Thoughts on Things Above

Good News: The Wrath of God

by Victor Wierwille

In the context of what is in the gospel, the scriptures refer to the wrath of God.

Romans 1:17-18 (KJV)
17) For therein [in the gospel] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18) For [in the gospel] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in injustice.

The word “gospel” simply means “good news.” Now, that being said, Romans 1:1-4 defines this particular good news as being the good news of God concerning His son who was resurrected from the dead.

So, how is it that this fierce anger and wrath of God is considered as being in the “good news?”
“Yay! The wrath of God! Yippee. Death and destruction!…”

Picture yourself as a sweet little girl with a awesome brand new bike. Suddenly, the mean old neighborhood bully pushes you off your bike and throws it off the bridge into the bottom of the river. What is your genuine reaction? You demand justice.

What would be justice in this situation? I don’t know. The bully should at least get the girl another new bike. I think the bully should also get some sort of punishment for going out of his way to harm someone else. God knows what the true justice should be. He has the ultimate standard for justice. It is called the righteousness of God.

Now, what if the dad of the girl says, “I’ve decided to forgive him (the bully).” Great; but the girl is still out of a bike! Where’s the justice? That would not be a righteous father.

So, God is in a pickle. How can God just forgive and let everyone get away with murder and there be no consequence? Well, he won’t. Hence, the wrath of God. The little girl will have her justice.

Romans 12:19 (WT)
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but give place unto the wrath [to come], for it has been written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

The wrath of God is part of the hope. Yes, the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth and the devil will all get their spanking in the end.

However, that still leaves us in a pickle. We desire forgiveness for our sins, but justice is required. We deserve a spanking ourselves. The last part of Romans 1 illustrates that if one is even disobedient to their parents, they are worthy of death. Blood is required. We cannot both have our justice and get our forgiveness, too. Unless… unless someone could be a substitute for us on behalf of our sins. Now, I would like to give my life as a substitute for yours, but I already owe my life for my own sins, so that’s not going to work. We need a substitute who is free from the debt of sin.

Step on the scene: Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:10 (KJV)
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

When Jesus Christ gave the graphic representation at the dinner table when he passed around the cup of wine, “Drink ye all of it for this is my blood,” he said it was for the forgiveness of sins. See, his blood was the only possible atonement for the sins of mankind. He is the only one that did not deserve death. The wages of sin is death. He did not sin. He did not have to die. Therefore, he laid down his life on our behalf. He paid the price to make life available to you and me. Blood was required. His blood was shed so that God could justly forgive us.

John 10:10 (KJV)
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

By his accomplishments, not only did he rescue us from the wrath to come, but he gave us access to God as dear children. What a complete turn around. God had the master plan to redeem us in a right and just manner. Now, not only did he get us off the hook, but he made us His sons and seated us together in the heavenly realm in Christ Jesus. Since we are paid for, we are now transferred into His kingdom. We are no longer under the rule of sin and death, and the adversary lost his rights to us. When we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, we are saved. We change lords. Our lord is king of kings and lord of lords. That’s the side you want to be on. Align yourself with the winning team. The only thing you have to lose is death and destruction.

What is now our reasonable response to God?
(Hint: see Romans 12:2).