Saturday, February 3, 2007

God's Judgment: Now or Later?

I recently received this question about last week's message. I thought it was a fair question and I thought I'd share my response online.

Hi Doug,
At homegroup this week we had a question about the January 28th message. I believe you said in reference to war that it was God's sovereign judgment over corrupt humanity (or something like that)? How would that be? I guess I always thought that war was due to "corrupt humanity", but not necessarily God's judgment. If so, how do you believe God directs such things? Please explain.Thanks so much.

This was my response:

Great question! You are absolutely correct that the sinful aspects of war (there is a Christian case for a Just War, but that's a different topic) are due to corrupt humanity. Nevertheless, the fact that people are allowed to continue and sometimes even prevail in this evil is also a sign of God's wrath. Let me explain.

There are two aspects to God's wrath. 1. Current wrath. 2. Future wrath.

The current wrath of God is being revealed right now. As Romans 1:18 says, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness," But how is God judging people now? Currently? If you follow the logic of this passage you'll see that the way this wrath is being revealed is through God allowing people to experience the destructive aspects of their sin (see especially Rom 1:24, "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts..."). Verse 24 is directly connected to the mention of God's wrath in vs 18. The current wrath of God is experienced when people reject God and turn to false substitutes (war being just one). Unfortunately many innocent people are hurt by the consequences of such sin.

The future wrath of God is reserved for the end times when He will also finally make all things right. Things will be as He intended once more.... sinless, and without war.

Hope this helps. I'm going to post your question (anonymously) on my blog so that others can grapple with it too. Great question. Please encourage your HomeGroup to review my answer on the blog and to keep asking questions.

God's best,

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