What is the Wrath of God?

One of the sad things about many of the people who claim to be Christians is that they do not believe that God can be wrathful, that God can hate, and that God hates sin.

Why is that sad? What if we are one of those people who don’t believe that God can be wrathful, that God can hate, and He hates sin? In that case we would not understand salvation offered by Jesus Christ. We would not understand that when Jesus lived a sinless life, died upon the cross and then rose from the dead; He paid the price for our sins, and He saved us from the wrath of God, the Father.

So, please consider Michael’s post, and try to appreciate the fact that God hates sin because He loves us, and sin harms us.

Jesus Quotes and God Thoughts

See the source imageWe all love to think of the love of God. We relish His goodness, love, mercy, grace, patience, and peace. Sometimes it seems like the pages that highlight the wrath of God are missing from our Bibles. We misunderstand His holiness, righteousness, jealousy and justice.

A unified view of God and His characteristics include all of these elements. The Bible does in fact talk about the wrath of God. And, it is not just an Old Testament thing. Jesus and the Apostles emphasize it as well.

How do we define the wrath of God? Dr. Gruden defines it this way.

It may surprise us to find how frequently the Bible talks about the wrath of God. Yet if God loves all that is right and good and all that conforms to his moral character, then it should not be surprising that he would hate everything that is opposed to…

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23 thoughts on “What is the Wrath of God?

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  1. Many people want to worship a God who is all smiles and cuddles and has no sharp edges. But God hates sin. He hates what sin does to the people he loves. If God had no wrath at sin and at sinners, it would mean that he does not love us and does not mind when sin hurts us. But, thanks be to God, Christ on the cross consumed the wrath that God has at us for our sins, setting us free to be beloved children of God. Those who reject the price paid on the cross to redeem them–those who demand to be judged by their lives and not under God’s grace–must still face God’s wrath over their sins. J.

  2. I was at a Catholic teacher conference recently up in Waukesha, Wisconsin. One evening after dinner I had a discussion with two distinguished men who had helped sponsor the event.

    They both opined rather strongly, as in dogmatic certainty, that Adolf Hitler and Judas were in heaven because of God’s infinite mercy.

    Oh man! Aside from the common sense conclusion that such opinions are nonsense, holy scripture screams of a just God who does not tolerate evil.

    To make a long story short, we had a great discussion and they kept me lubricated with adult beverages just so they could be entertained by a barbarian Christian who talked about the wrath of God.

    1. Barbarian Christian? Yeah! Some of the Christians who think God is just LOVE – LOVE – LOVE do think of those who believe love leads inevitably to wrath against sin as barbarians. Yet consider the irony. The Greeks and Romans call those who were not Greek and Roman barbarians (https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=barbarian&ref=searchbar_searchhint), especially those from the Germanic tribes, but it is difficult to imagine anything more barbaric than crucifixion, a regular Roman practice.

      1. Citizen, The Romans understood the concept of justice. Crucifixion was reserved for murderers and thieves, the worst of the worst. The horror of crucifixion was a deterrent.

        That our Lord Jesus was crucified speaks to the unjust use of the Roman legal system by the 1st century Jewish establishment.

        Capital punishment in any form will be perceived as barbaric by some. As a barbarian Christian I believe in Roman justice.

        1. SOM. Everyone understands the concept of justice, but we often fail to be just to each other.

          What the Romans did was put together a legal system that was relatively just to everyone. The Romans did not achieve much technical progress, but they did produce a bit of organizational/sociological progress. Unfortunately, that progress did not stop Roman troops from leveling Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Roman Empire used ruthless violence to intimidate those it conquered and enslaved.

          Pagans are basically Atheists, and many Romans were Pagans of that sort. Atheist do not accept the fact that God hates sin. Neither do some who call themselves Christians.

          1. Citizen, Everyone understanding the “concept” of justice is meaningless. Please, before we continue further, define justice. What is justice? I really don’t think you know. You will probably have to Google it.

          2. @SOM

            Since justice is difficult to define, you introduced term to our conversation, and you claim to understand the word better than I, I will happily let you try to define it first.

            What will I do? I just point out why I believe everyone understands the concept of justice even if they don’t know the meaning of the word.

            Romans 2:12-16
            New American Standard Bible
            For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law instinctively perform the requirements of the Law, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of mankind through Christ Jesus.

            When people don’t treat others justly, we don’t punish them because they are ignorant of the law, we punish them because they refuse to obey the law.

