Lead Pastor Search Updates Thank you for praying during this time! Click Here

Praising God for His Wrath

It may sound tough! But a high view of God, a low view of humankind, & landing on the Gospel = yes!

It’s easy to talk about God as love, grace, and mercy. Forgiveness and salvation are favorite biblical themes. But when judgment is mentioned, and the idea of God's wrath and vengeance arise, many balk. It seems criticizing God for kindness is unheard of, yet whenever His holiness and righteous anger are discussed, judgments arise.


So many emphasize God's love and grace, but without acknowledging divine wrath, these concepts lose their meaning.


And biblical passages such as Hebrews 10:26-31, Revelation 15-16, etc. make many people uncomfortable with their talk of judgment (Hebrews 10:27a), the fury of fire consuming sinful people (Hebrews 10:27b), punishment (Hebrews 10:29a), and vengeance (Hebrews 10:30).


Thus, the doctrine of divine wrath and anger is deemed by some as beneath God. They view it as “old school,” considering it as nothing more than something crazy. In their view, divine wrath is an impersonal force, not a part of God's character like love or mercy.


However, this perspective misunderstands the Bible's portrayal of judgment and divine wrath. It’s not an irrational outburst of anger or a celestial bad temper. Divine wrath is righteous antagonism towards all that is unholy—a reflection of God's character's revulsion to violations of his will (Romans 1:18). Interestingly, one may speak of divine wrath as a function of divine love. For God's wrath is his love for holiness, truth, and justice (Romans 3:25-26). His anger is rooted in his passionate love for purity, peace, and perfection, reacting angrily towards anything that defiles them.


Divine wrath is a facet of divine justice, ensuring each person receives what they deserve. It's not optional but a necessary aspect of God's righteousness. Jesus bore this wrath on behalf of believers, fulfilling divine justice (Romans 3:25-26).


Psalm 103:10 underscores God's mercy, not giving us what we deserve. This doesn't get rid of justice but highlights Jesus' sacrifice, removing our sins.


Rejecting substitutionary atonement as "cosmic child abuse," as some have taught, is blasphemous. Jesus willingly sacrificed himself out of love (John 10:17-18). His act allows believers to face divine wrath with confidence, knowing Jesus bore it for them.


In Revelation 14:17-20, believers find assurance because Jesus, as their substitute, endured God's wrath. This reveals the beauty of substitutionary atonement, where divine wrath is understood as an act of love, justice, and mercy.

5 Truths About God's Wrath We Must Hold Dear

#1 - If we don't believe we deserve consequences for our sins, then God's forgiveness loses its meaning. Forgiveness matters when we realize our wrongdoing has serious consequences. Grace, which is God's favor when we don't deserve it, only makes sense in light of judgment for our sins. Without the concept of judgment, grace loses its significance (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9).


#2 - God, as told in the Bible, is holy and just. He will judge those who persistently reject him. Ignoring this aspect of God is both biblically inaccurate and unloving. Telling people that God will accept them regardless of their rejection of him is misleading and denies the reality of judgment (Hebrews 10:30-31, Romans 1:18).


#3 - God's wrath is not something to apologize for or ignore; it's a reflection of his righteousness and justice. God's anger towards sin is essential to his nature. If he didn't care about injustice, evil, or immorality, he wouldn't be worthy of worship (Romans 1:18, Revelation 19:15).


#4 - Despite his wrath, God offers grace through Jesus Christ. By sacrificing his Son, he provides a way for us to be forgiven and spared from his wrath. This grace doesn't dismiss the reality of judgment but offers a path to redemption for those who believe (John 3:16, Ephesians 1:7).


#5 - God is both loving and just. His wrath is not contradicted by his love; rather, it's a reflection of his holiness. We should be thankful for his wrath because it ensures that justice will be served. At the same time, we should celebrate his grace, which offers us forgiveness and redemption through Jesus Christ. (Psalm 145:17, Romans 5:8).

How do we praise God for his wrath?

#1 - Start with a high view of God (Psalm 24:1, Revelation 15:3): Recognize God's sovereignty over all creation. Understand that he is in control of everything, from the smallest detail to the grandest scheme.

#2 - Acknowledge God's holiness and righteousness (Revelation 15:4, Psalm 145:17): Understand that God is holy and righteous in all his ways. His wrath is not arbitrary or capricious but is an expression of his righteous judgment against sin.

#3 - Recognize the sinfulness of humanity (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23): Understand that humanity has rebelled against God and fallen short of his glory. Recognize that our sinfulness deserves God's wrath and judgment.

#4 - Appreciate the magnitude of sin (Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23): Understand that the severity of sin's punishment reflects the holiness and position of the one sinned against. Recognize the infinite offense our sin is to an infinitely holy God.

#5 - Land on the hope of the gospel (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21): Remember the central message of our faith—the cross, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-8). At the cross, God expressed his wrath against sin while also providing salvation for sinners.


#6 - Walk in purity, witness with urgency, and worship with sincerity (Matthew 28:19-20, Philippians 2:9-11): Respond to God's mercy and grace with repentance and obedience. By his grace, live a life of purity, proclaim the gospel with urgency, and worship God with sincerity and joy.

In summary, to praise God for his wrath is to recognize the goodness and righteousness of his judgments, understand the depth of our sinfulness, and embrace the hope of salvation offered through Christ's sacrifice. It is to worship God with humility, gratitude, and awe, acknowledging his sovereignty, holiness, and love. 

We can never go wrong with that!