The Way Out from Under the Wrath of God (John 3:36)
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. —John 3:36
Our Fighter Verse this week closes out the third chapter of John. The first half of the chapter is Jesus’ famous conversation with the inquisitive Pharisee, Nicodemus, who was asking how a man could be born again. In His kindness, Jesus graciously explained that He was referring to a spiritual rebirth, not a physical one. This birth is the work of God.
Then, in the second half of the chapter, both John the Baptist and Jesus are baptizing followers in the same general region. In response to his followers lamenting to him that most of the people were going to Jesus to be baptized, John the Baptist humbly shared with his followers that he is not the Christ. The fact that John has been able to baptize anyone at all is a gift given to him from God. John’s participation in the ministry of Christ is the work of God.
John the Baptist continues by explaining to his followers that Jesus is the witness from heaven revealing God to all who will hear and receive His testimony. In closing, he shares the good news of the gospel. If a person will believe in Jesus, they will be saved! They need to be saved because the wrath of God is on them. The last clause of this sentence is quite horrible.
The wrath of God is one of His divine attributes for which He is to be praised, while at the same time it is truly dreadful and terrifying. God’s wrath is described as “burning hot“ toward those who sin against Him (Exodus 32:9-10) and as “being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men“ (Romans 1:18). In Revelation Jesus is described as treading “the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty“ (Rev 19:15). Finally, the writer of Hebrews says, “It’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God“ (Hebrews 10:31).
This wrath is what all people are born under, this wrath is what Jesus Christ saves His people from, and this wrath is what Jesus Christ Himself experienced while on the cross. Jesus took the Father’s wrath so that His people will not have to; instead, those who are His receive the bounty and blessing of Jesus and all His promises! This salvation is the work of God.
Oh how glorious, beautiful, and all-satisfying is our God!
Have you ever considered the wrath of God and what it might be like to experience it?
Stop and give praise to Jesus for taking the wrath of the Father so that we can have everlasting joy with Him.
Pray for someone you know who still has the wrath of God remaining on him or her and ask God for an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
Pat Dirrim has been in full time ministry since 2011. He and his wife Barbara have been married for 27 years. They have seven children, three of whom remain at home. They helped start Grace Fellowship 18 years ago and have worshipped there ever since, outside of the two years when they served as missionaries in Guatemala. They have been using Truth78 curriculum the entire time of their church’s existence and have introduced it at many other churches, as well as trained others how to use it.