Our relationship with our wives and each other is small potatoes compared to our relationship with God.
If we sin against each other, the worst thing that can happen is a busted relationship and a mark on our reputation.
Sin against God and we are at odds with the sinless being who created and rules everything in the universe.
His holiness, something we don’t have in and of ourselves, demands that he punishes our sin. One way the Bible describes this punishment is with the word “wrath.”
That attribute of God gets little work in the church, which is unfortunate.
Jesus on the Wrath of God
It’s unfortunate because we lose sight of the magnitude of our condemnation when we sin against God.
As Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
In case you missed it, that’s Jesus talking about our heavenly Father.
The One who loves us so much “that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
And did you catch that?
In John 3:16, one of the most famous scriptures of all time, Jesus again talks about God’s wrath and his ability to destroy those who reject him. He said they will perish.
I think he intends we not miss that.
The Scary Bit about God’s Wrath
Salvation is meaningless if we do not comprehend what we are being saved from. The prevailing perception is that we are saved from ourselves and our addictions. But we don’t need biblical salvation to achieve behaviour modification.
Biblical salvation is so much more.
Look at it this way. Science allows us to marvel at the creation and power of God. Over 100 billion galaxies, each containing one billion stars?
The immensity should blow our minds.
So if God is powerful enough to create this universe, what is to be said about the opposite, namely his wrath? If you went down the same imaginative path that I did, then your cage should’ve been rattled.
A Grander Comprehension of God’s Wrath
A greater and grander comprehension of God’s wrath then packs more weight to a line like Paul wrote to the 1 Thessalonians:
And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
Regarding the opponents of Jesus Christ, Paul writes in the same letter:
They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.
Define “utmost” as “the greatest or most extreme amount.”
And that wrath that has come upon them is the condemnation that Jesus says abides over those who do not obey him (John 3:36).
It seems sins is not merely stupid, but deadly. On a cosmic scale.
Why We Will Never Experience God’s Wrath
Paul reels our fears back in when he says, again to the Thessalonian church:
For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us to wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us…” 1 Thessalonians 5:7-9
Because of Jesus Christ believers will never experience God’s wrath. And we should fall to our knees for having averted not our best life now…but the worst life forever.
In the end, our wives might kick us to the curb. Our kids might spit in our faces. Our friends might stab us in the back.
But whether these outcomes are consequences of our own stupidity or not, they nevertheless do not compare to the outcome of our stupidity towards God.