The Wrath of God
But before we consider the judgment of God that the world will experience during the Great Tribulation, we need to first consider the concept of the wrath of God. The reason we need to do that is because I have discovered that most Christians, if not most pastors, do not believe in the wrath of God.
If any mention is made of God’s wrath, there is usually an immediate and vehement response that God is a God of love, grace and mercy. And if you point to the wrath of God in the Hebrew Scriptures, as, for example, when He destroyed the world with the Noahic Flood, the response usually is, “But that was the God of the Old Testament. The God of the New Testament is a God of grace, mercy and love.”
One of the most memorable times when I encountered this attitude was in about 1995. I was contacted by the producer of a popular radio talk show in Oklahoma City. He said the host of the program had seen an article I had written about the financial accountability of Christian ministries, and he had liked it. He wanted to interview me about it. I agreed to the interview.
The host began the interview by graciously giving me the opportunity to summarize the fundamental message of my ministry. I responded by saying that God had called me to proclaim “the soon return of Jesus.”
I then explained that this message was like a two-edged sword, with a message for both believers and unbelievers. I pointed out that the message for believers is to commit themselves to holiness and evangelism. I then added, “The message for unbelievers is to flee from the wrath that is to come, by fleeing into the loving arms of Jesus now.”
Before I could proceed with my explanation, the host cut me short. “What do you mean when you refer to ‘wrath’?” he asked.
“I mean that Jesus is going to return very soon to pour out the wrath of God upon those who have rejected God’s love and grace and mercy.”
He responded by saying, “I happen to be a Christian, I go to church every Sunday, and I have never heard anything about God ‘pouring out wrath.’ My God is Jesus, and He wouldn’t hurt a fly!” Then he literally yelled at me, “Your God is a monster!”
That was the end of the interview. He hung up on me. I was not given an opportunity to respond to his misrepresentation of our Creator. If I had been given a chance to respond, I would have quoted the warning Jesus gave in the book of Revelation to the church at Thyatira which was tolerating a false prophetess who was corrupting the whole church. Jesus warned:
20) “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols.
21) “I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.
22) “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds.
23) “I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.” (Revelation 2:20-23 NLT)
These verses pretty well destroy the concept of a meek and mild Jesus who wouldn’t hurt a fly!
Of course, I could also have pointed to the fact that the Tribulation begins with Jesus Himself launching the Seal Judgments. In fact, in Revelation 6:16, those judgments are referred to as “the wrath of the Lamb.”
Let me give you another example that occurred more recently, in 2005. It is the example of an enraged pastor.
I was invited to speak to a large church in the Dallas area where I had spoken several times before. The date of my presentation fell on a Sunday about three weeks after hurricane Katrina had devastated New Orleans.
I decided I would speak about the hurricane, with the intention of pointing out that I believed it to be a remedial judgment of God upon this nation for two reasons. The first reason I mentioned was our nation’s strong-arming of Israel to surrender the Gaza Strip to its enemies. I noted that the hurricane had started forming very suddenly near the Bahamas on the last day of the Israeli withdrawal.
The second reason I gave was the immorality of our nation and particularly the city of New Orleans, a city that calls itself, “Sin City USA.” The hurricane hit the city just as it was preparing to conduct its annual festival called “Gay Mardi Gras.” The 2005 theme of this sexual orgy was “Jazz and Jezebels.” In 2004, the event had attracted 125,000 revelers who proudly flaunted their perversion publicly in a garish parade. The event was sponsored by a group called, “Southern Decadence.”
All hell broke loose during the following week. You see, the pastor was out of town when I delivered the message. When he returned home and watched a video of the message, he went ballistic! He even checked my speaking schedule on our website and called the next church where I was to speak and warned them about allowing me to present my sermon.
What was he so mad about? Two things. First, he felt it was wrong for me to attribute a disaster to God when it should have been assigned to Satan. Second, he objected to my characterization of the hurricane as being a manifestation of the wrath of God. He insisted that the “God of Wrath” was the Old Testament God, whereas the God of the New Testament is a “God of Grace.” The idea of God pouring out His wrath was entirely foreign to him.
