Preparing for Sunday I read the following passage regarding God’s wrath.  It is often an attribute that we choose to ignore, disbelieve or downplay for a variety of reasons, yet the Bible says more about God’s wrath than it does His love.  A.W. Pink in his work, The Attributes of God, explains why we should meditate on the wrath of God instead of downplaying it.

The wrath of God is a perfection of the Divine character on which we need to meditate frequently.  First that our hearts may be duly impressed by God’s destestation of sin.  We are ever prone to regard sin lightly, to gloss over it’s hideousness, to make excuses for sin.  But the more we study and ponder God’s abhorrence of sin and His frightful vengeance upon it, the more likely are we to realise its heinousness.  Second, to beget a true fear in our souls for God.  “Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28,29).  We cannot serve Him “acceptably ” unless there is due “reverence” for His awful Majesty and “godly fear” of His righteous anger, and these are best promoted by frequently calling to mind that “our God is a consuming fire.”  Third to draw out our soul in fervent praise (to Jesus Christ) for having delivered us from “the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10).  Our readiness or our reluctancy to meditate upon the wrath of God becomes a sure test of how our hearts really stand affected towards Him.

So are you ready or reluctant?

17 comments
  1. For me, it’s a tough one, Shane. I don’t deny that God has wrath and I don’t want to “downplay” it, but on the other hand, why send Jesus?

    To me, Jesus died for our sins so that God wouldn’t have to inflict his wrath so widely. It was something he had to inflict in the absence of any redemptive avenue that really counted for anything (again, Jesus).

    I’m not saying that we sould sin without hesitation or gloss over sin. In fact, I think a healthy level of sorrow over failing God is pretty healthy, as is an attempt not to continue or repeat that sin.

    But while wrath may be mentioned more in the Bible than grace, let’s not forget how much of the Bible is Old Testament, when wrath was the norm, not salvation.

    If God didn’t want us to have a better thing to focus on than wrath, he wouldn’t have sent Jesus, in my opinion. He would have simply left us with the “follow the law or pay the ultimate price.”

  2. For me, it’s a tough one, Shane. I don’t deny that God has wrath and I don’t want to “downplay” it, but on the other hand, why send Jesus?

    To me, Jesus died for our sins so that God wouldn’t have to inflict his wrath so widely. It was something he had to inflict in the absence of any redemptive avenue that really counted for anything (again, Jesus).

    I’m not saying that we sould sin without hesitation or gloss over sin. In fact, I think a healthy level of sorrow over failing God is pretty healthy, as is an attempt not to continue or repeat that sin.

    But while wrath may be mentioned more in the Bible than grace, let’s not forget how much of the Bible is Old Testament, when wrath was the norm, not salvation.

    If God didn’t want us to have a better thing to focus on than wrath, he wouldn’t have sent Jesus, in my opinion. He would have simply left us with the “follow the law or pay the ultimate price.”

  3. @Deacon Blue – Jesus satisfies God’s wrath on the cross. That is why He sent Jesus. Jesus is our only escape from wrath. We have to understand what the bad news is before we can comprehend why we need the good news.

    God’s wrath & hell is mentioned quite a bit in the New Testament too.

    @Kansas Bob – I agree. There much in the Bible we have to just accept by faith.

  4. @Deacon Blue – Jesus satisfies God’s wrath on the cross. That is why He sent Jesus. Jesus is our only escape from wrath. We have to understand what the bad news is before we can comprehend why we need the good news.

    God’s wrath & hell is mentioned quite a bit in the New Testament too.

    @Kansas Bob – I agree. There much in the Bible we have to just accept by faith.

  5. OK, I get your point, Shane. I was thinking more from the side of being born again already, and therefore not getting so hung up on wrath that forget the ultimate aim was to elminate the need for the wrath.

    Of course you are correct that understanding the wrath is important in many cases to choosing Jesus.

    Though, frankly, it wasn’t the primarly reason for ME to choose Jesus. In fact, it came more from my sorrow that I was letting God down and failing to be a part of his divine plans by ignoring His word and ignoring Jesus.

