Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. Psalm 7:11
My wife and I heard a popular TV pastor make a startling statement that instantly raised a flag with us. Also, just recently, someone asked a question on this subject in Sunday School which has apparently become quite a popular modern day teaching that God is no longer angry. The preacher said, “God is no longer angry.” He further explained that on the cross, Jesus absorbed the wrath of God for mankind. Actually, this thinking is a bit more pervasive in our culture than just a few “feel-good” sermons on TBN.
The wrath of God began losing popularity long before this TV preacher ever became popular. If you are old enough, you might remember the day when “fire and brimstone” messages were frequently heard and the term conviction was used a lot. I know those are foreign terms to most today, but that is exactly what I am getting at. The pendulum swung from those old fiery messages to a more “positive,” appealing message. But who are we trying to appeal to? Well, in an effort not to offend the world, the messages across the land began to focus on the goodness of God. I am not saying the that an adjustment was not needed, but while focusing on God’s goodness, we are told at the same time we should focus on his severity as well:
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. Rom. 11:22
Another saying that you hear so often today is “God is good.” In deed he is, but the problem, I think, is with how we define “good.” As the pendulum swung away from the “fire and brimstone” and eternal damnation messages a few years back to the more palatable and less offensive, “positive” messages, so did our definition of “good.” For example, is judgment a bad thing? Is the trail of your faith or the sufferings of Christ a bad thing? I didn’t ask did we like them, just were they good or bad? I think the God-is-no-longer-angry mentality shows just how far off we have drifted. Another example to show this drift is in how 1 Cor. 14:3 is used as the litmus test to accept or reject prophecies: He who prophesies speaks unto men “to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” If this verse really meant that we were to reject every word from God that didn’t tell us that God was going to bless us with a new car, new house, promotion on our job, and that we wouldn’t go through tough times, then we would have to delete Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the rest of the prophets entirely from the Bible, or just do as so many do today anyways – read the Bible in smorgasbord fashion.
To the TV preacher’s credit, Jesus did take our place in judgment on the cross, but to say that God is no longer angry would not be accurate at all. Once as I had been meditating and studying on the subject of God’s judgment, the Spirit of God asked me, “Have I changed?” A bit puzzled, the verse in Malachi 3 came to me, “For I am the Lord, I change not,” so I replied, “No, you change not.” He further explained to me that nothing had changed about his judgment except that only now, he offers a new deal! With that understanding, Romans 8:1 now should take on a whole new meaning: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” He never said that that condemnation has been stripped from God’s vocabulary, he just said there is none for those who are “in Christ Jesus.” Please note, condemnation is not when some brother or sister tells you that need to stop cursing or sleeping around; it just means that, as we said earlier, Jesus took God’s judgment in our place. We must however make sure that we remain in the “in Christ” category.
As our passage in Psalm says, God is in fact, “angry with the wicked every day.” I know that goes cross-grain to the popular teachings of today, or maybe the judgment scriptures are just purposely left out. Rergardless of the motive, the end result is the same, we have an imbalanced diet when we don’t hear the whole counsel of God. The Word says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).” This next verse gives us the balanced perspective that we need for healthy thinking about God’s wrath:
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. 1 Thes. 1:10
My friend, if there is “wrath to come,” then God has not gone through anger management and he still is angry. This truth is brought to light as we read the book of Revelation where we see the full wrath of God poured out on wicked mankind, but through all the judgments, those who cling to Jesus will be saved – even during the Tribulation period. Have you trusted Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior? If you haven’t, please call upon the name of the Lord and be saved today!