The Wrath and Love of God, Is 63:6-7

One of the apparent contradictions in God’s nature that is hard to reconcile is the wrath and love of God.  In Is 63:6 we see God’s anger and his fury.  And in the very next verse, v.7, we see his lovingkindness, goodness, and mercy.  So, what can we do to avoid the wrath of God and, instead, receive the love of God?

Notice the severity of his wrath.

Ps 7:11 God is angry with the wicked everyday.

Jas 4:4 … know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  Why is this?

1 Jn 5:19 … the whole world lieth in wickedness.  Therefore, Ps 5:5 thou hatest all workers of iniquity.  Look what God has done.

Noah’s flood, Gen 6:13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen 19:24-25 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Under Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, whole families were swallowed up alive in the earth and 250 men burned to death.  Pharaoh and his entire army drowned in the Red Sea.  Ananias and Sapphira were smitten to death for lying to God.  To the Pharisees Jesus said, “how can ye escape the damnation of hell”, Matt 23:33?

We must acknowledge God’s wrath as something very real.  The Bible makes no apology for his wrath and fury.  People have been very critical of God because of his wrath.  And others, in order to explain it away, have concluded that this anger and wrath were only in the Old Testament.  They’ll say anything, but believe and accept that God is a God of wrath.

Yet, on the other hand, notice the depth of his love.

Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  He did this for the whole world that lieth in wickedness, the world that is at enmity with God.

Rom 5:8 God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  These are the wicked with whom God is angry and the workers of iniquity that he hates.

Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  He did this for his enemies.

1 Jn 3:8-9 … for God is love.  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

How is it that God hates the workers of iniquity, is angry with the wicked everyday, and is essentially an enemy of the world, and yet so loves the world as to give his only begotten Son, and commends his love toward sinners by letting his Son die for his enemies?  How do we reconcile the wrath and love of God?

God’s wrath didn’t go away.  Instead, his love prevails against his wrath.  And it does so because of what Jesus Christ did for us, not because of what we do for God.

Now notice Jesus’s propitiation.

1 John 4:10, Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.  That is, he appeased the wrath of God against our sins.  He bore our sins in his own body on the tree.  And he did this for the sins of the whole world.

1 Jn 2:2 he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The way we appropriate his propitiation in our lives is “through faith in his blood”, Rom 3:25.  When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and trust his blood for our propitiation and his righteousness for our justification, we have everlasting life and we are not condemned.  But if we don’t believe on him, then we are still condemned and under the wrath of God.  Look:

Jn 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jn 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

His condemnation and wrath didn’t go away.  God still has wrath and he still has love.  Before you are saved, God doesn’t execute his wrath on you, because his love is giving you ample time to put your faith in his blood and to trust Jesus as your propitiation.  Jesus is the only person in the universe who appeased the wrath of God on your behalf by shedding his own blood.  This is why God has forbearance with sinners.

God’s wrath and love are manifested in Jesus Christ. 

If you receive Jesus, you accept his love and you escape God’s wrath.  But if you turn him down, you turn down his love, and you are under his wrath.

Here’s what Jesus does if you turn him down, 2 Thes 1:7-9, …the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.

To me, the decision whether to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is the simplest decision you will ever make.  This is a decision anyone here without Christ this morning should make right now.  Get out from under his wrath and condemnation and get into his love today.

You’ll see his wrath even at the judgment seat of Christ.

Now, for those of us who are already saved, there’s something to note.  God’s attitude toward sin has not changed.  His wrath is still part of his nature.  When you sin, when you do wrong, when you do something bad in your body, you will give account of this before Jesus Christ.  You have to answer to him at the judgment seat of Christ because he is the one who paid for your sins and gave you his righteousness so you would no longer have to serve sin, Rom 6-8.

Paul said in 2 Cor 5:10-11 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

You’re going to face the terror of the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ.  The God whose love you know in Jesus Christ is also a God of terror.

Therefore, when you sin, you must confess your sin 1 Jn 1:9.  You are guaranteed forgiveness because of his propitiation.  But you must also be cleansed from your sin and forsake it, Prov 28:13.  He forgives you and cleanses you so that you don’t face his terror for these things.  You go from doing bad to doing good as you yield to his righteousness in you.

In other words, God’s wrath is still in his nature and you will face his terror at your judgment.  It is the wrath of God that causes us to fear and turn from sin.  It is his love that compels us to never do it again.  The combination of his wrath and love are what instill in us the desire to yield to his righteousness and live holy lives.  It is this apparent contradiction in God’s nature that is reconciled in Jesus’s propitiation.

Conclusion: if you are lost, receive Jesus now.  If you are saved and doing something bad in your body, quit that sin now.