Today we will talk about the wrath of God and the coming Judgment.
The crucial question that I would like to establish in your minds today is:
What will you say to Almighty God on Judgment Day?
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
Point 1: The Wrath of God – A Present Reality
A. Why has God manifested His righteousness that can only be accepted by faith?
Verse 18 is the answer- “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” And will follow thru 3:20.
1. That God is wrathful was repulsive to Greeks and Greek philosophers. Even today many people, even some Christians, consider the wrath of God to be a ridiculously archaic thought.
2. The Old Testament pictures God as one who is wrathful in response to rebellion and then later in the Prophets, the wrath of God is associated with the ‘Day of the Lord’ (Judgment).
3. Paul, with the same OT background, teaches that the wrath of God is a present reality for all those who stand outside of Christ. What did He do? Verse 24 “Therefore God gave them up…”
B. That the Wrath of God is a Present Condition:
a. 3:5 “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath?”
b. 4:15 “because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.”
c. 9:22 “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction”
d. Ephesians 2:3 “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
C. There is obviously a connection of verse 18 back to verse 17:
a. v17- “In (the Gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.”
b. v18- “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven.”
* It seems that what Paul is saying is that the wrath of God is falling more deservedly than ever because of God’s righteousness being publicly and widely proclaimed (Gospel).
D. These people that God’s wrath is presently falling on are those who are ungodly and unrighteous (seem to be connected, not necessarily two different thoughts), who “suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness” (through unrighteousness they suppress the truth). Truth is not something that is simply accepted mentally, but something that reflects in actions. When people act unrighteously they are suppressing the truth of God. The context of this verse proves that those who suffer the wrath of God are responsible for their situation.
Connective: When the Gospel message is proclaimed both the righteousness and wrath of God are revealed. Heb 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…” With some it cuts to heal and with many it will cause devastation.
Point 2: What is Wrath?
A. The wrath of God is the withdrawal of His presence and the blessings of that association.
You probably remember what Jesus said in Matt 5:45, “[God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” At the present time, all people (to some extent) are benefiting by God’s sovereign providence.
B. Here is an idea of the wrath of God being the removal of His presence:
Follow with me through the remainder of C1:
1. v24 God also gave them up
2. v26 God gave them up
3. v28 God gave them over
When God withdrawals His presence wrath is being revealed from heaven and chaos ensues, sin abounds, the world is turned upside-down, and society is turned inside-out. Isaiah warned in 5:20,
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Yet, this is the result of a world given over to its own depraved passions – God’s Wrath.
Just five verses down from there Isaiah says, “Therefore the anger of the LORD is aroused…”
Point 3: Wrath is also: Holy Anger, Judgment, Condemnation
A. Now this is the Holy Gospel found in Scripture: The wrath of God has been poured out on Jesus Christ. This is the great doctrine of what’s called “Penal Substitution,” which is clearly taught throughout the entire Bible. Jesus took our place, as our substitute, and bore the penalty of God’s wrath for our sins.
B. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bore the wrath of God for us/instead of us. That is why the Scripture says in 2 Cor 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us…”
Point 4: Hidden in Him
A. I think this may be the best picture that has helped me clearly understand the Gospel and maybe it will help you this morning to get a better grasp of our faith.
B. Acts 17:30-31 says, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness…” When the Gospel is proclaimed and a hearer despises it he/she is building/treasuring up for himself/herself wrath for the Day of Wrath to come and he/she is even experiencing that wrath now to some extent.
C. Yet, for those who receive the Gospel with open ears, open minds, open hearts – the righteousness of God is revealed. This is the righteousness and the picture:
On Judgment Day God’s wrath will be poured out, but we will be hidden in Christ.
Jesus Christ has already experienced that wrath and it can not be on Him again!
When the rain of wrath is pouring down, those outside of Christ will be left consumed and those of us in Christ will have a shelter, a propitiatory shelter Christ.
Conclusion: So, on Judgment Day, when the Lord Jesus returns and we all are raised from the dead by the power of God and must give an account to Him for every thing we have done (both good and bad, every word we have ever muttered), what will you say?
Will you try to defend yourself? Will you make a compelling case?
Men, what will you say about your family? Leaders, what will you say about your service?
When the Lord comes looking for me, I want to be hidden in Christ. I want to be found in Him.
He will be my propitiatory shelter. He will be my strong tower, my defender from wrath.
I have never been a huge fan of Christian Rock, but I have grown to really appreciate the group “Third Day” because of their latest album. In a song titled “Trust in Jesus,” they articulate an appropriate conclusion to this sermon much more poetically and compellingly than me.
“One of these days we all will stand in judgment for
Every single word that we have spoken
One of these days we all will stand before the Lord
Give a reason for everything we’ve done
And what I’ve done is
Trust in Jesus
My great Deliverer
My strong Defender
The Son of God
I trust in Jesus
My Lord forever
The Holy One…
What are you going to do when your time has come
And your life is done and there’s nothing you can stand on
What will you have to say at the judgment throne
I already know the only thing that I can say is, I
There’s nothing I can do on my own to find forgiveness
It’s by His grace alone I trust in Jesus”
When you die or when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, the wrath of God will have been escapable.
--If you trust in Christ and are found hidden in Him--