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Section 9B .. The Future/

 

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The Wrath Of God

Carol Brooks

"For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. (Matthew 24:21)

for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Revelation 6:17) 

 PART I - The Wrath of God
God's Wrath Vs. Man's Anger
Let us not confuse divine wrath with human anger

The Wrath of God..
Both Testaments emphasize the reality and terror of His wrath

A Forgotten Doctrine
Christians often babble on and on about the goodness and love of God, but totally ignore His wrath and judgment.

The Book of Nahum
 Nahum's mission was to pronounce on Nineveh its doom... a forerunner of the judgment to come.

Ignoring What We Don't Want to Acknowledge
our eyes have managed to glaze over at this and similar extremely chilling apocalyptic pictures painted in the book of Revelation

The Wrath of God and Evangelism
When what we need to be saved from is not a what, but a Who, why doesn't the gospel message begin with the wrath of God.

Why We Are Sometimes Offended
Quite simply - we just don't get it.


PART II - What Arouses God's Wrath?
What God Expects of Us
Be assured that God is not a celestial version of the consummate killjoy

His Wrath.. Fully Justified
The Horror This World Has Become

Our Sanctimonious, Self-Righteous Attitude
When we hear that God is actually going to do something about this miserable planet of ours

We Are Never Satisfied
Luckily God is sovereign and His justice will take place in His time and in the manner He has already chosen

The "Day of The Lord"
When "He will make a complete and terrifying end of all the inhabitants of the earth

Summary and Conclusion
The only question that remains is whether you will be on the receiving end of His wrath, or whether you will accept His offer of a free pardon

 

PART I - The Wrath of God

God's Wrath Vs. Man's Anger
To varying degrees, the words anger, rage, fury, wrath, etc. all describe a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a genuine or supposed wrong, and frequently accompanied by the impulse to retaliate.

Although, in some cases, human anger can be wholly justified, all too often it is not. We often get angry at the slightest provocation - we did not get our way, or are in a bad mood etc. Human anger can also be controlled and used to right wrongs, but it is not used that way very often. We get angry, lose our tempers and, along with it, our self-control and any pretense to rationality.

All these negative emotions associated with human anger often leads us to see God as an endlessly angry Being who constantly flies off the handle, raves against enemies, entertains vindictive personal feelings, indulges in unreasonable whims, and is constantly having to be appeased and mollified.

But let us please not confuse human anger with Divine wrath.

The Father doesn't just fly off the handle, blow a fuse, rant and rave, say foolish things, or put His fist through a wall. In fact, the word indignation describes His 'feelings' far more accurately than does wrath because the more formal word indignation suggests deep and justified anger often directed at injustice. The Lord's displeasure is in response to one thing and one thing only - sin.

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (Romans 1:18 NASB)

 Note: The CLV (Concordant Literal Version) only uses the word indignation - never wrath.


The Wrath of God..
It should be noted that this God of ours is not politically correct - He has very clearly made known that justice and vengeance are as much a part of His nature as love and mercy.

    'See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand. 'Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, as I live forever, If I sharpen My flashing sword, and My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, and I will repay those who hate Me. (Deuteronomy 32:39-41 NASB)

The Old Testament
Over and over again, the Bible emphasizes the fact that God is good to those who trust, follow, and obey Him and terrible to those who do not - with good reason as you will see. In fact, God's indignation (and the reason for it) is first mentioned a mere six chapters into the Bible.

    Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." (Genesis 6:5-7 NASB)

And so He did. All but a handful of people perished in the flood, followed not long thereafter by the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone (Genesis 19). And the Old Testament has many other examples of the deadly outcome of being at the receiving end of His wrath.

    When Moses was up on the mountain to receive the Law and the Israelites had Aaron fashion them a golden calf which they then began to worship, the Lord put three thousand to death. See Can God Change His Mind?

    Korah, Dathan and Abiram who led a rebellion against Moses were swallowed up by the earth and their followers struck with plague (Numbers 16).

