Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, April 11. Given the choice, we'd probably choose to hear a sermon about the love of God rather than one about His wrath. But today's podcast reminds us that we can't ignore this crucial aspect of the character of God. One of the most famous sermons ever preached on the wrath of God was preached in 1741 by Jonathan Edwards, and the title of it was, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.
When he preached that sermon, people fell off the pew on the conviction, weeping under such tremendous fear of the judgment of God. But what do people want today? They want to come into an air-conditioned church, sit on soft cushions, and hear the judgment of God?
No. That's not what people want to hear. They want to hear that God loves them, God's going to comfort them, He's going to provide all their needs, He's going to prosper all their ways, answer all their prayers, He's going to walk with them day by day, He's just going to fill them up with love and goodness and mercy, and He's just going to be a wonderful Father to them. They don't want to hear about the chastisement and the judgment and the wrath and the condemnation of God. Somebody says, well, all right, if I'm saved, what good is it going to do me to hear about the wrath of God?
In order that you may warn others of the wrath of God. And you see, Paul spoke of the terror of the Lord, that he shared his faith day and night with trembling with tears because he was aware of the terror and the wrath of God. But you see, we feel like it is a blight and a blemish and a spot against all of these beautiful attributes if we talk about the wrath of God. So oftentimes we say, well, the way to get to somebody is just talk about how much God loves them. Well, that may be true, but when I read Romans chapter one, here's what he's saying.
And let me just give it to you in a nutshell. He says, first of all, the wrath of God has been revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of mankind. And he's describing the nature of mankind apart from God.
So when somebody says, well, I'll tell you the reason I don't believe in the wrath of God is because I don't think I'm so bad. Well, you read Romans chapter one, verse 18 through 32. And whether you like it or not, you will find a description of the old human carnal heart when all the veneer and the plastic is ripped off of it. And every single one of us have the same carnal heart.
It because it all came from the same in person, Adam. And you see, we don't like to admit the fact that's what we are until Jesus Christ gets a hold of us and cleans us up. We like to think that when Jesus Christ comes into our heart, we no longer have the potential of iniquity and sin and rebellion against God.
Yes, we do. You say God gave me a new heart. Let me tell you something. Is it not true that even after God gives you a new heart, even after you're born again, the old carnal nature keeps moving in and you keep having to push it out? Is it not true that the old carnal nature keeps popping up in your life and you have to learn to live dead to yourself, dead to the things of others? We are living in a society that is surely preparing itself for a tremendous rainstorm of the wrath of God. Is not the wrath of God the indignation of God against unrighteousness and against rebellion against him? Is it not his righteous indignation against sin? Is it not God punishing iniquity and rebellion and wickedness against his law? So somebody says, Well, but somehow I just don't think that that's reasonable.
Now watch this. How can God be a God of holiness and righteousness without being a God of wrath? Let me show you why he cannot be. If God is holy, he must be just and a God of wrath and condemnation because you see, God is not a God who can ignore sin and rebellion against him. Therefore, if he's a God of holiness and righteousness, and these are the attributes of God, how will a God of holiness and righteousness react and respond to rebellion and iniquity? To ignore it, cover up his eyes, say, Well, not gonna do anything about that.
Just going to ignore it. He cannot and be God. So if you allow the fact that God is holy, you must allow for the fact that God must respond toward man's unholiness, unrighteousness and iniquity in some way.
What way must he respond? The very nature of God himself says, God must respond to that which is an enemy to righteousness and holiness, that which is the enemy of his children, that which would destroy his children, that which is the enemy of his kingdom, and that sin and iniquity, and what Satan and all of his angels that are in opposition to God. The wrath of God is the indignation of God against sin.
And you see, you and I cannot afford to get apathetic. The wrath of God is the righteous indignation and judgment of God that is coming upon as he says, all ungodliness and unrighteousness of me. So when you look at the scripture, the fact that God is a God of wrath is very reasonable.
It cannot be any other way. And let's look at the revelation of, as he says, the revelation of God's wrath for just a moment. He says in verse 18, for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness.
All right, let's ask ourselves a question just for a moment. When you think about God's wrath and his judgment and his justice, why does he do it? The wrath of God is the administration of the justice of God.
Now watch this. Look if you will in Romans chapter two for just a moment. Look if you will in verse five. He says, but after their hardness, thy hardness and impenitent, unrepentant heart, treasures up under thyself, wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds. Now he's speaking primarily here of that ultimate time of God's wrath coming upon the world. But you see, he says who will render to every man according to his deeds.
You say, but now wait a minute, if that be true, all of us are in trouble. The only thing that keeps all of us out of trouble is Romans three. Look if you will, the administration of the justice of God. That's what the wrath of God is. The only thing that keeps us from falling under that wrath is not because we deserve any better, but he says in Romans three, verse 24, being justified, the justice of God being justified freely by what? By his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God had set forth to be a propitiation, a sacrifice through faith in his blood to declare his righteousness for the forgiveness of sins that are passed through the forbearance of God.
To declare I say at this time, his righteousness, that he might be what? Watch this, that God who is holy and is righteous, may be just and at the same time, justify, administer justice upon those of us who've been sinners, but that justice comes through the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ and what does he do? His justice comes upon us not what we deserve, but because of the cross, we are reclaimed and declared no longer guilty, not because we are not guilty, but because somebody else paid the price. And the wrath of God cannot touch anything, the blood of Christ is covered. So we're talking about the fact that it is the administration of God's justice. Now, one other thing, let's think about this for a moment about the judgment of God here.
