Friday, April 17, 2009

What is God's purpose for judgment and wrath?

This question comes to us from a series of Q and A from Dr. John MacArthur. Click here to see the entire index.

"I think that I can just answer that just very simply".

1. It is to punish those who reject Him, and that is simply what the Bible says. God's wrath is set to punish. Romans 1:18, "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness." God will punish them for that. There is a price to pay for the rejection of the truth. So, the first purpose of God's judgment and wrath is punishment.

2. I would add a second purpose. I really believe that secondly (and this is in a large theological framework) I believe that God's purpose for punishment is the ultimate elimination of evil from His kingdom, once and for all, and forever. In other words, I think God, throughout the history of man, in allowing sin, allowed it in order that He might destroy it. Do you understand what I am saying?

If there is an up--there is a down, and if there is an in--there is an out, if there is a left--there is a right. In other words, we live in a world of opposites. And if there is a good--there was always potentially an evil, and eventually that evil was made manifest. It was as if God had allowed it to happen so that He could once and for all destroy it. He allowed it to run its full course, with its full power, and its full impact, and shows in the end that He can utterly destroy and eliminate it from His eternal kingdom. All of this is happening in a brief span, in the mists of eternity. Once evil has finally run it course and God has finally set it aside, it will never again exist throughout all of forever. And so I believe that there is a sense in which there is an individual perspective that God is angry because He is punishing individuals for rejection, and on a broader scale God is exhibiting His wrath for the purpose of ultimately destroying evil and setting it in the place it belongs--outside His kingdom forever and ever.