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"A God Of Love vs. A God Of Wrath"  



Some people try to make the claim that there is either two Gods, one depicted in the Old Testament, and another in the New Testament, or God is somehow schizophrenic. I would like to say that that the Bible is true when it says that there is only one God and He does not change.

If you have spent any time at all reading the Old Testament, you'll quickly realize that when it comes to sin, God does not play around. He judges people for their sin, and the consequences are very serious. We read about God flooding the earth and all but eight people are saved. We read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We see God dealing quite severely with people in regards to their disobedience. Even David, a man after God's own heart, is disciplined severely in regards to his actions of murder and adultery with Bathsheba. Reading through the Old Testament you may come away thinking that God is very strict, impatient, angry and wrathful. In the New Testament you may get the impression that God is a God of love and grace. So, which is it? Is God a God of judgment and wrath or a God of love and grace? He's both. Yes, there is much bloodshed in the Old Testament. What we also see is this one phrase repeated over and over again, it's this...The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

We find this exact description of God in the following verses: (All from the Old Testament)
Exodus 34:6
Numbers 14:18
Nehemiah 9:17
Psalm 86:15
Psalm 103:8
Psalm 145:8
Joel 2:13
Jonah 4:2

Let's look at some other Old Testament verses:
 
I will make an everlasting covenant with them (the Israelites): I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.
Jeremiah 32:40,41
 
The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.
Psalm 145:14-17
 
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
Psalm 146:7-9
 
God is a God of love. He is, and always was. At the same time, He is not all-loving, to the exclusion of everything else. He has other attributes as well. He is a God of justice, a God of righteousness, and yes, a God of wrath. I know we don't like to hear about that, but it's true. We want justice and punishment for those who do wrong to us, but when we are the offender, we don't like it so much. Is God's punishment severe? Yes. It's because that's how much He hates sin.
At this point, I think a distinction must be made. God does punish sin. Throughout the Bible, Old and New Testament God judges people for their sin. For those of us who have repented and placed our trust in Jesus Christ, we are not under God's judgment. The judgment we deserve was taken upon Christ on the cross. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 That doesn't mean that God will not discipline us for our disobedience. Any good father must discipline his children, otherwise he shows that he doesn't care for their well-being; he doesn't love them enough to protect them from things that will harm them. God is a good father.
 
In the Old Testament, we see God's holy hatred of sin, and we see His righteous judgment of everything that goes against His character. However, He doesn't administer His wrath in a blood-thirsty manner. God punishes sin with reluctance.
 
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
Ezekiel 18:31-32
 
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.
Ezekiel 33:11

We sometimes fail to realize that the people God is dealing severely within the Old Testament, were wicked, wicked people. They were very primitive in their dealings with each other and they consistently shook their fist at their Creator and worshipped false gods. If indeed the true God, the one and only God who created them, desires to take their life, he certainly has the right to. God is the only giver of life, therefore He has the right to take it, in any manner that He sees fit.
 
Let's keep in mind too that the individual who gives us the most information about hell is Jesus Himself. Hell is typically considered to be a New Testament doctrine. I think it's interesting that some will say that the God of the New Testament (Jesus) is not wrath-filled, yet He is the one who lays out for us the horrific details regarding eternal, conscious torment in hell, for those who die in their sins. I'm pretty sure that people who make this argument haven't read much of the book of Revelation, which is in the New Testament. In fact if you read through the Book of Revelation, you will see more of God's wrath poured out upon unrepentant sinners than anywhere else in the entire Old Testament. Throughout the Bible, God is portrayed as not only loving and long-suffering, but also a righteous judge who will come to punish the unrepentant.    
 
I admit, God commanding violence in the Old Testament can be difficult to read. However, we must remember that God sees things from an eternal perspective, and He sees and knows all the stuff that we don't. I think the Apostle Paul sums it up best when he says that God is both kind and severe.  (Romans 11:22)
 
The bottom line is this: God's holy character demands that sin be punished. At the same time, he offers grace and mercy to those who are willing to repent and believe. Let's keep those two thoughts in mind as we read all of Scripture. God is a God of grace and mercy, yet He is also a God of holiness and wrath. 
 
 
 

 

 

   


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"Judge Not..."

"The Bible Is Full Of Contradictions"

"A Powerful God Wouldn't Allow So Much Evil..."

