Is God angry with certain people?

I don’t think God gets angry. After all, he is love. He’s complete love, so there’s no room left over for anger. His perfect love casts out all anger. Would you agree? Or does God get angry with certain people?
This is an important question in a day and age when the love of God is being mispreached. Many think that God is just a big huggable teddy bear in the sky. However, they whould be surprised to find that God is also justly angry. The Bible says God is angry with the wicked (Psalm 7:11 - KJV); his soul hates the wicked (Psa. 11:5); he hates all evildoers (Psa. 5:5); he detests sinners (Lev. 20:23); he hates those who work evil (Rev. 2:6).

According to Psalm 7:11, "God is angry with the wicked every day." Who are the wicked? They are in part described to us in Romans 1:29-31 where we read that they are filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless." And Paul’s list isn’t meant to be comprehensive. Wickedness includes such things as rape, child molestation, human trafficking, LGBT sin, illicit drugs, and cheating on one’s income taxes. It includes numerous other sins as well. Does this surprise you? Do any of these describe you? How many of these sins have we participated in?

God’s judgment and his utter dislike and hostility justly fall on all those who do such things (Rom. 2:1-3). As Paul teaches us, it is because of our hardened, shameful, and unrepentant hearts that we are storing up wrath for ourselves on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed (Rom. 2:5). Yes, God is justly angry with sinners. His wrath is being built up against the wicked as a volcano builds and builds before it finally erupts. We shouldn’t miss the warning smoke in his Word as it’s a sign of what is coming. In the day of God's wrath, hostility towards the unrepentant will run down the paths of time and the lava of his wrath will consume the wicked forever; the wicked will eternally burn in the torment of God’s wrath. Yes, God is angry. His holy nature demands that he hates not only sins but sinners themselves.

There is a wide cavern between the wicked and a holy God. Their iniquities have separated them from him; their sins have hidden his face from them so that he doesn't hear (Isa. 59:2). Therefore God will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity (Isa. 13:11).

In 1 Thessalonians 2:14, Paul commends the Christians at Thessalonica [Thessaloniki] who became believers in Christ. They received Christ by faith through the word shared with them. Paul goes on and describes the perverse nature of the wicked with the phrase, "who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved" (1 Thess.2:15-16 a). The wicked murdered and hindered Christ and his gospel workers. Then Paul writes the final indictment of the unrepentant saying, "so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!" (1 Thess. 1:16b).

There are several divine truths to be seen here. First, God has set bounds to every man’s wickedness. Genesis 15:16 demonstrates this: "And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." We can see here that there is a measure of sins that even a nation will build up to. All nations need to heed this, including the United States where prayer has been removed from schools, unborn babies are being murdered, and sexual sin is celebrated. How much more patience will God display (Rom. 2:4) before he comes in his wrath? Consider Noah’s day when God's wrath destroyed the entire world with the exception of a few souls. God allowed the wicked to go on living until they had filled up the measure of their wickedness. When their jar of sin was full, at a predetermined moment and at the day of his wrath, they are cut off from all life (Heb. 9:27).

In Christ’s day the wicked crucified Jesus and killed many of those who bore the gospel message who came before and after him (Matt. 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19). In Matthew 22:31-32 we read, "Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers." The destruction of Jerusalem came shortly after Christ’s death. Again, wickedness thrived for a time and then was cut off.

Another divine truth to be seen is that the wicked are punished in proportion to their sin. When they have filled up the measure of their sins, they will intimately experience the full measure of God’s eternal wrath meant specifically for them. This judgment may begin here on earth in this life with temporary punishments (Matt. 24:21), but it will never end, even after their physical death. The full measure of the sins of the wicked is the hanging rope of their eternal death.

To what extent will God’s anger be revealed? When those who continue to sin and not repent meet God and his just wrath, they will begin to realize the perpetual nature of God’s eternal anger against them. While some will receive a greater measure of God’s wrath than others, nonetheless, all the wicked are vessels fit for destruction (Rom. 9:22). And this destruction is ongoing with the "gnashing of teeth" in hell (Matt 8:12; 13:42; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). This possibly refers to pain and suffering, but it definitely represents anger and seething hatred (Job 16:9; Psa 35:16; 37:12; 112:10; Lam 2:16; Mark 9:18; Acts 7:54-55). God is angry with the wicked every day for all eternity! Wrath will come upon the wicked to the uttermost!

