Is God Love or Wrath?

Church Family: As you experience life today, you most likely have heard the world confidently tell you how the God of the Bible is horribly angry and hot tempered. Then they proceed, usually somewhat angrily, to tell us what the God of the Bible should be like – a loving, non-wrathful God. As believers we also have the same tendency to strip God of His wrath. We forget that the God of the Bible clearly warns us that He will and does dispense wrath. God absolutely has promised a future end-time judgment for all who rebel against Him (Rev. 14). And He has also promised judgment now in this life for those who pursue lives of unrighteousness and ungodliness (Rom. 1:18). One of the ways in which God’s judgment is dispensed today is simply by God giving over sinners to a deeper and more intense experience of their sinful behavior that they have chosen.
The Last half of Revelation 14, gives us a clear image of the final dispensing of God’s wrath at the last judgment. Let us take a moment and let God communicate to us who He is. Is He a God of Love of wrath?
 
God’s primary attribute is Love. God is love. Love is God’s nature (1 John 4:7-21). God is not wrath. However, throughout scripture, over 600 times, we see God respond in wrath to any rebellion against His authority and to any wrong done to His unbreakable sovereignty. Simply put, God responds in wrath to His created order rebelling against Him. Would a God who did not react wrathfully to evil and rebellion in His world be morally perfect? Surely not. It is exactly God’s wrathful reaction to evil, that is a necessary part of moral perfection.
 
Please, seek to understand this biblical truth so that you can communicate this truth to a confused world. The wrath of God is actually a secondary attribute that would not happen if there was not any rebellion against Him. God responds to us in His wrath because of our sin not because that He is primarily a God of wrath. If we had not rebelled in our own personal sinfulness, we would not deserve His perfectly just wrath. God is never wrathful towards anybody because He is a wrathful God but because of their guilt of sin and rebellion against Him as their Creator.
 
But wait, don’t ever stop there! There is great news! The gospel, good news, is that God is love so He responds to me in His love because of who He is. So, because He is a God of holy love, He sent His Son to take away the wrath that we have earned in our rebellion. Jesus took our wrath on the cross and bore our sins so that we do not ever have to experience God’s wrath. The gospel and the Cross cannot be fully understood until we see the fulness of God’s wrath upon us meeting the fullness of God’s love in Jesus Christ taking our wrath (1 Thess. 5:9). If we do not understand the wrath of God we will not understand the gospel and our salvation. If we ever try to push aside and deny God’s wrath, we will lose the bad news of the gospel. And if we lose the bad news of the gospel, we will then lose the good news of the gospel. We will only grasp the cosmic weight of God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ as we understand that our sin has betrayed us into a situation where we deserve God’s wrath and yet God in His perfect love took action on our behalf sending His Son to take that wrath reserved for us. Why? Because God is love. Let the world know this amazing news!
 
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For our sake He (God the Father) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God.
 
I look forward to worshiping the Lion and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, with you Sunday. – Steve

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