In scripture, it is the unrepentant sinner who incurs God’s wrath, and not the repentant sinner. According to the Bible, God delights in showing mercy and forgiveness, even to the ungodly.
As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye,turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? ~ Ezekiel 33:11
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. ~ Isaiah 55:7
When the wicked turns to the Lord, the Lord will be merciful and forgiving, but what does the Bible say about the wicked who are unrepentant?
According to the Bible, the unrepentant are treasuring up wrath against themselves for the Day of Judgment.
But after THY HARDNESS AND UNREPENTANT HEART TREASUREST UP UNTO THYSELF WRATH against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God… ~ Romans 2:5
Many Christians can cite the words: the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. Few know the context of those words. Though it is true that the goodness of God leads to repentance, Paul puts it in the form of question within the context of those who are hardhearted and unrepentant, and who despise the goodness of God.
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds… ~ Romans 2:1-6
Paul says these words on the heels of his condemnation of the wicked in verses 18-32 of the previous chapter, where Paul tells us God abandoned the wicked to their own devices.
- GOD GAVE THEM UP to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves… ~ v 24
- GOD GAVE THEM UP unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature… ~ v. 26
- GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient… ~ v. 28
God’s disposition, and his dealings with the wicked who are unrepentant is well documented throughout the entirety of the scriptures. Consider the following:
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: THOU HATEST ALL THE WORKERS OF INIQUITY. ~ Psalm 5:5
God judgeth the righteous, and GOD IS ANGRY WITH THE WICKED EVERY DAY. ~ Psalm 7:11
The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence HIS SOUL HATETH. ~ Psalm 11:5
The CURSE OF THE LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. ~ Proverbs 3:33
I could go on and on, because God’s displeasure with those who practice wickedness (child molestation, rape, murder, demon worship, sodomy, human trafficking, etc.) and refuse to repent, is well documented throughout the scriptures.
At this point, allow me to remind you, God extends mercy to the wicked who repents, but to the UNREPENTANT who despises God – God has no pleasure in them.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. ~ Psalm 5:4
God is indeed a loving and forgiving God, and he desires to forgive people of their sins, but they must turn away from their sins and turn to him to be forgiven by him. God is a good God, who commands all people, everywhere to repent ~ Acts 17:30, but when his goodness is despised by the ungodly who hate him, they become subject to his wrath.
9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy WITH THEM THAT LOVE HIM and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
10 And REPAYETH THEM THAT HATE HIM TO THEIR FACE, TO DESTROY THEM: he will not be slack to him that HATETH HIM, HE WILL REPAY HIM TO HIS FACE. ~ Deuteronomy 9:9-10
Throughout the entirety of the Bible, in both the old and new testament, God’s love, grace, and mercy is extended to all people; and he is forgiving towards all who humble themselves in repentance. Yet for those who refuse to repent because they despise and hate him, he reserves them unto the day of judgment to be punishment ~ see 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7
Unfortunately, many Christians have the notion that the truth of the severity of God towards the wicked is a message which portrays God as harsh and unloving. Yet, the scriptures make a distinction between those upon whom God lavishes his love, and those who are an abomination to him.
The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness. ~ Proverbs 15:9
The commonly held belief that God loves every person (good and evil, godly and ungodly) exactly the same, is not a scriptural teaching. Consider for example John 14:21: He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER , AND I WILL LOVE HIM , and will manifest myself to him.
Clearly, this text suggests that those who love Jesus and obey him will be recipients of both his, and his Father’s love.
Now, consider verse 23: Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Now consider Hebrews 12:6-8
FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, GOD DEALETH WITH YOU AS SONS; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye illegitimate, and not sons.