God’s wrath is not an ever-burning hell but leaving us to the natural consequences of our rebellious actions and attitudes that really do lead to eternal death. If Luther had continued his reformation, he would have seen the distinction between an imposed penalty and the natural consequences God has warned us of. Luther is known for his attempts to assuage God’s wrath, crawling upstairs on his knees, and offering endless prayers and petitions to other priests while pleading for God’s mercy, because like many of us, he was afraid of God’s “wrath.” And it’s no wonder.
Dante’ Divine Comedy
The Middle Ages portrayed a horrible picture of God, of something called purgatory, and of hell. I can hardly post the pictures of Gustave Dore’s illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy, they are that terrifying, and Dore was just illustrating the greatest book written to date, the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, finished in 1320, just a year before his death. The Divine Comedy was widely considered to be the greatest work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature.
The book describes Dante’s travels through hell, purgatory, and paradise, from a Mid-evil perspective, and I want to emphasize the evil in Mid-evil. It is an amazing piece of literature; it’s truly a work of art, but Dante’s picture of God was distorted and his understanding of God’s wrath was wrong, dead wrong. God is nothing like Dante’s portrayal, and neither is heaven, and there is no purgatory, and there is no hell as he describes it.
Consider a few of these Bible verses regarding wrath:
Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 The exchanged the truth about God for a lie.
Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.
Romans 1:28 furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind…
In Romans 1:24, 26, 28, and 4:25 paraditomy, or its root word, is used every time and it means to hand over, to give up, to let go.
God’s wrath is: Him giving us up to the sad consequences of our choices.
0. Others in the series 95 Martin Luther’s 95 Theses
1. Others in the series 95+1 The War in Heaven
2. Others in the series 95+2 Immortality
3. Others in the series 95+3 Two Resurrections
4. Others in the series 95+4 Jesus Father
5. Others in the series 95+5 Wrath
6. Others in the series 95+6 The Mountain Top