God’s Wrath and His Grace
By Hal Lindsey
It makes some people angry to think of God becoming angry. Psalms 145:8 says, “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.” Even so, it gives them great wrath to think of God ever having any wrath at all.
But why wouldn’t He have wrath? He sees the chaos, strife, and confusion that our society now intentionally sows into the hearts and minds of its little ones. Why shouldn’t He respond with anger? When He sees cruel bullying of people who do not conform to the new and ugly norms, why wouldn’t this stir Him to wrath? When you hear about child abuse, doesn’t it outrage you? Why shouldn’t God feel the same way?
People often ask why God allows evil to continue in our world. But when they blame God for allowing evil, they are really blaming God for allowing human choice. They expect choice for themselves, then become angry with God when others make bad choices.
Be assured that what the Old and New Testaments refer to as “the day of the Lord” is coming. That means judgment is coming. Evil will be stopped in its tracks. And He won’t just stop part of it. He will stop all of it — including the evil which jaded humans have decided to stop calling evil.
In the meantime, He waits. Why? 2 Peter 3:9-10 explains it like this. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come.”
He waits to allow time for repentance. He waits because of His gracious love. As he waits, we Christians have a key role in the world. We are salt, a preserving agent.
In Genesis 18, Abraham interceded with God on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. In verse 26, God said to Abraham, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” At Abraham’s request, God reduced the number all the way down to ten. There is an important principle at work here. God often withholds judgment on everyone for the sake of the righteous among them. And if you are in Christ, then you have been made righteous in Him.
Even 10 righteous could not be found in Sodom, and God carried through with judgment. But even then, He preserved the righteous. God did with Lot and His family what He had long before done with Noah and his family. He took them out of danger before judgment began. God took His people out of harm’s way. Noah and his family entered the ark. Angels led Lot and his family out of Sodom.
That’s what He will do for us, also. In Luke 17:26 and 27, Jesus likened “the days of Noah” and “the days of Lot” to the time near His return. In both instances, God removed His people from the place where judgment was about to fall. These events are types of the rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 describes the rapture saying, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
Verse 18 adds, “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” So, be comforted.