View God’s Wrath in the Light of His Holiness

He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

The earnest and instructed Christian knows that the wrath of God is a reality, that His anger is as holy as His love, and that between His love and His wrath there is no incompatibility. He further knows (as far as fallen man can know such matters) what the wrath of God is and what it is not.

To understand God’s wrath we must view it in the light of His holiness. God is holy and has made holiness to be the moral condition necessary to the health of His universe. Sin’s temporary presence in the world only accents this. Whatever is holy is healthy; evil is a moral sickness that must end ultimately in death. The formation of the language itself suggests this, the English word holy deriving from the Anglo-Saxon ‘halig,’ ‘hal’ meaning well, whole.

Since God’s first concern for His universe is its moral health, that is, its holiness, whatever is contrary to this is necessarily under His eternal displeasure. Wherever the holiness of God confronts unholiness there is conflict.

To preserve His creation God must destroy whatever would destroy it. When He arises to put down destruction and save the world from irreparable moral collapse He is said to be very angry. Every wrathful judgment of God in the history of the world has been a holy act of preservation.

God’s wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys!

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