Quotes about God-Wrath
The real horror of being outside of Christ is that there is no shelter from the wrath of God.
The wrath of God is not ignoble. Rather, it is too noble, too just, too perfect – it is this that bothers us.
We must not lose sight of the fact that God’s wrath is very real and very justified. We have all sinned incessantly against a holy, righteous God. We have rebelled willfully against His commands, defied His moral law, and acted in total defiance of His known will for us. Because of these actions were justly objects of His wrath.
God’s wrath arises from His intense, settled hatred of all sin and is the tangible expression of His inflexible determination to punish it. We might say God’s wrath is His justice in action, rendering to everyone his just due, which, because of our sin, is always judgment.
God, by the very perfection of His moral nature, cannot but be angry at sin – not only because of its destructiveness to humans, but, more important, because of its assault on His divine majesty. This is not the mere petulance of an offended deity because His commands are not obeyed. It is rather the necessary response of God to uphold His moral authority in His universe. And though God’s wrath does not contain the sinful emotions associated with human wrath, it does contain a fierce intensity arising from His settled opposition to sin and His determination to punish it to the utmost.
Both God’s love and God’s wrath are ratcheted up in the move from the old covenant to the new, from the Old Testament to the New. These themes barrel along through redemptive history, unresolved, until they come to a resounding climax – in the cross.
Wrath, unlike love, is not one of the intrinsic perfections of God. Rather, it is a function of God’s holiness against sin. Where there is no sin, there is no wrath-but there will always be love in God. Where God in His holiness confronts His image-bearers in their rebellion, there must be wrath, or God is not the jealous God He claims to be, and His holiness is impugned. The price of diluting God’s wrath is diminishing God’s holiness.
The cliché, God hates the sin but love the sinner, is false on the face of it and should be abandoned. Fourteen times in the first fifty Psalms alone, we are told that God hates the sinner, His wrath is on the liar, and so forth. In the Bible, the wrath of God rests both on the sin (Romans 1:18ff) and on the sinner (John 3:36).
God’s wrath is not an implacable, blind rage. However emotional it may be, it is an entirely reasonable and willed response to offenses against His holiness. But His love…wells up amidst His perfections and is not generated by the loveliness of the loved. Thus there is nothing intrinsically impossible about wrath and love being directed toward the same individual or people at the same time. God in His perfections must be wrathful against His rebel image-breakers, for they have offended Him; God in His perfections must be loving toward His rebel image-bearers, for He is that kind of God.
As water is deepest where it is the stillest, so where God is most silent in threatening and patient in sparing, there He is most inflamed with anger and purpose of revenge; and, therefore, the fewer the judgments be that are poured forth upon the wicked in this life, the more are reserved in store for them in the life to come.
Not all the vials of judgment that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world, nor the flaming furnace of a sinner’s conscience, nor the irreversible sentence pronounced against the rebellious demons, nor the groans of the damned creatures – give such a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin – as the wrath of God let loose upon His Son! Never did divine holiness appear more beautiful and lovely than at the time our Savior’s countenance was most marred in the midst of His dying groans – when God had turned His smiling face from Him, and thrust His sharp knife into His heart, which forced that terrible cry from Him, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!”
If [God] were not wrathful against sin, we would question whether He is personally good. What would it mean for Him to say that He is committed to oppose evil if He refused to judge it?
The Lord waits so long in His graciousness that people think He cannot judge, but when He does come in judgment, it is so decisive that it seems as if He cannot show mercy. For this is not the sudden anger of an irritable temper, easily inflamed but equally easily pacified. This is deliberate, measure wrath, following a full investigation of the facts. There can be no last-minute appeals or reprieves, for there is no higher court to whom appeal can be made, and no pertinent facts have been overlooked in reaching the verdict. So it was with Sodom and Gomorrah, and so it shall be at the end of history [see Luke 17:28-30].
Never did God so manifest His hatred of sin as in the death and suffering of His only begotten Son. Hereby He showed Himself unappeasable to sin, and that it was impossible for Him to be at peace with it.
Wicked men will hereafter earnestly wish to be turned to nothing and forever cease to be that they may escape the wrath of God.
