Unspared: Thoughts on the Wrath of God

4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

In 2 Peter 2:4-6, we see three groups that God did not spare.  These are groups that God, in His omniscient and eternal counsel, elected not to save.  Instead of serving as examples of His grace, they are to serve as examples of His omnipotent wrath forever.  In His own wisdom, God did not spare these groups from that perfectly just and terrible fate.

The first group is the multitude of angels that sinned.  Sometime after their creation, there was a rebellion among God’s servants.  Led by Lucifer, they attempted to usurp the unsurpable from His eternal throne.  As a result, they were cast from Heaven and reserved for eternal condemnation with no hope for redemption.  Forever they will burn in torment.  God did not spare the angels that sinned.

The second group is the old world before the flood.  Sin had peaked in the antediluvian age, and God had been disregarded enough.  In a Divine act of grace, God chose to spare one man – Noah – and his family.  In a Divine act of justice, God drowned the rest of the world.  Once the Lord closed the door of the ark, there was no hope of deliverance for the old world.  They would bear the wrath of God as the waters ripped them to shreds.  God did not spare the old world.

The third group that God did not spare is the land of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The outcry against them was great, and their sin was grave.  When His holy angels entered the city of Sodom to graciously deliver Lot and his family, the inhabitants attempted to rape them.  Their sin had gone too far, so far that they would even consider sodomizing God’s perfect servants.  His wrath was swift and just.  As Lot and his family ascended to Zoar, the LORD rained sulfur and fire from Heaven to completely incinerate the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah.  He destroyed the cities.  He destroyed the valley.  He destroyed all the inhabitants of the cities.  He even destroyed everything that grew from the ground in that area.  God did not spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

If the search for the unspared stopped there, the picture would be incomplete, for there is one more group – or rather person – who God did not spare.  Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?”  The Lord of the Universe did not spare His own Son!  Just as the fallen angels will bear God’s wrath and just as the old world was crushed by the weight of God’s righteous indignation and just as Sodom and Gomorrah were obliterated by God’s judgment, Jesus took it all.  He bore the weight of God’s wrath for His people – for us.  He bore our griefs.  He carried our sorrows.  He was smitten by God and afflicted.  He was pierced for our transgressions.  He was crushed for our evil deeds.  It was all laid on Him, and we walk away unscathed.  The wrath of God was laid out on His Son, and He took it for us.  Our cup of judgment became His, and His cup of joy became ours.  His righteousness became ours, and the our punishment for sins became His.  That is the glory of the cross – the exchange of wrath for grace.  God did not spare His own Son in order that we might be spared.  He was unspared, so that we can be spared.

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