The Fact that You Even Ask That Question . . .

It seems that American evangelicalism is afraid to talk about judgment, hell, repentance, and God’s wrath in general. It’s been well-documented recently, but here’s another angle: why is it that we feel we must shrug off the facts of judgment? Why do we always feel the need to say things like, “Well, God could save everyone, but He doesn’t”? What are we saying?

Of course, the question that always follows is, “Well, why doesn’t He?” as though God is somehow bound to our pea-sized (at best) ideas of how sin, wrath, redemption, and glory are meant to work on a cosmic scale. But the fact that we even ask or entertain that question is evil for a number of reasons:

  1. God doesn’t have to save anyone. He is unbound by anything but His own promise to do so. Those who care not for the promise have no right to question the Potter.
  2. God doesn’t accidentally save less than we think. God means to save all whom He wills. This is the message of countless passages, promises, and teachings. God is not a bumbling TV father who can’t remember how many kids He has. He’s God.
  3. God’s wrath is glorious. God intends to exercise wrath, punishment, righteous anger upon sin. He must do it because it glorifies Him and His glory is His ultimate goal.
  4. God’s wrath promotes His grace (Romans 9:22-23). Saddest of all, the fact that we even ask the question means we don’t really understand God’s grace. His grace is a bloody grace, sending and punishing His Lamb-Son in the sheep’s place. His grace is a painful grace, taking on our pain that we might be in His pleasure. His grace is a wrath-built grace; through the cross God builds on and deals with the fact of wrath rather than ignoring it.
  5. Our questions reveal our pride. The fact that we even ask such a question also reveals that we assume lies. We assume that God won’t judge. We assume that we’re entitled to forgiveness. We assume that we’ve earned better than God’s forever-hot wrath. We haven’t.

The next time we think about entertaining the arrogant question, let’s think again and be humbled beneath His mighty hand. God’s glory deserves more.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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