God’s Wrath vs. God’s Discipline – Yup, God gets angry, but can we trust Him when He is angry?
Christians are saved from the Father’s wrath, wrath is reserved only for those who do not trust Him and who will face eternity apart from Him.
The Father expects us to obey His Son, and disciplines those he loves (Hebrews 12) producing obedient children. The truth is simple; we can’t do anything of our selves (John 10). The Father’s Spirit does for us, in us, if we don’t hinder Him. And we make way for Him by dying to ourselves. We die to self when we trust the Father more than we trust self (self-righteousness). And we learn to trust the Father through the discipline of correction when we sin, and through trials, persecution and obstacles that God allows into our lives, for some good purpose.
This website is meant to highlight the amazing love of God to help people who have been given bad information, and through “bad religion” about God’s nature with undue emphasis on His anger and wrath. That being said, I do not want to mislead you. We were created as objects of God’s love, but we can only enjoy this if we meet God, on God’s terms. If we try to earn our own way, the consequences are quite terrifying.
Unlike us, God’s anger is perfectly balanced by His patience, justice, mercy and love. In other words, if He get’s angry, it is with very good reason. This sermon by Jonathan Edwards in the 1700s does not hold anything back in describing the consequences for those people who choose to trust themselves, rather than the Lord.
It is very important to remember that if God does get angry with you, it doesn’t mean that He has rejected you! He will never reject you as long as you are on this side of the grave (1); in fact He will pursue you tenderly. Imagine a loving mother who smacks her infant’s hand for playing with matches, but then gently caresses and comforts her child. Once things have calmed down, she will then carefully explain what the child did wrong, this is one way we learn.
Another thing to remember is that God cannot be surprised. He knows everything before it happens and has had all of eternity to prepare a response, where appropriate, to all of our decisions. Conversely, toxic parents prone to explosive outbursts are triggered by surprises.
We can trust that God will not get angry without:
- good cause;
- warning us;
- giving us lots of chances;
- sending others to warn us (usually);
- giving us every opportunity to make things right.
In a nut shell, God won’t get angry without counting to three first… God’s love IS unconditional, this is not a cliché and it is not poetry, it is real.
The following link goes to a Q&A page with Dr. Craig, although discussion about the differences between God of the Bible and the god of the Qur’an, it is one of the best explanations I’ve ever read of God’s unconditional love.
God’s character, in so far as one can attempt to reduce it, is summed up in “His glory”…..“for all gave sinned and fallen short of His glory”….That is, we fall short of His holiness, His just-ness, and His mercy. Consequently, our shortcomings result in His wrath and His punishment; so we have good reason fear. These consequences are real, and His wrath will soon be poured out on sinful people. The Gospel on the other hand invites man to repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repentance was and still is a necessary element of the Gospel and if one is not convicted of sin or understand wrath, he or she will not see the need for repentance, nor understand the necessity of our King’s personal sacrifice.
The Good News is, that if one does repent, all of that wrath and judgement that would otherwise befall that person, is poured out on a substitute, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world“. It almost seems to good to be true right? It would be if anyone else was making the offer of a get-out-of-jail card like this, but if the offer is from God, then it can be trusted!
Just a few examples of God’s Anger without rejection, followed by His tenderness:
Adam & Eve, Cain, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, David and many more
The following is an example of God’s patience finally running out, it was part of a message he gave to the King of Assyria after God had used that King as an instrument of his justice against wicked nations, after which that King became very proud of the achievements God allowed him to carry out, after which he blasphemed and threatened God’s children:
‘But I know your sitting down,
And your going out and your coming in,
And your raging against Me.
‘Because of your raging against Me,
And because your arrogance has come up to My ears,
Therefore I will put My hook in your nose,
And My bridle in your lips,
And I will turn you back by the way which you came.
~ 2 Kings 19:27–28
You might find it difficult to trust God in issues of unreasonable anger if your natural father had anger issues, was emotionally or physically absent, or was simply what might be referred to as a deadbeat. If that is the case, please take less than 6-minutes to watch this special video which will help dispel misconceptions that come from bad parent-child experiences: “A Father’s Love Letter”.
(1) Although God will pursue a relationship while we still have breath, it is important to respond to His invitation before we die. If we reject God while we live, He cannot accept us when we die. There are many so-called Christian who have never trusted God, never born-again, the following quote from Jesus should be a chilling admonishment for such as those:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
For those who do not know God and His tender love, these words may seem harsh, but compare this tone to that used by a mother or father, whose toddler is running towards a busy highway!
How do we avoid hearing “I never knew you”? Simple, get to know Him, the best way to do that is listen to what He said. A good place to start is the Gospel of John. If you don’t have a bible, get one, if you can’t afford one, contact us and we’ll help.