God is love

bw-cross

Recently I wrote a post about the wrath of God.  Scripture has clearly defined that God is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11).  Understand if you have not been morally perfect your entire life, you are wicked.   If you have not been redeemed by the blood of Christ and turned from your sin, you are wicked.  Wicked is not only Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Dr. Evil, or your favorite villain.

This is not an easy concept for the unregenerate to grasp.  “What wicked… evil… That’s not me… “

In order to be saved you must first understand this is you or it’s impossible to be saved.  Us reformed types are most often accused of being unloving and too dogmatic, too harsh about the things of God.

“Where’s the love man… “

I am as dogmatic about God’s love as I’m dogmatic about His wrath, about His wisdom, about His sovereignty or any of His attributes.  I want you to know that I believe with all my heart God is all these things wrapped into such an incredible being that we can’t even begin to comprehend His majesty.

God has given us the gift of His word to show us who He is.  So to deny any of these attributes or put more emphasis on one than the other is not presenting the full counsel of God.  The difference in emphasizing the wrath of God in preaching over the love of God is simply that sinful man cannot grasp love until he grasps his dire situation.

There is no doubt God is love, you can’t miss this if you tried.

Wayne Grudem – Systematic Theology [1994] Love.  God’s love means that God eternally gives of himself to others.  This definition understands love as self-giving for the benefit of others.  This attribute of God shows that it is part of his nature to give of himself in order to bring about blessing or good for others.

How does God give of Himself for others?

Romans 5:6-8 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.    

There’s a catch to this verse.  Who is the “us”?  Many want to claim this verse and verses like John 3:16 or Jeremiah 29:11 that God loves you and has a plan for you.  There are whole radio stations dedicated to this concept.  But to gain the benefit of the love you must know God.   Not a “god” of your own design but the One True God as defined by the Holy Scriptures.

You must understand you are helpless to save yourself.  Ephesians 2:1

You must believe in Jesus Christ.  Acts 16:31

You must be born again.  John 3:3

You must repent and turn from your sin.  Repentance is an ongoing act of turning away from your former life and embracing your new life in Christ.  Matthew 4:17

You must seek holiness.  1 Peter 1:16

You will then seek fellowship, growth and protection from the church.  Ephesians 4:11, Hebrews 13:17

That’s the “Gospel”, the “Good News”

Some may consider it unloving to tell someone they are separated from God because of their sin.  That separation will condemn them to hell upon their death if they don’t turn to Christ in faith.  That seems judgmental and unloving.

I couldn’t think of anything more unloving than to not tell them.

1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Kevin

God’s Wrath

The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all pleasant forms of iniquity while death draws every day nearer and the command to repent goes unheeded.   A. W. Tozer

wrath

For some this article may appear harsh and unloving.  I want you to know that I write these words with all the love and humility that resides within my feeble mind and body.  It’s vitally important to have an understanding of this subject.  It is important to test and examine your life by the truth of God’s Word.

It is unpopular to talk about God’s wrath.  Most “churches” and church people would rather discuss God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s forgiveness and any attribute of God that does not involve condemnation or justice.  The problem is you can’t have any of these other attributes without first understanding God’s wrath.

That is a bold statement how can I say that?  What is God’s wrath?

Wrath – God intensely hates all sin.  This is the definition of God’s wrath according to Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology [1994].  The biggest question for you today is do you believe this?  Do you believe that God intensely hates sin?

God so intensely hates sin and so intensely loves His elect that He poured out His wrath on His Son to reconcile them to Him.   This is hard to comprehend.

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

How many people sitting in “churches” today are being deceived by empty words?  Empty words that WILL NOT preach the full counsel of God, because this wrath thing is just not popular, it’s too controversial and it upsets people.  It’s foolishness to most.

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

Colossians 3:6, Romans 2:8, Ephesians 2:3, Romans 9:22, Revelation 6:16, 11:18 and this only a brief survey of what scripture tell us.  Before you think that God’s mercy will save you from His wrath ask yourself can God still be righteous if He overlooks and pardons sin?  Can one of His attributes override any of His other attributes?  He is the sum total of all His attributes and He must, to be righteous, be wrathful.

Do you think your sin is no big deal to God?  Will He be merciful?  Will He offer grace?  Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ you will NOT live in consistent sin.  You will be sanctified and increase in holiness and Christ-likeness.  If you are a non-believer you have only the wrath of God to come upon you.  Your throat is an open tomb, your tongue practices deceit, you have the poison of asps under your lips, you are full of bitterness and cursing, you only know destruction and misery, you DO NOT fear God (Romans 3:13-18).

I plead with you today, if you do not know Christ and His beauty, to fall on your face and place your trust in Him.  This is your only hope.

I will leave you with this analogy from Paul Washer and his sermon from the G3 Conference in Atlanta.

Imagine a dam one thousand feet high, with water a thousand miles long and a thousand miles wide and you live in a village just below the dam.  You look out your window one day and you see the dam give way.  There is nothing you can do to survive.  There is no possible way to avoid death, there is no swim stroke that can save you, and there is no hope…  Then all of a sudden the earth opens up just before the water consumes you and the massive wall of water disappears right in front of you and not a drop of water so much as even touches you.  This is God’s wrath coming upon the sons of disobedience.  And this is Christ’s redemption for those that know Him and have fully placed their trust in Him.  But you must show that your life is different.  That you are a new creation, the old is gone the new has come.

Are you radically different?  Not just outwardly moral, but so completely different you can’t stand who you once were?  If you’ve only cleaned yourself up a little bit and attempted to do better, you are not changed.  If you think yourself “good enough” I assure you, you are not.  If you read this today and have no clue what I’m talking about or you dismiss this, please examine your life by the truth of God’s Word, and beg Him for mercy.

For those that are saved and know Jesus Christ as their Lord be in awe of Him today.  God poured out His wrath on His Son to pay your penalty, if you don’t know Christ; the wrath will be poured out upon you unless you turn to Him, repent of your sins and come under His divine authority.  Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Here is the Paul Washer sermon that I would encourage everyone to watch:

Paul Washer G3 Conference

Kevin