“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…“
Paul gives both a negative and a positive reason as a basis for the hope of salvation (5:8).
God did not appoint us to wrath,
First, the negative reason. Paul here alludes to God’s sovereign placing of the church in a situation whereby she will not go through the Tribulation (the Day of The Lord).
“…and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
God constructed the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, chronologically. We can decipher the plain strokes of prophecy by studying the argument of the entire book. First, Revelation deals with the church, then the Tribulation, the Second Advent, the Millennium, and the eternal state. Almost two-thirds of the book expounds on the tribulation period.
but to obtain salvation
Secondly and positively, God appoints believers to “obtain salvation.” The word “obtain” literally means to make around. The idea is the obtaining of something in its completeness. God obtained salvation in its completeness for us. It is our possession because God did everything to acquire it (Ephesians 1:14; 1 Peter 2:9). Because God acquired it, it is complete and full salvation. He keeps it safe.
Note that the word is “obtain” and not “attain” salvation. We can do nothing to attain salvation. We rest on the finished work of Christ for that. Salvation is a gift with no strings attached. We cannot work for our salvation to merit brownie points with God.
through our Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus merited our salvation, not us. We owe our salvation to Him. We cannot acquire salvation for ourselves. Jesus died on our behalf. His work on the cross is the means of our salvation. Jesus is the only way of salvation. No one can do business with God apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time…” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Satan invents religious works to appeal to the pride of people. People can do nothing to work for salvation. Religious works are a satanic imitation of salvation. This is difficult for most people to swallow because they think people must pay the price for eternal life. All of this is to blind people to the true way to Heaven — believing in the death of Christ on the cross for our sins. Salvation is free, but not cheap. It cost the Lord Jesus His life on the cross.
God makes appointments for us in His eternal calendar.
There are certain divine appointments that God ordains for every believer. There are appointments God does not want us to keep. One of them is the Tribulation. Christians in the church will not go through the Tribulation. God will rapture us first.
God does appoint trial for the believer’s life. Sometimes He does this for remedial reasons. He does this to build our faith, but not for punishment. At other times, He does this for many other reasons such as glorifying Himself, building our character, witnessing to those without Christ, and many other reasons.
“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake…” (Philippians 1:29).