I Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
God has special blessings in store for His children. We know that true Christians have faced severe persecution in the past. We know the apostle Paul was stoned, and beaten and imprisoned and left to be hungry, etc. However, Paul did not face that consistently. He was still able to travel and visit with other Christians and able to preach the word of God in many places.
Stephen was stoned to death, but he did not suffer for a long time. His suffering was intense, but it was for a short time. Neither Paul, nor Stephen were under God’s wrath. They faced the hatred of the people, but they were not under God’s wrath.
Our text tells us that God has not appointed His children to wrath. The wrath there is His wrath. Jesus stated in John 3:
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
All unbelievers are already under God’s wrath. They are under God’s wrath because they are born in sin and choose to live in sin rather than be saved. Those who are saved are no longer under God’s wrath. They are delivered from the wrath to come.
I Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Even though lost people are under God’s wrath today, they still have opportunity to prosper materially. Lost people can go to work and make money. They can go to restaurants and they can buy food for their families. There is a time coming when people will not be able to move around freely or find food to eat readily. We are seeing some of that now. We are seeing this as a result of bad policies by our governments. Our governments are making bad policies because they are in rebellion against God and thus do not have the wisdom needed to make wise policies. We also know that we are living in a time when those in power desire to cause suffering for those they govern. They have the inflated idea that they are better than the “common” people. We know that our P.M. thinks he is superior to us poor wretched people.
All of this is in preparation for the time of the antichrist which will be a time of God’s wrath upon wickedness. The Bible describes the Tribulation time as a time of God’s wrath. The Bible tells us that the world will face trouble like it has never faced before that time. Things will be very difficult during that time. Those who have seen the news have seen that the people in Shanghai have been under severe lockdown now for between 40-60 days. In some parts, the government has refused to allow food to be delivered for up to 3 days. If they find just one person with the “virus” they forcefully remove all the people in that building and force them into quarantine in packed quarters. People are so frustrated that some are fighting back against the officials. Others are committing suicide. What is happening there is a sample of what is going to be common during the Tribulation time. Beside the trouble that the antichrist will establish, God will be sending plagues and drought and earthquakes.
Some people think they can flee to other countries to escape some of the trouble we are facing today. Apparently people are fleeing from Canada right now because of the oppression they are facing here. They are deceived people who want more freedom from government overreach. It will not be long before there will be no place to flee to. Many countries are signing on to the U.N. demands and they are giving the WHO the authority to run the health systems of the entire country. The WHO is a wicked organization that has no interest in humanitarian aid. They only want control.
Those who are saved can be assured that all that we are seeing today is not the final wrath that is to come. As we mentioned, God says the Tribulation time will be a time of trouble like the world has never known.
Those who are saved will obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. The salvation spoken of here is the deliverance that the saints will have from the wrath to come. The salvation that God provides for lost sinners is also a deliverance. That is a deliverance from the sin nature and from the wrath that we are under from birth. In our text, saints are promised deliverance from the wrath that is to come. This deliverance is due to having been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 10 we are reminded that Jesus Christ died for us. He is the substitute for the saved child of God. This promise of salvation is made to those who are physically alive or those who are physically dead in Christ. This is a reference to the resurrection at the end of this age.
I Thessalonians 4:16 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:
17 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.
The words we have been looking at in these opening verses of chapter 5 are designed to be a comfort for the saints. Again we see the importance of assembling together. It is not possible to comfort one another together if we are all scattered. In the early chapters of the book of Acts we know that the saints gathered together to pray when Peter was imprisoned under the threat of being killed by Herod. The people comforted one another as they met and prayed together.
We are also told to edify one another. The word translated as “edify” means “to build up”. The Bible teaches that God strengthens His children. He also teaches us that we can help to build one another up as we gather together in fellowship around His Word. Those who fall for the ecumenical movement or for the New Evangelical movement do not edify themselves around God’s Word. They try to build one another up with flattery and lies, but that does not work.
The early Christians were able to face the persecution of their time because they were built up in the Word of God. We see that in different times in Church history. We also see times when Christians lived in very dark times and there was little light because many who professed to be Christians were quite compromised. We are living in such a time now. God is seeking to strengthen His children at this time. We need that for ourselves, but we also need that in order to be able to encourage others to turn to the Lord and be saved in these last days.
Paul acknowledged that the saints were already comforting one another and they were also edifying one another. He was told by God to encourage the saints to grow in Christ and their love for one another. God desires to bless His children so that they can be a blessing to others. We can do that if we know Him and walk humbly with Him.