Increasingly, the American church is showing a distaste for the attribute of God called His wrath. Some pastors and theologians even go as far as to remove themselves and their congregations from the Old Testament, so as to avoid the passages that describe the magnificently dreadful wrath of God. In doing this, they claim the God of the New Testament is a God of peace and grace, perfectly represented by Christ holding a sheep. A mere article will not suffice to describe in detail how errorful such a belief is. It sends chills through my bones to think about how unbiblical and heretical this notion is. It, then, creates in me heartache to think about how disbelieving the wrath of God does nothing but increase the wrath of God on a person. Obviously, it is incredibly ironic that the doctrine people seek to destroy will turn out to be their utter destruction. Nonetheless, I do have a few thoughts pertaining to this trend in the American church as well as a warning to the country as a whole.
Let me, first, lay some groundwork. God contains, in His nature, the attribute of immutability as well as eternity. In short, immutability means that God is unchanging. To change would mean He is less than perfect, and a less than perfect god is no god at all. He is a perfect God, therefore, He is immutable. God’s eternity means that He has no succession in His being. Certainly, this can be hard to grasp by our finite successive minds, but bear with me. God created time. Time is successive. It is a series of moments set out linearly. Because I exist in time, I am constantly changing. I am mutable. What I am tomorrow is not what I am today, and what I was yesterday will never be what I am again. I am in flux. God is not. Think with me. Before time, eternity exists as a single indivisible moment. God is eternity. Meaning, God possesses His own eternity, and thus is indivisible. As He is indivisible, all that He is, is present to Him instantly. Really, I’m creating a case for His immutability through His eternity. But, both are true of Him, noticeably. Interestingly, this means that God’s knowledge is present to Him in one instant of absolute vision. Because God has infinite knowledge, all things are known to Him in one indivisible moment. He cannot learn anything, and to learn anything would make him no longer immutable, nor eternal.
All this to say, if the Bible, at any point, says that God in His nature is wrathful, then He is always and has always contained this wrath to the perfect degree. His wrath is perfect in the Old as well as the New Testament. Even losing the Old Testament for the sake of saving God from being perceived as wrathful is utter vanity because the new testament speaks just as highly on His wrath. It also contains the most explicit depiction of God’s wrath, the book of Revelation. It almost warrants the question, “Have you ever read the Bible?” With complete confidence and no hesitation in my words, I can boldly say, God is a wrathful God. Here is why.
The wrath of God is His punishment for sin and evil. God is infinitely holy and righteous, thus, anything contrary to God’s righteousness and holiness is sin. Because God is perfectly just, meaning He leaves no sin unjudged, nor unpunished, He must be perfectly wrathful. For Him to not be wrathful would mean He deals unjustly with sin and evil. A god like that is no god at all. For a god like that is not holy, nor righteous. If God is not perfectly just and wrathful, all of the horrible evils of this world would have no hope of avengement. A pastor or church who kicks the wrath of God to the curb is kicking the true, living, and eternal God to curb as well. A gospel without the wrath of God is no gospel at all. Is a church without the true gospel and the true God, a true church? I will leave that up to you to decide.
Let us take a step back to God’s eternity for a moment. If all knowledge is known by God in one moment of vision, all of the horrible evils committed three-thousand years ago by the nation of Israel would be just as present to God’s mind as the sins of today. Right? And if God is unchanging, would not how He dealt with sin in the Old Testament be a fantastic gauge on how He feels about our sin today? It is important to note that, though God’s wrath on sin is real and fierce, His patience may prolong that wrath in time. However, wrath on sin is inevitable. Many times in the Old Testament we see God justly pouring out His wrath immediately after an evil act. Other times we see Him enduring evil for a time in order to display mercy. No matter our perception of how long God waits between an offense and His judgment, to Him, the sin, the decree to punish, and the punishment itself are all known simultaneously in His mind. So do not get bogged down on the swiftness of judgment in the Old Testament verses the prolonging of judgment to “The Day of Judgment” in the New Testament.
With that being said, I want to answer the question, “How did God deal with the sacrificing of children in the Old Testament?” Furthermore, “What was His punishment on a such wicked, vile, and purely evil sin?” After discovering the answer, I will use it as a gauge for what type of wrath will come upon a nation and a people who so brutally abort millions of babies every year. Yes, this is an article about abortion! And yes, abortion is the murdering of helpless human beings in their most innocent state! It can easily be likened to the intentional sacrificing of children by the nation of Israel in the Old Testament! Let us read Jeremiah 19:1-9:
Thus says the LORD, “Go, buy a potter's earthenware flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests, and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds. And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.
God’s wrath towards the murder of “innocents” is terrifying. So terrifying, that God says it will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. It is a self destructive type of wrath. In its climax, God says He will make the nation of Israel cannibalize each other because they will be so hungry. He literally makes them eat each other in distress. How terrible the just and holy wrath of God is!
Every single abortion in America will be punished. And, if God’s punishment three-thousand years ago is any basis for how He views abortion today, this punishment will be dreadful. One chapter later, in Jeremiah 20:11, Jeremiah calls God a “dread warrior.” He is a dreadful warrior who inflicts His fiery fierce wrath on abortion. There is no question.
Much of the the pro-abortion position advocates for the rights of the mother’s body. For a moment, let us set aside the lunacy of claiming the life and body of the baby is one and the same to the mother’s, and look at what the apostle Paul says in Romans 2 towards people who our focused on themselves:
Romans 2: 6-9
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek...
Self-seeking describes well the lives of those who commit abortions. The baby is inconvenient for your life, so you kill it. That is wicked. Paul is quick to say their will be wrath, fury, tribulation, and distress for this self-seeking lifestyle. And, Paul calls it what it is. Evil. Abortion is no less than a purely evil, self-seeking act of unrighteousness. Notice one verse earlier in Romans 2:
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
We may not see the swiftness in judgement as we see it in the Old Testament, but do not worry, judgement is coming. Those who go through this life never repenting of their sin, only store more wrath for themselves for the day when Christ returns and judges the world. And, yes, Jesus is the final Judge. Jesus is a shepherd to His sheep, but He is a roaring lion to His enemies. There was roughly forty-one million abortions last year, and all will be punished dreadfully by God.
Here is the hope, though. God will punish all of the abortions in this world, but Christ most definitely was punished for some of them. Those who respond to the gospel message with faith and repentance most certainly had their wicked sins, even that of abortion, punished on Christ, so that they would not have to face such a furious wrath. That is the gospel. We are sinners under God’s wrath. Christ faced the wrath of the Father for the sins of His sheep, so that they would not have to at judgement. And, then, He gives them His righteousness through faith, so that they can be perfect in the eyes of God. That is why I said, a gospel without wrath is no gospel at all. But do not forget, if you remain unrepentant and reject Christ, wrath will be poured out on you for eternity in hell.