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#9.12 GOD HAS NOT APPOINTED US TO WRATH

This bible study uses a Unicode Greek font and is printable.

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Related Greek Word Studies
601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.

Introduction 9.12

This is an excellent bible study explaining the meaning of 'Not appointed us to wrath' (1 Thessalonians 5:9). It is a scripture that is used often by the advocates of a pre-tribulation rapture to try to prove that believers will not be here on the earth during the tribulation, when God's wrath will be poured out on this earth during the last days. However, when many of the scriptures are put together we can see that God only pours his wrath on the disobedient, not on those who obey him.

#9.121 Christians are not Appointed to Wrath

Greek - Romans 5:9 - English
πολλῷ οὖν μᾶλλον δικαιωθέντες νῦν ἐν τῷ αἵματι αὐτοῦ σωθησόμεθα δι᾽ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Greek - 1 Thessalonians 1:10 - English
καὶ ἀναμένειν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν ὃν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἰησοῦν τὸν ῥυόμενον ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς τῆς ἐρχομένης 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.

Greek - 1 Thessalonians 5:9 - English
ὅτι οὐκ ἔθετο ἡμᾶς ὁ θεὸς εἰς ὀργὴν ἀλλ᾽ εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ 9 For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Note: These are the scriptures which show that God has not appointed us to wrath, but what is the context of them? There are three possible interpretations:

(1) In Romans 5:9 the wrath on the unbeliever is contrasted with justification of the believer. The obvious context of this scriptures is that the wrath to come is not the tribulation in the end-time, but the wrath of God on the unbelievers in Gehenna, the lake of fire, at the end of the millennium reign of Christ (Revelation 20:15).

(2) The context of 1 Thessalonians 5:9 is the wrath to come on the Day of the Lord.

(1 Thessalonians 5:2) "For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night."

This being so then the wrath spoken of is the wrath coming on the unbelievers who fight against Jerusalem on the day of the Lord (Zechariah 14:12), the day Jesus returns (Zechariah 14:4), and is nothing at all to do with the tribulation. As the last part of 1 Thessalonians 5:9 states, that will be the day we obtain salvation (Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:5).

(3) All Christians have been called to suffer persecution, so this cannot possibly refer to the wrath of Satan, or his wrath through people, while alive in this life. Paul suffered exceptional persecution (Acts 14:19; 2 Corinthians 11:23-25) so he could not possibly mean that God has not appointed us to that. He also said, "Everyone who lives godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12), so this does not refer to the persecution that Christians will get during the tribulation period.

(4) Another way to interpret this is that God will protect his people from the end-time plagues that will come on the earth during the tribulation period (See #9.122 below).

#9.122 Wrath of God on the Unbelievers

JOHN 3:36
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life: and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.

ROMANS 1:18 (Paul)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

ROMANS 2:8 (Paul)
8 But to those who are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.

EPHESIANS 5:6 (Paul)
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.

COLOSSIANS 3:5-6 (Paul)
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience:

1 THESSALONIANS 2:14-16 (Paul)
14 For you, brothers, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for you also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God, and are contrary to all men:
16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath has come upon them to the utmost.

REVELATON 16:1-2
1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God upon the earth.
2 And the first went, and poured out his bowl upon the earth; and there fell an evil and grievous sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who worshipped his image.

REVELATION 16:10-11
10 And the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

REVELATION 16:19
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

Note: These scriptures all show that the wrath of God is on all unbelievers. They will suffer his wrath during this life for their disobedience (Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6), and in Gehenna - the lake of fire - after the millennium reign of Christ (Revelation 20:15). It will come on unbelieving Jews who persecuted the early church (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16), and any who are alive during the tribulation period in the end-time will suffer the wrath of God that comes through the end time judgements on mankind. We can see that they will be poured out on "the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who worshipped his image" (Revelation 16:2), "upon the seat of the beast" (Revelation 16:10) and upon "great Babylon" (Revelation 16:19), the false church. Nowhere does it say his wrath is poured out on his own people during this time, but rather they will be protected.

