“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).
I find that preaching about the wrath of God is not a popular topic. The wrath of God and the concepts of judgment and hell are rejected by many, dismissed as outdated notions or conveniently ignored.
God is a God of love, compassion, and forgiveness. But God’s attributes are perfectly balanced. He is a unified and harmonious being. He is perfect in who He is and all He does. God is gracious, but He is also truthful. God is compassionate, but He is also just. God is loving, but He is also holy. God is forgiving, but He is also a God of wrath. His wrath is not an emotional rage, but a consistent, righteous opposition to that which is evil.
What was your reaction to the Las Vegas shooter? We are outraged! We are justifiably angry and demand that something be done to prevent this kind of tragedy from ever happening again.
So given our own reaction to evil, why is it difficult to accept the reality of the wrath of God? Why does it make us uncomfortable? God would not be perfectly good and holy if He tolerated wickedness, would He?
Just as God is holy and righteous and perfect, we as human beings are unholy, unrighteous and imperfect. We have weaknesses. We make mistakes. We hurt each other. This is sin. And because we sin, we are subject to the wrath of God and His judgment. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves.
It’s not a picture that makes us feel good about ourselves, but that’s not the point. The stark reality is that we are all flawed people who are desperately in need of the forgiveness of God.
But this is why the Gospel is such good news.
Precisely because God is loving and gracious, He provides a way of forgiveness and salvation. The bridge between us and holy God is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must admit our sin and our need for a Savior, and put our faith in Jesus Christ. Then we are declared righteous before God and receive freedom, forgiveness, eternal life and the supernatural power to live in a loving relationship with God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:23-26).
“But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:8-9).
Is the wrath of God real? Yes, it is. Is judgment coming? Yes, it is. But there is a way of escape provided by a loving and righteous God. Believe in Jesus Christ and be saved.