An excerpt from chapter 5 of my soon to be available book, The Book of Romans: A Universal Gospel:
“…The wrath of God is an absolute must-be-understood for people as they are taught about the truth of God’s word. Paul begins here because without this point, not much else will make sense.
There is a fundamentality to the concepts of sin and guilt that society does not like. Right at the heart of any system of true thought must be found the reality of righteousness, sin, and guilt. These are ceasing to be primary categories of thought for us today. The godless world certainly does not like these concepts too well, but that is to be expected in many ways. Those who refuse God are not likely to accept such condemning realities; they are more likely to deny that white is white and black is black.
However, there is a great concern to me that the church itself does not remember these basic realities well enough. We certainly know that there is more to be said about truth than only sin, guilt, and wrath. The church has more of the message of God than only the first part. We know about grace, forgiveness, and other wonderful truths.
But I have to confess that I am greatly disheartened when I find that these other truths are so abused and mis-emphasized today that the concept of God’s wrath against sin seems almost to disappear. I want us to think about whether there is any real basis for this. We are almost jumping ahead now, for this topic will be dealt with in greater detail in later chapters of Romans, but it is such a problem in our theology and way of thinking that I have to stop for a moment now and emphasize it. God hates sin. And I will ask you whether you think that is true even when that sin is found in the people who go to church and hear the Bible read and taught, or only when it is found in those who explicitly reject God’s word?…”