Monday, April 26, 2010

John Piper on God's Final Wrath Part 2

3. The wrath of God will be deserved—totally just and right.

Paul labored to show this in the first part of this letter to the Romans. Let me remind you of how he said it: “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). Wrath does not come without warrant. It is deserved. The truth of God is known (Romans 1:19-20). And the truth is suppressed. And the fruit is ungodliness and unrighteousness. And on that comes wrath (Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6).

He says it even more explicitly in Romans 2:5, “Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” We are responsible. We are storing up wrath with every act of indifference to Christ. With every preference for anything over God. With every quiver of our affection for sin and every second of our dull affections for God.

Then he says it once more in Romans 3:5-6, “If our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world?” Nothing was clearer for the inspired apostle than that God is just and God will judge the world in terrible wrath.

And lest you think that your sins do not deserve this kind of wrath, ponder these four things:

1.It was one sin alone that brought the entire world under the judgment of God, and brought death upon all people (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12). And you have not committed one sin, but tens of thousands of sins.
2.Consider James 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” Not only have you sinned tens of thousands of times, but each one had in it the breaking of the entire law of God.
3.Consider Galatians 3:10, “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’” The wrath of God’s curse falls on us for not obeying all that is commanded. One failure and the curse falls.
4.Consider that any offense and any dishonor to an infinitely honorable and infinitely worthy God, is an infinite offense and an infinite dishonor. Therefore, an infinite punishment is deserved.
Which leaves one last point to make. And Oh, how crucial it is! How precious it is. How infinitely beautiful it is.

4. At the end of the age, when the full and final wrath of God is poured out, it will have been escapable.

That means it is escapable now. You do not have to spend eternity under the wrath of God if you will receive God’s Son as your Savior and Lord and Treasure. Why is that? How can that be? Because God so loved the world that he sent his own infinitely valuable Son to absorb the infinite wrath of God against all who take refuge in him. Listen with trembling wonder and gratitude and faith to this precious statement from Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'"

Christ bore the curse of God’s wrath for all who come to him and believe in him and glory in the shelter of his blood and righteousness. Come. Come. He is infinitely worthy.

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