Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #317 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Thessalonians 1 today and our focus is on What is the Coming Wrath The Jesus Rescues us From? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Hormozgan, Iran, Al Jizah, Egypt, Western Cape, South Africa, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, West Bengal, India, New South Wales, Australia, Scotland, United Kingdom, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, California, Selma, Alabama, Yakima, Washington, Kansas City, Missouri, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Charlotte, North Carolina. Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
New book today – 1 Thessalonians, and it has very short chapters, but lots of great truths, including one of the more detailed passages on the last days, the antichrist, what happens after death, and several more great discussion items. Because our focus is on the very last sentence of the chapter, let’s go ahead and read the whole chapter, and then discuss it.
The church in Thessalonica has had a tremendous impact on the world around it, in a very short time. Notice the glowing way that Paul speaks of their conversion and their subsequent impact:
7 As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith in God has gone out. Therefore, we don’t need to say anything, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Thessalonica is a city in Greece, a few hundred miles north of Athens, and right on the east coast of the Aegean sea. Interestingly, it is still a city today, the second largest city in Greece, with a metropolitan population of over one million people. If you are imagining that it is an ancient sort of city, sadly – it is not, but is rather quite modern by Greek standards as a great fire destroyed much of the city in 1917, and it all had to be rebuilt. Acts 17 gives us a brief overview of the founding of the church in Thessalonica:
17 After they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As usual, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and rise from the dead: “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.” 4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, including a large number of God-fearing Greeks, as well as a number of the leading women.5 But the Jews became jealous, and they brought together some wicked men from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city.
Let’s be honest: this doesn’t sound like a good start AT ALL. Paul and Silas only stayed with them for a few weeks – less than a month, and then a riot happened, and Paul and Silas went on to Berea, where Acts tells us that the Bereans were “more noble” than the Thessalonians, and they eagerly listened to God’s Word. Strangely, something happened from this inauspicious beginning, and by the time Paul writes a letter to the church there, they had grown and matured and were impacting the World! What an amazing work of God, right?
Let’s talk about that last verse: wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
What does this mean? What coming wrath does Jesus rescue us from? We’ll have to skip ahead a bit to answer this question, both in time and in the the book of 1st Thessalonians, but 1 Thessalonians 5 tells us the coming wrath that Paul is speaking of:
About the times and the seasons: Brothers and sisters, you do not need anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, for this day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. 6 So then, let us not sleep, like the rest, but let us stay awake and be self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled and put on the armor of faith and love, and a helmet of the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9
the day of wrath is an Old Testament concept, as we see in the Psalms:
The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his anger. Psalm 110:5
Isaiah the prophet warns of this day::
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will shake from its foundations
at the wrath of the Lord of Armies,
on the day of his burning anger. Isaiah 13:13
as does the prophet Ezekiel:
They will throw their silver into the streets,
and their gold will seem like something filthy.
Their silver and gold will be unable to save them
in the day of the Lord’s wrath.
They will not satisfy their appetites
or fill their stomachs,
for these were the stumbling blocks
that brought about their iniquity. Ezekiel 7:19
and the prophet Zephaniah:
The great day of the Lord is near,
near and rapidly approaching.
Listen, the day of the Lord—
then the warrior’s cry is bitter.
15 That day is a day of wrath,
a day of trouble and distress,
a day of destruction and desolation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and total darkness, Zephaniah 1:14-15
Paul also talks about this day of wrath in Romans 2:
5 Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. Romans 2:5
and Jesus Himself:
22 because these are days of vengeance to fulfill all the things that are written. 23 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for there will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will be killed by the sword and be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:22-24
And who’s wrath is coming upon the world? Astonishingly the answer is Jesus – the Lamb’s wrath:
15 Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?” Revelation 6:15-16
We will cover this more deeply as we go through 1 Thessalonians, but the horrifying and comforting reality is that Jesus is going to come back and judge the world. And nobody will be able to stand under His judgment and yet, HE HIMSELF IS THE ONE WHO RESCUES US FROM THAT. How does He rescue us – does He rescue the best and brightest? The prettiest and most popular? The rich and powerful? The strong and mighty? The saints and sinless? NO! He rescues those who have been saved by grace through faith in Him alone. He is our salvation, He is our rescue, and He is the almighty coming King that is coming to judge both the quick and the dead. Tremble and rejoice!
Bible Memory passage for the month of November: John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
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