#9.123 God's Protection During the Tribulation

Greek - Revelation 7:2-4 - English
καὶ εἶδον ἄλλον ἄγγελον ἀναβάντα ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς ἡλίου ἔχοντα σφραγῖδα θεοῦ ζῶντος καὶ ἔκραξεν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ τοῖς τέσσαρσιν ἀγγέλοις οἷς ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς ἀδικῆσαι τὴν γῆν καὶ τὴν θάλασσαν 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
λέγων, μὴ ἀδικήσητε τὴν γῆν μήτε τὴν θάλασσαν μήτε τὰ δένδρα ἄχρις οὗ σφραγίζωμεν τοὺς δούλους τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ τῶν μετώπων αὐτῶν 3 Saying, Do not hurt the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
καὶ ἤκουσα τὸν ἀριθμὸν τῶν ἐσφραγισμένων ρμδ´ χιλιάδες ἐσφραγισμένοι ἐκ πάσης φυλῆς υἱῶν ἰσραήλ 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty four thousand of all the tribes of the sons of Israel.

Greek - Revelation 9:3-4 - English
καὶ ἐκ τοῦ καπνοῦ ἐξῆλθον ἀκρίδες εἰς τὴν γῆν καὶ ἐδόθη αὐταῖς ἐξουσία ὡς ἔχουσιν ἐξουσίαν οἱ σκορπίοι τῆς γῆς 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and to them was given authority, as the scorpions of the earth have authority.
καὶ ἐῤῥέθη αὐταῖς ἵνα μὴ αδικήσωσιν τὸν χόρτον τῆς γῆς οὐδὲ πᾶν χλωρὸν οὐδὲ πᾶν δένδρον εἰ μὴ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους μόνους οἵτινες οὐκ ἔχουσιν τὴν σφραγῖδα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπὶ τῶν μετώπων αὐτῶν 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree; except only those men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads.

Note: In the last says we see that God will seal those who are his servants out of the tribes of Israel. The angels with the plagues were commanded not to do their work until these people had been sealed, so that they would be protected from the plagues. In Revelation 9:4 we see the command that only those who did not have the seal of God would be affected. This is totally consistent with the nature of God, who also protected his people in Egypt when the plagues came on them in the time of Moses.

(Exodus 8:22-23) And I will separate in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end you may know that I am YHWH in the midst of the earth.
23 And I will put a division between my people and your people: tomorrow shall this sign be.

(Exodus 9:3-4, 6) Behold, the hand of YHWH is upon your cattle which are in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very severe pestilence.
4 And YHWH shall separate between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel.
6 And YHWH did that thing on the next day, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but none of the cattle of the children of Israel died.

(Exodus 9:25-26) And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and broke every tree of the field.
26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

(Exodus 10:22-23) And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23 They did not see one another, neither did any rise from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

We can see here that during the plagues in Egypt God protected his people from them even though they were there. The very last plague which was to kill the first born in Egypt they were also protected from because they were obedient to put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their houses (Exodus 12:7, 12:50). Now why should it be different during the tribulation? God does not change (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17), so he will also protect his people then.

#9.124 CONCLUSION

The scripture, "God has not appointed us to wrath" (1 Thessalonians 5:9), along with others, has been used by pre-tribulation rapture advocates to support their case that the Church will not be on earth during the tribulation. The context of the scripture shows that this refers to the wrath of God on unbelievers on the Day of the Lord, when believers will obtain salvation (Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:5), But even if people do not accept that, their argument is still totally unfounded, as the scriptures have shown that God has always protected his people from his wrath in bad times. He did so in Egypt and he will also do so during the tribulation. Please do not let people deceive you with these weak arguments. There will be no pre-tribulation rapture; the church will be here during the tribulation, and will suffer persecution, but not the wrath of God.

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