24 And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.
It has become popular in recent days for supposedly Christian teachers to deny any concept of the wrath of God. These teachers tell us that God is not at all angry over our sin. They say that God has no willingness to punish our sin, that his justice is not an issue, and that, in the end, all people will end up in heaven.
But a simple look at Scripture shows us that such people do not speak of the God of the Bible. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God has not changed. The God of the Old Testament is very much the God of the New Testament. God is both merciful and just.
When Achan disobeyed God’s command by taking from Jericho items that were devoted to destruction, he sinned against God. If God were the wimpy deity of popular teaching these days, he would not have demanded his people do anything to Achan, especially after Achan admitted that he had done wrong and coveted the devoted things. But the God of the Bible is no wimp. The God of the Bible is just. He will punish sin. All human sin, every last one, will be punished. God is angry over our sin. God, in his holiness, is offended by our sin.
How can God punish all human sin and still forgive? Ah the glory of Scripture—Jesus Christ, the Son of God, voluntarily took upon himself the just punishment for all of the sins of all of the people God will ever forgive.
Because of what Jesus has done, you have one of two choices. Your sin will be punished. What God tells you is this: If you come to Jesus, your sin has been punished in Jesus. If you refuse to repent of your sin and come to Christ, you will suffer God’s right wrath for your sin by spending forever in hell. This is the teaching of Scripture, and it has not changed.