    Two of Aaron's sons, also priests in the temple, were struck dead because they violated one of the Lord's very specific instructions (Leviticus 10). See Aaron's Sons

    So did Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas who took full advantage of their position as priests to seduce women and eat what they wanted of the sacrifices. The Lord told Eli that as a result both of them would die on the same day (1 Samuel 2:34) which they did. Their father who neglected to discipline his sons fell off his seat and broke his neck on that very day as well.

And no! the accounts of God's wrath in the Old Testament are not out-of-date, antiquated stories, nor did He get more tolerant and easygoing by Christ's time.


The New Testament
Many believers, who are usually very given to telling anyone who will listen how God does not change, seem to miss the fact that His changelessness includes His response to sin. The word wrath occurs almost forty times in the NT - most often in reference to the Father. However, there is one difference. Because the Lord is now giving people the opportunity to accept His offer of forgiveness of sins, justice is being temporarily set aside. But make no mistake, as the following verses show - it will come.

    In Matthew 3:7, when John the Baptist  saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he called them offspring of vipers, then asked who had warned them to flee from the wrath to come?

    John stated that "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

    In Romans 1:18 Paul said "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. He added to the thought in Romans 2:5 in which he warned his readers that people with hard and impenitent hearts are storing for themselves wrath in the day of wrath to come. 

    Paul warned the Colossians that if they did not put to death fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness the wrath of God would descend on them...the sons of disobedience. (Colossians 3:5-6)

    Paul spoke of "Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come (I Thessalonians 1:10)

    See Salvation on THIS Page


... A Forgotten Doctrine.
Yet, today's powerless, self-indulgent, pleasure-seeking Christianity has chosen to babble on and on about the goodness and love of God, but totally ignore (to our peril) His wrath and judgment. It is almost as if there is a disconnect between the Bible stories well known to all Christians and the God they profess to serve.

It is sad to find so many professing Christians who, perhaps because it makes them uneasy, either completely ignore everything the Scriptures says about the wrath of God, wish there were no such thing, or treat it as something for which they need to make an apology. Perhaps, deep down they believe that God's wrath is not consistent with His goodness - a blot on the Divine character if you will. Thus they see Him solely as a God whose one ambition is to keep us happy - and heaven forbid that He should ever cause us any grief.

This large-scale rejection of the doctrine of the wrath of God and the emphasis placed almost exclusively upon His love is prime evidence that much of the modern church has separated itself from Christianity as taught by the Bible. The opening paragraph of a 2001 article entitled Savior or martyr? Christians struggle with the meaning of the cross quotes Philip Lyndon Reynolds (professor at the United Methodist Candler School of Theology in Atlanta), as saying... (Emphasis Added)

    His students are studying to be ministers and theologians. They've committed their lives to following Jesus' teachings.

    But more and more, some reject the usual Christian talk about Jesus' death.

    They don't consider Jesus a ransom for sin. They shudder at hymns glorifying the "power of the blood." They cringe at calling the day Jesus died Good Friday.

    They say a God who requires human sacrifice sounds mean and vindictive. It doesn't mesh with their idea of a God who loves and forgives. [01]

I have absolutely no idea what kind of 'theology' they are studying, but it certainly isn't anything to do with the nature of God as outlined in the Bible. Note the words "their idea", that tell us that they (like many others) are determined to fashion a god made in their own image. They want to decide who He is, what His mindset and characteristics are, and how He behaves. And, regardless of what the Scriptures say, they will continue to perceive Him as they think He should be.

Common sense should tell them that it doesn't work quite like this. (But then again common sense is a commodity that this world is remarkably short of).

People's characteristics and personalities are not based on our perspective. People are what they are, and it is our image of them that needs to conform to reality. It is no different when it comes to an unchanging God. Considering that none of us have ever actually ever sat down and had a cosy tête-à-tête with the Almighty and can thus tell the rest of us what He is like, our knowledge of Him comes from one source and one source only - what He has said about Himself and what His actions reveal about Him in the Bible.


