REASON # 5 – The Church Has Not Been Appointed to Wrath
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Rom. 5:9. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thes. 5:9.
One thing I do not understand is why some who trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior want to deny the evidence of the Rapture of the Church. It is a part of our deliverance from the “…Wrath to come”. It is the destiny of the Church of Jesus Christ to experience His calling, His glory and be eternally wed to Him, as His Bride.
When we look at the Old Testament concerning the Nation of Israel we see that they have been “promised” a time of cleansing (Jeremiah 30:7), called by Jeremiah “The time of Jacob’s trouble”. By this we see that it is the time of trial for Israel, not the Church. I guess you can spiritualize the text and cause Israel to be the Church, but that denies the Scriptures.
Yes, Jesus did say, “In the world ye shall have tribulation”, and most every Christian would say, “I have seen plenty tribulation”, and I would be one of those. This tribulation Jesus spoke of is tribulation the world gives every believer. It could even be said that those who are not Christians experience some of these same trials. No one is without tribulation. For the Church, though, it will be tribulation concerning our faith, our witness, etc.. When it comes to the last few years before Jesus comes and sets up His kingdom on earth for the millennium, that will be a period of Great Tribulation, and which the Church will have been called to Christ.
AS THE CHURCH WE HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM WRATH BY JESUS CHRIST. The verse in Romans is most certainly telling us we have been delivered “from wrath through Him”, and speaks specifically of our eternal salvation. “Justified by His blood” is speaking of the declaration by God that we are Just in His sight. These is absolutely no doubt about it. It is by God’s declaration we have been cleansed, and have right to the throne of God because of the gift of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.
In the ninth verse of First Thessalonians we have the words, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath…”. Paul is speaking to the Christians at the church of Thessolonica, and it seems that he is doing more than just reminding them of their salvation in Christ Jesus. Every chapter of First Thessalonians has reference to the coming of Jesus at or near the end of the chapter. Chapter one verse 10, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Chapter two verse 19 and 20, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy.” Chapter three verse 13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” Chapter four verses 13 – 18, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Chapter five verses 1 – 4, at the beginning of the chapter, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
It would definitely appear that the point Paul was making in this verse nine of First Thessalonians was a wrath that awaits those whose habitation is that of earth, whose heart is tied to the things of this world. John the apostle uses this phrase “Dwell upon the earth” three times, and all three times have to do with those who do not know Jesus – Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Revelation11:10, “ And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” In this verse you will notice that it was these that ‘dwell upon the earth’ rejoicing over the death of the prophets of God. Revelation 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” This last bunch that ‘dwell upon the earth’ are worshipping the beast, and their “names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb…”.
Is it not clear enough that the Tribulation is not for the Church, but for they that ‘dwell on the earth’. Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
AS THE CHURCH WE ARE EXPECTANTLY WAITING FOR THAT DELIVERANCE BY THE APPEARING OF JESUS IN THE CLOUDS. Let me quote 1 Thessalonians 1:10 once again, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” We are saved from wrath. The wrath that is associated with the judgment of sin, and the wrath that is associated with the world wide tribulation coming soon.
We have basically been called to expectantly await the coming of Jesus. Would it not cause dread, if a terrible Tribulation were associated with that first. Le me remind you that we are not looking for antichrist, tribulation, trouble, or sorrow. We have been given commandment to “Wait for His Son from Heaven…”.
If I believed that we would be going through the Tribulation I would not be expectantly awaiting the coming of Jesus until that period of Tribulation came. I am experiencing tribulation now, and expectantly waiting His coming. The thought of people being without Jesus during that period of judgment – a judgment unknown in any time in history – should cause us, motivate us to be witnesses for Jesus.
No we are not appointed to wrath, but we have been called to “Wait for His Son from Heaven… which hath delivered us from the wrath to come”.
AS THE CHURCH KEEPING THE WORD AND PATIENCE, HE KEEPS US FROM THE WRATH – BY ABIDING IN HIM. Let’s look at Revelation 3:10 once again. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”.
As Christians we are called to keep the Word of God in our hearts. The ‘Word of [His] My patience’ is His Word to persevere. The one’s who love Him will persevere, not by their own strength or merit, but by His grace, grown in their hearts. It is by His Word that we do persevere.
We are not inhabitants of earth. We are inhabited by Christ and we inhabit Him. To put it in probably better words. We dwell in Him, and He dwells in us. He is our abiding place.
How can that being which has been redeemed from wrath be put to wrath that is to come? Think about it. That is to put the Body of Christ to judgment He has already endured. That cannot be. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thes. 5:9.
I. WE HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM WRATH BY THE DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.
II. WE ARE EXPECTANTLY AWAITING THAT FULFILLMENT OF DELIVERANCE BY THE APPEARANCE OF JESUS IN THE CLOUDS.
III. KEEPING THE WORD OF HIS PATIENCE – PERSEVEREING – HE KEEPS US FROM THAT WRATH WHICH IS TO COME TO THOSE WHO ‘DWELL UPON THE EARTH.’.