AS I prayed this morning, I sensed the Lord offering a tremendous gift to this generation: complete absolution.
If this generation would just turn to Me, I would overlook all her sins, even those of abortion, cloning, pornography and materialism. I would wipe away their sins as far as the east is from the west, if only this generation would turn back to Me…
God is offering the very depths of His Mercy to us. It is because, I believe, we are on the threshold of His Justice.
In my travels across the United States, words have been growing in my heart during the past few weeks: The wrath of God. (Because of the urgency and at times difficulty people have in understanding this subject, my reflections today are slightly longer. I want to be faithful not only to the meaning of these words, but also to their context.) Our modern, tolerant, politically correct culture detests such words… "an Old Testament concept," we like to say. Yes, it is true, God is slow to anger and rich in mercy. But that’s exactly the point. He is slow to anger, but eventually He can and does become angry. The reason is that Justice demands it.
MADE IN HIS IMAGE
Our understanding of anger is generally flawed. We tend to think of it as an eruption of temper or rage, tending to emotional or physical violence. And even when we see it in its justified forms it makes us somewhat fearful. Nevertheless, we do admit that there is room for just anger: when we see an injustice committed, we too become angry. Why then do we permit ourselves to feel justly angry, and yet do not permit this of God in whose image we are created?
God’s response is one of patience, one of mercy, one that willingly overlooks the sin so as to embrace and heal the sinner. If he does not repent, does not accept this gift, then the Father must discipline this child. This too is an act of love. What good surgeon allows the cancer to grow so as to spare the patient the knife?
He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him. (Proverbs 13:24)
For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. (Hebrews 12:6)
How does He discipline us?
Endure your trials as "discipline" (v.7)
Ultimately, if these trials fail to correct our destructive behavior, God’s anger is aroused and He permits us to receive the just wages our free will has demanded: the justice or wrath of God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
THE WRATH OF GOD
There is no such thing as the "God of the Old Testament" (ie. the God of wrath), and the "God of the New Testament" (the God of Love.) As St. Paul tells us,
Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Jesus, who is both God and man, has not changed. He is the one given the authority to judge mankind (John 5:27). He continues to exercise mercy and justice. And this is His judgment:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. (John 3:36)
Jesus has freely taken the punishment for sin that is due us. Our free response is to accept this gift by confessing our sin, repenting of it, and obeying His commandments. That is, one cannot say He believes in Jesus if His life is lived in opposition to Him. To reject this gift is to remain under the judgment pronounced in Eden: separation from Paradise. This is the wrath of God.
But there is also that wrath which is to come, that divine judgment which will cleanse a particular generation of evil and bind Satan in hell for a "thousand years."
OF THIS GENERATION
This generation is not only rejecting Christ, it is committing the most heinous sins with perhaps an unparalleled defiance and arrogance. We in the former Christian nations and beyond have heard the law of Christ, yet are abandoning it in an apostasy that is unprecedented in scope and in numbers of apostates. Repeated warnings through the forces of nature do not appear to be moving our nations toward repentance. So tears of blood are falling from Heaven on numerous icons and statues—a terrible harbinger of the Great Trial which lies before us.
When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens, lo it shall come down in judgment… (Isaiah 34:5)
Already, God has begun to purify the earth of wickedness. The sword has fallen through mysterious and incurable diseases, terrible disasters, and war. Often it is a spiritual principle at work:
Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows… (Gal 6)
The cleansing of the earth has begun. But we must understand that just as in ordinary times, when the innocent are sometimes taken with the wicked, so too will it be during the period of purification. No one but God can judge souls and no human being has the supreme wisdom to understand why this or that person suffers or dies. Until the end of the world the just and the unjust alike shall suffer and die. Yet the innocent (and the repentant) will not be lost and their reward will be great in paradise.
The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. (Romans 1:18)
THE ERA OF PEACE
As I have written in The Coming Era of Peace, a time is approaching when the earth will be cleansed of all evil and the earth rejuvenated for a period which Scripture refers to, symbolically, as "a thousand years of peace." Last year when I traveled through the United States on a concert tour, the Lord began to open my eyes regarding the corruption which has penetrated every layer of society. I began to see how our economy has been destroyed by materialism and greed… "This must come down" I felt the Lord saying. I began to see how our food industry has been destroyed by chemicals and processing… "This too must begin again." Political structures, technological advances, even architectural structures—there was suddenly a word about each of them: "These will no longer be…" Yes, there was a definite sense that the Lord is preparing to cleanse the earth. I have meditated upon and sifted these words for a year, and only publish them now under my spiritual director’s guidance.
They speak, it seems, of a new era. The early Church Fathers believed and taught this:
So, the blessing foretold undoubtedly refers to the time of His Kingdom, when the just will rule on rising from the dead; when creation, reborn and freed from bondage, will yield an abundance of foods of all kinds from the heaven’s dew and the fertility of the earth, just as the seniors recall. Those who saw John, the Lord’s disciple , [tell us] that they heard from him how the Lord taught and spoke about these times… —St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Church Father (140–202 A.D.); Adversus Haereses, Irenaeus of Lyons, V.33.3.4, The Fathers of the Church, CIMA Publishing Co.; (St. Irenaeus was a student of St. Polycarp, who knew and learned from the Apostle John and was later consecrated bishop of Smyrna by John.)
St. Justin Martyr wrote:
I and every other orthodox Christian feel certain that there will be a resurrection of the flesh followed by a thousand years in a rebuilt, embellished, and enlarged city of Jerusalem, as was announced by the Prophets Ezekiel, Isaias and others… A man among us named John, one of Christ’s Apostles, received and foretold that the followers of Christ would dwell in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and that afterwards the universal and, in short, everlasting resurrection and judgment would take place. —St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Ch. 81, The Fathers of the Church, Christian Heritage
The wrath of God, then, will also be an act of love—an act of mercy to preserve those who believe and obey Him; an act of compassion to heal creation; and an act of Justice to establish and declare the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, Name above all names, King of kings, and Lord of lords, until Christ finally puts all enemies beneath His feet, the last being death itself.
If such a day and era is close, it explains the heavenly tears and pleadings of God’s Mother in her many apparitions during these times, sent to warn us and call us back to her Son. She who knows His Love and Mercy better than anyone, also knows that His Justice must come. She knows that when He comes to put an end to evil, He is acting, ultimately, with divine Mercy.
Give glory to the Lord, your God, before it grows dark; before your feet stumble on darkening mountains; before the light you look for turns to darkness, changes into black clouds. If you do not listen to this in your pride, I will weep in secret many tears; my eyes will run with tears for the Lord’s flock, led away to exile. (Jer 13:16-17)
They cried out to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come and who can withstand it? (Rev 6:16-17)