I’m gonna say something that many folks don’t like.
God is angry. He’s mad, He has wrath, and this great wrath is being stored up for a great day of judgment which from reading the New Testament, is more terrifying that you or I can imagine.
Just One Example:
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
Being told that God might be angry, the majority of the population RUNS SCREAMING into one of three camps (not literally folks – hyperbole – sheesh).
Camp #1: Denial.
“But David, God doesn’t get angry. Anger is my dad when he drank too much or had trouble at work. It was bad and evil, and he’d just as soon give me a slap in the face as look at me, and you never knew why! That’s anger, and it is bad, God is good, so God never gets angry! Come sit with me and let’s hold hands, burn incense and sing Kumbayah.”
Or “David, that’s why the world thinks we’re backwoods hillbillies. And because the world thinks that, even though Jesus said many are headed to destruction, and He is coming with a sword, we need to do away with this belief! So I will declare that God never gets angry!”
Camp #2: Atheistic Agreement with the Wrong Picture.
“I’m with you David! I know God is angry, and He’s just like my dad who would slap me as soon as look at me, so I’m not going to have anything to do with God! God is angry, so I hate Him!”
Mao, Stalin, Madelyn Murray O’Hair – all atheists and all children of abusive fathers. Paul Vitz argues in his book Faith of the Fatherless that each one of these famous atheists said in effect “I agree that God is an angry, hateful God like my father, so I will reject God…to the point of not even believing in Him.”
Camp #3: Crazy Lunatic Embracing of God’s Anger.
Some folks REALLY like the idea of a God who is pure, undiluted rage. In the old days, these were called “hellfire and brimstone” preachers. They get red in the face and veins pop out on their forehead as they yell at the audience about how miserable they are (even if saved) and how God is furious all the time at everyone and whenever He called anyone “beloved” what He REALLY meant to say was something akin to “heinous beast of woe”.
Like most things, Satan loves to take a little truth and twist it into a caricature. Today the news media is all too ready to promote the caricature as the norm. So you see a little church that is made up of one extended family (40 people in all), being hateful and nasty at military funerals, and you’d think is was the Christian face of America! But it’s not. It’s MAYBE 40 people. But it gets more news than a Second Baptist Houston with a membership of 58 thousand.
So What About God’s Wrath?
So I can deny God’s wrath or reject God b/c of how I view His anger or go crazy with fury thinking erroneously that I’m like God.
Or…I can understand His wrath.
This seems to be the wisest course. It (His anger or wrath) is mentioned 600 times in the OT, and 25 times in the NT. So to ignore His wrath, I’ll have to toss out my Bible and start making it up on my own (like a health and wealth preacher!).
Now the question of how you deal with God’s anger is not “do I agree with the preacher?” but “does the preacher agree with God’s Word” and “do I agree with God’s Word?’ For God’s Word clearly teaches about God’s anger. And so it’s important to understand it.
I’ll explain more in my next post, but I will leave you with the best definition of God’s wrath I’ve encountered. Because (this is an important clue of what is to come), God’s wrath, God’s anger is in some ways, VERY different than ours. The definition is by Ray Ortlund, Scriptural genius. He says God’s wrath is…drum roll please:
See you then. God Speed,
Every time you post this, Facebook it, Tweet it, Share it, comment below, etc, an angel get’s its wings! Or maybe its a mosquito…can’t remember…