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The Wrath of God

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Looking at God's wrath ultimately makes us aware of God's mercy and reminds us of the urgency of our mission.

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God Is...

Holy
Righteous
Just
Power
Grace
Love
Wrath
QUESTION: What is one verse that illustrates each of the above attributes of God
Wrath
QUESTION: When I say the “wrath of God” what is the first thing that comes to mind?
9

GOD’S WRATH IN JONAH

Jonah 1:17 ESV
And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
appointed a great fish
the fish held Jonah between life and death
shows the effect on Jonah
appointed a great fish the fish held Jonah between life and death shows the effect on Jonah
Jonah 3:2 ESV
“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.”
God was against Ninevah
God was against Ninevah
Jonah 3:4 ESV
Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
in 40 days the entire city would be overthrown
in 40 days the entire city would be overthrown
Jonah 3:9–10 ESV
Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
Jonah 3:9 ESV
Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”
the local governor recognized that God has fierce anger
the local governor recognized that God has fierce anger
Jonah 3:10 ESV
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
God had planned disaster for them
God had planned disaster for them

GOD’S WRATH EXPLAINED…

God’s wrath against the nati
God’s wrath on His enemies -15
God’s wrath against the nations
God’s wrath on unrighteousness
God’s wrath on His enemies -15
God’s wrath on unrighteousness
“Cup” of God’s wrath
Bowls of God’s wrath
Bowls of God’s wrath
Cup” of God’s wrath
Bowls of God’s wrath

GOD’S WRATH DISPLAYED...

The Flood in
The Tower of Babel
Sodom & Gomorrah
The Plagues in Egypt
The Red Sea devouring Pharaoh’s army

WHAT TRIGGERS GOD’S WRATH?

Sin
Is it the size of the sin or the majesty of the offended?
I’ll touch on 2 types of things that we know God wholeheartedly rejects!

Idol Worship

Israel, right after being delivered from Egypt, after they had received the 10 commandments fashioned a golden calf and began worshiping it. Idol worship was normal then and its normal now. But God states in
Exodus 32:8–10 ESV
They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ ” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”
They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ ” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”

Provoking God with the things he hates.

If I were trying to help you connect with new friends, would I match you up with people that hate the things that you love…or love the things that you hate?
The Bible sets up this incredible passage exposing “Perverted hearts that devise evil “
There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty (arrogant) eyes,
haughty (arrogant) eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans (plots wicked schemes) feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (stirs up trouble)
a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans (plots wicked schemes)
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers. (stirs up trouble)

God’s mercy is always near His displays of wrath up to this point:

Noah begged people to repent
The peoples of the earth could’ve worshipped God instead of trying to one-up him with the Tower of Babel
Sodom and Gomorrah had multiple opportunities to repent. They had the law too.
Pharaoh could’ve said yes to God instead of inflicting the Israelites as disposable slaves.
Pharaoh’s men should have tended to their families instead of pursuing God’s people.

God’s mercy was the closest to His wrath when Christ was crucified...

