The Truth About God’s Wrath

       Only when one understands that sin is an undoing rather than a doing, a nothing rather than a thing, can one understand that wrath is a mercy, an expression of God’s unfailing love for His creatures.  He would not be loving if He allowed His creatures to die of the cancer of sin.  He would not be just if He were not faithful to fulfill the covenant of creation, the implicit promise of the Godhead to preserve that which He pronounced “very good.”
   What men and women in this age need to come to terms with is that the worst possible fate of men and women is not wrath, but annihilation.  We know that “the wages of sin are death,” and know to associate everlasting punishment (hell) with those wages.  But the Scriptures alternating use “death” and “punishment” in no way implies that these are the same states or processes.  To presume that hell, everlasting punishment, and death are the same is to foolishly fail to distinguish three clearly distinctly different words.  It is to play the part of the fool, who presumes to have knoweledge equal to the Most High and straightway exposes his ignorance in the sight of all.
   When a man sins, he divests himself of his humanity, exchanging the glory of God’s image in him for a lie, returning to the dust, i.e. returning to the nothing from whence he was created.  For apart from God, there is no good:  no life, no wisdom, no justice, no work.  Apart from God there is nothing.  Apart from God, the creature dissolves to nothing.   This is death, an act of the creature.
  God’s response to this cosmic suicide is wrath, the resistance of God to the self-disintegration of the creature.  The creature having, like Cain, ‘constructed’ a false life from the self-a life which is not life at all, but is death–must undergo deconstruction, the abbreviation of which is “destruction.”   Thus does God destroy the wicked as the oncologist destroys the cancerous cells which threaten the good cells in a man’s body.  He preserves the nature He made by purging its decay, yet not restoring the fullness of nature as He does by the redemption of His blood. 
   Hell is simply a term which describes both place and process of God preserving the creature’s nature, which He created good.  It is the place where the rich man no longer denies his condition of decay, and still has enough dignity in his nature to speak politely to Abraham and wish his brothers to avoid his fate.  Indeed, the conversation between the man in hell and the man in paradise is filled with more respect for God and man than you would find in most church buildings.   A good doctor will not refuse admittance of a terminal cancer patient to a hospital and treat him, though the case is incurable and the pain excruciating.  So God will not refuse the wicked entrance into hell, where His wrath acts as a tourniquet to prevent the bleeding out of the soul. 
   Wrath is God’s commitment to preserving those creatures He will not, in His wisdom, restore.  The Scripture plainly tells us that God is love, that God punishes sin, that He loves sinners, that He hates sinners, that God created Hell as a place of everlasting punishment, and that God is One.  All of these meet in only one conclusion:  that God’s wrath is an extension of His unfailing love, which is unfailingly committed to preserving that which He has declared good.  He is the creator and preserver of all natures, and refuses to tolerate contempt or slander inveighed against His creatures.
   Wrath is an expression of love, and any other explanation seeks, in futility, to divide the indivisible God into divorceable attributes, either making him a confused, dualistic being conconcted of strange opposites, or–per Marcion–making Him two different gods contending with one another for mastery of the created order.  Only those cursed with the blindness of corrupting sin would pursue such futility in thinking.  Yet “blessed are eyes that see and ears that hear,” who understand that the God who “executes wrath every day” does so from the fullness of His ever-enduring love.  “Give thanks, for His love endures forever,” purging the sin of His children so that they might have life abundantly.

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