THE WRATH OF GOD! "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it" (Isaiah 13:9). Listen again to the Word of God:
"God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth WRATH for His enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked!" (Nahum 1:2, 3)
Listen again to the Word of God, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the WRATH to come?" (Matthew 3:7). When God speaks, let every man be silent. "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against THE DAY OF WRATH and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds" (Romans 2:5, 6). Listen to "Thus saith the Lord":
"And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. and the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from THE WRATH OF THE LAMB: for THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:12-17).
Hear again the Word of the Lord, "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but THE WRATH OF GOD abideth on him" (John 3:36).
Now let's read the verdict of a just and holy God upon the awfulness of sin and the sinner:
"It is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them" (Galatians 3:10).
We see here that the Law condemns every sinner for omissions as well as commissions -- that is, for every sin, even the least sin. Listen to the verdict again, "CURSED IS EVERYONE THAT CONTINUETH NOT IN ALL THINGS." You say, "I'm not much of a sinner. I don't commit great sins. I'm not like the other fellow." That isn't the question. You ARE a sinner. You have sinned, therefore you are under the curse.
This Scripture is based upon Deut. 27:26. Listen to the Law of God, "Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them" (Deut. 27:26). What is the wrath of God? God's wrath is THE DOOM pronounced upon every individual who continues not in all the words of the Law of God. That word, "doom," has an awful sound. The curse pronounced in this great text is God giving over the sinner to wrath in this life and the life to come. Listen, man. You are a sinner; you have broken the Law of Jehovah God. You are turned over to the wrath of God which abides upon you continually. May the Holy Spirit awaken you to see the doom under which you rest. May you see yourself guilty before a holy God. Awake, sinner, out of your sleep! Awake, sinner, you are under the doom of a sin-avenging God!
I am not speaking of man's law. I am speaking of God's Law in His own voice. Get this one great fact: justice demands that God will fix a punishment on sin which it deserves -- no more, no less.
In the first place, every sinner deserves God's wrath and God's curse. We are living in an age when fools make light of sin, blinded sinners plough on in sin, Christ-rejecting sinners rot in sin, and Hell is moved from beneath to meet them at their coming, and they are unmindful of it. God's wrath abides on them. God's wrath abides on you, my friend, if you aren't in Christ!
When we read our Bibles, we often find the expression, "an angry God," but God's wrath is no passion though He is angry. We might say that His wrath is a fire which burns fiercely without smoke.
Now, let's notice how God's anger burns as a fire -- first, in His displeasure against the sinner. Listen to God's Word:
"For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with Thee. The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity" (Psa. 5:4,5)
That is God's attitude towards sin, my friend. Now why is God displeased with the sinner? It is because sin makes the individual loathsome and hateful in God's sight. Sin kindles a holy fire in God's heart against the sinner. The old Psalmist was made to cry out, "Who knoweth the power of Thine anger?" (Psalm 90:11). The reason we do not understand the wrath of God against the sinner is because we do not understand the nature of sin, the loathsomeness of sin, the evil of sin, and the wickedness of sin.
We are told in Nahum 1:2, "God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies." Then He speaks again in Isaiah 1:24, "Ah! I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge Me of Mine enemies." If the wrath of a king is like a roaring lion, what must be the wrath of Jehovah God against sin?
In speaking of the wrath of God the Scripture says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).
Are you living under the displeasure of God? Have you ever been made to realize that you are a sinner, and that the wrath of God abideth upon you continually? May the God of all grace and the Father of all mercies write His Law in your mind and in your heart. Oh, that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ would shine into your heart and you would come to see, to feel, to know, and to acknowledge that you are a sinner, that you have sinned, that you are guilty, and standing under the displeasure of the Lord God of Heaven. Knowing the terror of God, I persuade men. I long after your heart. I am pleading, "Stop, man! Woman, be still! Ask the God of all grace to open your heart, and let you see your guilty distance from a holy God, the awfulness of sin, the wickedness of sin, and the loathsomeness of sin." Will you pray that prayer? Will you do it? Oh, sinner-friend, will you pray that prayer, "Lord, open my heart; Lord, let me look in, and see what I am by nature"?
