What was the difference between the dramatic Old Testament judgments and God dealing with us in the New Testament?
I think a couple of the reasons people think that God is not as judgmental or doesn’t bring his wrath as much in the New Testament can be stated.
First, Jesus is a major difference. God in flesh walking among us changed everything. This was God’s plan to bring salvation to the world. Jesus came to suffer in our place and die. But he also taught us what God expects from us in his life and ministry, his teachings and commandments.
Second, there is a theological paradigm called, “Already But Not Yet.” It states that because God works through time everything he has planned has not yet happened. We’re in the middle between the cross of Calvary and the total fulfillment of his promises.
This suggests to us that we haven’t seen all of God’s wrath yet. When you read Revelation and some other places in the New Testament, you begin to realize that God’s not done yet. He’s not done waiting for people to come to him and receive his grace, and he’s not done pouring out his wrath.
These are two reasons that we should not make the final assessment of his grace or his wrath. He may still allow the earth to swallow people up. We know some of what he is going to do from apocalyptic texts like some of the prophets and Revelation.
What I can tell you is that if you have a vibrant relationship with Jesus you have nothing to worry about. God’s grace is extended to you. Avoid the path that leads to destruction. The time until the end is short. Don’t become calloused toward him. And you will come out approved by God.