Judy is pastor of Hancock Reformed Baptist Church. He holds master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.
The wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. — Ephesians 5:6
While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. — Romans 5:10
Both of the verses above were written by the same author and are equally inspired. They are both true. They reveal one of the two relationships that God has with each one of us. God is either wrathful toward us because we have disobeyed Him, or He is reconciled with us even though we have disobeyed Him.
The word wrath is only one of a number of sobering words used by the divinely inspired authors to describe God’s relationship with those who disobey Him. He is also angry with them every day (Psalm 7:11), He is furious with them (Romans 2:8), He will exact vengeance upon them (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
So, He punishes the nations (Revelation 16:1). He sentences individuals to an eternally blazing lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). If life seems to be going well for you but you are living in violation of the Bible, please do not be duped into thinking that God is happy with you. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6).
There was a rich man once who may have made that eternally dangerous mistake (Luke 16:19-25).
But praise God for Jesus! Jesus changed everything.
Jesus changed the world. If it was not for the Lord Jesus, this world would be hopelessly mired miles deeper into its decadence than it already is.
He changed relationships between people. Because of Jesus we know that we should treat our fellow man, including our enemies, with love.
He changed the relationship between people and God. Because of Jesus we know there is a merciful and gracious God who is all-powerful and who is ready to forgive all our iniquities.
He changed God’s relationship with people. Because of Jesus, the wrath of God has been forever removed and God is reconciled to all sinners who believe in Jesus.
Yes, God’s wrath will fall on you if you have disobeyed him. He is angry with you every day, and it is only a matter of time before he exacts His just vengeance upon you. But Christ suffered the wrath of God on the cross. In so doing he satisfied God’s justice and placated God’s wrath on behalf of every believer in Jesus Christ.
When you believe in Jesus you will still struggle with temptation and sin. You will still face crises, disappointments, and heartaches. You will still die and face God in eternity. But in it all you can be at peace that God is not wrathful toward you or seeking vengeance upon you. God is not at war with you. He signed a peace treaty with you at the cross with the blood of His Son. God is at peace with you every day. He will help you. He is not out to destroy you but to perfect you in every way. He is blessing you now and will bless you forever.
Therefore, if you are Jesus’ disciple, do not interpret your life’s trials as God working against you. Romans 8:32 ESV reads, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Furthermore, never fear that you may do something to incur God’s wrath upon you. God’s relationship with His people never changes from reconciliation back to wrath. Remember that you were reconciled while you were His enemy. Now that you are His child you will never incur His wrath. Face even death and eternity with genuine hope and joyful expectation.
Between now and the time that you die you will have disobeyed God countless times. Try not to! Do not sin! But remember, “much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
But, if you are not one of Jesus’ disciples, you will incur the wrath of God. And it is your fault.
God reconciled the world to himself through Christ. He signed a peace treaty with the blood of Jesus at the cross. But you have not signed it. Do not wait! By all means sign the treaty! Be reconciled to God by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.