Types of God’s Wrath
One other thing we need to understand is that there are several types of God’s wrath.
- Consequential Wrath — This is what might be called “sowing and reaping wrath.” It is the wrath we bring upon ourselves when we reap what we sow through sinful living. Thus, a smoker might be afflicted with lung cancer, and a drunkard may lose his job and family and die of cirrhosis of the liver.
- Cataclysmic Wrath — As evidenced in disasters, either natural or man-made, like the 9/11 attacks. God allows these as a way of calling people and nations to repentance. They are usually referred to as “remedial judgments.”
- Abandonment Wrath — The wrath exhibited by God when He turns His back on a person or a society, allowing self-destruction (Romans 1).
- Eschatological Wrath — The wrath God unleashed on all the world with the Noahic Flood, and the wrath He has promised to pour out on the world during the Great Tribulation that is yet to come.
- Eternal Wrath — The ultimate punishment God will inflict upon those who are consigned to Hell.
End Time Wrath
The Judgment in Jehoshaphat is going to be the ultimate example of God’s Eschatological Wrath.
It is going to be a seven year period of unparalleled violence, misery and suffering from beginning to end — far worse than Noah’s Flood when the suffering ended rapidly as people drowned. God is going to pour out His unmitigated wrath over a period of seven years on those who have rejected His love, grace and mercy.
Because the Bible pictures such incredible horror, I am always astounded when people, including pastors, ask me, “Do you think we are in the Tribulation now?” I can guarantee you that once the Tribulation begins, no one will have to ask that question.
A Tribulation Myth
And that brings me to a myth about the Tribulation that must be addressed. Because Jesus in Matthew 24 referred to the second half of the Tribulation as “the great tribulation,” a misconception has become established that the first half of the Tribulation will be relatively peaceful and that most, if not all, of the horrible judgments described in the book of Revelation will occur in the second half.
That simply is not true. Jesus referred to the second half as the “great tribulation” because He was speaking to a Jewish audience — and for them, the second half will be the time of their great travail — what Jeremiah referred to as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). Daniel called it “a time of distress such as has never occurred until that time…” (Daniel 12:1).
But the first half of the Tribulation will be a time of peace for the Jews. That’s because the book of Daniel reveals that the Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews that will protect them during the first half of the Tribulation, even enabling them to rebuild their Temple.
This period of peace will end when the Antichrist goes to Jerusalem in the middle of the Tribulation and declares himself to be God. The Jews will reject him and revolt. The Antichrist will be so enraged that he will spend the next three and a half years trying to annihilate the Jewish people.
He will do this because he will be possessed by Satan, and Satan is determined to annihilate the Jewish people. Keep in mind that Satan hates the Jews with a passion because:
- They are the Chosen People of God.
- Through them, God gave the Bible to the world.
- Through them, God provided the Messiah.
- And God has promised He will bring a great remnant of the Jews to salvation in the end times.
In fact, Jesus Himself said He would not return to this earth until the Jewish people are willing to accept Him as their Messiah (Matthew 23:39).
In the fifth part of our study of Armageddon, we will attempt to discern when the Judgment of Jehoshaphat will most likely begin.