Avoiding the Hammer
We humans beings are highly skilled at avoiding the unpleasant and unwanted. Like the wimpy parent with powder-keg kids: “oh, you want to eat ice cream before supper, that’s ok.” Or the professional germaphobe taking all manner of precautions to avoid a germ. Or a driver who nearly wrecks to avoid hitting a squirrel!
We avoid hunger with snacks, fatigue with caffeine and pain with pills. Let’s face it, as 21st century Americans, we are incurable creatures of comfort, with nearly every decision we make designed to avoid something unwanted or unpleasant.
Yet how the world is blind to the greatest threat of all, to something far worse than a toddler’s rage or a raging infection. I speak of the rage of God.
You simply can’t honestly deal with the Bible and avoid this most unpleasant of realities.
The Greek word for wrath is orga and it’s used thirty-six times in the New Testament, six of man’s wrath and thirty of God’s.
This is because the true and living God intensely hates all sin with a settled, unchanging anger toward it. Here are four proofs from Scripture to support this claim.
First, we consider God’s past acts of cataclysmic, supernatural wrath. These include a world-wide flood that drowned all but eight people (Gen. 7); the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone (Gen. 19); the Ten Plagues in Egypt that dismantled a super power (Ex. 7 – 11); the Red Sea drownings of Pharaoh’s army (Ex. 14); the rebellion of Korah where the earth opened, fire fell on 250 people and a plague wiped out 14,700 (Numbers 6). And don’t forget the night the Angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrians. All of these were supernatural, miraculous outbursts of God’s just anger upon the wicked.
Two, we read of God’s current wrath of abandonment in Romans 1:18ff. Like a boat being released in a rushing stream to be carried away, so God’s wrath of abandonment is when he allows a person or group of persons to have their fill of their sin. He abandons the unrepentant sinner to his or her sin and allows the sin itself, with natural consequences, to be the temporary punishment for that sin. Whether gluttony or drunkenness, immorality or hate, idolatry or greed, God simply removes the restraint and lets the sinner go his own way, filling up the measure of his sins. This too is a form of God’s wrath and one we see all around us every day.
Third is His future tribulation or Day of the Lord wrath (cf. Mat. 24:3-22, 1 Thess. 5:1-3, 2 Thess. 1:7-10 and Rev. 6 – 19). In a sense this wrath of God will be a combination of numbers one and two. It is coming and nothing can stop it.
Finally, we come to His unending wrath. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). Or Revelation 20:11-15 that describes the horrifying judgment of all the unsaved according to their deeds at the Great White Throne.
So, only one question remains – how do you avoid the hammer of God’s wrath?
Answer? Turn “to God from idols to serve a living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead (after He took God’s wrath in our place), that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come” (I Thess. 1:9-10).
How great is this? Four categories of God’s wrath. One Rescuer!
Please hear me. If you are not saved by Jesus, you are experiencing the wrath of abandonment right now to some degree. You can’t know how far your sin will take you.
If you are alive and not saved at the Rapture of the Church, you will be left behind to experience seven years of Tribulation wrath. The odds are you won’t survive it.
If you are not saved and you die in your sin, the lake of fire will never stop burning.
The world is as deceived and distracted as it can it get. It’s like a person binge watching Netflix while their house burns down around them. It’s like pouring yourself another glass of wine while your kids are falling into a sink hole in the back yard. It’s like dodging a pothole only to drive off a cliff.
So what is a Christian? Someone who hears the good news of Jesus, turns to God in faith and is rescued from His wrath, that wrath having been spent on His Son in the greatest act of love the world has ever seen.
So, here’s a sinner’s prayer in light of God’s wrath:
Sinner: “God, I accept your offer of salvation and wish to cancel my appointment at the Great White Throne judgment.”
God: “On what basis?”
Sinner: Because “… while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Rom. 5:6-9).
To avoid God’s intense hatred of all your sins, run to Jesus and stay there! Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. For by grace we are saved thru faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no man may boast (Eph. 2:8-9).
There’s no real understanding of the gospel and no grasp of what it means to be saved and no insight into true Christianity apart from understanding that thru faith in Jesus alone, we avoid the hell we deserve and go straight to heaven when we die.
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Unless otherwise noted, all posts are written by Pastor Chris McKnight