The Wrath of God



'Party Favors (3)' copyright Douglas W Jerving 2014


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The Wrath of God

Copyright © February 7, 2015 Douglas W. Jerving.
All Rights Reserved.


[Note: The following is an outline for a future series of articles on the subject. Although I have not yet fleshed out this series, the outline is close to what it will be when complete. Below the main text is a postscript answering some challenges to my text from a Facebook "theologian" who considers herself an atheist. This text is dedicated to her, whether I ever finish it or not.]

Introduction

This study began as a series of blogs on the subject of the wrath of God. Originally each section was intended to post on FaceBook over a period of time approximately equal to the number of sections found here; each section of the outline being a new post. To date, none of this has been finalized due to other more pressing obligations. It is still my intention to return to this study.

My purpose is to set forth the concept of Godís wrath for the consideration of all my readers, those who are already believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and those who have not yet come to faith in Him. The first group I hope will see, through these small studies, the urgent necessity of informing the lost of their precarious position before God so long as they continue to ignore His grace. For the believer this is a call to evangelism. On behalf of the second group I hope to make clear the fact that they stand ever so close to that moment in time when the mercy of God ends and they will be irrevocably caught in the judgment of God that severs them from Him for eternity.


How to Understand the Wrath of God.

There are several important ideas that we must first understand before the wrath of God makes sense, especially to the post-modern humanistically trained persons of our age. Below is a short outline. Most of these ideas will be elaborated on in future posts. I have not provided, in the outline, the scriptural documentation for these points. They will be provided as we touch on them individually.


Outline

A. We must understand what the Bible teaches about God Himself; i.e., His attributes.

1. God is Creator. He made man along with all else that exists.
2. God is Holy. He is above His creation, including man.
3. God is Sovereign. He can do what He wants with His creation, including man.
4. God is Righteous. What ever He does is right.
5. God is Judge. Because He is right, He is manís judge.
6. God is Merciful. He provides man time and opportunity to be delivered.
7. God is Love. He extends His love to His elect and effects their deliverance.

B. We must understand what the Bible teaches about man.
1. He is a created being, wholly subject to God.
2. He is totally depraved and lost. Man is spiritually deaf, blind and dead.
3. He is in a constant state of rebellion against his Creator.
4. He is utterly and hopelessly condemned to death and hell unless God Himself intervenes on his behalf to effect his deliverance.

C. We must understand what the Bible teaches about history.
1. History is the record of Godís interaction with His creation.
2. History is the record of Godís judgment against sin through legal sanctions.
3. History is the record of Godís mercy. God provides the way out of sanction.
4. History is the record of Godís grace. He effectually delivers His elect.

D. We must understand how Godís sanctions and mercy work in an historical context.
1. God has judicially condemned all mankind as deserving the death penalty.
2. History records the evidence of Godís judicial condemnation through sanctions.
3. God condemns individuals, and groups of individuals; i.e., families, tribes and nations, and even religious groups such as cults, sects, churches and denominations.
a. All mankind is corporately condemned to death in their allegiance to Adamís sin.
b. Individuals are condemned as evidenced in the judgment of Cain.
c. Groups are corporately condemned as evidenced by the judgment of the Amorites and Canaanites.
d. Judgment is often effected by Godís use of one individual or group upon another individual or group.
1) The authority of the Church to judge righteously.
2) The imprecatory psalms as part of the Churchesí warfare against unrighteousness.
e. God judges His Church.
1) The sanction of the sacrament (the bread and cup).
2) Heretical doctrines, cults, and deviant groups
3) ďThose who do not obey this lawĒ
4) The forms of sanction are two-fold
a) Disfellowship from the local church with promise of restoration after repentance. The sinner is in error, but not treated as an unbeliever.
b) Excommunication from the whole church with the threat of eternal damnation if there is no repentance. The sinner is in grave error and cut off. He is treated as an unbeliever.
5) Church sanctions are intended to be universal, not local. Whether disfellowshiped or excommunicated, all associate churches are required to treat the sinner in the same way, recognizing the authority of the sanctioning church so long as that church is following the Biblical standards.
4. God extends mercy to individuals and groups for various reasons.
a. Mercy to Adam and Eve. God granted them time for repentance.
b. Mercy to Cain so that man could continue to populate.
c. Mercy to various Canaanite nations determined by how they treated His elect nation Israel.
d. Mercy to Ninevah because of their corporate repentance.
e. Mercy upon the Jewish nation before 70 AD to grant them time to repent and receive Christ.
f. Mercy upon the Roman hegemony/empire in order to grant time for the early church to become established.
g. Mercy upon all nations in order for His elect within them to come to salvation. 5. God effects grace unto salvation to His elect.
a. Grace leading to the salvation of the elect.
b. Grace to the elect of ancient Israel. The Remnant.
c. Grace to the elect of every nation.
d. Grace to the Jewish descendants who repent and turn to Christ as their Messiah.
e. Grace to the vast multitudes of mankind before the Final Judgment.

