For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Romans 1:18-19)
The Wrath Of God
Reading the Old Testament could be easily assumed that God is a wrathful God and the New Testament shows the love of God. Throughout the Old Testament stories are told of the Lord’s judgment upon the world, nations, and individuals. With the exception of eight souls, every human being alive in the days of Noah was destroyed in the flood. When God brought the Hebrews out of Egypt, the firstborn of every Egyptian home including the animals would die. Because of rebellion, all the Israelites twenty years and old perished in the wilderness with the exception of the faithful few. Great nations were used by the Lord to punish His people and then were destroyed by the hand of God. Clearly, the Old Testament is filled with great stories of the wrath of God. Opening the pages of the New Testament the casual reading may conclude that all of the love of God is found with grace and mercy and the kindness of the Lord. The gospels unveil the story of the only begotten Son given by a loving God for sacrifice to atone men from sin. The Acts and epistles reveal the nature of God’s grace to redeem man showing him the way to eternal life. John sees the greatest revelation and writes down the hopes and promises of the Almighty God who will save His people from the fierceness of the great dragon Satan. Modern man will reject the notion that a Father who sends His only begotten Son to save man from sin would also be a God of wrathful judgment upon all men and yet the New Testament is filled with the teaching of the wrath of God. From the aspect of phraseology, the expression ‘wrath of God’ is found less than a dozen times in the Bible and only once in the Old Testament. Clearly, the evidence of the wrath of God is found throughout the Old Testament but the use of the wrath of God is exclusively New Testament doctrine.
The Bible is not a book that divides the character of God into two parts leaving man to believe that God is only one nature. He has remained unchanged from the beginning of the world and the nature and character of the Lord are filled with His love and His wrath. Paul declares in the letter to Rome, the goodness and severity of God and this message are found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Christ is the power of God to save the man but it also is the revelation of the wrath of God against all those who oppose the will of the Lord. Sin is not tolerated under the grace of Christ any more than it was accepted in the hypocrisy of the Israelites. God’s view of wickedness did not change over the eons of time to suit the fancy of men. His will remains unchanged, unmoved, unaltered and without exception. The principles of the law have changed as the Abrahamic law of faith and the Law of Moses can no longer save a man but the wrath of God is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Throughout the writings of the New Testament, the wrath of God is impressed upon the minds of the early disciples that God is love and God is also wrathful. Everything man needs to save himself from the peril of perdition is afforded through Jesus Christ and His blood. If men refuse to abide by the covenant of His will there will be consequences described simply as the wrath of God. There are many different types of churches today that play the false tune of God’s grace that saves a man no matter how he lives. God’s love is all a man needs. The grace of God is tremendous and the love of God is unbounded but leaving out the wrath of God is an eternal mistake. Ungodliness is living as man desires without keeping the commandments of the Lord. Unrighteousness is doing things that are not right. What is right and what is wrong is determined by God – not man. Suppressing the truth will bring peace to a man’s heart but it will destroy his soul in eternity.
Sin has remained unchanged since the fall of man in the garden. It permeates the heart, defiles the soul and changes the nature of man. The promise of salvation came when God did not destroy a man for his rebellion. Before time began, the Lord had a plan to redeem man and bring him back from the mire of sin. The love of God is without words to understand but He has given His love to all men to buy them back from the damnation of sin. At the same time, the wrath of God is revealed against those who refuse to live in accordance with His will. God is full of love and He is full of wrath. The Old and New Testament reveal the character of God’s love and His wrath. Reading the Bible from Genesis to the Revelation the Son of God rises from the pages to show how much God loves the man and how every provision of grace is offered to all men. The wile of the devil is to veil the heart of man from God’s wrath and cause him to ignore the penalty for sin. The soul that sins shall die. If a man refuses to submit his will to the Father, there is no choice but to face the wrath of God. It is real.