There are some who preach and teach “God is not mad at you” as an across-the-board truth which applies to everyone. This belief is based on the idea that the death of Jesus has forever satisfied the wrath of God. Consequently God isn’t angry with anyone, not even the hard hearted who refuses to repent, but does the Bible actually teach this?
Consider the words of Paul to the Corinthians, Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:11
Consider also that Paul told the Thessalonians that the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus, and who were hindering his ministry to the Gentiles, were under God’s wrath. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16
Paul believed the hostile Jews who put Jesus to death and who continued in their hostility by opposing the gospel were under the wrath of God. Paul says this after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Yet there are modern day teachers who claim that no one is under God’s wrath because of their “theological” claims that God poured out his wrath on Jesus.
One well know minister has said the following:
Jesus forever changed the way God relates to mankind. Sure, there are scriptural examples of God’s catastrophic judgment on sin. But God’s greatest act of judgment was when He placed all of His wrath for our sins upon Jesus. This forever satisfied God’s wrath. Since that time, God hasn’t been judging our sins.
Compare the quote above with Paul’s words form in the book of Romans:
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. ~ Romans 12:19
If no one is under the wrath of God, as some claim, Paul would not have taught that we who follow Jesus are not appointed to wrath at the coming of the Lord, but those who refuse to obey the gospel are under the wrath of God when Christ comes. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:8 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
If no one is under the wrath of God, the author of Hebrews would never have said that those who turn away from the Lord have nothing to look forward to except for a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ~ Hebrews 10:27, 30-31
Peter tells us God that turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes and condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished, ~ 2 Peter 2:6-9
The apostle Peter also declared: For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? ~ 1 Peter 4:17
The teacher whose comment is referenced above has made a bold statement based on his theological assessment that God placed all his wrath on Jesus which is nowhere taught in the Bible.
According to the Bible, Jesus suffered under the wrath of men, who opposed God and Jesus. ~ Acts 4:25-27.
In Acts 7, Stephen asserted that Jesus had been murdered. Stephen declared this to those who were about to stone him, saying to them that they had been “the betrayers and murderers of Jesus.” ~ Acts 7:52
According to the prophet Isaiah, and Philip preaching to the Eunuch, Jesus was deprived of justice from the time of his arrest until his death on the cross. ~ Isaiah 53:8, Acts 8:33
As Jesus prepared his disciples for the things he was to suffer in his death, he told his disciples that he would suffer at the hands of men.
See Matthew 16:21; 17:9, 22-23; 20:17-19; 26:1-2, 24, 31, 45; 26:51-56; Mark 8:31; 9:9-11, 31-32, 10:32-34; 14:27, 43-50; 15:27-28; Luke 9:21-22, 44-45; 17:24-25; 18:31-34; 22:37; 24:1-8, 13-27, 44-48; John 18:31-32; 19:24, 28
In the book of Acts, the declaration of the gospel by the apostles and men like Stephen, was that Jesus had suffered an unjust death at the hands of sinful men.
See Acts 2:22-24, 36; 3:13-18; 4:10-11, 20, 23- 28; 5:30-32; 7:52; 10:36-43
Neither Jesus, nor any of his followers in scripture ever preached that Jesus died under the wrath of God. They always attributed the death of Christ to the hands of sinful men, and they preached the resurrection as God’s righteous vindication of his Son, Jesus.
According to the apostle Peter, the sufferings Jesus endured serves as our example of how we are to respond when we suffer wrongfully.
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. ~ 1 Peter 2:19-25
Notice that in view of Jesus suffering for us, Peter says that Jesus committed himself to God who judges righteously, setting an example that we should follow when we suffer wrongfully. Peter would not have said this if Jesus had suffered under God’s righteous wrath.
According to the author of Hebrews, Jesus endured hostility from sinners when he died on the cross (Hebrews 12:2-3) and he endured such hostility by the grace of God. ~ Hebrews 2:9
Paul tells us in Romans, the reproaches of those who reproached (defamed) God fell upon Jesus. ~ Romans 15:3
Jesus was crucified by those who were in opposition to God. The condemnation Jesus endured from sinful men, was sinful man’s opposition against God. This is exactly why the disciples prayed in Acts 4 saying: The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and his Christ. ~ Acts 4:26
Within the context of Acts 4:26 (mentioned above) the disciples of the Lord made appeal to Psalm 2, which clearly reveals that Jesus was condemned, not by the wrath of God, but by the wrath of sinful men: why do THE HEATHEN RAGE and the people imagine vain thing.
Heathen raging, is an expression of the heathen’s wrath. Jesus died under the wrath of heathen, and not the wrath of a holy God. The hatred and opposition from sinful men, who condemned Jesus to death, was hatred and opposition against God who sent Jesus. This is what the four gospels and the book of Acts repeatedly give testimony concerning.
According to Jesus, God was with him when he gave his life (John 8:29; 16:28-32) and this is exactly what the prophet Isaiah said. ~ Isaiah 50:5-9
Jesus endure such opposition from sinful men in order that he might give his life as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is the gift of God to us, but he is also the gift to God on our behalf, for he gave himself to God as a holy sacrifice, as a sweet -savor offering (Ephesians 5:2), when he offered his holy life on the altar of the cross for us.
The one who desires to obey God is NOT under God’s wrath. The one who despises God and rejects his goodness is. Those who abduct children, rape children, murder innocent people, live in adultery, mock Jesus, etc., are absolutely under God’s wrath. Only by repenting and being saved through the cross of Jesus Christ, is the wrath of God turned away from such people.
God patiently gives them space to repent, but God is not, “not angry”, with them. He is angry with the wicked every day. ~ Psalm 7:11
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. ~ Ephesians 5:3-6