E. Godís universal and eternal wrath and grace at the Second Coming of Christ.
1. Universal and eternal wrath against the ungodly.
2. Universal and eternal grace to Godís elect.

F. Why do the righteous suffer?
1. The Question: If Godís sanctions are placed upon the wicked, and His blessings upon the righteous, why do the righteous experience adversity? Why do the righteous suffer?
2. The Answer.
a. God allows adversity to chastise the elect so that they will learn obedience to His law-word, and deliver them from the ultimate judgment of the wicked.
b. God judges the nations oftentimes before He removes the Elect from them so that their faithfulness may be a testimony against the wicked.
c. God judges the righteous with the wicked because the righteous have failed to fulfill their rolls as moral leaders in the society.
d. God allows wickedness to come to its full measure before He judges it, and this often means they are allowed to persecute and abuse His Elect in the process so that they fill up the wrath against them.
e. Godís ways are inscrutable, and often times we do not have the answers, but are, like Job, expected to trust that God is working all things according to His plan, and for our ultimate blessing. ďEven though He slay me, still I will trust HimĒ.


Some Comments From Facebook

You can LOL your way out of anything on FaceBook. But you can't LOL your way out of hell.
Posted 020515
Note: This post was where the idea to blog on the wrath of God began for me. I have always used FaceBook as a way to express my ideas and opinions about things I believe as a Christian. More often than not, I found my posts challenged by an atheist friend of a friend. It is not my policy to unfriend or block anyone unless they are using my posts to stalk my family or friends. That was not the case here, so I have always been open and willing to debate with that person, and we are now, technically, ďfriendsĒ on FaceBook. Many posts from that side of the debate were uninitiated by me, but not all. I am as much of a debater as my atheist friend, and I refuse to back down, just as does that friend. Oftentimes the atheist poster is quite pushy, arrogant and accusatory. I will admit to being the same. Both of us have overstepped the boundaries of peaceful debate at times. Roberts Rules donít always apply. Both of us have spoken out of turn at times. And both of us have ended our posts with the LOL acronym (Laughing Out Loud, which is often equivalent to ďJust SayingĒ or ďI am just making a rhetorical point and donít want you to take it personallyĒ) in order to make it clear to one another that we are not angry with one another. That (LOL reference) is what this first post is all about.
*****

My theology professor years ago said "There is more in the Bible about the wrath of God than there is about the love of God." Proverbs 9:10. ďThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
Posted 020615
*****

Sometimes the only time a person hears the Word of God is when they decide to debate it with you. Then you just bring the Words of God before them and let them have their little debate. You have done your part. It is up to God's Holy Spirit to convert them. And having heard the Word, they are converted one way or another, either through repentance and faith, or through a further hardening of the heart against God. That is one of the things we can glean from 2 Corinthians 2:15,16: "For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life."

In response to an atheist critic who charges me with picking verses that fit my agenda the following post was made:
No. I am picking them because I want you to read them. After reading them [name undisclosed], you become accountable to God for them. What you do with them afterwards is not my business. God will take care of that.

Posted 020615


*****

Deuteronomy 7:9-11. God's wrath is as real as His love.
ďTherefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them."
Posted 020715


*****

Revelation 20:11-15.
"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."

Yes, I know that this is from the most symbolic book of the New Testament, and if we interpret so much else in it based on symbol and type, we may need to do the same thing here. But do I (or you) really want to take the chance of being wrong?

"I regard it as ominous that in our day, ostensibly orthodox Christian theologians have begun to deny the doctrine of hell and the eternal lake of fire, into which hell's contents will be dumped on judgment day (Rev. 20:14-15)." Gary North, Millenialism and Social Theory, p.186, footnote 2.





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Doug Jerving is the publisher of the NewEdisonGazette.com. You may contact him at dje@newedisongazette.com.

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