What is the Wrath of God?

Head’s Up: This post is not meant to be a complete answer to everything related to the wrath of God. In fact, if you read this, you will likely have more questions than answers. For example, I do not seek to justify God’s wrath in the Old Testament. Instead, the goal is to see how the writers of the New Testament approached the wrath of God as a whole in order to understand how we can internalize it as a theology that leads to godliness and a more powerful witness of the goodness of God.

If you’ve ever heard about the wrath of God you likely think about what is typically called Judgement Day. The writers of the scriptures typically refer to this day as “The Day of the Lord.” The Old Testament speaks to this too and it is that reality that many of the first Christians had to deal with. Many of the early Christians knew it would be a day of blessing for those who are in Christ, but there was still fear circulating the expectation of that day. People had many questions then too! When would it come? What would it be like? How bad would it be?

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A Not-So-Minor Prophet

On our honeymoon Kayla and I were listening to a podcast from Gateway Church in Dallas when the book of Jonah was suddenly referenced. The reason why it came up was only an aside to the rest of the message but the preacher essentially said “The book of Jonah is the one book Jesus used to say that he would die and raise from the grave as a sign to His generation.”

For some reason this short phrase stuck with me for our drive across North Carolina and several days afterwards. Sometimes God uses little curiosities like this one in order to direct me to something exciting. Once I made it back to College Station I devoted a little bit of time to reading and asking God for something new from the book of Jonah.

I have a very strong connection with the book of Jonah. When I was saved my freshman year of college I went to Breakaway regularly and during one Tuesday night a guest speaker shared a brief message from the book of Jonah and a very clear presentation of the gospel that I was able to internalize. I was already saved, but it was at that point that I had a solid understanding that would allow me to communicate it to others. I don’t even remember if it was from Jonah specifically, but for some reason the gospel and the book of Jonah are glued together in my mind. I have studied the book of Jonah a few times but I haven’t been able to see much of a picture of the gospel in it on my own, but I knew it was in there somewhere.

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