How to Respond to God’s Coming Wrath

Posted on September 5, 2019


By David Ettinger

An Honest Read
If as believers we read ALL of God’s Word – that is, ALL 66 books of the Bible – then we must take the good with the bad. We can’t be as the unbelievers who want to have their ears “tickled” (2 Timothy 4:3) and read only that which goes down easy.

God’s love is always accompanied by His wrath and judgment, as all of His attributes work in unison. His attributes are a package. So, when you come to difficult passages, you can’t act like they don’t exist.

Such is the case with God’s coming wrath which He will pour out upon the earth at the end of the age. This time period will be known as the “Day of the Lord,” and is a prevalent theme in both the Old and New Testaments.

The “Day of the Lord” is the theme of the Book of Zephaniah, a 3-chapter, Old Testament dissertation on God’s plan for ending this era of human history on Planet Earth before ushering in his Millennial (1,000-year) Kingdom of peace and glory.

This plan is well spelled out in Zephaniah 1:14-18. It is not a pleasant read, but it is an honest one, and believers need to accept it and wrap their minds around it.

Zephaniah 1:14-18
Near is the great day of the Lord, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the Lord! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. I [God] will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the Lord; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

What to Do With It
Not pleasant to read, but it is real, it is God’s will, and it IS coming. This will be God’s final act of this era of human history, which began with the creation of the earth in Genesis 1.

This will be God pouring out His wrath on all the earth’s evil, purging the earth of everything profane before reconstituting it. You can read about this “reconstituting” in 2 Peter 3:10-13, which also serves as a perfect accompaniment passage to the one above.

The question now is: Knowing what is coming upon the Earth – that is, God’s Day of the Lord wrath – how should you and I as Christians in 2019 react to it? What should we do about it?

Fortunately, Peter gives us the answer in 2 Peter 3:14: “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless.”

That expression “since you look for these things” doesn’t mean you are actually looking forward to God’s wrath, but that you acknowledge its reality and know for certain it is coming.

Therefore, knowing that a day of reckoning is on the horizon, there ought to be a somberness about us. Of course we should have joy in Christ, but we also must acknowledge that this world is overrun by those who are NOT at peace with Him, are NOT spotless in His eyes, and are NOT blameless in His judicial assessment. In other words, most of the earth is inhabited by those who do not acknowledge the deity of Jesus Christ.

However, you and I are, and we are to live out our faith in sobriety, striving to live righteously and fighting the battle against sin. Our primary goal must be to serve our Lord who gave His life for us.

And in the doing, perhaps He will allow us to tell others about what is coming upon the earth that we might save some of them.