MERCY OR WRATH

By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)


INTRODUCTION

Mercy or wrath concept is given throughout God's Word with a strong urging to allow mercy to be extended by a caring God.  Scripture reveals: God sent not his Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believes on him is not condemned but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:17-18).  He that believes on the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides (remains) on him (John 3:36).

God's love and mercy were clearly demonstrated at the Cross of Calvary when Jesus died for all of our sins.  The above scriptures reveal a choice of mercy or wrath; dependent on one's acceptance of Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior; or not!


Mercy or Wrath
God Delights in Mercy

Scripture reveals: Who is a God like unto you, that pardons iniquity and passes by (over) the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retains not his anger forever, because he delights in mercy.  He will turn again, he will have compassion on us; he will subdue our iniquities; and will cast all their (our) sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:18-19).

The forgiveness and pardon of a merciful and gracious God toward a sinful mankind is declared by the prophet Micah based on the redemptive work of a Savior.  There are those in this world that are walking away from God's provision for mankind; but thank God for those who are and have embraced the redemptive work of Christ, as Lord and Savior!

Knowing First Hand
the Mercy of God

The mercy of God was not only echoed by the prophet Micah; but similarly declared by the Psalmist David, who knew first hand of the mercy of God in his own life.  He wrote: The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy.  He will not always chide (strive): neither will keep his anger forever.

He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:8-12).

A Bible commentary noted: Merciful, gracious, slow to anger, amply illustrates the vastness, and greatness of the mercy of God, His removal of our sins, of His compassion, including all created beings.  According to the election of grace; chosen by God and redeemed by Christ, God forgives all transgressions, sins, and iniquities of every kind, to the repentant in heart.

A Turning Towards
Wrath

We live in a world that the mercy or wrath pendulum is swinging towards wrath; with many seeking to dominate, showing no mercy to any opposition.  World domination is in the forefront with Marxism, Socialism, and Communism rearing its ugly to deceive, dominate, and control.

Many nations of the world are seeking to be the dominating factor; spreading their influence, seeking to deceive the masses and gain control. If one does not line up with their agenda; it is no longer a choice of mercy or wrath, but wrath! 

Let No Man Deceive
You

Scripture reveals: For this you know, that no whore monger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children (sons) of disobedience.  Be not you therefore partakers with them (Ephesians 5:5-7).  Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them (Ephesians 5:11).

Man has, rather than condemn such actions, given way to embrace the evils of our day.  In many cases, the church has allowed such to be introduced and accepted, rather than rejected based on the Word of God!  The mercy or wrath concept plays into the picture when repentance does not come to the forefront; which would allow God's mercy to be extended.

God's Wrath Displayed

God's mercy or wrath is mentioned numerous times in His Word; including the Pre-flood days of Noah, and Sodom and Gomorrah.  Scripture reveals: God spared not the old world but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow (destruction), making them an example to those that after (afterward) should live ungodly (2 Peter 2:5-6).

Scripture reveals the wickedness of man prior to the flood: And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the Lord that he had made man in the earth, and it grieved him at his heart (Genesis 6:5-6).  The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11).

Mercy Extended Based
on Repentance

The mercy or wrath concept is best illustrated in the case of Nineveh.  Scripture reveals: The word of the Lord came to Jonah (a prophet of God), saying: Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry (sound the alarm) against it; for their wickedness is come before me (Jonah 1:2).  

And as Jonah began to enter into the city, a day's journey (on the first day), he cried (cried out), and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown (destroyed) (Jonah 3:4).  The people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth (a sign of repentance), from the greatest of them, even to the least of them (Jonah 3:5).

God saw their work, that they turned away from their evil way; and God repented (relented) of the evil, that he had said that he would do to them, and he did it not (Jonah 3:10).  A Bible commentary noted: God did not change in His ultimate intention toward the Ninevites, rather they changed in their attitude toward Him.  On the basis of that change, God could deal with them in grace, rather than His wrath being exercised, as their failure to repent would have necessitated.  

Tribulation and Anguish
or Salvation and Mercy

Scripture tells us: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (suppress) the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).  To them that are contentious (self-seeking), and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile (all of mankind); but glory, honor, and peace to every man that works good to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile (Romans 2:8-10).

Thank God for the repentant in heart!  Scripture reveals that to such God has not appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation (mercy) by our Lord Jesus Christ (again, the mercy or wrath concept) (1 Thessalonians 5:9).  A Bible commentary noted: In contrast to the wicked, for whom Christ's coming will be an hour of destruction; believers will not face God's wrath, but will be saved, not appointed to wrath or the agony of the tribulation, identified as the way of the Lord.

Walking After One's
Own Lust

Scripture reveals that the Lord will come with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all (no longer under the mercy or wrath concept), and to convince (convict) all that are ungodly among them; of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard (harsh) speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (the Lord). These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaking great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage (Jude 1:14-16).

A Sunday school commentary noted: God, having power and authority to create, also has power and authority to destroy that which He creates; this was shown by the Flood.  When humans become so evil, that every thought and imagination of the human mind and heart was only evil continually, God decided to destroy from the earth the humans He had created.  To give live and take away life are both within God's authority.

We are seeing a blossoming forth of evilness that is under the descriptive narrative of the Pre-flood days of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Babylon the hold of every foul spirit.  The mercy or wrath concept still exists; as long as the breath of life remains!

Flaunting God's Offer
of Mercy

Scripture reveals: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise (of His coming wrath), as some men count slackness: but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (recognizing His mercy or wrath provision for mankind) (2 Peter 3:9).

Whereby the world that then was (Pre-flood days of Noah), being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against (until) the day of judgment and perdition (destruction) of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:6-7).

In the Flood all of mankind was destroyed; with the exception of Noah, and his family, with only eight individuals surviving the wrath of God upon mankind.  In the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain round about, only Lot, and his family (with the exception of his wife) survived the devastation of that day.  Why does man continue to flaunt God's offer of mercy; not allowing His mercy to be the norm of the day?

Warning of What Is
Coming

God's Word reveals the mercy or wrath concept throughout both the Old and New Testaments.  One needs to realize that the world is not to be a playground of demonic influences; supported by man, in an attempt to tug the soul of man from God's mercy.

Scripture gives reference to the lack of concern in the days of Lot:  As it was in the days of Lot (prior to the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah); they did eat, they drank, they brought, they sold, they planted, they built; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven (God's wrath), and destroyed them all.  Even so shall it in the day when the Son of man (Jesus' coming) shall be revealed (Luke 17:26-29).

A Bible commentary noted: Apathy in the world at large must not dull the expectation of deliverance from the wrath to come.  Wholehearted devotion to God, and His Son (the Lord Jesus Christ); the Savior of the world, as opposed to loving possessions or life itself; will be the only refuge in that day!

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