There is no doubt that God is gracious. He has always said so, even under the Law, “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”
Jonah did not want to warn Nineveh, not because he was scared of them, but because he knew God was gracious and would forgive them!
Yes, God did judge people in spectacular fashion from time to time back then, but He also put up with a lot. God knew people would not keep His law. Even when Israel insisted they would keep it, He told them they wouldn’t.
God knew it was impossible, thus didn’t get as fed up as He could have.
Now that we are in the New Covenant, what is often called “The Age of Grace,” we assume God is more OK with sin. He’s not doing any judging at all, therefore, we conclude, the edge must have been taken off His wrath.
Since we’re under grace and not law, the thinking goes, sin isn’t that big of a deal.
In fact, the exact opposite is true.
Not only do we now have the full revelation of what God’s standard is, we have also been shown the righteousness of God in human form, and we’ve also been told that Christ’s work has completely equipped us for obedience.
Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Sin is doing the opposite of what God said.
God has told us what to do and God has told us we are equipped in Christ to obey. When we disobey, not only are we not doing what God said, we’re also not reckoning the truth of what God has said about us in Christ.
We’re guilty not only of sin, but of trampling underfoot the Son of God.
To whom much is given, much is required. I imagine this means something, and, if it does, it means we who have the Spirit, the full revelation of God’s righteousness, the Gospel, the testimony of Christ, the completed Word, and oh so much more, are unbelievably required of many things.
But, no doubt, our happy notion of grace and sin not being a big deal will win out, and we will continue to heap up wrath for ourselves in the Day of Wrath.