Isaiah prophesied two absolutely vital truths of our faith. Both have to do with Christ’s coming to the earth. As for Jesus’ first coming? “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord...” In other words, the gospel that we are saved by grace through faith. As for His second coming? “…and the Day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:2). In other words, to execute justice against evil.
Surprisingly, Isaiah goes on to prophesy that this vengeance would bring comfort, joy, and praise. How can this be? Those words aren’t what we normally associate with vengeance. That’s because we look at that word from our earthly perspective—from mankind’s imperfect anger and justice. God’s love is perfect. Mankind’s love is conditional. God’s justice is perfect. Mankind’s justice is inconsistent.
God has an appointed time for His vengeance. It is set for the first 3½ years of the Day of the Lord. And it is known as the Wrath of that Day. The purpose of God’s wrath is to incarcerate Satan and his evil forces, and seal up sin once and for all. In the process, the rebellious, counterfeit one-world order shall be destroyed.
No longer will believers have to endure the suffering and injustice that comes via sin and rebellion. Instead, faith, hope, and love will endure. The world will be made right again. Well, actually, it will be made new. Like earth, version 2.0!
If you or someone you know has a problem with the idea of God’s wrath, Alisa Childers, in her book, Another Gospel?, offers this insight from Croatian theologian Miroslav Volf. After witnessing the horrors of the Bosnian war, he saw the comfort in God’s wrath. “Though I used to complain about the indecency of the ideas of God’s wrath, I came to think that I would have to rebel against a God who wasn’t wrathful at the sight of the world’s evil. God isn’t wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love.”
Sin, rebellion, and evil are ugly. Every single instance results in someone being hurt, robbed, killed, or destroyed (John 10:10). As Childers’ points out, “those who denounce God’s wrath are often the very same people who complain that He allows suffering and evil in the world. Yet Scripture tells us of a God who not only gives us an answer for the problem of evil but literally becomes the answer.”
The historical record is clear on what evil brings. With each passing year, the consequences of evil escalate, like a super virus feeding on itself. Could any of us have imagined the lengths to which evil would go in these last couple of years?
This is why it is time to understand the importance of the Wrath of that Day. God is in control. We need not fear. He’s given us Christ’s armor to stand firm in His truth and provision. He’s given us His word, such as Psalm 91 and Mark 16 to protect us. He hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. We need to know and act on the anointing of God within us to draw people to Christ—the answer to the evil and injustice in this world. Our focus needs to be on individuals, not the nations. God already has the nations in His hands.