The Wrath To Come :: By Daniel Payne

The Rapture

Those of us who draw near to God in full assurance of His salvation for us (Hebrews 10:22) are assured by Him that He will deliver us from His wrath to come:

“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

There is a difference between the eternal wrath of hell and the hour of wrath at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The entirety of the Day of the Lord will last one thousand years (Revelation 20:4). The beginning of the Day of the Lord will encompass the wrath of the Tribulation which will last at least seven years.

Hell is a current ongoing and eternal punishment for sin. Hell is not an appointed time of future wrath to come in the same sense as “the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world” (Revelation 3:10).

The beginning of the Day of the Lord that includes the Tribulation is the appointed time of “the wrath to come.”

“Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

The Greek word translated as “delivers” above in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 is “rhýomai.” Definition: draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.

Peter used the same Greek word to describe God’s rescue of Lot out of Sodom before its subsequent destruction:

“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked” (2 Peter 2:6-7).

God can very easily rescue His people out of the trial of His choosing, and at the same time “reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9).

The bride of Christ is not appointed to the wrath of the Groom.

“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9).

The wrath that Paul says we’re not appointed for is noted in the verses just prior:

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).

It’s obvious—when taken in context—that the wrath that God will rescue us from is the wrath of the Day of the Lord. The Rapture is our helmet of hope in our salvation from the intense persecutions and trials of the Tribulation.

Of course, if we are rescued from the Tribulation via the Rapture, then we are also saved from eternity in hell. Our hope of salvation encompasses both the Rapture and eternal life with God.

Jesus is our deliverer from His own wrath to come (during the Day of the Lord). That is why He closed the book of Isaiah in the specific place that He did, when reading from it in the temple:

“And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down” (Luke 4:17-20a).

Jesus purposely did not read the next phrase from Isaiah 61:2 because His bride—the church—is not appointed to His wrath during “the day of vengeance of our God.”

Here is the very next phrase in Isaiah 62 that Jesus did not read:

“To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:2a).

Jesus came to this earth in the body of a Man in order to call a new group of people—made up of both Jews and Gentiles:

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

The wrath to come is the time of Jacob’s trouble, not the time of the Bride’s trouble.

“And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed’” (Genesis 32:28).

“Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7).

We who are actually wanting, watching, and waiting for the return of our dear Savior are the Bride of Christ.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

Don’t let those who refuse to approach the throne of God in full assurance of faith discourage you. Just because they doubt and mock does not mean that God is delaying His return.

We remnant believers can rejoice in our hope of deliverance which will occur without delay at the Rapture of the Bride of Christ!

“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

“And every man that hath this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure” (1 John 3:3)