Now, just for a moment, let's consider how much sin an unrepentant individual can build up in their lifetime. In childhood, sinning begins against others and, yes, against God himself. This may be mistakenly considered small to parents or friends, but it’s sin nonetheless. Then in youth, middle age, and in old age, works of wickedness can continue regardless of making the changes we think will offset bothersome consequences. It’s within humanity's very fallen nature to sin: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Wicked acts abound as the sons of the devil himself (cf. John 8:44; 1 John 3:10) and the wicked hate God throughout their lives. Yes, God is angry with them.

Many continue to rebel and sin against God because many of their sins aren’t immediately punished, and so their hearts are encouraged to sin even more. This, in part, is how a liar becomes a habitual liar. It's how a murderer becomes a serial killer and an adulterer a serial adulterer, etc. With every breath they take they willingly are building up the full measure of sin in their lives, their proverbial personal jar of sin. Judgment awaits them. For some, it's now but the worst comes later in eternal punishment that awaits them in the full wrath of God’s glory. God is angry with the wicked.

God’s patience with the wicked on earth will run its course and full judgment with his horrible wrath will come. We can’t visualize or know this completely. However, the worst nightmare that one may imagine on this side of death cannot begin to describe the wrath of God upon one’s soul on its first day in hell much less all eternity. There’s no grace in hell, nor is there any mercy. Only torment. Only unending, eternal pain and suffering. Only God’s wrath in full measure. Only what sinners deserve—eternal death and not eternal life.

Part of God’s righteous work in the universe is to perfectly execute his complete and flawless justice. All is known to God. The books of lives will be revealed and every sin marked. Consciences will bear witness to guilt. Each sin will receive separate punishment. For the wicked hell is their perfect justice. And at this stage, it’s too late for God to listen to any pleas or cries for mercy. Tears will be useless. Why? Eternal judgment is permanent and unchangeable! The wicked who despised God and his ways while on earth now will suffer the immense displeasure of God without measure. Each sin is infinite evil and deserves infinite punishment.

And if you think going to church is going to spare you from God’s wrath, think again. For example, in his youth, Adolf Hitler attended the Catholic Church and was even baptized. Later he declared himself to be a German Christian, which was but a group that supported the Nazi agenda. Hitler was churchy just as criminals can be churchy. Members of the mafia also attend and contribute to the church. In my former law enforcement employment, I arrested a Protestant pastor. Why? He was a churchy sinner who got caught in a crime. Liars in the church abound. Why aren’t they disciplined there? Unfortunately, church discipline has become weak and has even allowed some of the worst sins seen in history. Inaction will bring vulnerable souls to damnation. Think not that just because someone attends church they will escape God’s coming wrath! If they don't honor the full divine truth in God's word, they are even more responsible. This angers God and the full measure of their sins will even be greater than it is for some outside the church.

There’s only one remedy that will keep a sinner (including leaders in the church) from such an eternal judgment. It can only be found and applied before death. This remedy is the person of Jesus Christ who said, "You must be born again" (John 3). While we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). The term "ungodly" applies to everyone. Accepting Christ is the only remedy (cf. Rom. 10:9-10) because, as Acts 4:12 states, there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Knowing Christ as your Lord and Savior puts you at peace with God and his wrath (Rom. 5:1).

Please write us if God has impressed upon you to make this life-changing decision. We desire to pray with you and offer you any free assistance that we may be able to give. May God be glorified!

God is not like a one-sided coin or a single-faceted God of love. Don’t be misled by such assumptions about God. Wicked people and their deeds make God angry. His wrath is real and demands judgment.

Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Related Topics:

Wasn't hell made for the Devil and his angels and not real people according to Matt. 25:41?
What does where their worm does not die mean in Mark 9:48?
An Eternal Hell is for Real - The Heresy of Annihilationism?
Annihilationism Error: Hebrew Word Definition Charts
Annihilationism Error: Greek Word Definition Charts
How can God exact infinite punishment for a finite sin?
When was Hell created?
Is Purgatory Biblical?
What is Reprobation?
Imprecatory Psalms
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
A Gospel Summary

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).