These are only two examples of many experiences I have had where Christians have reacted with revulsion against any mention of God’s wrath.
In the third part of our study of Armageddon, we will cover four points concerning how the modern day Church should view God.
27 CommentsLeave a Comment
Dr. Reagan, I so much enjoy reading your blog and articles because I know I will always get the un-watered down truth. Thank you for your faithfulness to our Father God and His Precious Son Jesus! God bless you!
Edith, so good to hear the articles have been a blessing to you!
I appreciate your emphasis upon the wrath of God in this article. It is a much-needed emphasis in our day and age when the God of the Bible is woefully misrepresented as ONLY a God of mercy, love and grace. There are many passages in the New Testament which set forth the wrath of God: Romans 1:18, John 3:36, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 to name a few.
However, I think your article would have been more Scriptural if you had also pointed out that the LORD Jesus Christ FULLY SATISFIED THE WRATH OF GOD for every born-again believer in His substitutionary, propitiatory sacrifice on Calvary’s cross (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24). It would have been a good place to expound 1 John 4:9-10, and explain the meaning of the word “propitiation” in this passage.
Also, if I understand your position correctly, you deny the ETERNAL PUNISHMENT of lost sinners in Hell (Matthew 25:46), or, as it is stated in Revelation 20:10-15, “tormented day and night for ever and ever” in the lake of fire.
If you indeed deny the ETERNAL punishment of the wicked, that is contrary to the orthodox position of the Church of God down through the ages, and–in that regard–puts you in the category of the heretical Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh-Day Adventists.
John, Annihilationists believe that the lost are annihilated when they die, but Dr. Reagan does not believe that. He believes the lost are sent to a place called Torments that is located in Hades. At the end of the Millennium, he believes they will be resurrected, judged, and consigned to Hell where they will suffer for a period of time in proportion to their sins, after which they will “perish” (John 3:16) or be “destroyed” (2 Thess. 1:9).
Dr. Reagan’s article and arguments for and against the Conditionalist View of Hell are posted at http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_eternity3.php and this interview beginning with http://www.lamblion.us/2013/04/the-conditionalist-view-of-hell-uneasy.html. Here’s the podcast’s mp3 – http://www.lamblion.com/media/podcasts/RethinkingHell_Eternity-Heaven-or-Hell.mp3. The “Christ in Prophecy” episode on the topic is also available at http://www.lamblion.com/television/programs_prophecy33.php.
Its good that Lamb & Lion is showing everyone the scriptures, they are all falling into place just as the Lord told us. The One World religion or system will represent a great religious entity out of the revived Roman Empire.
I couldn’t agree with this article more. So few people, even “Christians”, will listen to and hear the truth any more. They think that the truth that they “choose to believe” is all that matters, discarding and ignoring the rest. The wrath of God is one of the truths they’ve chosen to ignore. It should never be a surprise when sinners reject God’s word, but when the saints do, it is extremely worrisome and troubling.
Another related topic is that of discernment, judging, and judgement. All of which are the precursors to the wrath of God being poured out, and the typical Christian will throw “judge not lest you be judged” in your face. Completely misinterpreting the context of that passage and showing the ignorance of their knowledge and shallowness of the their faith.
So many have bought the lies and manipulations of God’s Word, just like Eve when the serpent said “You will not surely die.” How tragic!
It makes one wonder what Jesus would write to us and to our own churches today. I’d dare say those would not be very pleasing letters to read and difficult to swallow, but every word, no matter how harsh, would be written for our welfare, out of His great love for us, warning us to flee sin and carnality before it was too late.
As Rev. 2 & 3 repeatedly reminds us: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
The issue is not the validity of the certainty of God’s wrath: past, present and future. The issue is whether God has anointed David Reagan as His prophet to speak on His behalf regarding current catastrophes, whether they be natural or direct intervention by God.
