S36P1 – Saintly encouragement: redemptive reminder
1 Thes. 5:9-11
For God has not destined us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore, encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.
As time continues, the world grows ever darker. Years seem like decades or even centuries as we see the tides of culture flow increasingly away from God at an alarming rate. At times, it may seem as if there is no relief in sight. As we read the scriptures that indicate the signs of the end times it is clear that we are in those times now. Injustice and evil routinely conspire to destroy that which God made for his and our good pleasure. Many defy God and follow the enemy, and this will incur God’s wrath. God’s justice demands that his wrath appear in response to this great evil. For those on whom God’s wrath will be directed at that time, there can be no worse fate. To incur the wrath of God is like an unimaginable punishment. And though the idea of this occurring may seem terrifying, it is no consideration for those who have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ.
As we go through this life, we will fall short of the glory of God. Our great enemy will try to condemn us so that we feel as if we will be of those who incur the wrath and judgment of God. It is a clever ruse to attempt to make us focus not on faith but on fear. That fear is reserved for those who are against God, but God has reserved something else for his children. It has been preordained that we should not be under the wrath of God but that we should be under his grace. We are destined for salvation through Jesus Christ. When the wrath of God is poured out on those who hate him, we need not be concerned. In fact, if we truly love God and all that He is, our witness of his justice on the evil ones will not give us fear but will give us joy. There is only one response that we can expect when our heavenly Father is avenged. It is for us to rejoice at the establishment of perfect justice on earth. It is for us to gladly welcome God’s power to correct all that is wrong in this place. We are to glory at God making all things right.
We must remind our brothers and sisters that God is making us holy for that great day. He is setting apart the bride of Christ to be worthy of Jesus. Through the Son, we have been exempted from the wrath of God that we rightfully deserve. On that day when the wrath of God is poured out in judgment, we have no reason to fear. When Jesus returns again, whether alive or dead, we will be reunited with him for eternity. As we help each other in this world, we must continually remind each other of the great world to come. Although this may be a fundamental truth of our faith, it is easy to get distracted and lose sight of God’s promises when this world seems powerful enough to overtake us. It is for us to keep the brethren encouraged by focusing on God’s past, current and future grace to us. Father, thank You that You have made a way for us to escape your wrath, and keep us focused on the fact that You have ordained our salvation.