There is no shortage of books, articles, songs, and sermons extolling the love of God. The love of God is beyond measure and worthy of all our wonder and praise. But what about the wrath of God? The wrath of God is every bit as representative of His character as love is. They are two sides of the same coin of holiness.
His holiness manifests in His love for us, while that same holiness demands His wrath against all that is not holy and standing in the way of Him expressing His love. The wrath of God is terrifying, and yet we all seem more than ready to provoke it. God’s holiness necessitates His wrath. How else could a holy God respond to the evil and filth of sin when it encroaches on His perfection?
If God did not violently expel all that is not holy from His presence, He would become less than holy. The wrath of God is necessary to preserve His perfect love and goodness. We bristle against God’s wrath because we fall so far short of living as He commands. If sin offended us as deeply as it does our Lord, we would understand the pure and necessary reason for His anger.
Why doesn’t sin bother us the way it bothers the Father? It is because we love it. If you think love is too strong a word, then ponder why we who claim to love Jesus so readily choose sin over Him. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24)). One will master us and the other will fall to the side.
When we sin, we incite the wrath of God. It should be terrifying to us, but too often we don’t think twice about it before hurrying on to the next thing. We sin and seconds later we forget about it. If not for the mercy of God, He would destroy us every time we sin. Every sin is worthy of our execution. What if God were to unleash His wrath upon every sin? There would be nothing left of this world.
When we sin, we skip over thinking about the wrath of God and how deeply we offend Him. We move right into God’s love and forgiveness. This is good, but it keeps us from feeling the weight of what we have done. It keeps us from seeing how deeply we have devastated our Creator, King, and Lord.
Sin has no place in the life of a believer. If we understood how offensive it was to God, we would fight with all our might to keep from sinning. If we had a proper fear of the wrath of God, we would not dare sin against Him. Our books and sermons have swung the pendulum too far. It is vital we understand and rejoice in God’s Love. It is just as vital that we recognize and tremble at His wrath. Don’t diminish the character of God. He is holy, and He is love. Because He is holy, He must destroy everything that is not holy.
If we love the Lord, we must learn to see sin as He does. We must surrender our will to His and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). If we love Him, sin will grieve us as it grieves our King. Sin will horrify and offend us. If it does not, we may find ourselves on the terrifying end of His wrath.