The Wrath of God
L. R. Shelton, Jr.
The clear testimony of Holy Scripture is that wrath is one of the Divine
perfections. That God must and will punish sin and the sinner is written on the
pages of Holy Writ from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible makes no attempt to
conceal the fact of God’s wrath, that vengeance and fury against sin belong unto
him: “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will
recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a
fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30,31).
Listen to God’s own challenge concerning his wrath, “See now that I, even I, am
he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal:
neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to
heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand
take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward
them that hate me” (Deuteronomy 32:39-41). The wrath of God is his holiness
stirred into activity against sin; for it is sin that causes God’s justice to be
poured out upon sinners in a never-ending eternity of suffering and misery.
Romans 1:18-“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness
and unrighteousness” Yes, it is revealed, that is, manifested, shown to be
poured out upon, caused to be known and felt by all who obey not the gospel of
our Lord Jesus Christ. No wonder we are told to “flee from the wrath to come”;
for when God rises up to avenge himself of sin, it surely will be a “fearful
thing” to fall into his hands, “for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29).
Sin is the transgression of God’s holy law, and therefore the holy law demands
payment. Sin is war on God, and therefore demands condemnation. Sin is guilt,
and therefore demands the just penalty of separation from God. Yes, the one who
walks after his own will and obeys not the gospel of Christ “shall be punished
with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory
of his power” (2 Thess 1:8,9). Consider this solemn word: “A sword, a sword is
sharpened, and also furbished: it is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is
furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth?” (Ezekiel 21:9,10).
Christless soul, listen! You are at present in the horrible pit; you are already
judged guilty before God, already in prison, ready to be brought out to
execution. Therefore is it not folly to go on in sin and pleasure, in ease and
carnal security when the sword of God’s justice hangs over your head? The Bible
declares: “He that believeth not is condemned already... He that believeth not
the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:18,36).
“Cursed IS [NOW!] every one that continueth not in all things which are written
in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10).
Already you’ve been tried in the balances, and are found wanting; you’ve been
condemned by the righteous Judge. Your sentence is passed, and if you die today
outside of Christ, your portion is fixed forever in the place of unending
Listen! The place in hell is ready; for we read in God’s Word that hell is moved
to meet you at your coming (Isaiah 5:14; 14:9). Oh what a thing this is
then-that you can go on in pleasure and madness when hell itself is moved to
Oh that you would understand today that the sword of God’s justice and wrath is
hanging over you, that you might flee from the wrath to come by fleeing to Jesus
Your only hope and my only hope to escape the righteous judgment of God against
our sin is to flee unto the Lord Jesus Christ, for in him and him only has God
provided a refuge from the storm of his wrath (Heb 6:18,19). Only when God sees
the blood of his precious Son applied by faith to the doorposts of our hearts,
will he pass over our sins (Exodus 12:13). Only in Christ has the righteous
wrath of God fallen on sin, therefore to be in him is to be safe. You may ask
the question: How do we come to him? The answer is-BY FAITH. “He that believeth
on him is not condemned” (John 3:18).
You come just as you are, for you cannot make yourself one bit better; you come
casting your whole being upon the whole Christ. For he alone has been exalted a
Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance and forgiveness of sins (Acts
You come trusting him, and his finished work upon the cross. You come believing
his word that you are a sinner and deserve his wrath, but come looking to
Christ, the Lamb of God, that taketh away God’s wrath from you and your sins
because he bore them away in his own body upon the tree (1 Peter 2:24). Come
crying like the publican in the temple who saw a sacrifice, “God be merciful to
me the sinner” (Luke 18:13). Christ is our “sacrifice” (Eph 5:2).
God has provided a refuge and a hiding place from the storm of his wrath, and
this place is in his Son, the Lord Jesus, who came down from heaven’s heights to
earth’s depths that he might die in the place of sinners. Christ came to die
“the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18), for he
“his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). “For
when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly...
God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us” (Romans 5:6,8).
That is all we are, ungodly sinners, and yet Christ died for us. Therefore,
recognize that you are ungodly; believe the message of hope in Christ for
sinners! Look to him by faith; seek him for true and godly repentance; cry after
him for mercy; tell him your need, the desperate need of your soul; tell him
that you are an unworthy soul, worthy only of hell, and trust the Son of God for
his mercy. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is
near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and
let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God,
for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6,7).