God’s love and God’s wrath! Two parts to the whole.


What’s the character of God that defines this world encompassing holiday? I’m sure God’s love comes immediately to the forefront. Christ’s physical entry onto the world scene was fraught with great danger and close calls. Yet, God’s love for humankind prevailed! Christ, as a man, grew up and successfully, powerfully fulfilled the purpose for which He had been born. As we study the sacrificial life of Christ, we get a sense of the extreme measures God’s love was willing to take on our behalf. Measures that would ensure our eternal and permanent home in heaven, after our temporary earthly life concluded.

But what concerns me is that as we become so wrapped up in the love God gave us in the Christ-child, we fail to move forward and even acknowledge the purpose for which Christ was born. By failing to embrace both the gift of God’s love and the purpose of the Cross, we venture into a world of deception and falsehood.

Therefore, we MUST come to terms with the fact that it was God’s wrath that was poured out upon Christ as He hung on that cross. Wrath that was meant for us! God cannot tolerate sin because He is God. Therefore, there was only one way that we could even hope for a personal relationship with Him and seal our permanent residence in heaven. Someone, who was without sin, would have to be willing to stand in our stead, take our place, endure God’s wrath. There was a price to be paid for our sin and Jesus paid it. For a moment in time, Jesus was willing to allow Himself to be separated from God. As human beings, I don’t think we can even begin to imagine the horror of that moment for Christ. But He endured the cross for us in order that we would never have to experience such horror.

We don’t talk much about God’s wrath, do we. But understand we place ourselves in great peril by avoiding to come to terms with the reality of God’s wrath. For there is no greater love than what was displayed on the cross where the wrath of God was poured out on Christ.

Yet, I wonder, if by overly focusing on just God’s love, without the balance of God’s wrath, could we miss heaven?

God Never Looses an Election

     Ok, that statement from a sermon I heard this morning rather startled me. I would venture to say that like me that was not the foremost thought in our minds after this current election.  I was clearly disappointed and concerned about the ramifications our new president’s style of leadership would have on the moral fiber of our country. The thought that came to me, instead was, “Are we as a nation about to encounter the wrath of God?” That sounds scary.

    By not being familiar with who God is as revealed in the Bible, the idea of God’s wrath will be completely misunderstood. Without the clarity of Scripture, our frame of reference in understanding God’s wrath will be to compare it to human wrath. Huge mistake, for:

“God’s wrath in the Bible is never the capricious, self-indulgent, irritable, morally ignoble thing that human anger so often is.

    Naturally, if this is what we think God’s wrath is, we aren’t likely to accept it. We will turn our focus to something more acceptable. Since it is too uncomfortable to think of God as wrathful, we will focus on the comfortable thought that God is love.  And we won’t even wonder, “Have we missed something?”

     Obviously, there is something we are missing. Because God is holy, He cannot tolerate or excuse sin. While He is patient (Nehemiah 9:17Psalm 103:8), there comes a time when He must express His wrath.

     So the question we must ask is, “What is the purpose of God’s wrath?” History tells us that Israel was taken into slavery by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Prior to that invasion, Israel had disobeyed the covenant they had made with God. They were worshipping idols, sacrificing their children to these idols, committing immorality in the worship of their idols, and much more. However:

     Following the Babylonian captivity, the Jewish people never again embraced pagan worship. While there have always been some in Israel who followed after pagan practices (even as there are today), the nation as a whole did not embrace pagan worship again. Instead, the nation remained devoted to the Law of the covenant and to the God of Israel… 

     By Israel’s example we realize that God’s love and God’s wrath rightfully coexist. They are the very combination that led Christ to the cross. God’s wrath had to be satisfied. If it had not, sin would have destroyed all of mankind. Therefore, in order to save the world Christ willingly suffered God’s wrath.  By accepting Christ’s sacrifice as payment for our sins, then we are spared God’s ultimate wrath. One sacrifice for all who believe! 

     Therefore, it’s not that God lost this election but it’s that He allowed the outcome.  For now, Christians must purpose in their hearts to reflect Christ as we deal with what God has allowed. Thus pointing out the only way to be delivered from God’s wrath and be destined for heaven.