cup of wrath

Saved from God's Wrath

What are we being saved from in Christ? Biblical salvation often refers to our deliverance from the wrath of God, which will be unleashed at Christ's return. We are also being saved from the White Throne Judgment, which will be a final outpouring of God's wrath upon the wicked.

After spiritual death, the next consequence that we are being saved or delivered from is the wrath of God. The wrath of God could refer to many different things in different contexts. Something as simple as a wicked person reaping what they've sown can be fairly perceived as God's wrath.

However, in the context of the second advent and the start of the millennium, the wrath of God refers to something more specific. In this context, God's wrath is the varying degrees of torment and agony that the manifest presence of Christ (and his Kingdom), will bring upon the unsaved.

"And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6.16-17 KJV bible).

The wrath of God is something that will be poured out abundantly at the return of Christ. However, we as Christians have nothing to fear, because in Christ our sins are forgiven. Therefore, as the saved or spared ones of God, we will not be affected by the impending wrath of God.

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5.9 KJV bible), "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Hebrews 9.28 KJV bible).

As the heirs of salvation, we are not appointed to this great wrath, but rather to deliverance at Christ's appearing, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1st Thessalonians 5.9 KJV bible). So Christ's return will mean salvation and reward for his elect, but tribulation for unbelievers.

We will receive comfort and deliverance at Christ's return, but those corrupted by the darkness will be stricken by the light of God, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels: In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2nd Thessalonians 1.8 KJV bible). As long as we live our lives according to the knowledge of the truth, then we will receive the righteous rewards of faith at Christ's appearing.

"Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time...That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1st Peter 1.5,7 KJV bible). Thus, the second advent will be a time of fulfillment regarding the salvation and deliverance of God's elect, from the outpouring of his wrath (see also The Day of the Lord).

In Christ, we have salvation from the White Throne Judgment of God.

The last consequence of sin that we are being saved from is the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20.11-15. This is the final stage of tribulation that nonbelievers will have to endure. While some will receive the salvation of eternal life, others will receive eternal condemnation

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13.47-50 KJV bible). So the White Throne Judgment is perhaps the most perilous stage of God's wrath, because many who are righteous in their own eyes won't receive eternal life.

John 5 speaks of this tribulation, which for many will be a final outpouring of wrath, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5.28-29 KJV bible).

Here Jesus describes the White Throne Judgment within the context of the second resurrection. At this time, he will raise up all of the dead ones out of death and Hades, which is symbolized here by the graves. For the sheep it will be a resurrection unto life, but for the goats it will be a resurrection unto damnation (see also Matthew 25.32-46). So while all of the nonbelievers will be delivered from the hold of spiritual death, many will reap a punishment that is far worse, namely the Lake of Fire.

As Christians, we are saved because our sins are forgiven. Rather than spiritual death, we have eternal life. Instead of God's wrath and the second death, we will have deliverance and reward before Christ, "...Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew 25.21 KJV bible).

In Christ, we are saved from all types of spiritual condemnation, being resurrected from death, and delivered from wrath, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5.24 KJV bible). So we understand the manifold riches and grace that is being given to us as servants of Christ, who continue to walk by faith, and not worldy sight.

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