Saved from what?

I’ve been saved!

Saved from what?

I think this is a fair question. Sometimes we use Christian language that we have heard others use and attach it to our thoughts and emotions without fully understanding what it is that we’re talking about.

Paul is writing to the new church in Thessalonica and he is praising them for their faith, but also thanking God for choosing them, the Thessalonians, as his people. He comes to an important section that I have actually noted here on my site previously, but I want to spend some additional time talking about the rest of Paul’s message in this passage:

The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead —Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10

Paul says that the faith of the Thessalonians has been made known everywhere. They have left their old life of serving idols and have come into the new life to serve the one true and living God.

Paul says that the Thessalonians are waiting for the return of Jesus Christ who has been raised from the dead. He is saying that first, they believe that Jesus was sacrificed, was killed on the cross for their sins. They believe that Jesus was resurrected, having come back to life after three days in the grave, and they believe that he returned to be with God the Father in heaven. Wonderful!

Yet this last part of the last sentence is important: who rescues us from the coming wrath. What is Paul referring to here?

Paul is talking about judgment. God will judge the world and he will bring wrath upon everyone that is not found to have faith in Christ. Those that have not placed all of their hope in Jesus, but instead continue to hope in other “gods”, as the Thessalonians once did, or in other objects or ideas, will, on that day, be judged and receive the wrath of God.

And no one will be able to stand up to the wrath of God. With the swipe of his hand, or with the breath from his nostrils, the universe will be wiped away,. So if God brings his judgment upon a person, they will neither have an excuse, nor a way to escape God’s wrath. It will be terrible for that person!

And yet there is a way to escape that wrath. We can be saved from the wrath of God, and this is what we are talking about when we say that we have been saved. It isn’t all roses and rainbows. It isn’t just the shouting of Glory! and Hallelujah! without any further thought. Instead, there is death and destruction and in Christ we have been given passage to escape that wrath and instead be reconciled into right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.

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