Deserving of Wrath

We do not want the wrath of God. God’s wrath is more than we can begin to imagine. More than we could possibly bear.

The earth and nearly all of its people experienced God’s wrath previously in Noah’s time. God saw the wickedness on the earth and brought his wrath upon the earth and all of its people:

The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them. ”

Genesis 6:5-7

God wiped nearly every human off of the earth. Nearly. Thankfully Noah found favor in God’s eyes and was saved.

The Israelite people experienced God’s wrath. They had been warned over and over that their ongoing betrayal and wandering from God, worshiping other gods and forgetting about the God who had already saved them, would bring God’s wrath upon them. But they persisted, so God brought the nations around them to destroy them and scattered the Israelites across the face of the earth.

And Jesus also experienced God’s wrath. It wasn’t just the Jews. It wasn’t just the Romans. In fact, it was God’s plan to kill Jesus, to make him experience God’s wrath in our place. God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus and he was ripped to shreds and nailed to the cross so that I wouldn’t have to experience that same punishment, that same wrath.

When we say that we are saved, we should be clear about what it is that we mean. We are saved from the wrath. The Bible doesn’t speak about God snapping his fingers and removing us from existence. Neither does it say that we are simply separated from God and his presence if we are punished and are judged to sent to Hell. No, it is clear in that we will experience God’s wrath. Yes, we are separated. Yes, we will actually wish that we never existed, but in reality, we will experience God’s wrath forever.

This is what Paul is referring to when he says that we were dead in our sins and were objects of God’s wrath:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Ephesians 2:1-3

Let’s be clear about what we understand when we talk about our salvation. We are saved from this wrath, and instead we are made alive in Christ! It is an incredible gift that God has given us. He saves us to receive glory and honor for his great mercy and love that he has shown for us, and we are to give him that glory and honor in return. May we live our lives doing exactly this, orienting all of our lives around God and his glory for having saved each of us from his coming judgment and wrath.

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