The wrath of God and the curse of God are displayed in His separating the sinner unto evil. Did you ever hear such as that -- God separating the sinner unto evil? Then may you listen to the Word of God,
"And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the Law" (Deut. 29:21).
Yes, it is the turning of the sinner over to destruction and to all the effects of the Divine wrath. I wish that great truth would pierce like a pointed arrow, or a two-edged sword, into the very depths of your heart and let you see what it means for God to separate you unto destruction and turn you over to Divine wrath -- "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:44, 46, 48).
We are living in a day when multitudes make fun of Hell, even deny there is a Hell, and many will say laughingly, "Ah, when I die, I am going where the great crowds are..." as if it were something to make light of. If you could only realize that the wrath and the curse of Almighty God are the binding of the sinner to the stake, where he stands as a mark of God's vengeance because he has broken God's Law and he has offended God's justice; and, as a result, God turns loose all His arrows upon him. Then all the miseries and plagues written in the Book of God's Law flow from the wrath of God upon the sinner! Yet preachers will stand in the pulpit and make fun of the wrath of God or apologize for preaching or speaking on, or even mentioning Hell. They, with sugar-coated lips, will tell people, "I preach only on the love-texts of the Bible." Any preacher who says that has never been awakened to the awfulness of the fact that he is a sinner under the wrath of God!
That is the trouble today, and my prayer is, "Lord, send an awakening; Lord, pour out Thy Spirit." He said, "I will pour out My Spirit." May this be the day when there will be such a quickening all over radio land. My prayer is, "Oh, Lord God of Heaven, hear us in this hour. Thou dost see the multitudes going to an eternal Hell. We plead at the throne of Thy grace for them. Among them are Thine elect. Lord, let Thy Spirit fall mightily at this time upon the hearts of sinners as they listen. May their hearts be opened; write Thy Law upon their minds and into their hearts, for Christ's sake."
Now, let's go just a little further and see God's wrath and curse not only IN THIS LIFE, but in THE LIFE TO COME. In this life, every sinner meets the miseries of this world. There are the miseries of the body, our sufferings because of sin. There are the miseries of our relationship to others, the hatred of one for another. The miseries of broken homes stare us in the face every day; the miseries in regard to our employment, the miseries of making a living, all the worries and anxieties in this phase of life we face daily. My friend, how can you bear it without Christ? It is no wonder that men run off from their homes, or commit suicide. It is no wonder that mothers shoot their babies; no wonder the young people are turned loose like a raging bunch of wolves everywhere we turn today. They are without Christ!
One of the great miseries of this life is our vile affections which makes men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Vile affections make men covetous, boasters, proud, lovers of their own selves, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, truce-breakers, traitors, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, satisfied with a form of godliness, but always denying the power thereof (1 Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 1:29-32). It is no wonder God's wrath abides upon sinners!
Then there are the miseries of the soul. "If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them who are lost, blinded by the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4). How awful to be blinded to your spiritual condition -- lost -- and not know it, blinded to the beauties of the Lord, blinded to the way of salvation in Christ! You will never realize the awfulness of such blindness until your spiritual eyes are opened, and you are brought to behold "yon lovely Lord." Then there is the hardness of heart because of sin. The hardness of heart produces cruelty, brutaltiy, hatred, jealousy, and envy. The hardness of heart drives one to his own destruction under the wrath of a sin-avenging God.
The miseries of the soul bring forth horrors of conscience, always accusing the individual, and he is always trying to drown conscience. He will stay out late at night because he does not want to think. He will drown himself in some lust of the flesh or deeds of the flesh lest he will have to think. Multitudes have been driven to suicide because of the horrors of conscience.
Then in the end, when all hope is gone, comes death, where the soul is separated from the body and plunged into eternal miseries of Hell, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Try to explain it away if you will. It still remains. It is an eternal fact.
Then in the life to come, the miseries of the individual are intensified by eternal death and damnation under the eternal punishment of loss in Hell.
