God’s Wrath is According to the Victim, Not the Sin
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:18-20 ESV Read More
This is one of those sections that if you read it without thinking too deeply can sound unfair. It claims that things can be known about God and it’s plain to people, but for those that didn’t get it there will be wrath and judgment. How can something invisible be rejected? And even more, how can someone be held responsible for rejecting something that was invisible?
God shows His truth to a lot of people in a lot of different ways. He can speak through movies, our conscience, hardships and joys, or even through statues of false gods. If a person heeds that voice, sincerely draws nearer, and continues to grow towards Christ, they have received the truth. If they have suppressed that whisper and rejected any thought of it, they have hidden the truth that was originally implanted in them at creation.
So why the judgment?
Wrath doesn’t come according to the sin committed, but according to the One whom the sin is against. If I throw a rock at a neighbor kid, I get one kind of wrath. Maybe he or his mom will yell at me and I’ll get some dirty looks. If I throw a rock and nail the mayor, I’ll probably go to jail and might make the nightly news. The wrath upgrades not in the sin I committed, but in the level of the one I offended. If I hit the President of the United States or the Queen of England with a rock, the wrath would be way beyond that neighborhood kid yelling at me.
So the maker of strawberries and galaxies is reaching out. Not one of us deserves the warmth of sunshine or the miracle of a baby’s hug, but the Lord works it to happen in spite of us. To sin against Him brings wrath as infinite as His glory.
Paul is getting there in a few more pages, but that that wrath was put on Jesus Christ for all who believe that He took it for them. His grace and mercy is even bigger than His wrath.