O sinner! The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire. He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight. You are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. O sinner! You have offended Him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. O sinner! It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you were allowed to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. O sinner! There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking His pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending His solemn worship. O sinner! Yes, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell. O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in! O sinner! It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over, in the hand of that God whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. O sinner! You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder. And you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment!
Why is God so angry [at unbelievers]? There are at least three reasons.
1. Because of the sheer number of your sins. If you were to sin only 10 times a day for one year, you would disobey God 3,650 times. But if you sinned 10 times a day for 15 years, you would sin 54,750 times! You are a professional sinner! Yet, how many times did Adam sin before he was cursed by God?
2. Because you have sinned against such an infinite God and high command. There are different levels of sin and punishment (Luke 10:12; 12:42-48). A crime is weighed according to the seriousness of the command and the stature of the person who is sinned against. It is one thing to disobey your coach at school. It is another thing to disobey a judge. It is one thing to turn in a late term paper. It is another thing to murder the president. The highest command is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” The greatest being is God. Each time you sin, you commit the highest crime against the greatest being! God ought to be angry.
3. Because you have sinned against God’s greatest act of love. Christ was sent into the world of men and women out of love (John 3:16). But many of your friends, and perhaps you also, have rejected Christ up to this very moment. This rebellion is a sin against compassion. Is it any wonder that God is angry with those who think little of His love?
Why is God justified in having wrath toward you if you have not come to Christ on His terms?
1. Because you are a sinner by nature (Eph. 2:3; Rom. 3:10; Ps. 51:5).
2. Because you have amassed a huge volume of sins.
3. Because you have committed the greatest crime possible, against the highest existing authority (Mk. 12:30).
4. Because of your persistence in sinning against God.
5. Because you have spurned the greatest love gift ever [Jesus Christ].
6. Because you have spurned this gift even though you have knowledge of Christ and the way of salvation (Mt. 11:21-24).
7. Because you have been unwilling to admit your desperate need (Jn. 9:39-40).
8. Because you have been proud of your good works, though dependence on them damns you (Gal. 2:21; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 5:4).
9. Because you have not repented even though He has been kind to you (Rom. 2:4-5).
10. Because you have stubbornly refused to yield to God and His way of salvation in Jesus Christ to the last possible moment—now!
Without the black backdrop of our sinful nature and its consequences (God’s wrath), the gospel is a big yawn.
God’s holy wrath is poured out on what He hates because it damages and destroys what He loves.
Wrath of God is not irrational, selfish passion of personal pique and malicious vindictiveness. It is the settled unacceptance and intolerance of evil that is contrary to the character of God.
God delights far more in His mercy than in His wrath. So in order to show the priority of His mercy, He must place it against the backdrop of His wrath. How could God’s mercy appear fully as His great mercy unless it was extended to people who were under His wrath and therefore could only ask for mercy? It would be impossible for them to share with God the delight He has in His mercy unless they saw clearly the awfulness of the almighty wrath from which His mercy delivers them.
In this light, we see the problem of pleasure. Manifestly, as sinners against an infinitely glorious God, we deserve an immediate and infinite, condign, irremediable punishment from His holy, powerful hands. Nothing that we have ever received, that anyone has ever received, in all this world, has even approximated an adequate punishment for the crimes we commit in any one moment. How, therefore, do we continue to live? Why are we not plunged into eternal torment now, immediately?
We are allowed to “enjoy” ourselves while the wrath of God remains over us only until He is ready to pour it out (ultimately) upon us. God is not mocked. Sinners are not really prospering. What is pleasure now turns out to be only a time of gathering an even greater bundle of sticks for the sinner’s own burning. “Whatever a man sows that shall he reap.” The law of karma means an endless cycle of torments without any hope of nirvana. The Hindu religion senses this, but is afraid to say it. Most others religions sense it too, but try to whistle in the dark.
As God’s mercies are new every morning toward His people, so His anger is new every morning against the wicked.
God is wrathful toward sin, but Scripture never says God is wrath, because His wrath has reference to something outside of Him – our sin. There was a time in eternity past when God’s wrath had no expression. But there has never been a time when God was not love.
God is not hostile to sinners, but only to unbelievers.
Some might find it surprising that I would teach my nine-year-old about God’s wrath toward sin. But I find it surprising that any loving person would withhold this truth from another person they love. Because only when we understand God’s wrath toward sin can we realize that we need to be saved from it. Only when we hear the very bad news that we’re deserving of judgment can we appreciate the very good news that God has provided salvation through His Son.
