God’s Wrath: Breaking It Down

Why is there evil the world?

Because we are not robots (see picture for further wonderful and creative illustration).

We are not robotic automatons programmed to love Jesus, but human beings allowed to reject Christ and pursue evil. So there is evil in the world.

But never fear, God does have a way to see that justice is served. In the end, no one will say “I was wronged!!! I never got justice!” Everyone will get justice in the end.

The Wrath of God

There’s a big Bible word that describes God’s anger. It’s the word “wrath”, and it has fallen out of favor in recent years (by hipsters and flower children trying to rewrite God in their image), but if properly understood, it’s a really, really good word. I love this word. It gives me great hope in the face of evil.

Ray Ortland comes up with the best definition of wrath I’ve seen, in his commentary on Isaiah. Here it is:

God’s Wrath is  His active, resolute opposition to all evil.

• His Wrath is Active
God is not passive. He never just “lets evil slide.” “Hey God – just this one time – can’t you just cut us some slack? You are soooo rigid and puritanical! Wears me out!”

No.

Because all evil, all sin is an affront to a holy and just God. HE is always, always, ALWAYS actively opposed to all evil.

It’s not a difficult concept to understand. Think about it this way. “Can’t we just let this one murder slide?”  No. “This one rape?” No. “This one torture?” NO. By our standards, most folks would answer “No. No. To let those things go unpunished would be a grave injustice! A horror. It must be punished!”

He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 
Revelation 19:15 ESV

And God’s standards are much higher than ours. His justice extends past murder and rape to that one lie, that one blasphemy, that one taking of His name in vain, that one case of sex outside of marriage. He is actively opposed to all evil.

• His Wrath is Resolute

Gumby-bendable.
God’s wrath-not so much.

Resolute means firm, unbendable, unwavering.

He will never change His mind about evil. He says in Malachi 3:6 “I the LORD do not change.” That’s a blessing and a curse.

It’s a blessing. It’s a great thing to know that when I’m wronged, when someone sins against me, God is angry. I love that! And what I love even more is that I don’t have to wonder about it! He’s not selective in His law enforcement. He doesn’t think “Oh, that David is such a whiner, I get so sick of his crybaby attitude. I know he was really wronged, but this time, I really don’t care.”

We’re used to that happening. Because the truth is, over time, we become numb to evil. Kids are naive and so sometimes easily horrified. But adults get jaded, cynical and used to sin. Or they fall in love with sin (common). But God’s opposition to evil will never change.

It’s a curse.  How is this a curse? Because God is not selective in His law enforcement. He gets angry and will ALWAYS get angry with sin. Even mine. He’s no respecter of persons.

• His Wrath is against ALL Evil

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Romans 1:18 ESV
 

He is actively opposed to the largest sin that you and I find so offensive and horrifying. He is actively opposed to the smallest sin that you and I engage in ourselves and try to justify. His wrath is against ALL evil. Even the evil you and I tolerate in ourselves.

The Lord is a destroyer of all wickedness. All sin. The sin of slavery in India, and the sin that you and I engage in daily and see as entertainment in our music and on our TV and in our movies – He will destroy it all.

God is angry at wickedness in all forms. And He is angry at the wicked. His anger is perfect, just, and measured…and patient. But. It. Is. Real.

H. Richard Niebuhr once observed that the theology of liberal Protestantism was “A God without wrath who brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

Let’s think about that for a moment. A God without wrath….why is God so angry? Look at the next part – men without sin.

The amount of sin in our lives is one big monkey on our backs.

Consider that. Do we have much sin? If I were to sin just ten times a day, for one year – I would disobey God 3,650 times. How about for ten years? 36,650 times I would have disobeyed God.

I am a professional sinner. 

That makes me wicked. You too.

How many times did Adam sin before God banished him from the garden?

ONCE. And so yes, God is angry.

But unlike the quote – this God with just and true wrath against wicked men and wicked women brought them
into His Kingdom
through the cross
of His Son Jesus Christ.

God’s Great Anger was poured Full Strength onto Christ so that whosoever believes in Him – would not perish – but have life forever and ever – in heaven with Jesus.
God’s Wrath will be on me, or on Christ.

Amen.

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