Spring – that short season of amazing weather that soon gives way to sweltering heat – is finally here. Some of you are spring breaking to beaches or mountains. Others are staying in Dallas to enjoy the cooler temps and the end of the flood. Many of us are eager to fill out March Madness brackets and hoping our favorite team will still be playing next week (fingers crossed for the Longhorns). It’s the one season in which new life literally grows up around us (I’ve never seen so many tulips!) reminding us of the new life and the hope of a fully renewed world that are ours in Jesus Christ.
And so what could be a more hopeful and cheery sermon topic for this “Spring Forward” Sunday than the one before us in our cross-focused series: The Wrath of God.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t particularly thrilled when I saw that I was assigned to preach on this topic. I’m not sure I want to meet the person who would be. God’s wrath makes all of us uncomfortable. Some of us may not want to believe it. And many, if not most Americans (and some churches), outright ignore or reject it.
The great 20th century theologian Reinhold Niebuhr once described the preferred “gospel” of many in his day: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of Christ without a cross.” And that was 1937…
And yet, as difficult or uncomfortable as the doctrine of God’s wrath may be, there’s really no way to understand the cross of Jesus Christ without it. Even more importantly, unless you recognize the reality of God’s wrath, you’ll never grasp the depths of God’s love. You’ll never know how much God values you and the great cost he was willing to undergo for you, unless you affirm the truth and justice of God’s holy anger toward sin.
I hope you’ll join us this Sunday as we explore this uncomfortable, yet deeply important biblical teaching. And if you’re traveling, remember you can tune in at 9:30 am Sunday or any time thereafter for the Live Stream online.
May our Easter celebration and appreciation of new life be all the greater as we rejoice in our Savior “raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonian 1:10).
Together in and for the holy love of Christ,
P.S. Thank you for your incredible generosity toward the Transform Initiative. This Sunday, we are excited to share with you the amazing commitment so many of our families have already made to this project. If you have yet to make a pledge, it is not too late to do so. We hope that everyone who calls HP Pres their church home would join us on this Transform journey!