The wrath of God isn’t a fun topic. At times, it’s focused on too much without considering the love of God. It’s a scary attribute that’s not well known other than God is mad at me.
Let’s take a closer look at the wrath of God.
What is the wrath of God?
What does God love? All that is right, good, and conforms to His moral character. On the flip side, He hates anything that opposes these things.
God’s wrath means that He intensely hates all sin. If He didn’t, He wouldn’t be either Holy or Just.
That’s just the God of the Old Testament, isn’t it?
No. When we do think of the wrath of God, we think of these Bible verses:
“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” Exodus 32:9-10
“Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. At Horeb, you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you.” Deuteronomy 9:7-8
“Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” 2 Kings 22:13
Bear in mind, the Israelites in Exodus saw God split a sea and destroy an army, and they still turned away. It wasn’t ignorance; it was a heart issue.
God’s wrath is also found in the New Testament.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness” Romans 1:18
“They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” Revelation 6:16-17
Remember, the Lamb is Jesus. It’s the wrath of Jesus.
“Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” Revelation 19:15
Can’t God just overlook my sins?
Would you want to worship a God who wasn’t bothered by sin, injustice, and evil? He wouldn’t be worthy of it.
Did you know you imitate God when sin outrages you? Domestic abuse, murder, rape, human trafficking. It’s a virtue to hate things like these.
“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.” Hebrews 1:9
Well, I guess I’m going to Hell since I’m a sinner?
Christians don’t have to fear God’s wrath anymore.
“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3
Trusting Jesus delivers us from God’s wrath.
“…and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10
Jesus bore the wrath of God that was due to our sins so that we would be saved from it.
Turn away from your sin, ask God for forgiveness, and trust and believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again. Make Him the boss of your life and follow Him.
“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:25-26
Either you pay for your sins or Jesus pays. Someone has to answer for them.
When is God’s wrath coming?
I don’t know, because it comes with His patience, too.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever” Psalms 103:8-9
He’s waiting because He wants as many people to be saved as possible. He wants everyone to repent and is making time for everyone to get an opportunity to.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
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.” 2 Peter 3:9-10
This is why there is still evil in the world. Justice will be served, but first, we spread the good news that Jesus died for your sins, that you can escape the wrath, and he will rule as King of everything.
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
Chapter 13: The Character of God; “Communicable” Attributes of God Part 2