Knowing God (Week 3): Not Appointed to Suffer Wrath

WrathofGodThis week we moved on from the “incommunicable” attributes (those that reside only with God) to the “communicable” attributes (those that can be passed on to us in some measure). One attribute that we don’t hear often in church is that of the wrath of God.

The wrath of God can be defined as God’s intense hatred of sin and evil. For example, Romans 1:18 says, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

There are two aspects of God’s wrath that I’d like to point out in this post:

1) We should share God’s hatred of what is evil. Romans 12:9 says, “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” I’m not saying we should hate people and act out on it. Let me give an example. Yesterday on the radio I heard a story of a man stabbing his son over a financial argument. A deeply rooted anger and sense of injustice welled up within me that I couldn’t explain – I believe it was this thought of me sharing God’s hatred of evil. However, as Jesus tells us to love our enemies, my mind quickly shifted to praying for this man, that he might be delivered from the enemy that has him so enslaved that he would commit such an act.

2) We should be extremely thankful for Christ saving us from the coming wrath of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Hallelujah! I can remember reading Colossians 3:5-6 in college and being discouraged: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” I thought, man, I’m guilty of this list – God’s wrath is coming on me. I didn’t have a mature view of the cross and of Jesus’ love for me. According to 1 Thessalonians 5:9, I’m not appointed to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through Jesus. That is good news!

So, what should we do with this truth?

First of all, don’t be surprised if as you grow in Christ, hatred towards evil also grows. It’s ok. Some of Jesus righteous anger will grow in you as you grow in Christ. Just try to pray for those committing those acts so that they would receive Him.

Secondly, give thanks today for Jesus and His plan of salvation to save you from His wrath. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 is so encouraging. Let it encourage you. Also, consider listening to “In Christ Alone” which speaks of God’s wrath being satisfied on the cross and the benefits we receive as a result. Thank Him and worship Him in response.

If you would like to study the attributes of God on your own or with a group, click here and scroll down to “Knowing God” for resources.

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