God is love, Jesus loves you, God wants to save you, Jesus died for you, accept Jesus as your Savior, God is a merciful God, God is your refuge, God will be with you wherever you go, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, God is our guide.
Psalms 116:5 NIV
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
All these things God is. We hear it in church on Sunday mornings, on popular podcasts, we see it on billboards and Bible tracts. God indeed loves you and wants you to come to believing faith in Him but you rarely hear about the wrath and the judgement of God. Simply put, without a true believing faith in God, through Jesus Christ you will face the righteous judgement and wrath of God.
Ezra 8:22b KJV
The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
Wrath is defined as: 1: strong vengeful anger or indignation 2: retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement
Breaking down the definition of wrath we see that God is a vengeful God Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:19 tells us that vengeance and payback belong to Him alone. Retributory punishment for an offense or crime; the consequences for actions or lack of actions results in facing the wrath of God. Most people without a biblical understanding of sin would cry innocence. Make no mistake, God will judge both the righteous and the unrighteous, we see this principle in the parables. Believers will be judged for reward at the judgement seat of Christ, all others will face a final judgement at the Great White Throne.
2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Revelation 20:11-12 KJV
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Deuteronomy chapter 1 describes the consequence of the sin and disobedience of Israel after leaving Egypt; they were to wander the desert for forty years and were forbidden to enter into the promised land. Sin, disobedience, and unbelief will one day prohibit non-believers from entering eternal life with God in heaven. In Joshua chapter 7, Achan and his entire family are destroyed because of his disobedience. Psalms chapter 2 could perfectly describe the condition of today’s world and the rulers in today’s world as they continually do the opposite of what God desires. We look at what is being forced upon us and believe there is no remedy. God simply laughs at them; they think they’re having their way, but He laughs at their high mindedness. Rest assured, in His deep displeasure He will terrify them. The Old Testament prophets speak of the coming day of wrath, Joel describes it as the great and terrible Day of the Lord. God’s wrath against sin and disobedience is perfectly justified because His plan for mankind is holy and perfect, just as God is holy and perfect.
John 3:36 KJV
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on Him.
The wrath of God is a fearsome and terrifying thing but what is exactly is it? Let’s go back to chapter 20 of Revelation.
Revelation 20:14 KJV
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Death, hell, and the lake of fire. Revelation 21: 8 is clear when it says unbelievers will go to the lake of fire. Unbelievers are waiting this final banishment in a waiting room called hell. Hell is the place spoken of in Luke and Revelation, Hades, the abode of departed spirits. A better description of hades is found in Luke chapter 16. A rich man dies and goes to hades and lifts his eyes being in torments. He is so tormented by the flames that a finger dipped in water to touch his tongue would bring relief. Hell is a place of torment and flames, but hell is not the final resting place for unbelievers. Death is done away with for the believers who are with God, so death receives the final judgement itself cast into the lake of fire. Hell is then cast into the lake of fire for eternity. This is the wrath of God that puts people who refuse to believe in a place that was not designed for them.
Matthew 25:41 KJV
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
We don’t speak of the wrath of God because we believe it turns people away from God. We would all rather win people to Christ by the love of God it’s simply easier to speak about. It is very offensive to say; without Christ you will one day die and go to hell. This is precisely what some people need, the truth of the consequences of rejecting the free gift of salvation. God provided a way to avoid His wrath and gain divine favor—repentance—which turns God’s wrath away from the sinner.
Only those who have been covered by the blood of Christ, shed for us on the cross, can be assured that God’s wrath will never fall on them.
Romans 5:8-10 KJV
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.