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How’s this for a catchy tract title…

"God's wrath is as eternal as God's love!"

That was emblazoned on the first page of a tract being offered by some Christians at a literature table in town.  Can you believe it?  That's the opening gambit!

When I pressed them on it, they said, Of course God is love.  But He also hates.

"Which is more eternal?" I asked.  They couldn't say.

Well I can.

He is Father - eternally begetting (giving life to) His Son.

He is Radiance - eternally shining out the Light of His beauty.

He is Speaker - eternally revealing and communicating Himself in His Word.

He is Blesser - eternally pouring His Spirit onto and into Christ.

You can wind back the clock as far as you like into the depths of eternity and you will see life-giving, radiant, communicative blessing flowing out to the Other.  That is His eternal nature.  He is love.  He is light.  Scripture never says He is hate.

His wrath is a response to the alien existence of death, darkness and sin.   It is the response of love to that which would harm or demean His Beloved.  God's wrath is not as eternal as God's love.

What do they sing at that church I wonder?

Fly sinners, fly into those a-a-arms
Of everlasting wr-a-a-ath
Of e-ev-er-la-a-sti-ing wrath! 

6 thoughts on “How’s this for a catchy tract title…

  1. Michael

    I agree! But do you think God does hate?
    Had a really long discussion about this with some people and I was arguing that when we were enemies with him, if he hated our very nature how could he not in some way also hate us? Cf the biblical references to how God hates the wicked?

  2. Rich Owen

    Psalm 5:5-6.

    But Glen is right. In eternity past, there were no wicked men for God to hate. He only has His righteous Son, around whom he spreads his favour and together they sing for joy. God is love.

    God's wrath now extends eternally forward, but to suggest that it is inversely proportional to his love sounds rather duelistic to me.

    Rich

  3. Glen

    Hey Michael,

    God both loves and hates but they are not equal options for Him which He stands above. He *is* love and whatever hate He feels is first grounded in His love.

    "God hates the sin and loves the sinner" is sometimes a true and helpful sentence when trying to co-ordinate God's love and hate. But it is not the whole story nor the foundational one. God does indeed hate the wicked. Think of Him looking around the synagogue in Mark 3 with the man with the withered hand by His side:

    "And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored." (Mark 3:4-5)

    There's a compelling window onto the heart of God.

  4. John B

    How about just saying that "God's wrath is eternal on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, as Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 1; or, "the wrath of God abideth on him who doesn't trust and obey the Son", as John the Baptist says in John 3. Love and wrath aren't equally ultimate. Wrath is God's response to the Fall, and love is of his essence. But Jesus warns that when he comes again in glory in the final judgment, he will condemn those on his left to "eternal fire" and "eternal punishment" (Matthew 25). Although not catchy, apart from God's eternal wrath over sin, Jesus' mission is incomprehensible to me.

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