These are my notes from our 12/30/2012 church meeting. Note that as I update this post on 6/7/2014, my understanding regarding many of the Scriptures below which speak of the judgment has changed. However, I have left the content as it was originally posted.
Leader: Raymond Harris
Answer the enclosed questions on the wrath of GOD.
Always give scripture where you can.
1. Define wrath:
2. Were the writers of the Bible reluctant to mention that wrath is an of the attribute of God?
The writers penned the words that they were given by the Holy Spirit. They obeyed faithfully as the Spirit moved them.
3. How early in God's word do we see a demonstration of God's wrath?
The deluge, the flood of Noah's day, was a clear sign of GOD's wrath (Gen. 6-9). Although the word wrath is not seen in The Fall (Gen. 3), I think we see the concept displayed as GOD punished Adam, Eve and Satan.
4. Is the Bible very vocal about God's wrath?
The word "wrath" is found 197 times in the NKJV (including subtitles).
5. Are Christians today reluctant to talk about God's wrath? Why?
I think Christians sometimes shy away from thinking about and/or discussing GOD's wrath because it is a negative or unpleasant subject.
a. Why do we feel obliged to be silent? What is it that makes us awkward and embarrassed when the subject comes up? What is it that causes us to soft-petal it when we are asked about it? What lies at the bottom of our hesitations and difficulties?
I honestly don't feel obliged to be silent—if this needs to be discussed (e.g. dealing with sinful living), I feel it's essential that it be dealt with. If we are struggling with suppressing GOD's wrath then it must be from A.) our own sinful living; B.) a weak faith; or C.) a desire to please men rather than GOD.
6. Do you view God's wrath as cruelty? If not what would you call it?
Psalm 19:9b says that the LORD's judgments are true and righteous altogether. Sometimes GOD does seem cruel in what He allows to happen to people or in what we read in Scripture about a certain decision or punishment (e.g. Uzzah and the Ark of the Covenant). However, who am I to assess the "performance" (in a business sense) of the Creator and Judge of all? He knows so much more than me and sees so much more. I must recognize His good nature and trust His heart.
7. For everyone who receives God's wrath can we say, “it is deserved?” Why?
If GOD pours out wrath, it is deserved. GOD's judgments are right. Far be it from Him to do evil (Job 34:10). GOD disciplines those He loves (Heb. 12:5-11).
8. If, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,” Rom.1:18; and, “a day of wrath” is coming when God will “render to each person according to his deeds,” Rom 2:5-6, how can any of us escape this wrath? We are, “all under sin;” Rom.3:9; “There is none righteous not even one;” Rom. 3:10; “all the world is accountable to God;” Rom 3:19? Answer Rom. 5:6-11; 6:1-11.
We are saved from GOD's wrath through Jesus alone (Rom. 5:9).
9. What does it mean to be justified? Rom. 5:9
The word "justified" in Rom. 5:9 is a verb that means "I make righteous; defend the cause of; justify".
10. What about those who are not justified?
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living GOD (Heb. 10:31). Whoever that stone falls upon will be crushed (Matt. 21:43-44). Those who aren't found in GOD's Book of Life are cast into the fiery lake of burning sulfur (Rev. 19:15; 20:9-15; 21:8).
11. What benefit is there to frequent meditation of, “The wrath of God?” Heb. 12:28,29; 1Thess 1:10; Jude 23.
Live fearfully, faithfully and patiently awaiting Jesus' return (1 Pet. 4:17-18).