God's execution of judgment and wrath proceeds in direct proportion to His revelation of Himself and His truth.
"The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness, because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:18-20).
From the moment of our conception, God begins to shine the light of "His eternal power and godhead" upon our spiritual being. If we reject the truth our Lord communicates, we do so having "clearly seen" His reality. Our refusal to trust and obey God therefore involves a decisive turning away from Him, whether the response seems passionate or indifferent. Deeply within, the unbeliever affirms a strong "No!" to his Maker, thus evoking from the Lord an equally decisive revelation of wrath, based upon justice, righteousness, and holiness. We see this when reading the Old Testament prophets and their warnings or reports of Divine retribution. The recipients thereof have categorically turned away from God unto idols, and from Truth to error. Thus, the Lord must respond in kind in order to maintain His integrity and truth. "For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head" (Obadiah 1:15).
God reveals Himself by creation. He communicates His truth by His Spirit. He declares the Gospel with great power. And He sends His church into the world to exemplify and proclaim the saving grace of the Lord Jesus (Psalm 19:1; John 16:8-11; Romans 1:16; Philippians 2:15). Perhaps most vividly, the Apostle Paul told the unbelieving Athenians that "in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Thus, if a person rejects the Lord Jesus, he does so decisively disbelieving the great fact of of His being, and the brightest light that shines upon his heart and mind. How else other than wrath could a loving, righteous, and just God respond to such willful rejection of grace and truth? Thus, believers do well to play our vital role in exemplifying and proclaiming the Gospel of hope and salvation to all in our sphere of influence. But we must also join the prophets in their warning and reports of Divine response to human rejection of God's loving overtures. We preach to the choir as we do so because all have "clearly seen" enough to respond to the Gospel - if they will.
"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."
(II Corinthians 5:18-20)
Weekly Memory Verse
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.