I notice that God’s grace is being emphasized more and more by a broad spectrum of Christians—from Anglicans to Word of Faith charismatics.
But I also notice the message of grace can get distorted by ignoring or even denying all references to God’s anger, wrath, judgment, chastisement, and discipline. That position is known as hyper-grace teaching.
Even though John and Paul are probably the NT writers who emphasize salvation by grace the most, it seems to me they also highlight the wrath of God the most (e.g., in Romans and Revelation). Both are true.
For example, look up all the references to wrath in the book of Romans. Here is one from Rom 1:18:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18).
There are several lessons to draw from this verse.
First, God is wrathful. Grace preachers cannot escape and should not avoid teaching that basic truth. Even after the cross, God reveals His wrath. Grothe says that God’s wrath is not so much an emotion as “the holiness of God in action against sin” (Grothe, Romans, p. 63). Showing wrath against sin is part of God’s eternal character. “As God loves what is holy and righteous, so He hates and must ever hate what is evil” (Govett, Romans, p. 15).
Second, God’s wrath is from heaven. “Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens” (Gen 19:24).
Third, God’s wrath is being presently revealed (apokaluptō). It is happening now, revealed in time and on earth. This is not something people must wait for in the future, although there will be a future aspect of that wrath, too (cf. Rom 2:5). But there is an “ongoing process of wrath” (Jewett, Romans, p. 151). This should grab the sinner’s attention. As Paulson says, “Paul began with the end so that the apocalypse now disabuses sinners of thinking they have more time for amendment of life” (Paulson, Lutheran Theology, p. 63).
Fourth, God’s wrath is directed against all sin. Paul might be referring to both tables of the law—i.e., to “ungodliness” or impiety towards God—and to “unrighteousness” or wrongdoing towards your neighbor. In any case, God hates it all. That is, while God loves the world (John 3:16), He hates sin and is determined to “punish it or remove it from his universe in one way or another” (Eaton, Branch, p. 443).
Biblical grace is not the false message that sin is no longer sin, that God is not angry with anyone, or that “I’m OK—you’re OK.”
The world is not OK—it’s in open rebellion against God. And that provokes God’s wrath.