Christ alone

QUESTION: Can a God that “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” also command seven angels in Revelation to “go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God”?
Where have God’s wrath and God’s mercy been on display at the same time?
No expression of God’s Wrath poured out in concentrated form like that on his own dear Son
The waters rushing from the flood and the fountains bursting from underneath were nothing compared to the concentrated fire hose of wrath pointed toward a lonely hill called Golgotha outside Jerusalem when Christ hung on the cross
The crashing down of the Tower of Babel likely didn’t shake the earth or the surrounding cities like when the veil was torn in two - tearing down the visible barrier between the presence of God of man himself
The fire and brimstone that came down from Heaven - think about how backwards that is (fire starts on earth with earthly elements, brimstone is created when dead things on earth are consumed by fire at such a rate of consumption that fiery liquid begins to flow) - was not as bright as it was dark over the whole earth when Jesus Christ was crucified on a criminal’s cross outside the city
The plagues of Egypt: the water turning to blood, the frogs, the gnats, the flies, the Egyptian livestock being wiped out, the boils, the hail, the locusts, the darkness, the death of all of Egypt’s firstborn children - these were intense and significantly affected the nation. But they fade in significance when compared with enough concentrated wrath for all the plagues and the sins of all the nations and its peoples laid on Christ at Calvary.
The Red Sea crashing in on Pharaoh’s army and wiping them out is only a peek at the crashing down of Heaven as the Father goes silent at the heartbreak of Heaven and Heaven’s Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, God’s only begotten Son is being crucified for our sin:
Isaiah 53:4–6 ESV
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
God’s wrath was satisfied here on earth with the death, burial and resurrection of His dear Son, the LORD Jesus Christ.
God’s DISPLAY OF HIS wrath and his mercy intersected at the cross…then began running in opposite directions.
THEY ARE NEVER FARTHER APART THAN IN ETERNITY.
HEAVEN & HELL
GOD’S WRATH IN ETERNITY STARTS WITH JUDGMENT!
GOD’S WRATH IN ETERNITY?
Isaiah 13:9–11 ESV
Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the land a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
Hebrews 10:27–31 ESV
but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
10  For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
and the moon will not shed its light.
11  I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
Daniel 12:2 ESV
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
John Wesley on HELL writes:
on “the punishment of loss.” This commences in that very moment wherein the soul is separated from the body; in that instant, the soul loses all those pleasures, the enjoyment of which depends on the outward senses. The smell, the taste, the touch, delight no more: The organs that ministered to them are spoiled, and the objects that used to gratify them are removed far away. In the dreary regions of the dead all these things are forgotten; or, if remembered, are only remembered with pain; seeing they are gone for ever.
All the pleasures of the imagination are at an end. There is no grandeur in the infernal regions; there is nothing beautiful in those dark abodes; no light but that of livid flames. And nothing new, but one unvaried scene of horror upon horror! There is no music but that of groans and shrieks; of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth; of curses and blasphemies against God, or cutting reproaches of one another. Nor is there anything to gratify the sense of honour: No; they are the heirs of shame and everlasting contempt.
2. Thus are they totally separated from all the things they were fond of in the present world. At the same instant will commence another loss,—that of all the persons whom they loved. They are torn away from their nearest and dearest relations; their wives, husbands, parents, children; and (what to some will be worse than all this) the friend which was as their own soul. All the pleasure they ever enjoyed in these is lost, gone, vanished away: For there is no friendship in hell.
Devil with devil damn’d
Firm concord holds,
does not affirm that there is any concord among the human fiends that inhabit the great abyss.
3. But they will then be sensible of a greater loss than that of all they enjoyed on earth. They have lost their place in Abraham’s bosom, in the paradise of God. Hitherto, indeed, it hath not entered into their hearts to conceive what holy souls enjoy in the garden of God, in the society of angels, and of the wisest and best men that have lived from the beginning of the world; (not to mention the immense increase of knowledge which they will then undoubtedly receive;) but they will then fully understand the value of what they have vilely cast away.
John Wesley, Sermons, on Several Occasions (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1999).
“O let us look back and shudder at the thoughts of that dreadful precipice, on the edge of which we have so long wandered! Let us fly for refuge to the hope that is set before us, and give a thousand thanks to the divine mercy, that we are not plunged into this perdition!” - John Wesley quotes Dr. Isaac Watts in his sermon on Hell.
“Hell is a dreadful reality. To speak of it lightly proves that we do not grasp its horror. I know of no one who has overstated the terrors of hell. We can scarcely surpass the horrid images Jesus used. We are meant to shudder. Why? Because the infinite horrors of hell are intended by God to be a vivid demonstration of the infinite value of his glory, which sinners have belittled. The biblical assumption of the justice of hell16 is the clearest testimony to the infiniteness of the sin of failing to glorify God. All of us have failed. All the nations have failed. Therefore, the weight of infinite guilt rests on every human head because of our failure to delight in God more than we delight in our own self-sufficiency.” -Piper, John. Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions

At a glance, the biblical teaching on the wrath of God seems inconsistent with the doctrine of God’s love. Unfortunately, ignorance of the OT and a misunderstanding of the NT have resulted in a heretical view of the biblical canon (Marcionism), in which the OT reveals the God of wrath and the NT reveals the God of love. Contrary to popular misconception the NT, like the OT, also teaches the wrath of God in connection with his love. The biblical teaching on God’s love cannot be appreciated unless it is seen in contrast with the biblical teaching on his wrath. The word “wrath” is a concept represented by many different words and idioms in the original languages of the Bible. The references to God’s wrath are the most frequent—nearly three times as many as any other subject.

CONCLUSION - CALL TO ACTION
Go to the cross now and SEE the Wrath of God absorbed in Christ on your behalf. Submit yourselves to His authority and LORDSHIP.
OR
Go to eternity and head toward his wrath…unhinged and without mercy.
You have friends that are bound for the wrath of God. (Whether they know it or not, whether they care or not…)
Do you care enough to tell them that God is Holy, Righteous, Just, Power, Grace, and Love? His wrath is the only pure and right response to the rejection of these attributes.
LET’S PRAY BEFORE WE SPLIT UP INTO OUR GROUPS.
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