One day an atheist said, "I do not believe what you are preaching." Then the minister replied, "Now, sir, you have told me what you do not believe. I pray, tell me if you will, what you do believe." Then he replied, "I believe that death ends all." "So do I," replied the minister. "What!" said the atheist. "You believe death ends all?" "I certainly do. I believe death ends all your chance for doing evil. Death ends all your earthly joy. Death ends all your projects, all your ambitions, all your friendships. Death ends all the Gospel you will ever hear. Death ends it all for you, and you will go out into the outer darkness. As for myself," said the minister, "death ends all my wanderings, all my tears, all my perplexities, all my disappointments, all my aches and pains; death ends it all, and I go to be with my Lord in glory!" Then the atheist replied, "I never thought of it that way, sir. Is there hope for me in Christ?"
My friend, stop and think on your ways, and turn your feet unto the testimony of God. You can't win fighting God. You can't win by rebelling against God! You can't win by running from God. Stop, sinner! Stop, sinner! Halt! Listen, sinner! You are traveling at breakneck speed under the wrath of God to your eternal destruction. Will you stop? Oh, sinner, stop! Stop and listen!
Let's go just a little further and show you that there is no sin which does not deserve God's wrath and God's curse. In the first place, we find in God's Word that the wages of every sin is death (Romans 6:23). We also find, "As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). Then in Job 24:19 we find that the grave consumes those which have sinned. This means that every individual is under the sentence of death and after death, the judgment. It does not mean just what man calls, "big sins," but the least sin condemns a man if he is not forgiven and justified in Christ. We are told that every idle word condemns us (Matthew 12:36-37), and if not forgiven, we will be punished forever.
We also find that every sin, however trifling it may seem in our sight, is a breach of God's Holy Law, and the individual who breaks God's Law in one point is guilty of all, according to James 2:10, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." So the individual who is guilty of all, and every individual is, deserves the wrath and curse of God, not only in this life, but in the life which is to come.
Did you ever stop to think that there is only one Author of all the Commandments of Jehovah God, and no matter in what manner He is offended, it means eternal punishment? Every sin is against God's love. Then to offend a holy, loving God means eternal punishment, unless you are forgiven. My friend, the Law of God requires universal obedience! Now where does that leave every individual? It leaves all as transgressors. What an awful state to find oneself in -- awaiting the DOOM OF GOD!
Now you may want to raise this question: Why does every sin deserve such punishment? Sin is an infinite evil and deserves infinite punishment because the guilt and defilement of sin is never taken away, but it endures forever. Think with me just a moment. It is the Eternal God Who is offended -- God who is from everlasting to everlasting. The sinner is never able to put away his offense; then as the offense remains forever, the punishment must be eternal. Let me call your attention to this Scripture found in Revelation 21:27:
"And there shall in no wise enter into it (Heaven) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie."
Therefore, that being true, the sinner must be forever excluded and punished for breaking the Law of God and offending the holiness of His Majesty.
Sin wrongs an infinite God. As we said, since God is infinite, the sinner deserves infinite punishment. The sinner, being a finite being, is not capable of punishment infinite in value, therefore, he must suffer infinite in duration.
You may be saying, "Pastor, do you hold out any hope for me? Is there no balm in Gilead for a poor wretched sinner such as I?" Yes, my friend, Christ died for all the sins of all His elect. Listen to God's Word:
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold....but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18-19)
"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).
I would that at this moment by faith you could see that Christ became a curse for you, and that He bore your sins in His own body on the tree. Oh, that you felt and knew your need of a Substitute, of a Saviour!
Sinner, are you convinced of your absolute need of Christ? You must be in Him, or you are lost and ruined forever. I wish you could hear that word thundering in your heart, "Doom! Doom! Doom!" until you would be made to flee to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Substitute. You cannot be freed from that curse and the wrath of God except in Christ. May you be so alarmed that you will flee from the wrath that is to come by fleeing to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who delivers all His people from the curse of the Law. I praise God without ceasing that He has delivered this poor, wretched sinner from His wrath and from the curse of the Law. There never lived a more guilty sinner than I. He delivered me, my friend -- He can deliver you! Turn to Christ and live. Down, sinner, down at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Would you like to have a recorded copy of this message? It is Message No. 418, and is available on cassette tape. To inquire as to how you can secure the message, please click on the First Baptist Church of Algiers Home Page listed below, then click on Voice of Truth Tapes. Instructions for ordering are found there.