In order to appreciate what you have been saved from (that is if you’ve believed in Christ), it is highly important to contrast eternal life with eternal death (heaven and hell). So often within our Christian culture, we will highlight the things we love hearing about, namely God’s love, patience, mercy, kindness, forbearance, etc. But even as Christians, at times, in this mindset alone, we will forget what it is we’ve been saved from and wander in complacency. We forget the awful and horrific, eternal, conscious wrath of God that should have been ours because of our sinfulness and rebellion against Him. You and I should go there deservingly!
This leads me to my main point: going deep into the depths of understanding the wrath of God will give you a much greater appreciation for the cross and what Jesus bore and what you’ve been saved from. While studying deep into the wrath and justice of God though, never take your eyes off the cross of Christ. This is where our hell and judgment was met out at its fullest, in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, where He atoned and propitiated for our sin. In studying God’s wrath, hell, and justice, it can be terribly frightening. We can then see 1) how great, mighty, powerful, and frightening God really is, 2) how great His love for us really is that He would even provide us a Savior at all, and 3) how great of an offense our sin really is that we should deserve hell for all eternity even for one sin! We are despicable creatures that deserve the wrath of God, without relenting, for all eternity. We deserve to be eternally scorched in the furnace of His fury against wickedness, deservingly. We took our filth and slapped Him in the face with it. We scorned and mocked Him in our sin and degrading behavior. We deserve unspeakable, conscious torment forever! And yet God in His great mercy sent His Son to die and rise from the dead in our place, to propitiate (or turn away) the wrath of God for us who believe in Him. How wonderful is that love? Wow. It never ceases to amaze me. Why would He rescue someone like me from the pit of eternal death when I deserved it so clearly? What an awesome God!
Here are some links that go in depth and look at many Scriptural references pertaining to hell, God’s wrath, and His righteous judgment:
The Wrath of God (Read this first)
Hell, Judgment (Monergism.com)
Nature and Duration of Hell’s Torments
Lake of Fire
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