Vengeance, indignation, burning anger and jealousy. These are some of the words the Bible uses to describe God’s reactions to this present evil world. To put it mildly, God is not happy. Can you blame Him? Look at us – look at what this world does, what it stands for and how we treat one another! God will not allow such sin and corruption to continue. He will act and when He does, there will be no mistaking His response. The Bible emphatically describes what look like world ending events – these events are called “The Day of Vengeance,” “Armageddon,” “The Time of Trouble,” “The Day of Wrath”… So wait! We are always talking about God being a God of love – how could this vengeance of God possibly be interpreted as an act of love? Is God so vengeful and angry that He is going to squash us like bugs or is there another way to understand what His vengeance is, how it works and what it accomplishes?
As we pursue understanding what it means to experience the vengeance of God we really need to ask some other far less obvious questions – how important is God’s vengeance in relation to the rest of His plan? Is God’s anger the paramount factor in biblical teaching? Obviously you will get a variety of answers depending upon who you ask, but consider the following as a starting point: Christians all believe that Jesus is the centerpiece of the Bible’s message. This means that we would cling to his teachings and example as the centerpiece of our lives. That being the case, how often did Jesus focus us on God’s vengeance? How much of a central theme was the "Day of Wrath” in his teachings? The answer is...not much at all. Outside of the prophecy he gave about his own return and the conditions surrounding it, the vengeance of God did not seem at all important.
We can draw a profound lesson from this. The prophecy of the Day of Vengeance and all that it stands for, while noteworthy, does not rise to the point of being a centerpiece of God’s plan. Why is it not a centerpiece? Because it is a specific prophecy about a specific and short period of time - simply a small piece in the puzzle of God’s grand plan for the human race. Having said that, the Day of Vengeance IS coming and our understanding of it should be clear. For most of us it is not. Most of us assume the worst Hollywood depictions of a God whose furious and uncontrollable anger swoops down upon this sinful world to vengefully destroy it and all who abide there.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
God’s vengeance is NOT like our vengeance, for God’s character is above our human propensities for emotional outbursts and revenge-based actions. To know what the Day of Vengeance is REALLY about, how it happens and what its results are can be an enormous awakening. Check out our May 8, 2017 podcast, “Will God’s Vengeance Squash Us Like Bugs?” and follow along with us as we put God’s wrath, sin, the ending of social orders and what comes next into perspective. You just might be surprised!
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