The Wrath of God.. A Forgotten Doctrine.
One of the prime bits of evidence of the departure of the professing Church from Christianity, as taught by the Bible, is the large-scale rejection of the doctrine of the wrath of God, and the emphasis placed almost exclusively upon His love. Liberal theologians probably feel a moral revulsion at the thought of a God who needs to be appeased by the blood of a victim, while the thought of sinners in the hands of a wrathful God offends their enlightened moral sense.
The opening paragraph of a 2001 article entitled Savior or martyr? Christians struggle with the meaning of the cross, by Susan Hogan-Albach of the Dallas Morning News, 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. 
Note the words "their idea", which tells us a great deal about people who seem determined to fashion a god made in their image. They want to decide who he is, what his mindset and characteristics are, and how he behaves. And, regardless of what any book says, they will continue to perceive him as they think he should be.
The problem is that it doesn't work quite like this.
Regardless of how much we may desire someone to fit the mental picture, or image, we have of them, the fact remains that our ideas do not form the person. People are what they are, and it is we who need to have a realistic image of them. The same principle applies to God. He is unchanging and everlasting, and we who need to pay attention to what He has said about Himself, and what His actions show about Him.
Yet preaching today often caters to what Dr. Ronald W. Scates of the Central Presbyterian Church in Baltimore describes as "Coddled Christians in the Hands of a Soothing Celestial Therapist". He further states..
“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.” 
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. It certainly seems that many, if they think about it at all, harbor the delusion that God’s wrath is not consistent with His goodness… an blot on the Divine character if you will, and so banish it from their thoughts. Their preferred view of God is to see Him strictly as a God of love, always bestowing wonderful things upon us, and never causing any grief whatsoever. To these people, a wrathful God can not be the God of the ‘gentle’ Jesus, who never gets angry, and who’s vocabulary never included the word punishment.
It is almost as if there is a disconnect between the Bible stories well known to all Christians, and their own version of the God they profess to serve. For example in the opening chapters of the very first book of Scripture we not only find Adam and Eve thrust out of the garden for their sin, and the entire human race under the same condemnation, but shortly thereafter hear God saying ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth’ (Genesis 6). This He did in the flood that almost did just that, followed, not long thereafter, by the destruction of the cities of the plain by fire and brimstone from heaven (Genesis 19). God's wrath is not an abstract quality as these incidents show, but was (and will be again) an open and hard to miss judgment against evil-doers.
Hopefully, you have not only read these stories, but also realize that God does not change.. that these accounts of God’s wrath are not out-of-date, antiquated fairy stories, and that His wrath has not exactly dissipated over time. On the contrary all evidence seems to point to the fact that that sin has an accumulating effect and the terrible plagues and judgments in the book of Revelation are the accumulation of God's wrath over the history of mankind.
Whatever the reason, the result has been that the gravity of Biblical Christianity has largely been lost sight of. We are faced with a generation of people who, to their detriment, have absolutely no fear of God and, as a result, will face disastrous consequences. The balance has to be restored.. Mushy, sentimental Christianity has to give way to an understanding that God is a God of love, but is also a God of wrath, fury and terror. In fact those that pride themselves on being the people of God, have to be even more careful that they themselves do not become recipients of God’s wrath, considering the verses that tell us that judgment 'begins at the house of God' (1 Peter 4:17) and 'to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more' (Luke 12:48).
The Wrath of God and Evangelism
Even when we present the gospel to someone we ignore the judgment of God.. We talk about eternal life, we talk about forgiveness, love and peace, we talk about an abundant life now and an eternal life to come. But we never ever talk about the 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 says he 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.” 
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 there is a pardon is kind of lost on the person who does not know they are under sentence.
Perhaps we are offended by the concept of the wrath and judgment of God because we have become so desensitized to sin and do not truly understand the nature of God’s holiness. However let Him tell it...
In His Words
God Himself has made no attempt to conceal the fact of His wrath. He is not ashamed to make it known that vengeance and fury are also a part of His nature... This God of ours is not politically correct.