The Book of Nahum
One of the most unbelievable examples of pick and choose theology is when, in The Secret Message of Jesus, Brian McLaren refers only to one half of the story of Nineveh. He mentions the "amazingly subversive" book of Jonah, but completely ignores the book of Nahum.

However, although the book of Nahum is often neglected because it tends to fade into obscurity in the shadow of the more weighty (and certainly more wordy) works of the major prophets, this small book is extremely significant.

The Assyrians, who had a terrible reputation as cruel and ruthless warriors that spared no one, had for many years shaken their fists at God and gotten away with it. They even carted the northern kingdom of Israel into exile, and had done so without repercussions - or so they thought. In a clear demonstration that grace is not the prerogative of the New Covenant, the prophet Jonah went to Nineveh with a very short and succinct message - "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown" (Jonah 3:4). As a result the entire population of Nineveh repented in sackcloth and ashes and God spared both them and the city.

However, their repentance didn't last and they soon relapsed into their old ways. It fell to the prophet Nahum, about whom we know next to nothing, to proclaim to the Ninevites that they were once again the target of God's wrath - Divine trouble was brewing and it was only a matter of time before it came to the boil.

Jonah's mission was a call to repentance, that typified God's message to the world. Nahum's mission was to pronounce on Nineveh its doom... a forerunner of the judgment to come.


Ignoring What We Don't Want to Acknowledge
Yet, preaching today often caters to what Dr. Ronald W. Scates of the Central Presbyterian Church in Baltimore amusingly, but accurately, describes as "Coddled Christians in the Hands of a Soothing Celestial Therapist". In his words, 

    "There has been a kind of a movement in American theology along those same lines to "bell the cat", if you will; to de-fang, to de-claw God, and replace the Almighty One True Living God of the Bible with a hybrid of Barney, Big Bird, Santa Claus, and everybody's grandfather. The only problem with that God is that he is not a God at all. He is an idol, a human construction." [02]

To these 'coddled Christians' a wrathful God is the antithesis of the 'gentle Jesus' of childhood prayers.

The pictures of Jesus as a rather ascetic, gentle and - may I say it? - even soppy looking individual cradling a lamb have so influenced our perspective of Him, that we are apparently quite blind to His other side. Yes, He is gentle with His flock, but the book of Revelation paints a metaphorical, yet very alarming picture of the 'King of kings' who, in the final moments of this era, will ride down on a white horse, followed by the armies of Heaven. He will be clothed in a robe dipped in blood, His eyes will be a flame of fire, and He will carry a sharp sword to strike down the nations and treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God. (Revelation 19:11-16).

If our eyes have managed to glaze over at this and similar extremely chilling apocalyptic pictures painted in the book of Revelation, I doubt we have paid much attention to other passages that less explicitly, but just as definitively, contradict the whole God wouldn't hurt a fly idea.

Take John 3:16 for example.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" is one of the best known, most quoted, and most comforting verses in the Bible - But have we noticed that when John said believers will not perish (Gr. apollumi), the obvious implication is that unbelievers will. Perish? A few examples makes it quite clear that apollumi - the Greek word John used, means to destroy or kill.

    Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy (Gr. apollumi) Him." (Matthew 2:13 NASB)

     But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing (Gr. apollumi) "and He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. (Luke 8:23-24 NASB)

    through which the world at that time was destroyed (Gr. apollumi), being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3:6 NASB)

Those who have no fear of the Lord are very likely to push the boundaries of His patience and forbearance - a very dangerous thing to do.


The Wrath of God and Evangelism
Even when we present the gospel to someone we talk about the love of God and His forgiveness. We talk about how Jesus paid the penalty we so rightly deserve. We talk about an eternal life to come. We talk about felt needs (more of the modern church's poppycock) What we never ever talk about is the wrath and judgment of God - and we are not alone. Preachers and pastors, who should know better ...

