Every once in a while someone will let me know what they don’t like about me as a writer. Either I’m too heavy on grace or I don’t talk about God’s wrath enough. If I engage them, I find that they are usually people who don’t believe in God’s sovereign power, especially pertaining to His foreknowledge, time transcending control, and purpose in choosing and orchestrating.
From where I stand, grace is the nectar of the Gospel, so there isn’t much else to talk about when grace enters the scene. Also, my belief in God’s sovereign control keeps me from drifting off into cul-de-sacs of confusion and fear.
But, for those who wield a hammer for judgment purposes, lovers of wrath, I found a passage of scripture that refers to God’s wrath. Here goes my best swing at the the hammer of God…
For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. -Romans 1:18 AMP
We have some ‘holy wrath and indignation’ to work with here. Perfect terminology for those looking forward to seeing ‘God’s adversaries’ fry. The only stipulation is, the ‘holy wrath and indignation’ are for those who ‘hinder the truth and make it inoperative’. So, now we have to figure out what the ‘truth’ is, that way we can make sure to properly condemn the guilties.
The following scripture says that the ‘truth’ has not been hidden, so there is no excuse for those who suppress it.
…that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. -Romans 1:19 AMP
We need to know what ‘has been made known’. That’s what is going to help us understand what ‘ungodliness’ the wrath of Romans 1 wants to lay into.
For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). -Romans 1:20 AMP
The ‘truth’ that ‘has been revealed since creation’ is God’s eternal power and divinity. The truth is, there is no limit to Who God is and what He does, allows, and uses. His divine nature is a mystery and instead of embracing the opportunity to worship ‘in Holy fear’, people trivialize everything to the point of making God someone who resembles themselves. They do this so that they can effectively control their version of ‘the mind of Christ’ and ‘go therefore’ to preach condemnation to sinners. There are many versions of the street corner brimstone artist.
So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]. Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. -Romans 1:20-21 AMP
People sit on their throne of judgement with their scepter of wisdom petting their bobble head lion of Judah and consider the shortcomings of others in order to determine their eternal position. The disease of the religious insider is the complacent familiarity with the profound evidence, turning the sovereign power of God (which should scare the skin off of us) into pathetic beliefs based on ‘vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations.’ They would much rather serve a god who sits on their mantel, over seeing their living room lives with stoic approval. They don’t hear God speaking any more, their ‘minds have been darkened’, so they feel compelled to speak for Him.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles. -Romans 1:22-23 AMP
Not everybody who claims to have godly wisdom and ‘the mind of Christ’ is speaking for God. You have to study scripture for yourself. Develop your own relationship with God so that you can turn to the lying voice and say, ‘My savior has never spoken to me in that way.’
People who have created god in their own image think that God is displeased with the same people they’re displeased with, that God follows them as they walk out on you, and that God can’t hear your cries for mercy because they can no longer hear you.
‘Claiming to be wise, they have become fools.’ Exchanging God for something that better resembles man. It’s easier for the fool to understand.
You know who has exchanged God for their own version of god because Romans 1 tells us how these people behave. They’re heartless and cruel and they give God the credit for it. They’re an excited mess as they grasp at bits of gossip mixed with truth in order to build a better case against another. They’re arrogant as they revel in the strife of another, boasting in their own blameless ways as they ignore mercy, compassion, and love. (verses 28-32)
I think I failed to empower those who want less grace from me and more judgement. They’re counting on God’s wrath to vindicate them.
The only people Jesus condemned were the religious know-it-alls.
But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” -Romans 1:18-24 MSG
The hammer fell on innocent hands so that the guilty can go free.