The Finger Of God
(A Preview of Coming Attractions)
In the action movie “Twister” there is a scene where the
fearless storm chasers have gone to Aunt Meg’s house to have a respite from
their harrowing experiences. While
consuming a southwestern meal of steak and eggs and discussing past adventures,
Dr. Melissa Reeves (played by Jami Gertz) asks if there is such as thing as an
F5 tornado and if anyone has ever seen one.
A tornado classified as an F5 would be the largest tornado possible and
would be extremely rare. The F in F5
refers to the Fujita scale which is used to measure the size and intensity of
the storm based upon the damage assessment.
When one of the team indicates in the affirmative, Dr. Reeves continues
by asking, “How would you describe it?” The answer given - the Finger of God.
Without being flippant, the description set forth above
truly is a preview of what is to come. This
movie makes an analogy between the extreme destructive power of an F5 tornado
and the finger of God. The implication,
of course, is that the power and destructive force of Almighty God is
incalculable. It seems that we equate
massive destruction with God’s power and might; such a comparison may be very
compelling when contemplating the future.
You will find ample mention of the love, grace and mercy of
God in the Christian world today. His
love was made manifest by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary as atonement for the sins of mankind. The importance of love is emphasized by Jesus
when He speaks with authority concerning the most important commandments and
how all of the other commandments flow from these two (Matt. 22:34-40). Many wedding vows are drafted around the
wording of 1 Cor. 13, commonly known as the “love chapter” of the Bible. Without a doubt, love and reconciliation with
God are the overall themes of the Biblical account.
What we sometimes downplay and even fail to mention is the
“wrath of God.” It may be somewhat
“politically incorrect” to talk about the wrath of God and what it actually
means during these times but that does not mean that the topic is invalid. If one takes the position that we are living
in the last days as Christ talked about extensively in the Olivet Discourse
(Matt.24) and that the Rapture of the church could be imminent, the wrath of
God is extremely valid and appropriate.
Who Will Experience the Wrath of God?
In Romans 1:18-19 and continuing thereafter through verse
32, Paul writes that the wrath of God will be unleashed upon the ungodly and
the unrighteous. He then goes on to
describe the actions that make these particular people ungodly and/or
unrighteous. They are without excuse
because of the things of this world which are clearly seen.
18 For the wrath of
God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of
God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. Rom 1:18-19 (KJV)
In Colossians Paul also writes about the wrath of God and
who is deserving of that punishment. He
points out that the wrath of God will be visited upon the “children of
disobedience” and describes the acts of disobedience in the surrounding verses.
5 Mortify therefore
your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate
affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which
things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: Col 3:5-6 (KJV)
The apostle John, in writing the Book of Revelation,
witnesses the pouring out of the wrath of God which is demonstrated by the vial
judgments during the seven year period of the Tribulation.
7 And one of the four
beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of
God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8
And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power;
and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the
seven angels were fulfilled. Rev 15:7-8 (KJV)
So it appears that only the truly ungodly or unrighteous
will experience God’s wrath along with those who are unfortunately enough to be
around during the prophesied Tribulation period, right? In other words, only the really bad people
will be subjected to the wrath of God, whatever that might be?
The apostle John, in his Gospel account, described who it
was that stood condemned before the throne of God. Although we are very familiar with a
preceding verse (John 3:16), we sometimes neglect to read further. One of the subsequent verses makes it very
plain who stands condemned before Almighty God:
18 He that believeth
on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:18 (KJV)
In a following verse, John once again emphasizes that the
wrath of God will fall upon the unbeliever in contrast to the believer who will
have eternal life.
36 He that believeth
on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall
not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36 (KJV)
Paul, in his writings to the church at Ephesus, identified those who would be
subject to the wrath of God. The wrath
of God would come upon the children of disobedience.
3 But fornication, and
all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as
becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which
are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger,
nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance
in the kingdom of
Christ and of God.