William, Lamb & Lion Ministries believes the gift of prophecy is not the same today as it was when the Apostle John completed Revelation. Today, people with the spiritual gift of prophecy have a passion to share the Good News of Jesus Christ’s salvation with others in the time we have left. They also can discern what the Bible is talking about concerning the end times. They cannot predict what the future is, as God has already given us a full account of what will occur in the Bible.
So True, the Bible class I went to many years was discussing Bible prophecy and all the prophecies that have already been fulfilled to the letter just as Jesus told us. We all became more and more devout Bible readers, prayers, and dedicated to spreading the gospel knowing what was going to happen in the future. God’s Word is Truth!
Very Impacting to me: Revelation 1. The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, “for the time is near.”
Thank you for your article. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. Wrath upon the world is accepted but His discipline upon a lukewarm church is never anticipated or embraced. I see God’s Hand on both. Whether believer’s in name only or genuine, God is the righteous judge of both. Thank you.
The coming tribulation is NOT God’s wrath, these are 2 different and separate happenings.
The seals are NOT God’s wrath/judgements. The seals are the coming tribulation.
James, who opens the seven seals from the very first Seal Judgment? Jesus, right. Where do the angels receive the seven Trumpet Judgments? Before the throne of God. Where do the seven Bowl Judgments come forth from? The heavenly Temple where God dwells. In each case, every one of the 21 Tribulation judgments come from God Himself, and therefore all of the Tribulation is God’s wrath, not just the last 3.5 years.
Below is a verse I think you should reconsider, Matt 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. KJV The word afflicted is the word “Thlipsis” which is almost always translated as tribulation. Notice, Jesus is telling his disciples they shall be delivered up to tribulation. Now many pre-trib teachers say Jesus was not addressing his disciples but was really speaking to Israel in Matthew 24. The problem with this is Jesus then says in the same verse “Ye shall be hated by all nations for my name sake”. Israel proper can never be hated for the name sake of Jesus because they don’t believe in him. The disciples were not hated by all nations, only modern Christian converts can fulfill this prophetic warning. If you Concordance the word “TRIBULATION” and look at each usage of this word in the NT, you will always find this word used to describe trouble or persecution the source of which is mankind or satan. The NT does not use the word TRIBULATION (greek thlipsis) to describe God’s wrath. Now, Concordance the word “WRATH” (greek “orge”) you will find in each occurrence the word’s usage the source is always God, with of course the exception in Revelation 12 where it’s used to denote satan having great wrath. The NT uses the word Tribulation(thlipsis) to describe persecution of the saints, and the word Wrath(orge) to describe divine judgement of God. These 2 words are not the same and cannot be interchanged. Please let me know your perspective on this.
Being a Christian does mean having to endure suffering and trials at the hand of man (Jn. 16:33; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thes. 3:3; 1 Pet. 4:12-13). But, the Tribulation like the Flood is about God’s wrath (Isa. 24:22; Zeph. 3:8; 1 Thes. 5:3; 2 Thes. 2:12), and believers in Christ are promised to be exempt from God’s wrath (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:4; Rev. 3:10). There’s an important difference there.
Nathan, I guess all the Christian’s that have been killed for their faith over the last 2000 years wasn’t having to endure suffering and trials at the hand of man?
Suffering at the hands of man and Satan, yes, but not at the hands of God. The wrath of God is reserved for the coming 7-year Tribulation.
Nathan, the 5th seal shows those slain for the Word of God in the first 4 seals. They’re asking for God to JUDGE and avenge their blood. This proves the first 4 seals were tribulation and NOT God’s judgement/wrath.
James, are you saying that God’s not sovereign nor does Jesus Himself open every one of the Seals?