"See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand. For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, I live forever, If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me" (Deuteronomy 32:39-41).
Contrary to popular opinion, the New Testament was not very far behind. There are almost fifty instances of the use of the actual word wrath, most of which refer to the wrath of God. A few instances are… [All Emphasis Added]
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?
Jesus warned again and again of ‘the weeping and the gnashing of teeth’ of hell fire and outer darkness, and to not be “afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”. He pictured Himself as one day saying: ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into the everlasting fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels. In Luke 12:5 He said “But I will warn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, who after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him”.
John, the apostle of love, says “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him”. [John 3:36]. He also paints a chilling picture of Christ coming as King of kings and Lord of lords ‘treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of God the Almighty’ [Revelation 19.15]
In Romans 1:18 Paul said “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness”. He adds to the thought in Romans 2:5-11 where he says... God will render to every man according to his works, and 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.
Paul spoke of “Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come [I Thessalonians 1:10]
However it is very easy to get the wrong impression when we read statements like God is a jealous God who takes vengeance on his adversaries, and reserves wrath for his enemies. We tend to superimpose human definitions of the words jealous and vengeance when they are applied to God. God’s wrath is very different from man’s anger.
Also See The ‘Jealousy’ of God The verses that refer to God as a "jealous God" are often misunderstood. When we use the word jealous, we use it in the sense of being envious of someone who has something we don't have… in other words “envy” or perhaps even “resentment”. However, this is not the intended meaning of the word jealous when used in reference to God.
God’s Wrath Vs. Man’s Anger
When the Bible speaks of the wrath of God, it is not speaking of an emotion similar to the one we think of when we talk of the anger of man. Unless one gives the matter close attention and studies the situations in the Bible which are said to have aroused God’s wrath, one may be inclined to think that God’s anger is like ours, except infinitely more powerful..
Some common misconceptions about the anger of God is that His feeling get hurt when He does not get His way, or worse, that He is a cruel despot, raving against enemies, and bloodthirsty for revenge. All of which is far from the truth, but common perceptions that stem from confusing divine anger with human anger.
We are fallible; and can become angry for the wrong reasons. While man’s anger can be wholly justified and controlled and even righteous (Ephesians 4:26), but, since we are sinful, often it is not. Human anger often involves passion and loss of temper. All too often it is selfish, capricious, out of control, irrational and leads to violence. Too much of the time we get angry because our egos have been slighted, we did not get our way, or quite simply are in a bad mood.
God’s anger is completely different… The wrath of God is always measured. He doesn’t just fly off the handle, He doesn’t blow a fuse, rant and rave, say foolish things, or put His fist through a wall. His wrath is a measured response to one thing, and one thing only… sin. Not only is it right for God to display anger against sin, but it is impossible for Him to do otherwise. As the New Dictionary of Theology puts it:
Lets take a look at a small book in the Old Testament... the book of Nahum. This book is extremely significant because Nahum’s mission was to pronounce its doom on Nineveh, the capitol of the Assyrian Empire. And why should this overly concern us? Simply because this message is a type and forerunner of the judgement to come.
The Book of Nahum
The book of Nahum is one that is often neglected because it seems to fade into obscurity in the shadow of the more weighty, and certainly more wordy, works of the major prophets. However far from being a dry account of ancient history, this small book reveals to us facets of God's nature, perhaps more than any other book of the Old Testament. It fell to this prophet Nahum, about whom we know next to nothing, to proclaim to the city of Nineveh [the capital of Assyria] that they were once again the target of God's wrath. The Assyrians, who had a terrible reputation as cruel and ruthless warriors, burning and destroying, raping and pillaging, sparing no one, had for many years shaken their fists at God and gotten away with it. They had even carted off the northern kingdom of Israel into exile, and had done so without repercussions... or so they thought.
About one hundred years earlier, in a clear demonstration that grace is not the prerogative of the New Covenant, the prophet Jonah had gone 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.
But it did not take long before the people of Nineveh relapsed into their old ways, causing the prophet Nahum to proclaim that Divine trouble was brewing. It was only a matter of time. In his words..