  6. OK, I get your point, Shane. I was thinking more from the side of being born again already, and therefore not getting so hung up on wrath that forget the ultimate aim was to elminate the need for the wrath.

    Of course you are correct that understanding the wrath is important in many cases to choosing Jesus.

    Though, frankly, it wasn’t the primarly reason for ME to choose Jesus. In fact, it came more from my sorrow that I was letting God down and failing to be a part of his divine plans by ignoring His word and ignoring Jesus.

  7. I think God’s love and wrath are equally important.
    We live in a world where so many people are hurting and they need to know that God loves them. Of course unless they recognize that they have sin in their lives then there need for Christ won’t be great. Which is why I think God’s love and wrath go together and that we can’t see one as more important than the other.

  8. I think God’s love and wrath are equally important.
    We live in a world where so many people are hurting and they need to know that God loves them. Of course unless they recognize that they have sin in their lives then there need for Christ won’t be great. Which is why I think God’s love and wrath go together and that we can’t see one as more important than the other.

  9. “So are you ready or reluctant?” (Shane)

    Shouldn’t we hate wrath? I am reluctant because I am not sure what some un-educated person in our faith gets from knowing about wrath. Fear?

    The focus on God’s wrath (anger) doesn’t do much for anybody. If people need saving – it is usually from themselves and their own wickedness. True responsibility for one’s actiosn begins in the heart of that person – not with God’s anger – but maybe with God’s compassion for them.

    Wrath doesn’t do much for me as a Christian person – just tries to promote fear. God doesn’t want me to live in fear – but in a love that casts out that fear. Promoting fear because of God’s anger plays against the growth of the Christian (in my personal opinion) – we regress with our minds focused on those ideas.

    Paul mentions a list of what to focus on – when he writes a letter to one of his communities – and wrath did not make that list.

    Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

    Why should anyone in their right mind focus on God’s wrath as some esteemed value for their betterment? I project fear will arise because of these things – and for some ‘control’ – and I am not sure God wants people to be bound in those conditions (not free).

  10. “So are you ready or reluctant?” (Shane)

    Shouldn’t we hate wrath? I am reluctant because I am not sure what some un-educated person in our faith gets from knowing about wrath. Fear?

    The focus on God’s wrath (anger) doesn’t do much for anybody. If people need saving – it is usually from themselves and their own wickedness. True responsibility for one’s actiosn begins in the heart of that person – not with God’s anger – but maybe with God’s compassion for them.

    Wrath doesn’t do much for me as a Christian person – just tries to promote fear. God doesn’t want me to live in fear – but in a love that casts out that fear. Promoting fear because of God’s anger plays against the growth of the Christian (in my personal opinion) – we regress with our minds focused on those ideas.

    Paul mentions a list of what to focus on – when he writes a letter to one of his communities – and wrath did not make that list.

    Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

    Why should anyone in their right mind focus on God’s wrath as some esteemed value for their betterment? I project fear will arise because of these things – and for some ‘control’ – and I am not sure God wants people to be bound in those conditions (not free).

  11. “So are you ready or reluctant?” (Shane)

    Shouldn’t we hate wrath? I am reluctant because I am not sure what some un-educated person in our faith gets from knowing about wrath. Fear?

    The focus on God’s wrath (anger) doesn’t do much for anybody. If people need saving – it is usually from themselves and their own wickedness. True responsibility for one’s actiosn begins in the heart of that person – not with God’s anger – but maybe with God’s compassion for them.

    Wrath doesn’t do much for me as a Christian person – just tries to promote fear. God doesn’t want me to live in fear – but in a love that casts out that fear. Promoting fear because of God’s anger plays against the growth of the Christian (in my personal opinion) – we regress with our minds focused on those ideas.

    Paul mentions a list of what to focus on – when he writes a letter to one of his communities – and wrath did not make that list.

    Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

    Why should anyone in their right mind focus on God’s wrath as some esteemed value for their betterment? I project fear will arise because of these things – and for some ‘control’ – and I am not sure God wants people to be bound in those conditions (not free).

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