So sorry for such a delayed post. This was supposed to up here about 3 weeks back but somehow I always let procrastination get the better of me. I have been busy though, which of course tell me that so have you. So, it just reminds me of some wise words from my favourite book- the Bible of course, “do at once, what you must do one day”, (which is also included in my message below). My apologies once again, (though I don’t know if its significant here, but I feel I shouldJ).
About 3 weeks back I had the privilege of sharing the word with our brothers and sisters at bansbari church, Kathmandu, and it was wonderful to just be there with such wonderful people. When Santosh chettri ji first asked me to share, I was a little unsure about myself as it was a different congregation and I didn’t know anyone there and I had not been to a service there before so I didn’t know how things were done and all the excuses i could possibly come up with came into my mind. But this was on Christmas day and I couldn’t go that day as we had our service the same time as their church, and secretly my mind was at ease (it was more like divine intervention, coz when we share we share what god wants to share not what we want to, and in my case I wasn’t prepared). So this time when santosh ji called me and asked me to share, the first thing that came to my mind was- wow! What a privilege and a great opportunity. So I went there on 8th feb and shared about the wrath of god.
“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”- Hebrews 10:31
Wrath : extreme displeasure or anger. Its always looked at as a negative attribute.
Someone once defined God’s wrath as –“eternal detestation of all unrighteousness, the displeasure and indignation of dire equity against evil. The holiness of God stirred into activity against sin”. How rightly have they defined it. God’s wrath is not a defect in his divine character. Divine wrath is not vindictiveness, its divine perfection. Don’t compare divine wrath with our human anger. Its not the same and it cannot be compared. When we think of anger or wrath we think in terms of negative feelings, uncontrolled blind rage, as a form of retaliation, unpredictable petulance, hostility and self concern. God’s anger is always predictive, always steadfast and always set against sin. God’s nature is uncompromisingly set against sin. He will not tolerate anything harmful to us and sin is harmful. If you read Romans 1:18-25, you will read about God’s wrath again. We either accept or reject God’s love for us. God’s anger is his grief because of what is happening to us because of sin, its not a grudge because of what is happening to him. God cannot treat good and evil alike. He can look over it, look over it to the cross where it is forgiven but he cannot overlook it.
Matthew 5:21-26, here Jesus is teaching about anger. But he’s not just teaching us about controlling our anger but also about our thoughts in our hearts, which only we and God know. He’s also teaching us about avoiding God’s wrath at the end. He’s saying that those who experience the fullness of God’s wrath get precisely what they deserve. Do not drive justice to extremities. God requires righteousness of us. It is utterly useless to think that we can escape the eternal law. Yield yourselves rather than be compelled. For whose hearts are true- judgment is right. Many people think that it may be possible to escape all that is required of us in the world. But there’s no escape. A way to avoid the demands of righteousness apart from the righteousness which God accounts to us at the cross would not be moral.
Luke 16:19-31 Verse 31- “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead”. Those who die without accepting God’s forgiveness, go to hell. Sounds harsh, but it is the truth. The entire Bible declares it. “He who believes in the son has eternal life; he who doesn’t obey the son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.”-John 3:36. So, God’s wrath is an attribute for which we should thank and praise him. It is closely related to holiness and justice. It means that God intensely hates all sin. It is a virtue to hate sin and evil.
But we as people of faith should not fear God’s wrath- for although “we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Eph 2:3). We now have trusted in Jesus “who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess 1:10). But of course this doesn’t mean that we take God for granted. This doesn’t mean that we do as we please without thinking about the consequences thinking that we have already been forgiven and that Jesus has saved us. Yes, he has but now that we know what is right and wrong and we still continue to sin consciously we will definitely face God’s wrath unless we repent for we are all sinners. Even Paul says this in his various letters. We as Christians have found this joy of the truth and salvation, and we should share it whenever possible.
When we think of God’s wrath we are also reminded of his patience. We may think that this is odd because for us humans we lose our temper when our patience is tested. But for God it is also an attribute which goes together with his wrath. Psalm 103 says that-
8“The lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever.”
In fact, the delay of the execution of God’s wrath upon evil is for the purpose of leading people to repentance. (Rom 2:4). Be thankful for God’s patience in waiting to execute his wrath in order that yet more people may be saved.
“The lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:8-9.
This last passage is proof that God’s wrath motivates us to evangelism- so be thankful and praise God.