the wrath of God

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. John 3:36

There are more references in the Bible to the anger, fury and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness.Does this surprise you? It did me. It surprised me because I can honestly say that I have never heard anyone preaching a sermon on this subject.

The ‘wrath of God’ seems to have become a taboo subject and is something that is very rarely preached these days. I have even heard Christians say that they believe there is a difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, i.e. the wrath and fury of God’s character all changed with the coming of Jesus.

Well let’s get one thing straight right now. God does not change – either His character, His truth or His ways! He’s the same today as he was yesterday and he will be the same tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).

‘Earth and heaven’, says the psalmist

… will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.But you will remain the same and your years will never end. Psalm 102:26-27

In Exodus, verse 14, when God told Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’ He was declaring His self existence and His eternal changelessness, a reminder to us that He has life in Himself and that he is eternal.

James speaks of God as one, ‘who does not change like shifting shadows’. James 1:17.

The Bible tells us that just as God is good to those who trust Him so he is terrible to those who do not.

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes
and maintains his wrath against his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power;
the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
… Who can withstand his indignation?
Who can endure his fierce anger?

His wrath is poured out like fire;
the rocks are shattered before him.
The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
But … he will pursue his foes into darkness
.
Nahum 1:2-8

Maybe one of the reasons we struggle with descriptions like this is because we apply the words ‘wrath’ and ‘anger’ from a human perspective.‘Wrath’ seems to suggest to us a lack of control or an outburst of anger but although these are usually human reactions, they do not belong to God.God’s wrath is judicial. As a reaction to sin God’s wrath is an expression of his justice. He cannot tolerate sin because His nature is morally perfect.

What does the New Testament tell us about the wrath of God?

The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus will re-appear,

… in blazing fire with his powerful angels. he will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

If you have thought that the coming of Jesus changed the character of God (His wrath) then please note here that it is Jesus Himself who does the punishing … with everlasting destruction!

Jesus came the first time to save the world (John 3:17)– when He comes back it will be to judge the world (Revelation 20:12) and then the full fury of God’s wrath will be displayed.

THE WORLD WILL ONE DAY FACE THE FULL WRATH OF GOD – THAT’S FOR SURE. (see Romans 2:5)

That day will be terrible. Listen to Jesus’ own words when He told His disciples about the future.

For this is the time of punishment in fulfilment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers. There will be great distress in the land and wrath against the people. Luke 21:22-23

Listen also to how this future day is described in the Book of Revelation.

They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘fall on us and hide us from the face of him him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb’ Revelation 6:16

The great city split into three parts and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Revelation 16:19

Again, Jesus tells us of this final Day of Judgement in Mathew 25 when He tells the parable of the sheep and the goats. They are separated, the sheep (those who have trusted in Jesus) on the right and the goats (those who haven’t) on the left.

Then he will say to those on his left. ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ Mathew 25:41

Then they (the goats) will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. Mathew 25:46

We should not compromise or water down the place known as Hell.  The Bible is quite clear that there will be eternal punishment, i.e. total destruction, for those who have not put their trust in Jesus, whose names are not written in the book of life.

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire. Revelation  20:15

This is your destiny if you choose to ignore God, if you reject Jesus and His gift of eternal life.

HOW THEN CAN WE BE SAVED?

Since we have been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him. Romans 5:9

Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:10

The good news is simple – Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Acts 16:31

We are saved through faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus. There is absolutely nothing we can do to avert God’s wrath and gain eternal life – Jesus has done it all and He offers it to us as a gift –  a free gift! 

Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins and this sacrifice averts God’s wrath from those who trust in Him.All we have to do is to accept the gift and say thank you!

If you know you are saved from God’s wrath then think about those people you know who are not. I was once told this story and although it’s not nice to hear it should make us get up and do something.Imagine coming home from work, (college or  shopping etc.) and finding your house (or apartment) raging with fire. Inside the house were all the people who were dear to you and they were trapped. You could not get in to save them – it was too late. All you could do was listen to the cries of anguish and agony as they suffered in the fire. Now imagine that these are the cries of those same people, suffering forever in the lake of burning fire.

This image should knock any complacency right out of us. Pray for those you love to be saved. Keep on praying. Let them see the love of Jesus in your life. And when you get the chance tell them about Jesus and what they need to do to be saved.

The ‘wrath of God’ is not a popular subject to talk or write about but it is real as the ‘love of God’ and should not be swept under the carpet.

For those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, remember this.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

HALLELUJAH and AMEN!! 

Responses

  1. It’s important to understand that the wrath of God is not temporal but eternal. In Rev. 14:9-11 we are told exactly what God’s wrath is. It is Hell. His judgments bring about a completion of His wrath. It is the harvest a the end the the age Rev. 14:14- 15:1, Rom. 2:5 There is a common misconception that death or it’s form of implementation is God’s wrath. Physical death has no hold over the grave. You cannot compare a long painful death of a Christian in a battle with cancer with an instantaneous death caused by one of God’s judgements. The second death is what is brought about by the judgement of the first. The second death is God’s wrath. Consider Paul’s words in 1 Thess. 5:9,10, we are not appointed to God’s wrath….but to forever living with Jesus. It’s all about the eternal, not the temporal, or what’s coming on the earth. This article brings up Rev. 6, where MAN declares that God’s wrath has come. Man confuses the eternal with the temporal. God’s wrath is addressed in the 7th trumpet where He judges the unjust (i.e puts them in Hell), and rewards the righteous. The judgements are not God’s wrath, but they are simply a tool that bring about the harvest at the end of the age i.e. death. Precious in His sight is the death of His saints. Death is not wrath, but it brings about the eternal assignment or appointment of the person into existence. That is eternal glory or eternal wrath.

  2. what is for those who have not been Heard about Jesus Christ and die ?
    should they face the same justment ? or is there Another chance to become human again?
    cause Jesus said Baptized John is a Elijah and if Jesus can incarnate in human then why not the other lost soul get a chance to incarnate again to the World and born again,


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