The wrath of God gets a bad rep. Not because His wrath is somehow deficient or immoral, but because humans don’t like talking about hard things. We hear one sentence about God’s wrath and we’re preaching fear-mongering.
Here’s the issue, though: we need to talk about the wrath of God. It’s too important to ignore. Skirting around it only brings more wrath. We need to face it head on, as eternity hangs in the balance. There are several reasons we must talk about the wrath of God, but let’s just cover three of them.
We need to talk about God’s wrath because it is real. Scripture is abundantly clear on the reality of His wrath (Romans 1:18; John 3:36; Romans 2:5; Nahum 1:2). There’s no getting around it or ignoring it. We must come to grips with what the Bible clearly teaches: God has wrath and, if we do not repent of our sins and trust in Christ, it abides on us (John 3:36).
There will be naysayers and those who try to deny it because they believe in a “God of love.” But a God of all love and no wrath is an idol—it doesn’t exist.
We need to talk about God’s wrath because it magnifies His love. Are you married? If so, you will certainly understand this. If somebody badmouths your wife, what do you do? Do you let it slide idly by or do you confront him? Out of your immense love for your wife and her honor, you make sure the person knows never to do that again.
The same is true with God’s wrath. In order to save His people, God had to pour out His wrath on Jesus. Just look at John 3:16. God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die for our sins—which included experiencing the full brunt of the Father’s wrath! That is pure love.
We need to talk about God’s wrath because it’s integral to the gospel. If you deny the existence of God’s wrath, you lose the gospel. If you minimize God’s wrath, you cheapen the gospel. If you are fearful of talking about God’s wrath then you’re ultimately ashamed of the gospel message itself.
We can’t have the gospel without the wrath of God just like you can’t have a peanut butter sandwich . . . without peanut butter. It is a central piece to the gospel. Is it hard to talk about? Yes, at times. But it is necessary; it is vital.
Talking about the wrath of God shouldn’t be done from a place of superiority or pride. All Christians, before salvation, we’re sitting under His wrath. The only reason we are now in God’s good pleasure is because of Jesus—not anything we did.
As much as we should talk about God’s wrath—for it is absolutely neglected today—we should talk all the more about redemption found in Christ. We simply must not dance around God’s wrath because, without His wrath, we lose redemption.
And if we lose redemption, we lose everything.
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