There has been a lot of speculation concerning the Fifth Seal Judgment. The martyrdom of countless multitudes of people who have given their life to Jesus after the Rapture and during the Tribulation some have said is a punishment on them for their hard hearts making them wait so long to accept Christ. That’s not how God really works throughout history, though, and so others have said it is their testimony which condemns those who continue to refuse Christ during the rest of the Tribulation. In other words, it isn’t the death of the Tribulation Saints but their witness of Christ which becomes the judgment upon the unbelieving people during that time. The latter view makes more sense in the overall purpose of God’s will through these 21 judgments – the salvation of souls and the punishment of those who stay in rebellion.
Nathan, This has nothing to do with God’s sovereignty, He has allowed Christian’s to be killed for 2000 years, and Jesus shows us with the first 4 seals He will allow it again. The seals aren’t called ‘seal judgements’, you pretribbers call them judgments and it isn’t Biblical. There’s no need for speculation about the 5th seal if you let go of the pretrib rapture indoctrination. The first 4 seals are the great tribulation of the church, the 5th seal is the Christian’s that were just killed during the great tribulation(first 4 seals) crying out for God to judge those who just killed them. The 6th seal shows us God is about to answer their prayers. God Bless
James, you’ll just have to agree to disagree and move on to a site that holds to your interpretation. I believe the Bible’s teaching in a Pre-Trib Rapture and arguing with us here won’t change our position.
Revelation 5:6-7. The Lamb, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and the seven seals. Its the fulfillment of the conquering Lion who was slain as the living one who died and rose again, “alive forevermore.” Revelation 5:9. and 6. The Trumpet judgments and the Bowls of God’s final wrath follow in Revelation 15. The bowls of God’s wrath will be poured out on earth’s inhabitants. Futurists see these bowls as representing future global judgments unlike anything ever seen before in history. They occur at the end of the Great Tribulation period and culminate in the battle of Armageddon Rev. 16: 14-16 just prior to Christ’s return to establish his millennial kingdom.
Each woe unleashed on the earth becomes more severe than the last. Revelation 8:13. Woe, Woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”
Revelation 8:12. (The darkening) at the fourth trumpet of a third of the sun, moon, and stars, obscuring the light for a third of the day and the night, resembles the ninth plague on Egypt in. Exodus 10:21.
Excellent article.. so refreshing to hear the whole truth. I am so glad that message “slipped “ through that church you spoke at This is a missing ingredient to most messages from the churches in my area
I have to go online and watch to get a healthy balance. We used to hear this when the Holy Spirit was moving powerfully in the church many years ago but the main church we attended is no longer giving alter calls much less the baptism of the Holy Spirit.. I feel like a square peg in a round hole at times because of the spiritual temperature but I will persevere until I step into the full calling God has for me. I refuse to be part of complacency. Thank you for standing for the truth.
Brilliant, thank you so much. I can no longer count the number of times I have had to tell people that God is not this fuzzy wuzzy cuddly teddy bear who would not even say boo to a goose and Who would never, ever speak to you about your sin. I am horrified at how He is portrayed, such lies and we all know where lies come from. I pray that you are able to weather any brickbats that come your way. I have had to field a few! On top of which I have to ask them Who it is Who opens the First Seal and all the other Seals – the Lamb of God which, last time I looked is the Son of God.
God has been dealing with me in this area. I went back and studied Jonathan Edwards sermon from the 1700s. Many young people were allowed to join the church but not take communion because they had no knowledge of salvation but felt they were saved because they were raised that way. Edwards message about falling into the hands of an angry God brought massive conviction and led to the first great awakening.
We thank Lamb & Lion Ministries, and Olive Tree ministries as well for their teachings, we have learned so much in the last few years, and also where to find the scriptures, and interpret them.
God Bless you all.
Thank you for those encouraging words, Debbie! So good to hear that our ministry’s Bible teachings have been a blessing to you.
I am greatful for the Lord’s word and teachings, and also Lamb & Lion for their thorough teachings of the word and prophecy, and how it is being fulfilled daily. I hope true believers know how lucky they are to know the truth, and have the Holy Spirit to guide us, especially in the times we are in when it seems everything is falling apart or passing away, God’s promises and sovereignty will never fail us, he is faithful to the very end, and we will see the Millenial Kingdom.