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*Warning: It is quite likely, as with many of my articles, that if this is the only one you read you will have a skewed idea of how I feel and think. If offended, strange though as it seems, I’d request you to continue reading as I post.
How Angry Is God?
And Why Has This Attribute Nearly Disappeared?
As stated in the introduction the Bible makes it clear that “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day (Psalm 7:11 ESV).” Psalm 5:5-6 states the seldom quoted and intensely controversial words: “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evil doers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.”
It seems to me these verses are not controversial based on any type of inconsistency or rarity in the word of God. Simply consider the way that Jesus Christ is coming back: “…with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Thessalonians 1:7-8).” Or consider the future cries of those on whom this day of Judgement comes, as they call out to the mountains and rocks saying: “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand (Revelations 6:16)?”
I witnessed to a man the other day who was quite certain that the Old Testament God was a God of wrath, and the New Testament God was a God of love. The guilt of this erroneous belief falls on the multitudes of professing believers who portray Christianity this way. They speak as if God was and maybe is a God of justice and wrath, but Jesus was all love and mercy. But who is coming back with a sword in his mouth (Rev 19:15)? Who is coming in the clouds to inflict vengeance? And did they not cry out “hide us from…the wrath of the Lamb?” We know from scripture that the precious Lamb of God, who was slain, is none other than Jesus Christ.
If the Bible is not unclear nor does it make rare reference to the hatred, wrath, anger, justice, and like qualities of God, then why have these qualities been shunned among professing believers and the general public? Well, a culture that promotes only listening and believing those things which make you feel good about yourself, does not jive very well with a God who exposes your sin, unworthiness, shame, and guilt. It especially does not sit right with them that the outcome of what they consider a life well lived could be for God to send them to Hell. That spot may be reserved for murderers or rapists, but certainly not for them.
“How can God be angry with us when we are all basically good people?” some might say. Or even “God isn’t angry at us, because He loves everyone just the way they are.” Though these statements might sound nice, they are far from Biblical. People everywhere are making a god in their own image, a god who does not exist.
About three years ago I read through the book of Revelations and was profoundly impacted that these were real events that were coming upon real people. The words of this book produced in me an unwavering conviction that men and woman everywhere must be warned about the coming Judgement of God. It caused me to “note…the kindness and severity of God (Romans 11:22).” It seems fitting for me to share a poem I wrote after finishing the book of Revelations.
In his eyes are flames of fire,
The wicked wail and I admire
Christ who’s coming with a sword
Handing out the due reward.
To few he grants eternal life
Those dressed in white, His bride, His wife.
Those beloved and chosen ones
Who share God’s treasure, His own Son.
But tribulation and distress
For those who cherish wickedness
Wrath and fury coming near
For although warned, they would not hear.
God who is gracious sent them plagues
To turn them from their wicked ways
But although scorched and crushed and shamed
They refused to repent and cursed God’s name.
They beg of mountains “fall on us, hide us from his face!”
But there’s no pardon for their sin, they receive no grace.
They seek to die but death escapes them
‘Till naked they stand so that Christ may condemn them.
Hark! He’s coming in the clouds
Tune your ears to hear the trumpet sound
The earth is ripe and His sickle swings
He gathers the elect underneath His wings,
And casts away into the winepress of wrath
All evildoers who walk the broad path.
Glory be unto the Lord, He will have His way!
He is coming soon and won’t delay
His Great and Glorious Judgment Day.
Fear and tremble all the earth
Dear Christian warn them with weeping
For us who have the second birth
Let not Christ come to find us sleeping.
To summarize this and answer the question “how angry is God?” let me say this: He is angry enough that Jesus warned “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Hell (Matthew 10:28).”