What is the wrath of God and why we ought to speak of it?
The wrath of God[wrote A. W. Pick] is a perfection of the Divine character on which we need to mediate frequently. First, that our hearts may be duly impressed by God’s detestation of sin. We are ever orine to regarrd sin lightly, to glorss over its hideousness, to make excuses for it. But the more we study and ponder God’s abhorrence of sin and His frightful vengeance upon it, the more likely are we to realise its heinousness. Second, to beget a true fear in our souls for God. “Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire”(Heb. 12:28,29). We cannot serve Him “acceptably” unless there is due “reverence” for His awful Majesty and “godly fear” of His righteous anger, and these are best promoted by frequently calling to mind that “our God is a consuming fire”. Third, to draw out our soul n fervent praise[to Jesus Christ] for having delivered us from “the wrath to come”(1 Thess. 1:10). Our readiness or our reluctance to meditate upon the wrath of God becomes a sure test of how our hearts really stand affected towards Him(J.I Packer, Knowing God p. 177 cites A.W. Pink’s The Attributes of God p.77)
What is that mantle that turns mere talkers into preacher?
God did not ordain the cross of Christ or create the lake of fire in order to communicate the insignificance of belittling his glory. The death of the Son of God and the damnation of unrepentant human beings are the loudest shouts under heaven that God is infinitely holy, and sin is infinitely offensive, and wrath is infinitely just, and grace is infinitely precious, and our brief life — and the life of every person in you church and in your community — leads to everlasting joy or everlasting suffering. If our preaching does not carry the weight of these things to our people, what will? Veggie Tales? Radio? Television? Discussion groups? Emergent conversations?
God planned for his Son to be crucified (Rev. 13:8; 2 Tim. 1:9) and for hell to be terrible (Matt. 25:41) so that we would have the clearest vision possible to what is at stake when we preach. What gives preaching its seriousness is that the mantle of the preacher is soaked with the blood of Jesus and singed with the fire of hell. (Preaching the Cross John Piper, p 105-6 )
“That’s” Piper answers “the mantle that turns a mere talkers into preachers. Yet tragically some of the most prominent evangelicals voices today diminish the horror of the cross and the horror of hell – the one stripped of its power to bear our punishment, and the other demythologized into self-dehumanization and the social miseries of this world”.
In Knowing God, J. I. Packer set to explain the meaning of God’s wrath. He writes:
The wrath of God in Romans denotes God’s resolute action in punishing sin. It is as much the expression of a personal, emotional attitude of the triune Jehovah as is his love to sinners: it is the active manifesting of his hatred of irreligion and moral evil”(Knowing God, J. I. Packer, p. 174)
Nahum on the Wrath of God:
The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
the LORD is avenging and wrathful;
the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies.
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
he dries up all the rivers;
Bashan and Carmel wither;
the bloom of Lebanon withers.
The mountains quake before him;
the hills melt;
the earth heaves before him,
the world and all who dwell in it.
Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
The LORD is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
(Nahum 1:2-8 ESV)
We ought to mediated Christ Jesus, in Gethsemane as he approach the hour to drink God’s fury(Revelation 14:10), for those whom believed and would believe in Him.
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.(Luke 22:41-44 ESV)
Does the Wrath of God change the way you think about the height, death, width and weight of your sins? Does it direct your to the Holiness of God?
The more I think on the wrath of God, the more I cling to the Cross of Christ Jesus, my Savior Lord and God.