    "... affirm the wrath of God in theory, but they refuse to preach it for fear of alienating cultured people who may come to church. Instead, they preach, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Come to our church, where you will hear only great music and soothing messages." In fact, many twenty-first century preachers take polls to see what their people want to hear. People say they want to hear pastors preach about their felt needs: how to be happy; how to be not anxious; how to get rid of bad habits; how to lose weight by eating; how to deal with loneliness, sexual frustrations, marital discord, co-dependency, and addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, and credit card abuse.

    No one wants to hear about the wrath of God, the sinfulness of man, the atonement of Christ, the cross, repentance, saving faith, the fear of God, obedience to God's word, Satan, eternal judgment, or hell. They just want to be told that God loves them and will bless them, no matter what they do. They want a psychological cure for their problems." [03]

In fact, many Christians will tell you that Jesus is called the "Savior" because He saves people from their sins. This is not true. Sin is a transgression of divine law not something living that will judge and punish you.

What we need to be saved from is not a what - but a Who, ie. the Father Himself.

    Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (Romans 5:9 NASB)

Diametrically opposed to most of our evangelistic technique, the very gospel message should begin with the wrath of God. The bad news has to come before the good news... Telling someone that a pardon is available to them is totally pointless if they do not know they have already been sentenced to death.

See Salvation on THIS Page


Why We Are Sometimes Offended
I believe we are offended by the concept of the wrath and judgment of God for several reasons.

   1) There is not a morning when we wake up and are not confronted by one disaster or another - be it a mass terrorist attack in Europe or Vegas, or a credit card fraud in the next county. Over an extended period of time, we have become extremely desensitized to sin and move on very easily. What we forget is that God never can and never will. Every incident - every injustice - every act of cruelty - every sin makes Him just that much more wrathful. 

   2) We neither truly understand God's holiness nor what the kingdom He intends to establish right here on earth will be like - a place that virtually all of us would give our left arm to be a part of. A place of peace and safety, where there is no crime, hunger and disease, war and, above all, no death. If we really understood this, then we would also understand that no sinner could ever be a part of this kingdom because, if they were, it would soon deteriorate into exactly what we have now. What God calls heaven can only be inhabited by people who think like He does. Who want the same thing.

See The Message of The Bible
All too many people picking out a random phrase or two, think 'love' was Jesus' core message. Unfortunately, they are terribly wrong... In fact, Jesus never stopped talking about the "kingdom of God", which phrase is used over 50 times in the four Gospels alone. He even said that the proclamation of the Kingdom was the reason He was sent to earth (Luke 4:43). But what and where is this kingdom?  Here is what is really paradoxical ... the Bible's description of this kingdom of God, also called heaven is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there', but matches, in every respect, the world most men and women would choose to live in. A place of peace and safety, where there is no crime, hunger and disease, war and above all... no death. Far from being outdated, out of touch, and largely irrelevant to modern society, Christianity promises exactly the utopian world most men and women can only dream of.


PART II - What Arouses God's Wrath?

What God Expects of Us
Because there will be no place in the Father's kingdom for sin and crime, He has given us a choice - live the way we choose and face a death sentence, or keep His commandments and live in His kingdom forever. 

But what are His commandments? What does He expect from us?

Be assured that God is not a celestial version of the consummate killjoy who takes perverse pleasure in the fact that His laws have left us with no joie de vivre or enjoyment in life. Nor does His kingdom resemble one of the very disciplined boarding schools that rigorously enforces rules and procedures. In fact, the Scriptures assure us that His commandments are not "burdensome" and Jesus told us to come to Him, for His burden was light (1 John 5:3 and Matthew 11:28-30). Take a look at some of what He has said

These first two verses tell us very clearly that God is not exactly concerned with rituals.

    "I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. "So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow... "But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword." (Isaiah 1:14-17, 20 NASB)

    "I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. "Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; and I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. "Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. "But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:21-24 NASB)

In fact, as said by more than one prophet, He actually hates rituals unaccompanied by justice and righteousness. He asks people to practice kindness and compassion, administer true justice, defend, protect, avoid bitterness and anger, speak the truth, and take care of those who cannot do it for themselves.

