The Wrath of God

A few days ago I read a chapter on the wrath of God in J.I. Packer’s, Knowing God. The entire chapter was amazing, but here I will just entice you with just a few quotes that I highlighted. The first quote is about Jesus’ teaching on “losing your soul”, or essentially hell. This was especially helpful for me as I just finished reading the Gospel of Matthew where many of these phrases are repeated by Jesus.

“Jesus uses the His own solemn imagery–‘Gehenna’, (‘hell’ in Mark 9:47 and ten other gospel texts), the valley outside Jerusalem where rubbish was burned; the ‘worm’ that ‘dieth not’ (Mark 9:47), an image, it seems for the endless dissolution of the personality by a condemning conscience; ‘fire’ for the agonizing awareness of God’s displeasure; ‘outer darkness’ for knowledge of the loss, not merely of God, but of all good, and everything that made life seem worth living; ‘gnashing of teeth’ for self-condemnation and self-loathing. These things are, no doubt, unimaginably dreadful, though who have been convicted of sin know little of their nature.” (Knowing God, p. 138)

In this second quote, J.I. Packer, explains the necessity of the doctrine of God’s wrath:

“…if we would know God, it is vital that we face the truth concerning His wrath, however unfashionable it may be, and however strong our initial prejudices against it. Otherwise, we shall not understand the gospel of salvation from wrath, nor the propitiatory achievement of the cross, nor the wonder of the redeeming love of God.” (Knowing God, p. 142)

Dr. Packer had an excellent, long quote from A.W. Pink, but after Packer explaining importance of this often overlooked doctrine we should take Pink’s advice:

“The wrath of God is a perfection of the Divine character on which we need to meditate frequently.” (A.W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.77, emphasis mine)

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