"The Church Is Full Of Hypocrites"

"What About Those Who Never Hear About Jesus?"

"A God of Love vs. A God of Wrath"

"A Loving God Wouldn't Send People To Hell"

"You're Only A Christian Because You..."

"As Long As You're Sincere In What You Believe"

"How Do You Know Which Religion Is Right?"

"God Would Never Forgive Someone Like Me"

"I Can't Believe In Miracles"

"Unanswered Prayer Shows God Doesn't Exist"

"What's With All The Different Denominations?"

"Jesus Was Just a Copycat of Pagan Myths"

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"What About Homosexuality?"

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   Other Beliefs

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What I Believe

Theological Terms and Definitions

Belief Comparison Chart

An Eschatological Overview (End Times)

Good Quotes

Paul Washer Quotes

20 Logical Fallacies

17 Questions Every Christian Should Think About

My Prayer - I Have A Problem...

More Than A Holiday

Honest Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses

Honest Questions For Mormons

Questions For Skeptics

10 Reasons To Tell Your Kids The Truth About Santa

A View From The Life Boat

A Collection of Helpful Bible Passages

A Story About A Boy Named Mikey

Thoughts On The Doctrine Of Definite Atonement

Questions To Ask A Child Before Their Baptism

A Critique Of An Origin-Of-Life Article

No Hope In The Pope

Terrorism - What You Can Do About It

The Impact Of A Blind Elderly Woman

Evidence For The Resurrection - W.O.M.E.N.

 

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What Is Apologetics?

Why Should We Do Apologetics?

What Is Presuppositional Apologetics? 

What Do You KNOW? 

What Is Evangelism? 

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Are Christian Doing A Good Job Of Evangelizing? 

7 Reasons People Don't Share Their Faith

The Question Of Evangelism - Words Or Works? 

Is The World In Which We Live In Today Tolerant? 

Preaching What We Practice and Talking The Walk

Man vs. God Centered Evangelism

 

Around the Web

44 Reasons Why Evolution is Just a Fairy Tale

The Scientific Case Against Evolution

Evolution: The Anti-Science

A Letter From An Atheist

Are You A Good Person?

Is This Your Life?

What Does It Mean To Accept Christ?

What's Wrong With The Sinner's Prayer?

An Important Aspect of Baptism

Must We Believe Jesus Is God?

Turn or Burn

Top 10 Reasons Our Kids Leave Church

10 Reasons Not To Ask Jesus Into Your Heart

10 Principles For New Christians

10 Pitfalls Of The Foolish Apologist

Evangelistic Phrases That Produce False Conversions

The Secret About How Some Christians Witness

Preaching God's Love In Acts?

The Gospel In Every Book Of The Bible

7 Key Differences Bewteen Protestant And Catholic Doctrine

A Different Perspective On Halloween

10 Reasons I Kissed Halloween Goodbye

The Question After A Tragedy - WHY?

The Impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thoughts About Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner

A Pastor's Response To The Marriage Debate

Sin By Any Other Name Is Still Sin

Should a Woman Be a Pastor or Elder?

Wives, Submit To Your Husbands?

The Shack - Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment

Universalism - A Problem for Everyone

5 Problems With Roman Catholic Theology

5 More Problems With Roman Catholic Theology

5 Truths We're Keeping From Our Youth Groups

Charlottesville, Racism and God's Word

8 Signs Your Christianity is Too Comfortable

Maybe Elvis Was Just a Carnal Christian?

Is God Calling Me to Be a Pastor?

 

Audio / Video

    Original Sermon Jams

     Born Again - Paul Washer

     Does Jesus Know You? - Paul Washer

     We Got An A! - Paul Washer

     A Boy On The Street - R.C. Sproul

     Fearless - R.C. Sproul

     Hypocrites - R.C. Sproul

     Smiling Faces - R.C. Sproul

     Authorized Personnel Only - Tony Evans

     Drive-thru - Tony Evans

     One Flesh - Tony Evans

     Sex - Tony Evans

     The Satisfier - Tony Evans

     Who to Serve? - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     The Voice of Truth - Pastor Ben Maxie

     Transformed - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Where is the Love? - Pastor Ben Maxie

     He Claimed to be God - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Love is a Behavior - Pastor Ben Maxie