6 Let no man
deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of
God upon the children of disobedience. Eph 5:3-6 (KJV)
If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God,
you are condemned. Jesus Christ is your
sole source of salvation. Good works
won’t do it (Eph. 2:8-9) and neither will anything else according to this
verse. If you believe that the Bible is
the inerrant Word of God and not a work of fiction, then this verse dictates
your position when it comes to a time of judgment. Your eternal destiny depends on your status
as either a believer or non-believer at the time of your death or when Jesus
Christ comes again (“the second Coming”).
There is no fence-sitting when it comes to this decision, i.e. no
decision is a decision. There are no
neutral states when it comes to this issue.
30 He that is not
with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Matt 12:30 (KJV)
In other words, “if you ain’t for me, then you are agin
me.” This sums up who will be subject to
the wrath of God. Make no mistake about
it – you will be on one side or the other and God will know what side you have
What is the “Wrath of God”?
In the Old Testament, we see a number of descriptions of the
overwhelming power of God which resulted in destruction of the ungodly and
unrighteous. Time and again the ungodly
were made witness to this power. Any
familiarity with the Old Testament brings to mind many of these accounts
including (1) the deluge resulting in the destruction of the world, save Noah
and his family; (2) the exodus of the Israelite nation from Egypt after the
affliction brought on by the ten plagues along with the attending annihilation
of Pharaoh’s army; (3) the walls of Jericho; and (4) the destruction of Sodom
and Gomorrah. Each of these examples of
destruction brought on by Almighty God illustrates the ruin and devastation
that God is capable of bringing.
Obliteration of Pharaoh’s army, the sinful people of Noah’s generation,
the inhabitants of Jericho and the populace of Sodom and Gomorrah
was total; it was complete. It was the
wrath of God.
The Book of Revelation contains an account of the troubles
to come during the period of the Tribulation.
There are a total of twenty-one judgments visited upon the people then
inhabiting the earth and these prophesied judgments reveal the wrath of
God. The judgment and retribution of God
is so intense that men will flee before it and beg to die.
15 And the kings of
the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the
mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens
and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall
on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from
the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall
be able to stand? Rev 6:15-17 (KJV)
In the 16th chapter of the Book of Revelation,
John the apostle witnessed the pouring out of the wrath of God by way of the
bowl or vial judgments. This pouring out
of the wrath of God encompasses the following:
(1) sores upon men who have the mark of the beast or antichrist; (2) the
turning of the seas into blood; (3) the turning of the fresh waters of the
earth into blood; (4) scorching of men with fire from the sun; (5) darkness
over the kingdom of the beast along with pain; (6) the drying up of the river
Euphrates preparing the way for the armies from the east; and (7) a tremendous
earthquake over the entire earth such as has never been seen before along with
a plague of hail.
Unfortunately, during this period men will not repent of
their sins but instead will curse God.
They will shake their fists in fury at Him and will refuse to bow before
the ferocity of His judgment.
11 And blasphemed the
God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their
deeds. * * * 21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone
about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of
the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. Rev. 16:11, 21 (KJV)
If the example used at the beginning of this article is
anywhere comparable to God’s power and might, i.e. an F5 tornado is the “Finger
of God”, I do not want to experience the strength of
His arm. While God is certainly loving,
patient and merciful, that patience and mercy has limits. When the time is full, there will be a
withdrawal of that patience and mercy.
Throughout history the wrath of God visited upon mankind has
been in fulfillment of His righteous judgment which is perfect and holy. In the period of the Tribulation, His wrath shall
be His last call for reconciliation and redemption. The purpose will be to bring man to his knees
so that he will seek out his Creator.
Response to that call is not something to be put off because we do not
know when Jesus Christ will rapture His church.
When it happens there will not be an opportunity to avoid God’s
wrath. You will experience it. Personally, I would prefer to seek Him out
now before He displays His wrath. It
only makes sense.
Comments or questions may be directed to the author at email@example.com.