Why Is God Angry?
But why is God angry? Wasn’t he just angry in the Old Testament, yet because of Jesus in the New Testament he is love now. GOD IS LOVE!!!…Right?
The Just King
Let’s start at the beginning. You and I were created with the ultimate purpose to glorify God and enjoy him forever – Westminster Shorter Catechism. This sounds like a pretty simple job description doesn’t it?
However, we then realize humans didn’t make it three whole chapters into the Bible before messing it all up. Understanding why God is angry is understanding what we did to him.
In the very beginning of Genesis God created Adam & Eve (Gen 1:26). As our first parents, they enjoyed being in God’s presence honoring and glorifying him (Gen 1:31)! However, in Genesis three, Adam & Eve commit high treason against God by trying to be like him (Gen 3:1-7). God, being holy and just, could not simply look over their sin. He kicked them out of the garden and set forth a proclamation that things would no longer be what they had been (Gen 3:22-24). Now pain, suffering, tsunamis, tornados, cancer, heart burn, and scraped knees came flooding into the picture. All because Satan tempted Adam & Eve with the idea of being like God, and they chose to turn their back on God.
For us, we have inherited Adam’s sin as well as his guilt before God (Rom 5:19). Being his children, we too have committed sin in that we have disobeyed God’s commands. Not one person has escaped this sinful nature or the condemnation it brings (Rom 3:23).
You might be asking, “So what hope is there? If I am sinful by nature and am guilty before a just and holy God and the same God hates sin, what is there to do?”
I am glad you asked.
God is not only holy and just, he is also loving, patient, merciful, and graceful. This is most clearly displayed in Jesus, his Son.
When Jesus came on the scene in the New Testament, things suddenly shifted. The Old Testament prophets who had proclaimed the coming of the Messiah were now proved to be speaking on behalf of God.
Jesus is so important because he is God the Son who took on a human nature. When Jesus took on the human nature he lived a perfect life which we could not. This enabled God the Father’s perfect law to be fulfilled in him. All this happened so that when Jesus died, he could satisfy the wrath of God against guilty sinners. When he rose again he showed that he had broken the power of sin and death. As he ascended to Heaven, he showed his supremacy over all things as sovereign King. And in that moment he promised he would again return to bring about the Kingdom of God fully realized. Until then, we live in a time called the “already but not yet.” This means that Jesus has inagurated the Kingdom but it has not yet fully come in its completeness.
Until Jesus comes again, he is gathering his people unto himself (Matt 1:21). All throughout history, humans have been continuing to choose sin (Rom 1:21-23). All humans choose sin because it is their nature and identity. Yet, Christ satisfied in full the wrath of God against his chosen people. So, that when they repent and beleive in Christ, they are no longer a sinner by identity. Christ has made them a new creation and while they still stuggle with sin, they are marked by continuing to wage war against their sinful flesh in order that God might be glorified.
Yet, for those who do not repent and believe, those who are not God’s adopted children, their eternity is what they have already chosen, hell. It is not unloving for God to send them there, for he is just and his law has been violated. Thus, for those who have not come to him through Jesus Christ, their eternity is separation from God in the agony and punishment for what they have chosen, sin.
Share The Full Counsel (Beware Heresy)
What happens though when we don’t tell people this whole counsel from the Scriptures? What happens when we leave off the message of hope in Jesus Christ? What happens when we leave off the reality of eternal punishment in hell for those who do not repent and believe in Jesus?
The answer to all those questions is heresy. Also defined as “bent” thinking or incorrect thinking about the Bible.
Let’s take the second quesetion first. If we leave off the message of hope in Jesus, all we have done is told people what awaits them for choosing sin. This is hateful and absolutely sinful. To think/teach that the Bible is simply about eternal punishment for guilty sinners is wrong and is not tolerated by God. Hence the reason it is heresy.
Likewise, the third question must be handled. It has become a growing movement in American society to leave out hell when talking to people about the Bible. People like Rob Bell even go so far as to assert that all people in the end will be saved because love wins. This however, is not the case.
People who leave off the idea of hell misunderstand and mistate the message of hell. They twist Scripture out of its context to think that a truly loving God would never send people to hell. Or that people’s lives are too rough and they already know what hell is like because they live a form of it in their current lives. But friends, let me plead with you, do not sin by not sharing about hell and thinking that someone’s terrible life now in any way compares with the hell taught about in Scripture.
Logically speaking, a person who hears about Jesus without the reality of hell has no reason to repent and believe. As far as they are concerned, Jesus is simply about improving their already either terrible or awesome life. Jesus becomes a little winged fairy who grants wishes and/or similiar to the seasoning we use when we cook. He is an add-on. Non-Christians think nothing is to special about him because they are given no reason for why their belief in him is a matter of life and death.
What Do We Do Now?
The object then must be to put both Jesus and hell in their proper balance. We must not be ashamed to proclaim the message of hell to a culture that hates the very lips it is spoken from. We must not cowardly shrink back and justify our non-use of it by asserting that people already know what hell is like because their lives are terrible. We must not castrate the message of the gospel by taking away the reason it exists. God would have no reason to send Christ, his Son, to die on the cross if it were not for the reality that we need to be saved from something.
This something is hell, and to deny its reality is to spit in God’s face and call him a lier. The resulting virtual reality is: we don’t need to be saved from something if we refuse to talk about it.
In the midst of it all we must realize that it is not our responsibility, right, or privelage to change the message of the gospel. We are not the authors and therefore we have no right to censor it with our black sharpies of arrogance thinking we know better than God what to speak.
Rather, brothers and sisters, stay true to the whole gospel. We are in desparate need of a Savior. Without him we will die and be eternally damned to hell. The good news of Jesus is that he made a way for us to be reconciled to God, for the wrath of God to be satisfied. All we must do is repent and believe in Jesus. As we follow him we will do so as a new creation, one that is being made more like Jesus everyday. And one day, our King will return and judgement will occur. Those who have stubbornly rejected the gospel with their intellectual structures, fanciful arguements, and rebellion against God will be condmened to an eternity in hell without reprieve. Yet, those who have turned from their sin and believed in Jesus will be saved.
This is the message we are given to share. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t shortchange the gospel.
Resources For Further Study