When we think of the wrath of God we typically think about the Day of the Lord or the Great Tribulation. At once the bowls of God’s wrath comes to mind from the book of Revelation, … “… because with them God’s wrath is complete” (Rev. 15:1). There is a horrible plague not only on the people who worship the beast, but great tribulation upon the people who drink polluted water and are scorched by the sun, “… because of the intense heat they cursed the name of God” (Rev. 16:9), which indicates they are filling up the ranks of the ungodly. Also, there is total destruction of every living thing in the sea. As a matter of record water and air pollution is already killing millions every year and an untold number of sea creatures are washing up on sea shores around the globe. One heat wave after another has caused health problems and deaths on a global basis. If that were not enough as the kingdom of the beast is plunged into darkness there is an increase of lawlessness and unrestrained anarchy. To make matters worse all the kingdoms of the world will amass an army to meet the encroaching hordes from the East, those people living beyond the great river Euphrates in a horrendous “… battle on the great day of God almighty” (Rev. 16:14). (It should prove interesting that Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are beyond the river Euphrates.) I cannot even imagine the global destruction to man and his environment, but thank God we are delivered from the wrath of God.
The question is how are we delivered? The Bible makes it abundantly clear “that this Day should not surprise you like a thief” (I Thess. 5:4) who typically operates in the night. We will not be surprised because we are all sons of the light and sons of the day. As the world is saying, “peace and safety” we know that the day of God’s wrath is coming. Because we are children of the light we know that the fallen world is on a conclusion course with destiny because they have turned their back on God and no longer trust in Him exclusively. As children of light we know that preparation is essential and staying in the light is critical if we don’t want to be surprised. Clearly if we are not here to be surprised then this is a mute point and biblical instruction is irrelevant. But if it is relevant then we need to “… be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thess.5:8-9). So if we are not appointed to suffer wrath as children of light then we must conclude that we are shielded from His wrath that’s only reserved for the ungodly. To be shielded from God’s wrath although a welcome relief, we must remember that Christians still go through trials and tribulations for the strengthening of their faith. “… We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Clearly there is a big difference between the wrath of God and trials and tribulations appointed for those in Christ.
To fully understand the wrath of God we must allow all of God’s Word to speak to us. There is a wrath that is being poured out on all ungodliness since the First Century. This wrath of God is different in nature in that God simply allows an individual to sink deeper and deeper into the consequences of their own sin. This wrath is explained in detail in Romans 1:18-32 (you may want to take a moment and read these verses before proceeding). We see God letting mankind go three specific times to illustrate that at each point as man’s depravity increases his consequences are also increased significantly. God gave them up to their sinful desires; He gave them over to their shameful lusts; and, He gave them over to a depraved mind. As children of light we are not surprised that states are approving same sex marriages. We should not be surprised at the increase in all manner of wickedness which is driving more people to secular counseling and psychotropic drugs to help them cope with the consequences of their sin.
Having said that we must conclude that if God allows mankind to slip deeper and deeper into the consequences of his sin, which He does, then we must also conclude that more the world turns away from God the larger the effect it has upon the world as whole. As evil increases around the world the more God’s wrath intensifies to the point where He can say in the book of Revelation, “… because with them God’s wrath is complete” (Rev. 15:1). This should prove to be a wakeup call as to why the powers are unleashed against the planet. It should open our eyes to why there is an increase in the number of volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, violent hurricanes, and worsening heat waves around the world. As children of light we should not be surprised. Rather we must continue to stand firm and proclaim to a fallen world that their multitude of sins are having devastating consequences on our world.
Copyright © 2012 Rev. Daniel W. Blair