Archives For wrath of God

Justin_KinderCOMMENTARY | Justin Kinder

A recent article in the Illinois Baptist newspaper caught my attention:

“The Presbyterian Church USA chose not to include the song, ’In Christ Alone,’ in their new hymnal all because the song mentions the ‘wrath of God.’ On Christiancentury.org, Mary Louis Bringle, chair of the committee who made the decision, wrote that the song propagates ‘the view that the cross is mainly about God’s need to assuage God’s anger and that view could be harmful to future generations of worshippers.’”

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by such an article in today’s day and age. However, I did almost spit out the Cheerios I was having for breakfast as I read it.

We must understand what the Bible says about sin and about God and His wrath. When our first parents Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, they let sin enter into our world. We are all sons and daughters of Adam. In other words, we are all born into this world as sinners. Adam and Eve did not escape punishment for their sin either. They were going to die a physical death and they also died a spiritual death. The same holds true for us: we are all going to die someday and before we ever come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins.

We must also understand that God, the God of the Bible, is a holy God. He cannot tolerate sin. In fact, He hates sin and He must judge sin. We deserve God’s wrath for sin but God in His mercy and grace sent Jesus Christ to be the perfect sacrifice to take away the punishment and penalty for our sin. When Jesus was on the cross, He endured God the Father’s wrath for sin for us. I believe that shows amazing love and grace by God!

There is also further proof from the Bible that Jesus Christ endured God’s wrath for sin while He was on the cross. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane remember that He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” The cup that Jesus was talking about is referring to the wrath of God. Remember that Jesus also said while He was on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” He was quoting a psalm of David but in reality what was happening is that Jesus Christ was experiencing the wrath of God the Father at that very moment.

In John 3:36 it says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” In that passage, there is good news and bad news all at the same time. The bad news is this:  if you reject the cross of Jesus Christ, then the wrath of God still abides on you, but you don’t have to remain in that condition.  You can be saved.  Saved from what specifically? The wrath of God. Here is the good news then: when you believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior the wrath of God is taken away from you and you are given eternal life. You are no longer under condemnation but under God’s grace. My friends, we must not sugarcoat the Gospel. We must speak the truth in love and not be afraid to offend people with the truth of God’s Word.

Justin Kinder is pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Braidwood, Ill.

pull quote_BURKCOMMENTARY | Denny Burk

Editor’s note: This column is reprinted with permission from www.dennyburk.com.

After the Presbyterian Church U.S.A decided to drop the hymn “In Christ Alone” from their hymnbook, I posted a note about the decision on my blog. Reports say that the song’s reference to “the wrath of God” was just too much for those making the decision. The songwriters refused to give permission to amend the language, so the PCUSA decided to leave it out.

I have to say that I have been quite surprised at the response to this short post – a response that is still ongoing. I am not surprised, however, that the topic still provokes strong responses from people – strong reactions on both sides of the issue.

In some ways, how one feels about the wrath of God reveals almost everything that’s most important about a person. How one feels about God’s wrath defines a person’s view of hell, of the nature of God, and even of the meaning of the cross itself. Thus to get God’s wrath wrong means to get almost everything else wrong as well.

On Sunday, I preached a sermon in my church about hell and the wrath of God. In this message, I make the case that every true Christian will one day lift up his voice in celebration when God bares His arm in judgment against His enemies (Rev. 18:20). In other words, your ability to rejoice in God’s wrath will one day define whether or not you know Him at all.

What we believe about God and about His Son Jesus is the most important thing about us. And yet countless people recoil at the God of the Bible and turn instead to a god of their own imagination. Any formulation of deity that excludes God’s justice and wrath against sin is not the God of the Bible.

A wrathless god shorn of His justice is no god worth worshipping. Nor is he a god able to convict and save sinners. When wrath is taken away, so is the gospel. And that is why this discussion matters.

Denny Burk is associate professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Listen to his message on the wrath of God at www.kenwoodbaptistchurch.com.

LifeWay_storeTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

LifeWay Christian Stores opened its third Illinois location August 1 and will celebrate with grand opening festivities throughout the month. The Wheaton store, located in the Town Square Wheaton on South Naperville Road, is formerly a Johnsen & Taylor Bookstore operated by Tyndale House Publishers.

“I’ve heard from many individuals and churches who are excited about LifeWay Christian Stores being here,” said store manager . “We are grateful to see the continuation of the ministry started by Johnsen & Taylor.”

LifeWay also operates stores on the campus of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and in Carterville, Ill.

Other news:

‘Wrath of God’ too much for hymnal
The Presbyterian Church USA chose not to include the song “In Christ Alone” in their new hymnal, all because the song mentions the “wrath of God.” On ChristianCentury.org Mary Louis Bringle, chair of the committee that made the decision, wrote that the song propagates “the view that the cross is primarily about God’s need to assuage God’s anger,” and that view could be harmful to future generations of worshippers.

Southern Baptist leaders, including Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, have weighed in on the decision. Read his commentary on The Washington Post’s On Faith blog here.

Most churches still do VBS
A Barna study found 68% of churches held a Vacation Bible School last year, including 91% of Southern Baptist churches. The research also found that churches in the South are most likely to host VBS, along with churches with larger budgets and more adult worship attenders. And churches with “Buster” pastors, those aged 30-48, are the most likely to participate in VBS, according to Barna. Read more findings here.

Street preaching resumes on Bourbon St.
The city of New Orleans has revised an ordinance that prohibited street preaching on Bourbon Street, ChristianPost.com reports. The ban, enacted in 2011, controlled preaching from sunset to sunrise and forbade individuals or groups from gathering “for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message…” Several preachers are suing the city after being arrested or threatened with arrest for preaching during last year’s Southern Decadence Festival, an annual pro-gay event. Read the full story at ChristianPost.com.

Graham calls for prayer for Abedini

Franklin Graham is urging people to pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini (right), an American imprisoned in Iran since last September. Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham and president of Samaritan’s Purse, spoke to FOX News about Abedini’s plight and the prayer vigil scheduled for Sept. 26 – the one-year anniversary of his captivity. He also questioned President Obama’s response: “President Obama has been silent on the issue as an American Christian endures the horrors of Evin Prison,” Graham said.

“Many in the international community are expressing outrage over this blatant example of religious intolerance,” he said. “I ask that our government do the same and demand that Pastor Saeed Abedini be released and allowed to return home to his wife and family in the United States.” Read more on reporter Todd Starnes’ FOX News page.