    "Then say to the household of the king of Judah, 'Hear the word of the Lord , O house of David, thus says the Lord : "Administer justice every morning; and deliver the person who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor, That My wrath may not go forth like fire and burn with none to extinguish it, Because of the evil of their deeds. (Jeremiah 21:11-12 NASB)

    Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying, "Thus has the Lord of hosts said, 'Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.' (Zechariah 7:8-10 NASB)

    Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, Speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. (Ephesians 4: 25-28, 31-32 NASB)

    For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5-6 NASB)

Those who practice violence, injustice, murder, malice, lies and slander, oppression, robbery, and unrighteousness will pay a very dear price.

    They are fat, they are sleek, They also excel in deeds of wickedness; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the orphan, that they may prosper; and they do not defend the rights of the poor. 'Shall I not punish these people?' declares the Lord, 'On a nation such as this Shall I not avenge Myself?' (Jeremiah 5:28-29 NASB)

Additionally, both Old and New Testaments repeatedly state that God will avenge His people who have suffered

    Rejoice, O nations, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people." (Deuteronomy 32:43 NASB)

    Egypt will become a waste, and Edom will become a desolate wilderness, Because of the violence done to the sons of Judah,  in whose land they have shed innocent blood. (Joel 3:19 NASB)

    and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. (1 Thessalonians 4:6 NASB) 


Idol Worship and Dabbling In The Occult
The one other thing that arouses God's wrath is whoring after false gods and man made religions -  and/or dabbling with the occult.

    'As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6 NASB)

    So as I live,' declares the Lord God, 'surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare. (Ezekiel 5:11 NASB)

The worship of the "queen of heaven" provoked God to great anger.

    As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you. "Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. "Do they spite Me?" declares the Lord. "Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame?" Therefore thus says the Lord God, "Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched." (Jeremiah 7:16-20 NASB)

See Is Mary Queen of Heaven?

However, there is a very good reason for the absolute ban on idol worship and/or any form of occultism. In the Bible, false gods are clearly associated with the demonic, and the worship of idols is called the worship of unclean spirits- which may explain the hideous faces given many of these images. In other words, pagan images and statues of ancient gods and goddesses are simply the face of the daimonia (demons). However, this is a topic in itself. See Idol Worship... The Spirits Behind The Idols


His Wrath.. Fully Justified

A toddler in Washington state beaten into a coma by his father over potty training [04] . Thousands of women in Nigeria [05] and Kenya [06], among other Africa nations, raped by military and the police, who often use rape and sexual slavery to intimidate communities,. Only an estimated 10 percent of cases are ever successfully prosecuted.

The more than a hundred people, killed over the course of a single week in drug-related shootings in Mexico [07] Actually you may be lucky to be just shot -  if you do happen to be kidnapped you could be sawed to death, or have your head show up in a different place from the rest of your torso. The bodies of Isis victims, have been found in various mass graves around Baghdad. Violence, torture and mayhem in Sri Lanka is a book by Dhana Hughes - an anthropologist at the University of Oxford.

And -  a lot close to home - Here is a sample of how little regard we have for each other. The facts we ignore when we stand hand on hearts asking God to "bless' our country.

    This country was built on blood - other people’s blood. The white man decimated the native Indian population. Although The fact that the Indians had no immunity to disease played a huge part, they were massacred , enslaved, forced to move from the fertile lands they lived on, and their religion and culture assaulted.

    Over the course of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (1525-1866), 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. By 1860, the nation's black population was close to four and a half million, of which 3.9 million were slaves. In fact, slaves made up 57 percent of the population in South Carolina. [08] However, the stain is not America's alone. According to Snopes "The census of 1830 lists 3,775 free Negroes who owned a total of 12,760 slaves" as did a few American Indian tribes. In fact slavery was know in Africa before the Europeans arrived as it was in many other parts of the world.

Man's inhumanity to man didn't and doesn't depend on the color of your skin or the fact that you were from different culture. All through man's history, if you were at all vulnerable, the chance of being preyed on were extremely high.

