Saturday, February 12, 2005
Saints In The Hands Of An Angry God?
Question: When is God angry with His children, born-again saints of God?
The answer: Never.
Now I know you've been taught that He's angry, directly or by implication. Admit it. You may even think when you are sinful or disobedient to the Word of God that God sees you as "wicked", and everyone knows "God is angry with the wicked every day", right?
Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, "Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God" in the 1700's, and the picture has been applied to believers and has stuck...
...with those who don't understand the difference between a Sinner and a Saint. Or who don't understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
Oh, how the devil loves confusion. He loves confusion between the biblical concept of a "saint" as anyone who is a born-again child of God, and the Roman Catholic nonsense that a "saint" is someone who meets some elaborate criteria of the Mother Church, and is "voted in". The devil loves confusion between the Old Covenant (which Hebrews 8 says failed in bringing righteousness because of man's inability to keep the Law) and the New Covenant, in which God puts His laws in our hearts, fulfills those laws in Christ on the cross, declares us righteous, and forgives us of all our sins, past, present and future.
Yes, the devil loves confusion.
So it's no surprise (though a crying shame), that children of God think that God is angry at them when they fall short and sin. And otherwise fine Christians who mean well perpetuate this ridiculous notion, without one shred of support from the New Covenant scriptures!
And so Christians often run away from this angry God, instead of toward Him, when they fail. They won't look Him in the face, because they think it's a face of anger. What a tragedy.
This is not the place for an extended exegesis ("drawing out") of the subject in the scriptures. But here's a challenge for those who doubt what I'm saying: Search the epistles of the New Testament for any teaching that God is ever angry with His children.
By the way, don't think the passages on God's chastisement are regarding some kind of punishment out of anger. Study them closely, and you will see they involve loving gentle correction, from a loving Father, who just wants his kids to be in close fellowship with Him. No condemnation, no unforgiveness, no bitterness, no anger.
Like a daddy teaching his 1-year-old to walk, while the kid keeps wobbling, staggering, and falling...sometimes painfully in the wrong direction, but often into a laughing Daddy's arms for a big hug.
Listen to "Grace For Life" Radio Program.