by Mike Ratliff
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, Romans 1:18 (NASB)
The wrath of God is something that is never part of a seeker-sensitive, emergent, or pop-culturally relevant type of church. Nor is it ever part of those who have abandoned the Word of God as being the authoritative, infallible, inerrant, and complete Word of God. In other words, any form of liberal leaning religious group that calls itself Christian, but who is on the road to apostasy also, through their unbelief, has a total misunderstanding of the wrath of God. Lest we forget, in God’s economy, just calling oneself a Christian does not make you one. Those who say they are but really are not believers are unregenerate and are just as lost as those who openly reject the Gospel and Christ Jesus as Saviour.
Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post, Romans 1:18, here it is from the NA28 Greek text.
18 Ἀποκαλύπτεται γὰρ ὀργὴ θεοῦ ἀπʼ οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἀσέβειαν καὶ ἀδικίαν ἀνθρώπων τῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐν ἀδικίᾳ κατεχόντων, Romans 1:18 (NA28)
The first word, αποκαλύπτεται, is the present tense, indicative mode, middle voice form of ἀποκαλύπτω (apokaluptō), “to uncover, make visible, or make known.” This verb structure tells us that the action is taking place “constantly.” Therefore, when Paul wrote in v18 that God’s wrath αποκαλύπτεται, he was saying that it is revealed now and is continually being revealed and will be continually revealed as long as the condition which provokes it exists.
The word translated as “wrath” is ὀργὴ, “anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.” However, this is not an impulsive outburst of anger aimed capriciously at people whom God does not like. Instead, it is a a settled, determined response of a righteous God against sin (cf. Psalm 2:5, 12; 45:7; 75:8; 76:6, 7; 78:49-51; 90:7-9; Isaiah, 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15, 16; John 3:36; Romans 9:22; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:5, 6).
I read and listened to innumerable objections in the debates done between some very solid Biblical scholars with Roman Catholic Apologists, Atheist Apologists, and militant Arminian Apologists. This next statement may be insightful or it may incite some to send me hate mail. In any case, here it is, “All three groups of people resort to the same argumentation when all of their points of contentions are addressed Biblically. They all fall back on a denial of the Doctrine of Original Sin.” They hate the God of Reformation Theology because He is wrathful, et cetera. We do not have the time or space to go into all their points here, but suffice it to say that natural man wants a god who just loves, loves, loves and does all he can to save everyone. Forget all that stuff about original sin and that offending the righteousness of a perfectly righteous and Holy God and that His Wrath burns against all sin as it should as we see in the rest of v18. Natural man suppresses the truth although the evidence from conscience, creation, and God’s Word is irrefutable. In any case, these people choose to resist and oppose God’s truth by holding fast to their sin (cf. Psalm 14:1; John 3:19, 20).
This short piece was intended to show that when we talk about the wrath of God that we are not talking about the wrath of the Church or the wrath of a religion or the wrath of a group of people, but the ὀργὴ Θεοῦ. Are you within it or are your sins covered by the blood of the Lamb?
Soli Deo Gloria!