JESUS SPOKE MORE about hell than anyone in the Bible. His comments, thoughtfully considered, challenge thoughtful Believers. They also challenge the prevailing view of God on the street.
The Bible tells us that “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:16). In fact, this is an understatement. He is much more loving than any of us can comprehend. His love in the apostle Paul’s words, “surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). But, the Bible also speaks of “The wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16), and it reminds us that the Lamb and the saints (you and I) will watch the torment of the wicked in hell (Rev 14:10). The Bible also suggests that we will rejoice over the torment and destruction of unbelievers (Rev 18:20). It is important to note that we will not rejoice in the suffering of the lost, but in the perfections of God’s justice. At that time our life will revolve around God, not people.
No wonder D. A. Carson entitled his book, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. God’s love is a difficult doctrine.
How can we reconcile the love of the Lamb and the wrath of the Lamb? First, we must always remember that, although God is love, love is never God. In other words, God is bigger than love. He is also justice and holiness. He hates evil with a holy hatred. Sin must be judged. His holy opposition towards it must be exercised. Just as the redemption of the Saints will glorify God’s grace, mercy, and love, so the judgment of sinners will also glorify his justice, wrath, and holiness. In the end, all of God’s virtues will be glorified. They will be glorified through the salvation of believing sinners or through the judgment of unbelieving sinners.
How should we respond? With awe and worship. Our God is an awesome God. His holiness is infinite. We are finite. His understanding is unsearchable. With the angels we should sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa. 6:3).
For those who would like to pursue this subject further, here is an eye-opening biblical defense by Jonathan Edwards.