Cross, we see the grace, love, and mercy of God magnified by His justice, holiness, and his wrath against sin. Upon that Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ bore our sins. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Upon the cross, the sinless Lord Jesus took every single sin that you and I would ever commit, and placed it upon himself, though committing none, so that in him we might obtain the righteousness of God.
Upon that Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ drank our Wrath. At the Cross, our Lord suffered and drank the Wrath of God for those who would believe upon him. Christian, think of that! The Lord Jesus drank your wrath in full every last drop! He did so so that you and I would never be subject to the condemnation and wrath of Almighty God! Thousands upon thousands of people have been crucified – but only one has suffered under the eternal wrath of God for sinners on that Cross.
The Lord Jesus Cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46). The one who had perfect union with his Father now suffered under the wrath of God, fully and utterly separated from His Good pleasure. It is unimaginable! The Lord Jesus suffered in such a way under the wrath of God so that we would not have to say, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” My friends, every soul will either be damned to hell, or pardoned in Christ. For the Christian, we can be assured that our wrath was poured out upon our representative head, the Lord Jesus Christ when he suffered in our place. In our place condemned he stood, so that we can be reconciled to him and have communion and fellowship with our God, enjoying him forever.
The Wrath of God’s Impact on Our Daily Walk
Studying the word of God and his attributes always calls for a response from us. So, what can we take away from this study on God’s wrath? Well, firstly, we must cherish and glory in the Cross. When we meditate on the wrath of God, we will be amazed to think that our Lord Jesus Christ bore the wrath of God that was due to our sin, so that we might be saved. When we see God’s wrath against sinners, we remember 1 Cor. 6:11, that “such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” You were dead in your sin, a child of wrath, but God out of his rich mercy and grace saved you. He didn’t have to, but he chose to. The Wrath of God magnifies the love of God. In God’s Wrath, we see what we truly deserve wrath. Yet in the cross we see what we have been given forgiveness of sins which is why we must never get tired of glorying in the cross.
It is not enough for us to simply embrace this message and horde it within our own Christian circles. We must preach the everlasting gospel right now, wherever we are, with urgency. When we think of God’s Wrath, we must remember his patience in waiting to execute that wrath so that more people may be saved. In Romans 2:4 we see that the delay of God’s wrath against sin is for the purpose of leading people to repentance. We must not procrastinate in our prayers and witness to this lost world. Time is of the essence. It is my earnest prayer that as you read about the wrath of God, you would treasure the gospel more intensely with the result you might have more urgency to bring this good news to others who are perishing in their sins.