“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
In 1741, evangelist and pastor, Jonathon Edwards preached a sermon twice within the New England area titled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
This sermon literally scared the Hell out of these congregations and sparked the first Great Awakening.
This sermon emphasized one of the attributes of God that is important to understand- Wrath. Tradition says, Edwards was not even a designated preacher the days he preached.
Edwards had a deep understanding of God’s holiness and his crowd. As he prepped the sermon, he knew he was addressing a vain and introverted crowd.
Many of what history called “revivals” began from the work of these fearful messages.
A flavor of this sermon is in the following quotes,
“The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood.”
“The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire… you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes, as the most hateful and venomous serpent is in ours.”
Is this how the world see God today? What do you think? Is this why people hide in their homes come Sunday, with no hope? Is this is the only God they know?
As I write, I proclaim you can be 100% that you are saved within the fold of God.
God does have wrath, yes (Nahum 1:2-6). But understanding, categorizing, and or promoting an attribute above another provides believers and unbelievers with an inaccurate view of God.
Esteem wrath above all other attributes, you see an angry God. Esteem love above all other attributes you see solely a loving God. We serve a holy God who is entirely capable of both perfectly and simultaneously.
Humanity is imperfect and cannot correctly model the attributes of God (Romans 12:19). The Biblical word for this effort is Hamartia, we better know it as sin. Hamartia means “to miss the mark” as in an archer shooting at a target. People are always in limbo and cannot balance it
Esteem love above all other attributes, you see a loving God.
Sounds good right?
Until you see an angry God with no (or little) love or a loving God with no wrath (or little).
But no, God is holy, wrathful, loving, omnipotent, peaceful, righteous, etc. All perfectly simultaneously.
Scripture says we are storing up wrath (Romans 2:5). But what is wrath?
In Scripture it is defined as Orgē (or-gay) = anger, agitation of the soul, typically leading to punishment. This is the god media passes on to the masses without ever consulting His Word. But continuing reading from Romans 2:5 from verse 6 to 10.
You’ll see here that God is equally patient and peaceful. He is equally good and just to offer the Savior Jesus Christ, the only person righteous enough to cover our sins, appease God’s wrath. It is not God’s will that any experience His wrath.
Jesus. God’s holiness was assaulted by the filthiness of man and He sent Jesus Christ to cover us with His righteousness and only God’s righteousness can atone for unrighteousness.
1 Timothy 2:4 ~ “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
It is not God’s will that any experience His wrath. But here’s the catch, just because we are saved from wrath doesn’t mean we should hate God’s wrath.
But let me ask you, think for a second of Christian music and then ask, “how many of them are praising the wrath of God?” Especially considering it is an trait of God? Every attribute of God is holy and pure: Love, wrath, infinite, omnipresent, etc. We should love God’s wrath, as without it, there is no justice
We live in an era of fighting for justice of all sorts
Criminal, social, environmental, etc.
But holistic justice is impossible apart from God
Philosopher Criss Jami writes in Healology, “God’s judgment is not like man’s judgment. It is not a suspension of His Love but an extension of His Love. His justice is always righteous, so His judgment is always Love.”
God loves justice; God is just and the best part of this news; God is no respecter of persons! (Romans 2:11). His wrath is solely against wickedness and He favors righteousness
God has appeased His wrath; offering us peace with Him
God has in a plan for us to escape the coming wrath upon the Earth by the Rapture
And there will be a day when there is no more tears, no death, no sorry, no crying, no war, no light, no darkness:
We have atonement for sin, but justice is on the way. Justice by way of wrath and life by way of grace and love.
We are children of God in the arms of the Holy Father.