This is he fifth segment of a series on Putting the Wrath of God in Perspective. I have previously written on the subject of the wrath of God several times. In my last blog, I considered how God is perceived through the filter of human experience: if a person sets his self against God, he experiences what feels like condemnation, anger and rejection; while the person who attempts to draw near to God experiences love, grace and acceptance.
God does not change in this exercise. We do. Where we stand in relation to God determines how we experience Him. If God is the source and giver of life, and if God is love, we should experience life and love when we draw near to Him; conversely, we experience something opposite the opposite of life and love when we reject God or withdraw from Him. We call experiences love or wrath, depending on where we stand.
Taking this a step further, if we love what God loves, we find fellowship with Him, but if we love what God does not love, we find that we are separated from Him by our love of things God does not love.
We don’t naturally love what God loves, so we naturally feel some tension with God. In order to know and understand God we need to get beyond this tension. There is no tension on God’s part; the tension is with us.
Someone might observe that even “bad” people experience love, beauty, happiness, pleasure, etc. Believers don’t have a monopoly on these positive experiences. The same is true of negative feelings like anger, unhappiness, jealousy and depression. Good and bad experiences are common to all people.
If we accept the Biblical story as true, we understand that we live in a fallen world. Our lot is to struggle in a world that is marked by sin and death. Yet God sustains the world and everything in it. God makes the rain to fall on the humble and the proud, the good and the bad; He causes the sun to shine on the saints and the sinners.
Every person experiences something of the life sustaining force of God in this world, though we also experience the struggle of a world that is not aligned with God. Everyone glimpses the love and beauty in the world, though we also labor with hopelessness, loneliness and depression. Even if we reject God, as long as we live in this world sustained by God, we feel something of His presence, His influence.
We may confuse the feelings we have and the source from which they emanate. We may attribute the good feelings to nature or human love or something else. We may even think that we are the source of these things. We may blame God for the bad things we see and the bad feelings we have, but we don’t often blame the bad things on ourselves.
We may fail to perceive that the bad things emanate from evil which is the corruption of things God made good., and we are part of that corruption.
This world and everything in it will eventually end. Time, space and matter had a beginning, and it will have an end. Our lives in this world will end. At that point, we will have nothing between us and eternity.
The taste that we have now of good and bad will resolve and solidify for each one of us. According to the direction we are tending, either toward God or away from God, we will be propelled into eternity. We will be cast with no anchor, no rope or life vest, into our eternity. Our lot will either be in the presence of God, or, like the astronaut in outer space, we will be forever adrift in the outer darkness of separation from God, separated from the Author of Life and Love itself.
At that time, the rain will no longer fall on the righteous and the unrighteous; the sun will no longer shine on saints and sinners. We will feel the full, direct and beautiful love of God, or we will feel the yawning emptiness of separation from all that is love and life. The wrath of God is the natural result of separation from the Giver of Life and Author of Love.
The wrath of God is eternity without God.
He leaves the choice up to you which you will choose.