Five kinds of wrath [when the word is used of God]:
1. Sowing and reaping wrath (Lam. 2:2, 4).
2. Cataclysmic wrath (Ex. 15:7).
3. Abandonment wrath (Rom. 1:18, 24, 26, 28).
4. Eschatological wrath (Rev. 6:16-17).
5. Eternal wrath (Rom. 2:5-11).
Context determines the exact meaning of “wrath” in a specific biblical text.
The kind of love that animates the inclusivist god is more akin to sentimentalism than God’s holy affection. If love means God abandons all of His other attributes, then love itself is deified. The love of God does not dictate that He abandon His justice or holiness. In fact, the glory of the gospel is that God is both just and justifier of the ungodly. God does not allow unregenerate sinners to do as they will, worship what they wish, live as they please, and still go free. In the divine scheme of things, sin demands punishment. The rebellion of self-worship requires wrath. Yet, the God of wrath is no less than the God of mercy. He is the same God. Were God never to have offered salvation to any sinner, His love would still survive unblemished. The reality and riches of God’s love is not measured in the number of person’s saved, but in the magnificence of the attribute itself.
In the last resort forgiveness is always due to God’s being what He is, and not to anything that man may do. Because God is God, He must react in the strongest manner to man’s sin, and thus we reach the concept of the divine wrath. But because God is God, wrath cannot be the last word. “The Lord is good; his mercy endureth forever” (Psm. 100:5).
The biblical writers habitually use for the divine wrath a word (orge) which denotes not so much a sudden flaring up of passion which is soon over, as a strong and settled opposition to all that is evil arising out of God’s very nature.
God’s wrath is not the outworking of impersonal laws of retribution which are built into the structure of reality, but the response of a righteous God to man’s adamant refusal to accept His love. The Greek word refers to anger which is passionate and vehement.
All caricatures of God which ignore His intense hatred for sin reveal more about man than about God. In a moral universe God must of necessity oppose evil.
Our real problem is not our sins. If our sins were the problem, we might muster the will-power to pull out of this nose dive. But the good news of the gospel begins with some really bad news. Our sins only provoke a bigger problem: the wrath of God. Our real problem is not our sins but God. He is angry, He isn’t going away, and there is nothing we can do about it. If God is against us, who can be for us? But here is the good news. God has made God our salvation. He did it at the cross. God has provided a way of escape from God: in God. We run from His wrath by running toward His grace in Christ. And if God is for us, who can be against us?
God’s love for his glory motivates his wrath against sin (Joseph Scheumann).
[God’s wrath] is neither an impersonal process of cause and effect, nor God vindictive anger, nor unbridled or unrighteous revenge, nor an outburst of passion. Wrath describes neither some autonomous entity alongside God, nor some principle of retribution that is not to be associated closely with His personality. Furthermore, the wrath of God does not stand over against His love and mercy (P.T. O’Brien).
It is sad to find so many professing Christians who appear to regard the wrath of God as something for which they need to make an apology, or at least they wish there were no such thing. While some would not go so far as to openly admit that they consider it a blemish on the Divine character, yet they are far from regarding it with delight, they like not to think about it, and they rarely hear it mentioned without a secret resentment rising up in their hearts against it.
Indifference to sin is a moral blemish, and he who hates it not is a moral leper. How could He who is the Sum of all excellency look with equal satisfaction upon virtue and vice, wisdom and folly? How could He who is infinitely holy disregard sin and refuse to manifest His “severity” (Rom. 9:12) toward it? How could He who delights only in that which is pure and lovely, loathe and hate not that which is impure and vile? The very nature of God makes Hell as real a necessity, as imperatively and eternally requisite as Heaven is. Not only is there no imperfection in God, but there is no perfection in Him that is less perfect than another.
The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin.
A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness. Because God is holy, He hates all sin; And because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner: Psalm 7:11.
Our readiness or our reluctancy to meditate upon the wrath of God becomes a sure test of our hearts’ true attitude toward Him. If we do not truly rejoice in God, for what He is in Himself…then how dwelleth the love of God in us?