Men who fall under the wrath of God are there because they choose to. Now let's turn to John 3 16. Oh, that's the wonderful chapter about love.
Well, you haven't read all of it. He says in verse three, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. We all know that verse. We all know 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.
We love that one. But let's keep reading verse 17. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him on Christ is not condemned.
But he that believeth not is condemned already because he had not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation that light has come into the world through Christ. And men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone that do with evil hated the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproof. Is that not what we see? Those who give themselves over tomorrow disobedience to God, they hate the light, they object to the light, they rebel against the light, they march against the light, they make signs against the light, they hate the light.
Why? Because the light exposes the truth of their disobedience. So what do they do? They hate the light, lest his deeds should be reproved, exposed for what they really are. Men choose to live under the wrath of God.
And then what happens? The wrath of God, the judgment of God, the condemnation of God, the punishment of God moves into their lives, and they begin to wonder what in the world has happened. You see, remember this, when you exercise your right to live in disobedience, you likewise choose the results of disobedience, which is God's wrath and judgment, upon a lost man, upon the Christian in his chastisement. Now let me say this, the wrath of God can never come upon a child of God.
His chastising hand is a hand of love. His wrath is the execution of justice. And the execution of justice is the righteous indignation, which is the response of holiness and righteousness against that which is absolutely opposite from that, which is sin and iniquity and rebellion, and the free will of man to choose against God. Listen, the wrath of God is revealed in the judgments of God all through nature, through cities, throughout history. But there is also a wrath of God that is revealed in a man's conscience.
And I believe Romans chapter one is a good example of that. When he says, watch this, when he says because they knew God, they refused to acknowledge him as God, they chose to make themselves gods that they chose to serve. They gave themselves over to those gods. He says that God gave them over to a reprobate mind. What is he doing but revealing his wrath in their conscience, their conscience is seared.
They can no longer think in terms of what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong, because they have allowed themselves by satanic infiltration of the mind to convince themselves that wrong is right. You tell some of these people who have become absolutely totally morally bankrupt, that what they're doing is wrong, and they think you're absolutely out of your mind, because their minds have already in their conscience, they have already begun to experience the revelation, the wrath of God. And listen, is not one of the first evidences of the wrath of God in the conscience of a man that he loses his capacity to be able to be sensitive to what's right and wrong.
So he moves into this terrible grave of a rut going his way living in sin, totally oblivious to God, the judgment, the Bible, the church salvation, and the only thing that matters here to him or to her is that they gratify, that they gratify the sensuality that has become their God. The wrath of God is ultimately future and the ultimate judgment. The wrath of God, I believe is revealed through nature and the wrath of God is revealed in a man's conscience. The wrath is coming, the wrath is revealed, and the wrath is oftentimes in the heart of mankind. Now, there are many other things I could say about the wrath of God, but the one thing I want to say is this, how do you escape it? How do you escape the wrath of God? Turn to Romans 5. Let's begin with verse 1.
Therefore, being justified, what? Holy God, making you no longer guilty through the blood of Jesus Christ, by faith we have peace with God, we're not under his wrath, through our Lord Jesus Christ. He's the only one that can cover us from the wrath, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand. Now listen, watch this. You cannot stand in the grace of God and under the wrath of God at the same time.
Now don't forget that. You cannot stand in the grace of God and under the wrath of God at the same time and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience. Now listen, tribulation isn't wrath.
I mean, it may get bad, but it's still not the wrath of God. Patience, experience, experience hope, hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who's given to us, listen, no way, no way to live under the wrath of God in the grace of God because of what? Because you fill the Spirit of God. For when we were yet without strength in due time, Christ died for the ungodly, those who were under wrath. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Listen, a man is either living under the wrath of God or he's living in what? In the grace of God.
One of the two, he can never be both. You say, well, I'm not a Christian. Do you mean to tell me that I'm living under the wrath of God?
You are. Well, how's that wrath going to express itself? It could express itself in many ways, but the ultimate way is this. The ultimate expression of the wrath of God is eternal separation from God. Look, if you will, in Revelation chapter six for a moment. He says in verse 14, Revelation six, the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.
Every mountain and island were moved out of their places. The kings of the earth and the great men and the rich men and the chief captains and the mighty men and every bond man and every free man hid themselves in the dens and the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Listen, somebody says, well, the only Jesus Christ I know is the Jesus of love and mercy. They haven't read Revelation six, the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of his wrath has come and who shall be able to stand? Thirteen times the book of Revelation, the word wrath is used. But from chapter six on to the chapter 20, the wrath of God is demonstrated and pictured over and over and over and over again. God's condemnation of the world system, because you see, listen, the book of the Revelation is the prophetic history of the administration of the final justice and judgment of God upon the counterfeit kingdom of Satan, wherein he will destroy it forever and cast Satan and all those who have believed and followed him into an everlasting, eternal, never ending separation from God, which the Bible calls hell. That is the ultimate expression of the wrath of God.
He said, I'm going to be dead before that comes. But my friend, if you live and you die without Jesus Christ, you will die under the wrath of a God whose love called out to you, cried out to you, wept for you, a love that you rejected. And it was not God's choice. You rejected the love of God and chose the wrath of God, which will ultimately present to you the condemnation of God, which is eternal separation from him, which means you'll spend eternity in hell.
Can't be any other way. God is absolutely fair. God is absolutely and totally fair. God isn't in heaven seeing who he can wipe out first. Listen, the cross says to me that God is a God of love and he'll go to any extreme. Watch this. He'll go to any extreme to save anybody, but he will never violate his justice and his holiness. Thank you for listening to the wrath of God. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
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