Paul asserted that Christ delivers all believers from the eternal wrath of God. This means that they may wait for the return of Christ with confident hope:

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

Paul referred here to Christ’s deliverance of the elect from “the wrath to come,” which is God’s eternal wrath. Regarding this divine deliverance, MacArthur explains, “This can mean to evacuate out of a current distress (Rom. 7:24; Col. 1:13) or to exempt from entering into a distress (John 12:27; 2 Cor. 1:10).

The wrath can refer either to God’s temporal wrath to come on the earth (Rev. 6:16, 17; 19:15) or to God’s eternal wrath (John 3:36; Rom. 5:9, 10). First Thessalonians 5:9 develops the same idea. The emphasis in both passages on Christ’s work of salvation from sin favors this being understood as the deliverance from the eternal wrath of God in hell because of salvation.” [1]

So Christ is revealed here in His work of salvation, rescuing believers from the eternal consequences of sin, namely, the wrath of God that is poured out in hell. Of those He rescues, Christ will lose not a one. (Foundations of Grace: A Long Line of Godly Men, 435)

Dr. Steven L. Lawson


[1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary [Nashville, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2005], 1751