The Wrath of God
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... the wrath of God is coming.” - Romans 1:18, Colossian 3:6 Not a pleasant subject, the wrath of God.
Personally, I would much rather focus on grace and love. I don’t like to think of an angry heavenly Father.
The passage in Romans, 1:18-32, is the only place in the New Testament where God’s wrath is discussed at length. Three times in that passage the phrase “He gave them over” is repeated. He gave them over to sinful desires, shameful lusts, and depraved minds. When people deliberately walk away from God, determined to pursue their own, harmful ways, He gives them over to themselves to allow the consequences to teach the lesson.
A shallow concept of sin leads to misunderstanding the nature of sin.
Sin is not just something that makes God mad for arbitrary reasons. Sin violates His holiness, separates us from Him, and its evil causes human suffering. Sin is like a cancer that, left untreated, has horrible consequences. A perversion of our relationship with God becomes a perversion of our relationship with others, and in the end, we become less human, and everyone suffers.
Yet, God expresses His love by continuing to give us the freedom to choose for or against Him.
God’s wrath can be redemptive, as in the story of the Prodigal Son. When the son wanted to leave, the father did not put him under lock and key nor prevent him from ruining his life in a far country. He gave him his freedom, even if it led to a pig sty! He gave him over to his own sinful way, and it was that pig sty that snapped him back to his senses and brought him running back into the arms of a loving father who accepted him without hesitation (Luke 15).
God’s wrath is to be respected, even feared with a healthy, smart fear.
But His love is even greater, always keeping the door open for a wayward child to find a way home.
[Photo: Michael Hickman, CreationSwap]