     Examine It for Yourself - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Perfect Love - Pastor Ben Maxie

     We Need Preachers - Mike Bongo

     The Sovereignty of God in Evangelism - Mike Bongo 

     I'm Ready - Mike Bongo

     Our Day in Court - Mike Bongo

     Examine Yourself - Mike Bongo

     Exclusivity - Mike Bongo

     Our World - Mike Bongo

     The Great Exchange - Mike Bongo 

     True God - Mike Bongo

    The One Minute Apologist

     Intolerance - Greg Koukl

     Legislating Morality - Frank Turek

     Intelligent Design and Creation - Bill Dembski

     Tolerance is Unbiblical - Josh McDowell

     Homosexual Forgiveness - Michael Brown

     What Must I Do To Be Saved? - Hank Hannegraaff

     Is Jesus A Copycat Savior? - J. Warner Wallace

     The Resurrection - Gary Habernas

     Contradictions In The Bible - Mike Licona

     Is It About Winning Arguments? - Mary Jo Sharp

     Does Christianity Oppress Women? - Dianna Newman

     Is Evil An Argument For God? - Brett Kunkle

   WWUTT (When We Understand The Text)

     Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner?

     Thou Shalt Not Judge?

     God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle?

     Do We Have To Prove That God Exists?

     Preach The Gospel, If Necessary Use Words?

     You Don't Have To Go To Church To Be A Christian?

     I Stand At The Door And Knock?

     God Has Already Chosen Who Will Be Saved?

     Spare The Rod, Spoil the Child?

     The Bible Says Slavery is Okay?

     Are Catholics Saved?

     God Foreknew Who Would Be Saved?

     Does The Bible Say Homosexuality is A Sin?

     Alter Calls And The Sinner's Prayer?

     Worse Than An Unbeliever?

    Kids Section

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     David Platt On Sharing the Gospel With Children

     For The Children: Are You Saved? - Paul Washer

     2 Amazing 11 Year Old Boys

   Other Audio / Video

     Rescue The Perishing

     Emeal Zwayne's Dialogue With A Homosexual

     The Big Questions of Life - Voddie Baucham

   Explore God

     Is There A God?

     Can We Know God Personally?

     Why Does God Allow Pain And Suffering?

     Is Jesus Really God?

     Are Christians Judgmental?

   The Bible Project

     The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 1 of 2 

     The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 2 of 2 

     The Book of Exodus Overview - Part 1 of 2

     The Book of Exodus Overview - Part 2 of 2

     The Book of Leviticus Overview

     The Book of Numbers Overview

     The Book of Deuteronomy Overview

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     The Book of Ruth Overview

     The Book of 1 Samuel Overview

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     The Books of 1 and 2 Kings Overview

     The Book of Job Overview

     The Book of Psalms Overview

     The Book of Proverbs Overview

     The Book of Song of Songs Overview

     The Book of Isaiah Overview - Part 1 of 2

     The Book of Isaiah Overview - Part 2 of 2

     The Book of Hosea Overview

     The Book of Joel Overview

     The Book of Amos Overview

     The Book of Obadiah Overview

     The Book of Jonah Overview

     The Book of Micah Overview

     The Book of Nahum Overview

     The Book of Habakkuk Overview

     The Book of Zephaniah Overview 

Street Conversations

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Street Conversations - George & Paul

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Street Conversations - Raheem part 2

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Street Conversations - Fred and Frank

Street Conversations - Phillip

 

Me      

My Baptism

Parable Of The Talents  

Survey Says  

A Hard Lesson  

Talking About Jesus  

The Perfect Gift  

A Faith Worth Thinking About  

Stand Strong  

Peace At Christmas  

Resolutions From Revelation  

Takin' The Gospel To The Streets  

Responding Rightly To The Gospel Of Grace  

A Defense That Honors God And His Word  

Encouragement In Corinth  

The Dash

Surrendering To Win

The Gospel

The Laborers Are Few; Therefore...

Love Has No Labels - A Response

Faith That Works

Atheists: They Don't Exist

YOU Must Be NEW

Making a Difference - Outreach and Evangelism  

Luke - A Careful Investigation to be Sure  

Be Kind! Yeah, But Why?

A Close Encounter of the Divine Kind

The Formula For Forgiveness

The Parable of the Soils 

 

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