Saved from Wrath?
“For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess. 5:9.
Many interpret this to mean that God will take us to heaven in the Rapture before His wrath comes upon the world. But this is not what Paul had in mind. The context reveals that God’s “wrath” is the same as the “sudden destruction” (vs. 3) that falls upon the lost when “the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night” (vs. 2). “God has not appointed us to wrath” (vs. 9) simply means that His wrath will not fall on true Christians when Jesus Christ returns.
Prior to Christ’s return, the 7 last plagues of God’s wrath will fall upon the world (Rev. 16). These plagues are very similar to the 10 plagues that fell upon the Egyptians in the time of Moses. Where were God’s people then? Were they gone from Egypt? No, but they were protected! No plague fell upon the Israelites (Ex. 8:22; 9:6; etc.).
Paul wrote that “the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Eph. 5:6. Thus the larger issue is not “pre-trib vs. post-trib,” but whether we are among the OBEDIENT OR DISOBEDIENT. When God’s wrath falls, the disobedient will experience it to the fullest, no matter whether they claim to be Christians or not. Profession is worthless (see Mat. 7:21-23). Those who think they will disappear in the Rapture before the tribulation, and yet who are now living in disobedience to God’s word, will experience God’s wrath (unless they repent). Jesus Christ said He will assign them their “portion with the hypocrites.” Mat. 24:51.
The big issue is: Have you repented of all your sins? Do you fully trust in Jesus Christ? Have you been born again through His Spirit and infinite love? Are you one of God’s “obedient children”? 1 Peter 1:14. If so, you need not fear the wrath to come. “For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess. 5:9.