Jehovah is a jealous God and avengeth; Jehovah avengeth and is full of wrath; Jehovah taketh vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. Jehovah is slow to anger, and great in power, and will by no means clear the guilty: Jehovah hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel; and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt; and the earth is upheaved at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken asunder by him. Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that take refuge in him. But with an over-running flood he will make a full end of her place, and will pursue his enemies into darkness. [Nahum 1:2-8]
Jonah’s mission was a call to repentance, a type and forerunner of God’s message to the world. Nahum's mission was to pronounce on Nineveh its doom... a type and forerunner of the judgment to come.
The word Nahum means "consolation," or "comfort," and one can only imaging 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..
"And now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder" [Nahum 1:13]
"Behold, upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! Keep thy feasts, O Judah, perform thy vows; for the wicked one shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off." [Nahum 1:15]
And, just as the people of Israel were comforted when Nahum prophesied the judgment of Nineveh, God's people today, if they give the matter a modicum of serious thought, can not possibly be satisfied with... A God That Has No Wrath.
His Wrath.. Fully Justified
A toddler in Washingon state beaten into a coma by his father over potty training… thousands of women in Nigeria  and Kenya , among other Africa nations, raped by military and the police who often use rape and sexual slavery to intimidate communities, with an estimated 10 percent of cases ever successfully prosecuted. The more than more than a hundred people, killed over the course of a single week in drug-related shootings in Mexico  (Actually you may be lucky to be just shot.. according to ‘official’ statistics about 65 people are kidnapped each month, (Please note that if you do happen to be kidnapped you stand the thought of being sawed to death, or have your head show up in a different place from the rest of your torso). The bodies of at least 30 people, including women and children, found in a mass grave in a mainly Sunni Arab area of Baghdad  Violence torture and mayhem in Sri Lanka  assaults against Jews and arson attacks on Jewish congregations in France, Sweden and Britain  Football hooliganism in Britain  Pirates that terrorize the high seas with an arsenal of high-tech weapons  And on a slightly less violent, but still very serious scale.. Real estate scams galore.. Amoral forces pursuing their own wealth-creating agenda contributing to the present crisis in world’s money markets..global warming and dwindling resources..
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 then 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, or the souls of the children found in that mass grave, would not exactly agree with you. Perhaps there are those that will find comfort in knowing that those hundreds of thousands of unreported or unsolved crimes… aren’t. Somebody knows who did it and that Someone will get that person to pay… unencumbered by man made rules that all too often work in favour of the guilty. Justice delayed is NOT justice denied.
In the words of Drew Dyck..
“The inevitable outcome of negating divine wrath is that “We end up embracing a god who looks indifferently at Auschwitz; a god too “enlightened” to be angry at the child molester-in short, a monster. . Walsch’s god may sell books and harmonize with Eastern notions of a dispassionate ideal, but the attractiveness of such a god disappears in the shadow of real evil. The conclusion is inescapable: a god who is never angry at evil is not a loving god. The angry God, however, cares. Christians should not treat God’s divine anger like a dirty secret; it offers stirring proof of His divine love”. 
And by the way... if you do not get angry when you hear or see injury, injustice and sheer viciousness, one has to wonder if you are capable of love. If you can read stories of atrocities and not be moved to burning anger then something has to be wrong with you. Certainly you are most unlike our God.
The Wrath To Come
God has been amazingly patient with this world and very slow to anger, but there is a day looming on the horizon when the iniquity of the Gentiles will be full, when He will say, "No more!". Old Testament prophets such as Joel, Daniel, Malachi, and Isaiah spoke of this time when God would not only bring an end to the injustice and suffering in this world but, when His righteous anger for all the wrongs committed will flood the earth, bringing punishment on the transgressors.
Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; and He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises [Isaiah 13: 9-10]
“rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus” [2 Thessalonians 1:8]. [See Overview of Revelation]
"And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time." [Daniel 12:1b].
