“The age of grace” has been used to label the current age. The main reason for this title is that God does not appear to be judging sin. The ground hasn’t opened up and swallowed people, fiery serpents are hibernating, multitudes of frogs have not shown up on heathen lands, nor have there been any world-wide floods.
We take this to mean that God isn’t bugged by sin as much anymore. Things changed after the cross. “Before the cross sin was punished; after the cross God doesn’t punish sin because Christ took the punishment,” so goes the argument. So we have the notion that we’re “getting away with sin” due to Christ’s intercession. Thus, we are in “the age of grace.”
Allow me to present an argument against this label.
God’s opinion of sin has not changed since the cross. God does not abhor sin less because of the cross. Nor has His mind changed on whether sin needs judging. Rather than showing grace by “letting us get away with sin,” God is showing that He is fed up with humanity.
We’ve spent thousands of years going against what He said, ignoring His warnings, and telling Him that we know better. Then we killed His Son! We’re better than Christ, we don’t really need Him. God has given up on us. He’s handed us over to what we’ve always desired.
Romans 1 lays this out. God gave us up to a reprobate mind. If you want to know God, He’s been revealing Himself since creation. It’s there, you can’t miss it. Instead, we worship creation, we love our Mother Earth and animals are our cousins. He gave humanity over to a reprobate mind, allowed us to do all the junk we’ve always desired. I can see God in heaven throwing His hands up and turning away, “Fine. Whatever. You guys know so much, go for it. See you on judgment day.”
Indeed, that’s what Paul says next in Romans 2. As we are “getting away” with our sin, enjoying it and enjoying others getting away with it, Paul explains what we’re really doing, “after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
No, God is not presently judging all sin. He’s not stopping us, you can get away with some stuff. But you will not get away with it forever. You may get away with your adultery, your pride, your coveting, your bad attitude and ungrateful whining for now, but you are heaping up for yourself wrath for the day of judgment.
When God wiped out sinners in the OT their sin was done. Dead people can’t pile up more wrath. God was actually saving them from more wrath at the day of judgment. Observe Matthew 10:15 and similar verses. It will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha than it will be for people who refuse to be nice to Christ’s followers. Why? Because the people in Sodom died and couldn’t continue to rebel! People who reject Christ’s followers will continue to pile up wrath.
Not being wiped out in judgment is not necessarily a sign of grace! It may be a sign that God wants you to pile up more judgment so He can really nail you for eternity.
“The age of grace” gives an altogether wrong idea of our day. This is the age of God’s indifference. It‘s not that He can‘t save, it‘s that He gave us up. God is very much aware of your sin, it disgusts Him as much now as it ever did and we will get the wrath it deserves if we do not flee to Jesus Christ, our slain Lamb, who took the wrath of God upon Himself. There is a distinction between God’s grace and God giving up.