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The Wrath of God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
February 22, 2021 7:00 am

The Wrath of God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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February 22, 2021 7:00 am

Talk about the wrath of God and many people conjure up images of fire and brimstone basically what people used to call a smiting. In this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans explains that in reality, it looks very different and very familiar. Join him for this wake-up call for a culture that’s running away from God.

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Alistair Begg
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Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

When you run from God, you run into the arms of the devil. Dr. Tony Evans warns, turning our back on God might give us something we want, but it could come with something we unfortunately deserve. As our culture has drifted from God, you and I are seeing the wrath of God at work.

Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Today, Dr. Evans tackles an aspect of God's nature most people would rather ignore—His wrath. It's an eye-opening discussion of God's righteous response to human disobedience and why we need the Lord's grace and mercy.

Let's join him as he begins. The wrath of God is part of His nature. The wrath of God exists because the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God exist. Because God is holy, He's distinct.

Because He's just, He's fair. Because He's righteous, He has a standard. And so when those things are being rejected or opposed, it ignites His wrath. The Bible makes it clear He's slow to anger and He does not prefer to use His wrath.

Ezekiel 33 verse 11, God takes no pleasure in using it. When we talk about the wrath of God, we're talking about His just and righteous retribution against sin. Sin is an affront and an attack on God's holy, just, and righteous nature, and therefore it enacts His wrath. Now at this point, I want to make a very important distinction between the wrath of God in the Old Testament and the wrath of God in the New Testament. The definition is the same because His character does not change.

He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. So His love is always the same and His wrath is always the same in terms of its character. In the Old Testament, God would directly address people, programs, and nations in divine judgment for their sin and their rebellion.

He would directly do it. Sodom and Gomorrah. God sent down fire and brimstone directly from heaven to destroy those two cities because of their wickedness.

The flood— God let it rain 40 days and 40 nights, the Bible says, because everywhere God looked, there was wickedness, nobody was turning to God, and there was a response directly. When Korah and his family rebelled against God, the Bible says the earth opened up and swallowed them. God opened up the earth with the death of Jesus Christ in history. God's relationship to the world changed. 2nd Corinthians 5 19, namely that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. This verse, along with others, talks about what the death of Christ achieved with regard to the world. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. It created reconciliation to a world that was in exchangement or divorced from God. There was a world divorced from God. The death of Jesus Christ allowed the Holy God to be reconciled to a sinful world, because Jesus Christ paid the debt for the sin of the whole world.

Okay? So follow this theologically so you can understand where I'm getting ready to go with the wrath of God. Whereas God's back was turned to the world in the Old Testament, He could now face the world in the New Testament because the death of Christ reconciled God back to the world. So the death of Christ is no small thing. John 2 verse 2 says that He is the propitiation—that's a big word that means satisfaction—He is the satisfaction, the propitiation, not only for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world.

So the death of Christ satisfied God with regard to His whole created order. Every man, every woman, every boy, every girl, God was now facing in reconciliation. You and I have been given the task to tell people to be reconciled to God.

Okay? He says in verse 19, He's given us the Word of Reconciliation. In other words, God is now reconciled to you. He wants you to become reconciled to Him.

God's not mad at you anymore, not because of you but because of Christ and the price that was paid. So when a person places faith in Christ, they're now reconciled to God. The issue is not that God isn't reconciled to man.

The issue is man needs to be reconciled to God. Like when you have a couple and one wants to get the marriage back together, but that doesn't mean the marriage is back together. The other person has to agree to that.

If the other person doesn't agree to that, the marriage is still divorced, even though one party wants a reconciliation. So there's got to be an agreement. So God has now turned to the world and invites everyone in the world to turn to Him. Because the death of Christ now has repositioned God to the world, the methodology of His wrath changes, because you now are after a relationship, not the expression of your wrath. Yet you still have your wrath because that's part of your nature. In the New Testament, we have the passive wrath of God. Look at Romans 1 verse 18. For the wrath of God, so in the New Testament He still has wrath, is revealed, is made manifest, you can see it, from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Okay? So we learn from this verse, God's wrath still exists, and it is against every kind of unrighteousness.

Why? Because He still has a perfect standard. So He hadn't changed, the standard hadn't changed, He still possesses wrath, it's still against the unrighteousness of men, because that's His character, that's His makeup, and He can't change who He is. Because that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them. Everybody is born with a knowledge of God.