    During the civil war 13,000 Union soldiers died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure to the elements in the 14 months the Confederate military prison in Anderson Georgia existed. At its most crowded, the prison" held more than 32,000 men, many of them wounded and starving, in horrific conditions with rampant disease, contaminated water, and only minimal shelter from the blazing sun and the chilling winter rain" [09]. The fact that the commander, Captain Henry Wirz (1823-65), was tried, convicted and hung for war crimes should tell us how badly people will treat their own countrymen.

    Court-appointed lawyers siphon millions of dollars in fees from the assets of helpless elderly New Yorkers they are sworn to protect. [10]. Many of these people wind up in a pine box in potter's field on Hart Island NY where there are an estimated 1 million people already buried [11]

And nothing, but nothing, ever changes

    Arson attacks on Jewish congregations have been known to take place in several places in Europe, but now Jewish cemeteries are being desecrated and and swastikas scrawled on Jewish businesses in places like Pennsylvania and Missouri. [12]

    The opioid crisis has, over the last two decades, claimed some 200,000 lives. According to whistle blower Joe Rannazzisi, "drug distributors pumped opiates into U.S. communities -- knowing that people were dying -- and says industry lobbyists and Congress derailed the DEA's efforts to stop it" [13]


Our Sanctimonious, Self-Righteous Attitude
The litany of man's greed, stupidity and inhumanity to his fellow man is a never ending one (citing the above examples are akin to picking a pebble off the face of Mt. Everest). Yet when told that God is actually going to do something about this miserable planet of ours, we rear up on our hind legs and adopt our best sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, priggish, mealy-mouthed, self-righteous attitude....

How could He do that? How could this "loving" God actually sit in judgment against humanity and find them sadly wanting. How can He then rain mayhem down on this planet? What kind of God would actually be so mean? Not one we would want to serve surely!

But maybe, just maybe, that little boy in Washington, those women in Africa, the souls of the children found in that mass grave, or the Union soldiers who dies so cruelly would emphatically disagree with you. How many will find comfort in knowing that those hundreds of thousands of unreported or unsolved crimes... aren't. Someone knows who did it, and that Someone will get the guilty person to pay... unencumbered by man made rules that all too often work in favor of the guilty.

    (By the way, Nahum means "consolation," or "comfort," and one can only imagine how comforting it was to the people of Israel to have this prophet stand up and tell them that God was going to utterly destroy Nineveh, the capital city of the people that had brought them so much misery for so long. These words must have been music to their ears).

In fact, I recently read an amusing definition of a 'jury' - Twelve people chosen to decide which of the two sides has the better attorney. Tragically, there is more than a little truth to this statement. I am beginning to believe that fewer and fewer in our so called justice system are as concerned with a person's guilt or innocence as they are with putting another notch in their belts.

As the old saying goes - the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. Justice will come and although you wont be tortured in hell for all eternity, it will be worse than anything we can imagine. See What and Where is Hell?

And by the way, if you do not get angry - righteously angry, if you do not burn with outrage when you hear of child abuse, crimes against the elderly, sex slavery, domestic violence, cold blooded murder, vandalism, the complete indifference much of modern society has towards the poor and disadvantaged, the greed of modern corporations that have set the bottom line up as their god, power hungry governments etc. etc. etc. then something has to be wrong with you.

In fact, you are most unlike our God.


We Are Never Satisfied
Were God to offer a blanket pardon to all sinners, including serial killers and rapists, we would complain that there is no justice. However, were He to give people what they deserve in the here and now, we would complain that He was severe, cruel, unloving, and unmerciful.

Now that He has provided a substitutionary atonement in the form of His Son (since death is the price of sin, Christ died in the place of those that trust and follow Him), the dissenters complain that justice cannot be served by allowing someone else to pay for our sins. See Salvation on THIS page.

Now that God is postponing His justice in order to give as many people as possible the time and opportunity to have a change of heart and come to salvation -  we complain about the problem of evil.

