Drinking Deeply

Thursday, September 07, 2006 at 8:02 PM

Attributes of God (16)

A walk through A.W. Pink's Attributes of God. Feel free to read along and comment.

Ch. 16: The Wrath of God-

Coming up on the last few chapters of the book. It certainly has taken a little longer than I anticipated, but has been a pleasure as well.

This chapter was on the Wrath of God, it opens with this line:

It is sad to find so many professing Christians who appear to regard the wrath of God as something for which they need to make an apology, or at least they wish there were no such thing. While some would not go so far as to openly admit that they consider it a blemish on the Divine character, yet they are far from regarding it with delight, they like not to think about it, and they rarely hear it mentioned without a secret resentment rising up in their hearts against it. Even with those who are more sober in their judgment, not a few seem to imagine that there is a severity about the Divine wrath which is too terrifying to form a theme for profitable contemplation. Others harbor the delusion that God’s wrath is not consistent with His goodness, and so seek to banish it from their thoughts.

Sad indeed, but the chapter aims at correcting that and taking discussion and thoughts of the wrath of God, like all thoughts, captive to Christ.

Pink makes a number of excellent points on this note, first observing that the wrath of God is freely revealed in Scripture (Deut. 32:39-41), that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness. As a side note, I’ve heard that as well as the claim that Jesus spoke more about hell than about heaven, and most about money. I’m not entirely willing to take these claims on his personal confession (since I don’t know if he looked it up himself or is just repeating what someone else repeated), but has someone actually looked it up and figured things out? I should do that some day.

Another point is that the wrath of God is as much a Divine perfection as anything else, seeing as God is perfect in every way! What a simple reminder, yet one that is often needed.

How could God be the sum of all excellence if he didn’t hate what was impure and vile? Yike. How true. The wrath of God is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It’s the real and active demonstration to those who rebel that God is the Lord. It’s revealed from heaven.

Pink gives some well said advice regarding how we should respond to the wrath of God.

First, that our hearts may be duly impressed by God’s detestation of sin. We are ever prone to regard sin lightly, to gloss over its hideousness, to make excuses for it. But the more we study and ponder God’s abhorrence of sin and His frightful vengeance upon it, the more likely are we to realize its heinousness. Second, to beget a true fear in our souls for God: "Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:28,29). We cannot serve Him "acceptably" unless there is due "reverence" for His awful Majesty and "godly fear" of His righteous anger, and these are best promoted by frequently calling to mind that "our God is a consuming fire." Third, to draw out our souls in fervent praise for having delivered us from "the wrath to come" (1 Thess. 1:10).

So true for myself, for all my talk and bluster about longing for true worship, it’s hard to consciously think of the wrath of God. His ways certainly are higher than mine!

And who says Calvinists can’t do evangelism?

Then flee, my reader, flee to Christ; "flee from the wrath to come" (Matt. 3:7) ere it be too late. Do not, we earnestly beseech you, suppose that this message is intended for somebody else. It is to you! Do not be contented by thinking you have already fled to Christ. Make certain! Beg the Lord to search your heart and show you yourself.

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