TO OBTAIN SALVATION
BY: RAY PRINZING
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:9)
There will be manifestations of His wrath, His energy forces set in motion to correct and bring forth righteousness, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18) “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Thessalonians 1:8)
Vengeance is essential. The Greek word for ‘vengeance’ is ‘ekdikeo’, meaning OUT OF JUST, or righteousness. OUT OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS God will bring forth those corrective measures which will bring an end to ungodliness, and restore all things into His true righteousness again. That is Divine vengeance! It is not a ‘dooms day’; it bespeaks the beginning of the time of restoration. However severe the process required to bring an end to the way of degeneration, it leads to the time of regeneration. We do not minimize the workings of wrath – but we do not see wrath as an end in itself, but rather as a means to an end – the end is coming into His righteousness, “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)
Jeremiah gives an interesting insight into the nature of man, “O lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing”. He knew that God’s judgments would work in him for good, and he would accept all this correction. But his concept of the ‘anger of the Lord’ was something else, so he prayed, “Pour out Thy fury upon the heathen that know Thee not.” (Jer. 10:23-25)
But God says, “I am found of a people that sought Me not,” (Isaiah 65:1), for He sent His Son to be the Saviour of ALL MEN. The greater the sin, the greater the purging, the more severe the fire, but the end is SALVATION!