There hangs on a wall in our home a picture, simple, but with a tremendous story. Two lambs are resting peacefully on the ground; behind them is a large hand, and drooling and snarling behind that hand are several ferocious wolves. The lambs are lying in perfect peace, despite the danger, because the hand is restraining their enemies.

Most Christians respond to this portrayal of God’s protecting hand and rejoice that he still loves and cares for his own today.

At the same time there are many who would take advantage of the concept of God’s love without admitting that the love of God is but one facet of his being.

The stern words of John the Baptist to the Pharisees and Sadducees—the religious leaders of his day—carried deep meaning: “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” And this warning is not dated. The wrath of God is seen today and will be seen in the final judgment.

God’s wrath is not against the sinner because he is a sinner—all men are sinners. His wrath is again sin, against sin wherever it is found. Only in this light can we understand the implications of the Cross. Our Saviour’s death was not a sentimental example; it was an act of necessity. Only the death of the Son of God had in it the cleansing necessary—the power to deliver from the guilt and penalty of sin’s affront to a holy God.

In John 3:36 we read: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” In the light of this we have two choices: either John was mistaken, speaking from ignorance or from deliberate spite, or he was affirming a truth in which there is unspeakable comfort or warning of dire peril.

Even a superficial study of the word “wrath” as ...

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