The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whosoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:34-36
When I was a firefighter we were allowed a certain latitude that normal people (yes that’s right, firefighters, a least the ones I know, aren’t normal) aren’t allowed to have. We could break down doors, cut holes in roofs, and carry people’s possessions out of their houses. People who aren’t firefighters can’t show up at someone else’s house and do those things. It’s the same for God, only infinitely more so. Have you ever thought about this? Have you ever considered what God is allowed to have, that we humans are not allowed to have?
You know, things like vengeance. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) And that’s the way it should be. It’s a good thing God has that role and not us because we’re sinners, just like the person who we would take vengeance against. We’re told in scripture, vengeance is for God, not for us–and that’s fitting.
Or judgment? Judgment belongs to God. Because for us, judging others only results in judgment against ourselves. (Matthew 7:1-5) Jesus Christ is the one appointed by God as Judge and I’m glad for that. It’s freeing when you realize, God wants Jesus to judge, and He commands us to love. I’m thankful for that. I want God to have the position of Judge because His judgment is perfect. If I were judge, my human frailties and limitations would surely make a mess of things. (John 5:27, Acts 10:42)
Wrath is like that too. God’s wrath makes sense because of His perfection. My wrath is imperfect and never produces the righteousness of God. (James 1:20) But His wrath is always perfectly proportional to our sin.
J.I. Packer, the great writer and speaker who just days ago ended his ministry, says this about God’s reaction to objective moral evil,
“God’s wrath in the Bible is never the capricious, self-indulgent, irritable, morally ignoble thing that human anger so often is. It is, instead, a right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil.”
God is perfectly just, yet, He loves us perfectly also. So to reconcile the two He gave all things into his Son’s hand. All things. Through Jesus’ work on the cross God even gave you and me, to the Son. He did that so if we believe in the Son we’ll have eternal life. Jesus’ death on the cross satisfies God’s perfect justice and the resulting reconciliation to God perfectly expresses His love. That’s what our text, John 3:34-36 says.
But it also says, if we reject Him, if we don’t follow the Son’s words, we’re already undone before God’s wrath.
The choice is ours.
(If you have questions you can email Kurt at KurtCameronBennett@gmail.com)
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References and Resources:
Brant Hansen, Unoffendable, Thomas Nelson, 2015
Joseph Scheumann, Five Truths About the Wrath of God, desiringGod, 11/4/2014
J.I. Packer, Knowing God, IVP Books, 2011
Image via Steve Evans – Creative Commons