You have to learn to reject it, because it's not natural to reject it. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes—you can't see Him, but you can see what He does—His invisible attributes, His eternal power, divine nature, has been clearly seen being understood through that which has been made so that they are without excuse. God's reality is clearly seen. He then explains three times how God's wrath works now. In verse 24, verse 26, verse 28. 24, therefore God gave them over to the lust of their hearts. Verse 26, for this reason God gave them over to degrading passions. Verse 28, and just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind. The wrath of God is revealed.

How is it revealed? By this phrase, God gave them over. In other words, God didn't come down and do something.

He gave them over to something. The word gave over means to release. So the way the wrath of God works now is not fire and brimstone falling from heaven or God causing earthquakes to swallow up people or God—no, that's Old Testament. Because of the death of Christ, and now He's reconciled to mankind, the wrath of God is God letting you have life without Him. Remember we saw because they no longer wanted to retain the knowledge of God, it says? They did not want God, so God says, since I want you, but since you don't want me, I'm not going to force you to have me.

But when you reject me, you need to know with that rejection comes consequences. Dr. Evans will have more on the wrath of God and how we can keep from being subject to it when he continues in just a moment. But first, I wanted to let you know about a brand new book he's just released, Prayers for Knowing God. In it, Dr. Evans guides you through more than 50 prayers designed to help you better understand God in areas of His mercy, His goodness, His lasting purposes, and even His wrath, as we've been hearing about today.

In fact, it's the perfect companion to the audio series we're in the middle of, God's Heart Revealed, and that's why we bundled this new book along with all 12 messages in the series on both CD and digital download. We'd like to send this package of resources to you as our thank-you gift when you make a contribution to continue Tony's important ministry. This is a limited time offer, so contact us right away and let one of our resource team members help you make the arrangements. Just call 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. Or you can make your donation and request online at

That's Dr. Evans will come back with more of today's lesson right after this. If you're like most Christians, there are people in your life who know you but may not know Jesus. You really want to do something about that, but don't feel equipped to share your faith effectively.

In other words, maybe if you knew more, you could do more. Well, that's where the Tony Evans Training Center comes in. It's an online Bible school with classes that'll take you deep into the most important core concepts of the faith. You can start with our free introductory course on evangelism, then move on to subjects like spiritual warfare, marriage building, maturing in the faith, and many more. The content is challenging, but you can move through it at your own pace anytime you're online. There's also lots of custom content from Tony and an online forum where you can get your specific questions answered.

Go to and follow the link to the Tony Evans Training Center. It's like having a seminary on your smartphone. Today, God abandons men to the consequences of their sin. Evil is allowed to run its course. He lets you free to live life without Him. So when we rebel against God, God says, okay, I am not going to force you.

I'm not going to stop you. But when you run away from me, you need to know you're going to run in the consequences. And there's probably a whole bunch of testimonies in this room of folk who ran from God. When you run from God, you run into the arms of the devil.

See? It's not like you're running nowhere. You think you're running nowhere, but you're running somewhere, because that's the goal of Satan is to draw you from God. So when there is the rejection of the God of the Bible, the true God, and there's a rejection of verse 21, honoring Him as God, treating Him for who He really is, giving thanks, but become futile in their speculation, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Have you ever dealt with your child who's in rebellion and see darkness all over them? In other words, they're not getting it. It's clear to you, but they're blind as a bat. In other words, they don't see what they're doing. They don't see the decision they're making.

They don't see it's not clear to them. It says their foolish heart was darkened. So when you move from God, who's light, you move into darkness. And when that happens, the process of devolution, not evolution, devolving.

And what happens? Verse 22, professing to be wise, they became fools, degreed fools, educated fools, because they're professing to be wise. They're saying, I know what I'm talking about.

And they utter the speech of a fool. As our culture has drifted from God, you and I are seeing the wrath of God at work. Not because God is dropping stuff from heaven, but because He's letting the consequences infiltrate the culture.

