Christians usually talk about God’s grace and mercy. The phrase “God loves you” is something that we commonly hear from Christians. These are undoubtedly essential truths in our lives; the Gospel, or what Jesus did for us on the cross, is a sign of God’s love and grace towards us. However, there is one topic that seems less frequently discussed or mentioned, and that is God’s wrath. God’s wrath is something that the Bible has mentioned since the Old Testament. It is the very reason why we need Jesus in the first place. Knowing about God’s wrath magnifies how gracious and merciful He is to call us His sons and daughters today.
God is a just and holy God, and because of that, He must punish sin. We all have sinned and deserve God’s wrath for it. Sometimes, because God’s grace, mercy, and love are all that is taught, God’s wrath is seen as something that makes God unfair. When we read portions in the Bible where God is inflicting His wrath upon someone or something, we sometimes think that He is being too harsh. However, the truth is, He isn’t, and He has every right to do it. He wasn’t doing it just because He was pissed off or in a bad mood, He was executing justice. That is what makes our God awesome; He is just, and we can trust that He is indeed good since he never lets evil go unpunished (Colossians 3:5-6).
God’s wrath cannot be compared to getting caught in school doing something wrong and then being punished by having to clean your classroom and then later walking away as if nothing ever happened. Also, there is another kind of wrath from God. It comes when a man, despite knowing what is right and wrong in God’s eyes and the finished work of Jesus, which is everything that he needs to know, still chooses to do what is unrighteous in the eyes of the Lord. God gives them up over to their dishonorable passions (Romans 1:26-31). That is a position you never want to find yourself because it will bring about His wrath.
Knowing our sinful nature, what hope do we have? God’s wrath is not something you use to encourage people, obviously, but it magnifies, even more, the grace, mercy, and love that God has for us in Jesus. God’s wrath is what we actually deserve, but because God loves us, instead of pouring out His wrath upon us, He poured it out on Jesus, resulting in His finished work on the cross. This is what makes the Gospel such urgent news to be shared with others who don’t know Jesus yet (Romans 6:23). But right now, you are already in Christ, believing in His finished work as an adopted son or daughter of God. What you have right now is not God’s wrath but His love.