Apparently, we are no different from the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' time who caused Jesus to say,

"For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, 'He has a demon!' "The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' (Luke 7:33-34 NASB)

Luckily however, God is sovereign and His justice will take place in His time and in the manner He has already chosen and nothing we can say or do is going to change any of it. What we need to do is remember that although several of the apostles spoke about God's patience, they were all very clear.... the day of His wrath is coming and, as Paul warned, this day will come very unexpectedly - "like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2) But, as believers, we should be able to interpret The Signs of The Times


The "Day of The Lord"
Many have tried to water down the frightening scenario that Revelation paints by turning it into a giant parable in which nothing can be definitely known except that in the end Christ will triumph, and all will be well. But this interpretation turns all the details of the visions into meaningless nonsense. As of right now the iniquity of the Gentiles is not yet full, but there is a day looming on the horizon when mankind will push the boundaries and exhaust the Father's patience.

The Day of The Lord is a phrase that has been used more than 20 times in the Bible. It refers to a day (or period of time) in the not too distant future, when God's fury at man's cruelty, greed and sheer inhumanity will spill over and He will say, "No more!". As Daniel and Jesus respectively said....

    "... and there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. (Daniel 12:1 NASB)

    "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. (Matthew 24:21 NASB)

Old Testament prophets such as Joel, Daniel, Malachi, and Isaiah spoke of this time in very graphic language

    It will be a period so terrible that, according to the prophets Joel and Isaiah, the earth will quake, the heavens tremble, and the sun, moon and stars will not give light (Joel 2:10, Isaiah 13: 9-10).

    Peter added that "the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up". (2 Peter 3:10).

    Ezekiel called it "A time of doom for the nations" (Ezekiel 30:3)

    Zephaniah described this time as "A day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness" when "all the earth will be devoured and "He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth (Zephaniah 1:15, 18).

    John stated that in trying to escape, the most powerful men in the world will beg the mountains to hide them from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; "for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Revelation 6:15-17)

Man's Only Hope
However, the Book of Revelation also shows that there is a beacon of light at the end of the tunnel - a new world for the Father's people. A world that will not only last forever, but where there will be no pain, no suffering and no sin. The 'Day of the Lord' begins with a terrible descent into the darkest time in human history, but as Jesus said,

    Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into
    joy. Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. (John 16:20-21 NASB)

See The End of The Age
In order to understand exactly what is in store for this planet and its inhabitants, we need to turn to Revelation, the last book of the Bible, in which, the horrendous conditions in the last days are described by the metaphorical images of Seals, Trumpets and Bowls, which some say run concurrently, while others are of the opinion that they are different and succeeding series of judgments. While neither point of view is correct, there is little doubt that conditions get progressively worse, and more devastating, as the end times progress.

Not only does the imagery and symbolism of Revelation describe the horrendous conditions of the last days, but tells us in what order they will occur. In summary, the first Six Seals unfold one after the other. The 'Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse" (The first four seals) symbolize the persecution of the church with much blood being shed, which will, in a sense, be the last straw and bring an end to God's patience. The opening of the Seventh Seal will introduce the series of Seven Trumpets. The first six are the 'Great Tribulation', which Jesus said would be unparalleled in the history of our planet. The blowing of the Seventh Trumpet will herald Jesus appearing before the Face of God for us, and what we call the "rapture". This will be closely followed by the Seven Bowls when He will, as the prophet Zephaniah said, cut man off from the face of the earth (Zephaniah 1:2-3)

See What and Where is Heaven?
Christians who believe they will spend an eternity in "heaven", seem to have little or no idea where this heaven is, what it will look like, or what they will do there. Either they have fleeting, half formed ideas about some ethereal place 'out there' in which, if we do not exactly spend our time floating around on clouds strumming harps, will closely resemble one unending church service, with everyone present in a nebulous state of disembodied blessedness. Other believers resort to pious phrases that amount to little more than spiritual gobbledy gook.  Are we supposed to get excited about a place that, let's face it, sounds extremely tedious? If this is the best we can do then it is little wonder that non Christians are not in the slightest bit interested in our "heaven", and Christians themselves so rarely seem to look forward to the coming of the day of God. Luckily the Bible isn't at all silent on where "heaven" is and, even more importantly, what it will be like. In fact, the Bible's description of the coming kingdom is far, far, more practical than that of our theologians.