They argue that God is loving and merciful, and therefore God’s anger is merely a bogey with which to frighten naughty children. But how do we know that God is loving and merciful? The heathen do not believe that He is. Nor does nature clearly and uniformly reveal the fact. The answer is, we know God to be such, because His Word so affirms. Yes, and the same Bible which tells of God’s mercy speaks of His wrath, and as a matter of fact, refers more frequently (much more so) to His anger than it does to His love.
Consider an argument from the less to the greater. In the human sphere he who loves purity and chastity and has no wrath against impurity and unchastity is a moral leper. He who pities the poor and defenseless and has no wrath against the oppressor who crushes the weak and slays the defenseless, but loves them too, is a fiend. Divine wrath is Divine Holiness in activity. Because God is holy He hates sin, and because He hates sin His anger burns against the sinner.
The sinner is treading a path more slippery than ice, and unless he forsake it, in due time his foot shall slide. The bow of God’s wrath is already bent: the arrow of His vengeance is even now fitted to the string, and nothing but His infinite forbearance stays its release.
The sinner sees little cause for alarm and fails to apprehend his imperative need of promptly accepting Christ as his Saviour. He imagines himself secure. He goes on in his sin, and because judgment against an evil work is not executed speedily he increases in his boldness against God. But God’s ways are different to ours. There is no need for God to be in a hurry – all eternity is at His disposal… He is in no haste to execute judgment because He knows the sinner, cannot escape Him. It is impossible to flee out of His dominions! In due time every transgression and disobedience shall receive “a just recompense of reward.”
Anger is the last thing we’ll attribute to a god of our imaginations.
Though I’m not condoning any form of violence in this illustration, permit me to make a point. Let’s pretend you punch a pillow in your home. What are the consequences? Let’s say you now punch the family pet. Stronger consequences? What happens if you punch a family member? Would the offense be greater if you punched a police officer? What would happen if you punched the President of the United States? Our sin is always directly proportionate to the person we sin against. When we sin against an infinite and eternal God, there are always infinite and eternal consequences.
The only reason we can ever see injustice in the wrath of God is because we have brought God down to our level and have now made Him accountable to us. We have elevated ourselves and dethroned God by making our opinions more authoritative than the Bible.
It’s very simple, either Christ bears God’s wrath you deserve on Himself or you bear God’s wrath you deserve on yourself.
He is angry with you this moment – and always. You go to sleep with an angry God gazing into your face. You wake in the morning, and if your eye were not dim, you would perceive His frowning countenance. He is angry with you even when you are singing His praises, for you mock Him with solemn sounds upon a solemn tongue. He is angry with you on your knees, for you only pretend to pray; you utter words without heart. As long as you are not a believer, He must be angry with you every moment (see Psalm 7:11).
God soon turns from His wrath, but he never turns from his love.
I am certain that to preach the wrath of God with a hard heart, a cold lip, a tearless eye, and an unfeeling spirit is to harden men, not benefit them.
I go further and say that there is a great need in the contemporary world for more Christian anger. We human beings compromise with sin in a way in which God never does. In the face of blatant evil we should be indignant not tolerant, angry, not apathetic. If God hates sin, His people should hate sin too. If evil arouses His anger, it should arouse ours too. What other reaction can wickedness be expected to provoke in those who love God?
God’s wrath is neither an impersonal process of cause and effect (as some scholars have tried to argue), nor a passionate, arbitrary or vindictive outburst of temper, but His holy and uncompromising antagonism to evil, with which He refuses to negotiate.
We need God to save us from God.
We need God to save us from God!
Biblically, it is the divine judgment upon sin and sinners. It does not merely mean that it is a casual response by God to ungodliness, but carries the meaning of hatred, revulsion, and indignation. God is by nature love (1 John 4:16), however, in His justice He must punish sin. The punishment is called the wrath of God. It will occur on the final Day of Judgment when those who are unsaved will incur the wrath of God. It is, though, presently being released upon the ungodly (Rom. 1:18-32) in the hardening of their hearts. Wrath is described as God’s anger (Num. 32:10-13), as stored up (Rom. 2:5-8), and as great (Zech. 7:12). The believer’s deliverance from God’s wrath is through the atonement (Rom. 5:8-10). “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:9).
A God who is without wrath is a God whose Christ has no cross, and if He has no cross, it can only be because we are those to have no need of His cross.