Jesus seemingly quoted the above verse from Daniel when He said
"For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall." [Matthew 24:21]
Revelation paints for us a picture of God’s judgment on His enemies, the end of history as we know it, and a new world for God's saints. 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…
“… ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for the joy that a man is born into the world. [John 16:20-21]
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 such an interpretation makes all the details of the visions meaningless. If John's visions are literal we may ask the question.. Why? Why is there such a terrible price to pay? The answer, although distasteful to many, may be simpler than we expect.
We find that sin has an accumulating effect. In the book of Revelation we read about Babylon: "Her sins have reached up unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities" (Revelation 18:5). In Genesis, Abraham was told that his descendants would have to wait 400 years before they could take possession of the Promised Land, for "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete" (Genesis 15:16). It appears that God lets sin "pile up" for years, or even generations before it provokes Him to act in swift decisive judgment and destruction. In Romans, Paul writes that sinners are "storing up for themselves wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" (Romans 2:5).
If that is true for nations and individuals, could it not also be true for the entire planet? What if God has been restraining His judgment for thousands of years, while men have filled the earth with blood, hatred, war and immorality? Could it be that the terrible plagues and judgments in the book of Revelation are the accumulation of God's wrath over the history of mankind, stored up for that season of time, which would immediately precede the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? This certainly appears to be the depicted in the sixth chapter of Revelation where the world's leaders, along with the rich and the poor of the earth cry out, "The great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Revelation 6:17). 
[Also see Two Babylons.. the religious system that operates independently of and in opposition to the true God, and the political, economic, commercial system that is only concerned with indulging the self and material prosperity, growing fat at the expense of many. God warns His people to separate themselves from the system lest they too share in her judgment]
The Salvation of God
As Charles Spurgeon once said,
"He who does not believe that God will punish sin, will not believe that he will pardon it through the blood of his Son."
A few years will see the greatest outpouring of the wrath of God on His enemies that has ever been. But do not make the mistake of thinking that it is only the child molesters and serial killers that He is targeting. As Dr. Ronald W. Scates said in his sermon delivered to the Central Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, MD
Take a look at your spiritual passport... You and I are Ninevites. All men have sinned and God law demands that the sinner has to die, therefore you and I, who by our sin have made ourselves into His enemies, are directly in His cross hairs. 
But, and this is where the love of God comes in, He sent His son to pay the price for our sin. Christ's death on the cross satisfied the demand for punishment for our sin. The sin of all God’s people, from the first man ever saved on the face of the earth to the last man ever saved on the face of the earth was placed on His son
"God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ).
"what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering." (Romans 8:3)
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'" (Galatians 3:13)
Which is why we call Jesus the Savior. However many Christians will tell you that Jesus saves a person from sin. This is not true. Sin is a transgression of divine law, not a living being that going to judge you then throw you into hell.
What you have been saved from is not a what, it is a Who. Christ died on our behalf in order to spare us all from the coming wrath and judgment of God... a wrath that rightfully should have been directed at you and me. It is those that have a relationship with Christ that find refuge at the foot of the cross from the wrath of God and will not be destroyed by God's consuming fire, but will live on into the age to come.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. Romans 5:9. [Emphasis Added]
Footnote: However make no mistake... While 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), rightly basing this belief on several different verses. However Jesus and John certainly spoke of a lot of trouble for Christians …. [All Emphasis Added]
"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].
"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]
See Sections The Persecution Of The Church and The Wrath and Judgement of God.
 Susan Hogan-Albach, "Christians struggle with the meaning of the cross," Dallas Morning News, Saturday, April 7, 2001, 2G. http://www.century21parkone.com/religion/331673-jesus-07relar.html
 Dr. Ronald W. Scates. http://www.centralpc.org/sermons/1999/s990606.htm
 The Wrath of God. Romans 1:18-20. P. G. Mathew, M.A., M.Div., Th.M. Grace Valley Christian Center.
 Drew Dyck. The Great Comfort Of God’s Wrath. From the Christian Research Journal, issue 29-02.
 Dennis Pollock. Nuclear Weapons In The End Times. http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_tribulation5.php