Summary and Conclusion
Whether or not your church preaches it, whether or not you know very much about it, whether or not you choose to bury your head in the sand and pretend that God cannot possibly render judgment on this planet, the wrath of God is real and when He unleashes it on this planet it will be, by far, the darkest days in human history.

and... it is very near at hand.

God is not, as some have chosen to believe, a kindly old gentleman in the sky that wouldn't say 'boo' to a goose. He is a God of great kindness and mercy, as shown by Him sending His own Son to pay the price of our sin, should we choose to accept this gift. But, from cover to cover, the Bible has shown that He is also a God of great wrath who will bring a final and terrible judgment down on sinners and evildoers. The unleashing of His wrath will also bring an end to this world, as we know it.

After this terrible period, God will descend to earth to establish His kingdom. In fact, the heart of Jesus' preaching was the good news that the kingdom of God was on its way, and that we could be part of it.

So the only question that remains is whether you will be on the receiving end of His wrath, or whether you will accept His offer of a free pardon which means you are no longer sentenced to death, but will have eternal life in a world that will be as He originally intended.

The Decision Is Entirely In Your Hands. 
 

Please Note: Many Christians rightly believe that believers will not suffer in the terrible time of God's wrath (after all, the whole point of salvation is being saved from the wrath of God). However, make no mistake, Jesus and John both spoke of a lot of trouble for Christians.

    "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. (Matthew 10:21-22 NASB)

    "These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. "They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. "These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. (John 16:1-3 NASB)

See The Seven Seals and Matthew 24

 

Endnotes:
[01] Susan Hogan-Albach, "More Christians rejecting emphasis on Jesus' death." Dallas Morning News, Saturday, April 7, 2001,
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-73103577.html.

[02] Dr. Ronald W. Scates. Sermon: "The Wrath of God" Delivered June 6, 1999. Central Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, MD.
https://www.centralpc.org/knowing_god/sermons/1999/s990606.htm

[03] The Wrath of God. Romans 1:18-20. P. G. Mathew, M.A., M.Div., Th.M. Copyright © 2008, P. G. Mathew
Grace Valley Christian Center. http://www.gracevalley.org/sermon_trans/2008/Wrath_of_God.html. Link is no longer active.

[04] Christine Clarridge? and Maureen O'Hagan. 
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/beaten-toddler-in-coma-mothers-boyfriend-to-be-charged/

[05] Nigeria women raped by police and army. Afrol News. http://www.afrol.com/articles/22992

[06] Al Jazeera Media Network. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2008/10/2008102075138816568.html

[07] Ken Ellingwood. Los Angeles Times Staff Writer. Fear of kidnapping grips Mexico.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-kidnap1-2008sep01,0,4003595.story

[08] Henry Louis Gates Jr. Slavery, by the Numbers https://www.theroot.com/slavery-by-the-numbers-1790874492

[09] Anderson. https://www.nps.gov/ande/learn/index.htm

[10] Senior Taken For Millions Lawyers rack up fat fees as guardians to the helpless..
http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/senior-millions-lawyers-rack-fat-fees-guardians-helpless-article-1.911367

[11] Nina Bernstein. Unearthing the Secrets of New York's Mass Graves.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/15/nyregion/new-york-mass-graves-hart-island.html

[12] Cristina Maza. Jews In Trump's America Are Being Attacked Post-Charlottesville
http://www.newsweek.com/jews-racism-trump-antisemitism-charlottesville-attacks-jewish-700398

[13] Bill Whitaker. Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress. Oct 17, 2017.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-dea-agent-opioid-crisis-fueled-by-drug-industry-and-congress/

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