Posted On March 20, 2013

When is the Last Time You Worshiped God for His Wrath?

by | Mar 20, 2013 | What is the Gospel?

When is the Last Time You Worshiped God for His Wrath? 1

In an essay titled “The Wrath of God,” penned for Bruce McCormack’s Engaging the Doctrine of God: Contemporary Protestant Perspectives, D. A. Carson argues,

There must be some sense in which God is praised for his wrath. If I began this essay by intimating that the wrath of God is a “problem,” in certain respects this intimation must be seen as an exercise in misdirection. God’s wrath is a “problem” in that people withdraw from the category and often refuse to face realistically its prevalence in Scripture. But the biblical writers are not embarrassed when they treat the theme. This is surely because, for them, the wrath of God is an entirely just and therefore admirable display of holiness as it confronts sin. To be embarrassed by what Scripture so clearly and repeatedly sets out as belonging to the character of God when He deals with rebels is not the stance of sophistication and moral superiority. Rather, it is the stance of arrogant disbelief. What right does the creature ever have to be embarrassed by the Creator? To disown the theme of judgment is to slouch toward the very first reported instance of doctrinal disavowal–the insistence of the serpent, “You will not certainly die” (Gen. 3:4). Far better and wiser is it to see that the theme of God’s wrath provides, inter alia, another angle into who God is, into the blinding brilliance of His holiness (cf. Isaiah 6). And this must end in worship.

Does the universal flood make you cringe as you think about the millions of men, women, and children who drowned to death at the hands of God (Gen. 6:5-7, 17)? Does the killing of men, women, and children in Canaan by the Israelites in obedience to God’s command make you cringe as well (Joshua 6:21; 10:28, 39; 11:14)? Then repent. We should always rejoice over the justice of God, and never view His justice as something we should be embarrassed about. Of course, we should love our neighbors (including our enemies), but always in a manner that is less than our love for God (Matt. 22:37-39). The doctrine of God’s justice and the doctrine of Hell are losing popularity in Christianity today. Nevertheless, the biblical authors, and even Christ, are unashamed of God’s wrath, justice, and a sinner’s hell. They praise God for His holy character. Consider the imprecatory Psalms (Psalms 5:10; 10:15; 28:4; 31:17-18; 35:4-6; 40:14-15; 58:6-11; 69:22-28; 109:6-15; 139:19-22; 140:9-10), or the disciples shaking the dust off their feet at unrepentant cities (Mark 6:11), or listen to the words of the martyrs crying out in the book of Revelation, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 6:9-10)?  The martyrs appeal to God’s holiness as the basis of His wrath. Because we worship a holy God, we worship a wrathful God who is correctly responding to sin and sinners when He judges us.

God is holy and God is love. Which one do you emphasize more in your ministry? May we never present a God of our own making who is more loving than holy, for this god has no reason to punish his son to save you from himself. Such imbalance between the holiness of God and the love of God diminishes the cross, rendering it pointless. Until we understand the holiness of God, we will never understand the depth of His love, and how scandalous, yet beautiful, the cross really is.  For the cross is beautiful to those who are saved by it, yet scandalous as God punishes His Son as a sinner (law-breaker) so that sinners who trust in Him will go free!

When is the last time you worshiped God for His wrath and justice?

Related Posts

Reflections on Eternity: Lorraine Boettner’s View of Immortality

Reflections on Eternity: Lorraine Boettner’s View of Immortality

Reflections on Eternity: Lorraine Boettner’s View of Immortality A few years ago, I was invited into a charity warehouse to choose some books. That organization has done a lot of great work in Eastern Europe, and they wanted to do something to support my ministry in...

Why Hell Exists

Why Hell Exists

Scripture provides vivid warnings of judgment and eternal hell for those who don’t repent and believe in Christ. Such warnings occur throughout the Bible and in Jesus’ earthly teaching. In Revelation 14, those who reject Christ and instead worship the beast “will be...

A Last-Minute Salvation

A Last-Minute Salvation

If you’re a Christian and use social media even in the slightest bit, then you likely saw a recently-posted, two-minute clip that made the rounds on Twitter the week of June 21st. Matt Smethurst called it “gospel gold from Alistair Begg.” Survey says... that was a...

The Two Hopes

The Two Hopes

“Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace” — John Milton, Paradise Lost I feel the seasons in my bones. They come. They go. Each passing season deposits its residue—memories, laughter, disappointments—fashioning layers like leaves. Those are the seasons of...

Raised With Christ: Your Easter Story

Raised With Christ: Your Easter Story

Colossians 3:1-3, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with...

4 Crucial Truths the Gospel Presents

4 Crucial Truths the Gospel Presents

The Gospel in Romans 1–4 One of the best places to start looking for a basic explanation of the gospel is Paul’s letter to the Romans. Perhaps more clearly than any other book of the Bible, Romans contains a deliberate, step-by-step expression of what Paul understood...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 3/18-3/23/2013 - Servants of Grace - [...] When is the Last Time You Worshiped God for His Wrath? by Jared Moore https://servantsofgrace.org/2013/03/20/when-is-the-last-time-you-worshiped-god-for-his-wrath/ [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reddit
Share
Email
Buffer
Tweet