          3. Plato and Saint Paul both defined justice as “minding your own business.” Justice is a cardinal, or hinge virtue along with prudence (practical wisdom), temperance and fortitude. Justice is the give and take that happens among family, among teacher and student, among governor and the governed. The give and take of justice renders harmony to the individual that radiates outward to family, friends, workplace, town and country. Justice brings with it, domestic tranquility.

            The objective of Roman justice was domestic tranquility. Human nature being what it is, public crucifixion, brutal though it was, deterred criminality and thus, preserved domestic tranquility.

          4. SOM

            Justice is not easily defined. 🙂

            Crucifixion was designed to preserve the state by terrorizing those who might reject the current regime. The Romans crucified enemies of the state, not your average thief.

            What does justice have to do with the law? Why is it important that God defines the Moral Law? Why is important that we recognize that everyone — all our neighbors — are like us and made in the image of God?

          5. Citizen, I just defined justice for quite easily. Also, thieves were crucified next to Jesus. Thieves, in whatever era, are a deadly threat to the social order. The Muslim would cut a thief’s hand off as punishment.

          6. SOM

            So, justice has little to do with the Law and Romans crucified mere thieves. You may wish to try out that Google thing you were talking about.

          7. SOM

            Our laws are primarily designed to protect us from each other. We are unjust to another person when we don’t respect that other person’s rights as equal to our own.

            The Bible includes laws that require us to respect God’s rights, the deference we owe to our Creator. God’s rights, of course, infinitely exceed our own.

            Matthew 27:44 includes a word that in older translations used the word “robbers” or “thieves.” In modern translations that word is more often than not translated using the word “rebels” or “revolutionaries.”

            Like communists or Liberal Democrats, the rulers of the Roman Empire did not feel much threatened by thieves and robbers. So, they did not feel compelled to waste much energy on them.

          8. Citizen, I think you are drinking out of the wrong historical bottle concerning the Romans. Thieves and robbers kill commerce which is the essence of ruling class wealth and domestic tranquility. Maybe in the later days of the collapsing Empire, Roman government was not powerful enough to go after thieves. We are seeing this social phenomenon play out in the blue cities where robbers and thieves are allowed to run hog wild. No civilization is a civilization without strict law and order.

          9. SOM

            Of course, thieves and robbers kill commerce, but political elites are more interested in power than commerce. That is why we see this social phenomenon play out in the blue cities where robbers and thieves are allowed to run hog wild. Our political elites, on the hand, hate Conservatives. Given the opportunity, they will throw us all in concentration camps.

            Because people have not changed much, the elites running the Roman Empire were little different. It made more sense to the Roman elites to make a galley slave out of thief than it did to crucify him. Rebels, on the other hand, they feared. So, they crucified them.

          10. Citizen, Political power comes from commerce. Communist regimes that annihilate their economies deal drugs, arms and oil. The Romans did not deal drugs, arms or oil. The Roman ruling class understood that the market enriched them and kept the hoi polloi fat dumb and happy, for the most part. Thievery was a turd in the Roman punch bowl.

          11. SOM

            The Roman Empire was an empire. Empires are made up of otherwise unrelated peoples ruled by force. Rebellion is the great threat to an empire. Consider again how Rome responded to the rebellion of the Jews in 70 AD. It is amazing the Jews survived.

          12. Not so again, Citizen. Spanish, Portuguese French, Italian and Romanian all languages based on the Roman language, Latin. The Greco-Roman world was Hellenized and Romanized except for the Germanic tribes (Goths of one sort or another), the Celts and the Mongolians. Those peoples were referred to as barbarians.

            Christian Western Civilization is collection of people united by the Roman culture and Latin language and later, by the Christian religion.

          13. Christian Western Civilization? Christian Western Civilization is united by Roman culture and Latin language and later by the Christian religion? That is partly true.

            In the first century Rome had just completed most of its conquests. At that time the Roman legions were primary that united the empire. Until the Roman legions and their leadership became corrupt, that never much changed. Otherwise the legions helped facilitate trade, and that trade spread Christianity and the Greco-Roman culture. The shared values of the Christian faith united western civilization more than the Greco-Roman culture ever did. The love of God is more contagious that the bite of the sword.

          14. “Christian Western Civilization is united by Roman culture and Latin language and later by the Christian religion,” is not partly true. It is 100% true. Your comment makes my argument for me.

          15. Greco-Roman culture spread by force of arms. Making people pay tribute does little to unite them. That was the 1st Century Roman Empire. Christianity spread because….well, you know the reason.

            What we know of Greco-Roman culture comes largely through Renaissance scholars like Erasmus and the discovery of Pompeii. So, we only get dim hints of the brutality common in the 1st Century. However, the Bible should give you a clue.

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