Now He gives it in three different levels of devolution or devolving of life and devolving of of civilization. First of all, verse 23, they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image. Please notice that the first image is not the image of a beast, it's the image of a man. And we live in an image-driven culture—American idols, image makers—where we want image that's independent or in conflict with God. And because that's idolatry, God gave them over to lust of the heart of impurities so that their bodies would be dishonored among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worship and served the creature rather than the Creator. Please notice they still worship it. They worship it. They didn't stop worshiping, but now they're worshiping the creature and not the Creator.

They just switched the object of worship. And because of this idolatry of the image of creation, He gives them over to degrading passions, for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural. And in the same way, also, the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error called AIDS or other STDs. Please notice—and I know what the culture says—homosexuality says women with women, men with men, okay? That's homosexuality.

It's lesbianism, he says. And he calls it a sin, but he calls it a certain kind of sin. He calls it an unnatural sin. So it's not just a sin, it's a sin against nature.

Now I know this is a whole big subject today. The problem is that people want you to accept their sin. They want you to accept their sin, and what they have decided is it's natural. This is natural to me.

This is who I am. Now please notice what's happened. Homosexuality has now been upgraded or downgraded, depending on which way you're looking at it, to a whole transgender movement now. So it was homosexuality in the closet. Then it got, you know, okayed, and so now, now people are wanting to change their very identity. So this thing is being downgraded, and the biblical reason for it is it drifting from God. Now, I know some people are abused.

I know some people may be born with chromosomal mix-ups. I'm not negating the fact that things have happened or that there are exceptional scenarios or people born with with both kinds of sex organs and, you know, so there are anomalies in life, and nor should we lack compassion. But what you don't do is change the standard. See, they want to go more than compassion.

They want to change—not only do they want to change the standard, they want you to buy the change of the standard. So there is this force for you to adapt to what God clearly defines as not only a sin, but an unnatural sin, and it's the next layer downward, which leads to the third level, twenty-eight. Just as I see, to acknowledge God in the heart, God gave them over to a depraved mind to those things which are improper, and look at verse 32. And although they knew the ordinance of God, so they know what the Bible says, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but give hearty approval to those who practice them. So when you and I get duped into saying, well, I wouldn't do it, but that's okay for them, you just got trapped into the wrath of God, because the wrath of God is not only people who are doing it, the people who are okaying it. In other words, when it gets legalized, when it gets accepted, when it gets normalized, he says that's the wrath of God that works, which means that's the decline because God is moving further and further and further away. Now that's not popular today, but our goal is not to be popular. Our goal is to be biblical. And so the wrath of God today is revealed by God letting individuals, families, churches, and society go away from him. You don't want me? I'm not gonna force you to have me, but you need to know when I let the leash go, the devil is waiting to take you further down the road to destruction, addiction, to whatever it is.

What do we do? Psalm 81, verse 11, But my people did not listen to my voice, and Israel did not obey me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart. So you hear that similar language.

To walk in their own devices. Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways. I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their adversaries.

Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to him, and their time of punishment would be forever. But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with the honey from the rock, I will satisfy you. He says, Come back to me. Come back to me.

Let me be the standard that you operate by, and I will feed you. But if you run from me, you run with—you run into your own devices. The wrath of God is real. You're seeing it all over. People don't see it as wrath, though.

They see it as, I'm just being me. But it's actually the wrath of God passively at work, releasing us to our own devices. Dr. Tony Evans says the Bible makes it clear that none of us is good enough or pure enough to make it to heaven on our own, and that putting our faith in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross is the only way to bridge the gap between human failure and divine forgiveness. If you're ready to make that connection and turn from God's wrath, visit today and follow the link that says Jesus. There, Tony will explain everything you need to know about what it means to be a real Christian and how to start a brand new life. Again, that's

And while you're there, don't forget to make the arrangements to receive those helpful resources I mentioned earlier. Tony's brand-new book, Prayers for Knowing God, along with all 12 full-length messages from his current audio series, God's Heart Revealed. This entire package is yours when you make a contribution to help keep this broadcast coming your way each day.

This is a limited-time offer, so don't put it off. Visit us today at to get all the details. You can make your contribution and your request online at or call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our resource team members assist you. That's 1-800-800-3222. A lot of people think heaven is populated by those who somehow manage to be good enough to make the cut, but tomorrow Dr. Evans will help us understand how upside down that thinking is as he explores the aspect of God's heart that saves us, His grace. Be sure to join us. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-23 03:47:46 / 2023-12-23 03:55:53 / 8

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