by Thomas Vincent
"Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come!" 1 Thessalonians 1:10
Past pains may easily be forgotten. Future pains are not easily believed. Present pains in extremity are so grievous and afflicting that all the wealth and honor in the world cannot countervail them—and, oh, how welcome is such a physician who can give ease and remove them! But if people believingly apprehended what horrible pains and torments the wicked must endure in the unquenchable flames of hell fire, where they can have no ease, and their misery shall have no end; if they apprehended how fearful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God, and to be swallowed up by His wrath, which pursues all who are out of Christ, and who will certainly come and may quickly seize upon them—surely they would use their utmost diligence now to escape—surely they would, with the greatest inquisitiveness, seek out a place of refuge from the fiery tempest of God's vengeance!
This text, which makes a revelation of the only Deliverer from the wrath to come, would sound with most transcendent sweetness in their ears; and the glad tidings thereof, concerning what Jesus has done for His people, would, above all things, be most welcome in their hearts. "Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come!"
In the former verse, the apostle tells the Thessalonians what manner of reception he had at first among them, and what the great effect of his ministry was upon them, namely that they were converted thereby, which conversion he sets forth:
1. By the nature of it: they were turned from dead idols—the lying vanities which they worshiped and served before—unto the living and true God, to worship and serve Him.
2. By the consequence of it, which was their waiting for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven. And here he shows:
First, the evidence of this second coming: it will certainly be, namely by God's raising Him from the dead and receiving Him into heaven.
Second, the ground of their hope and comforting expectation, and waiting for this coming in the text: because this Jesus had delivered them from the wrath to come. The wicked, if awakened, look for Christ's second coming with dread and fearful expectation, because of the wrath which He will bring with Him—because He will come in flaming fire to take vengeance upon them. The righteous, if assured of their saving interest in Christ, look for Christ's second coming with gladness and joyful expectation because He has delivered them from the wrath to come. "Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come!"
The doctrine, then, is plainly set forth in the words of the text: It is Jesus who delivers from the wrath to come.
In handling this point I shall show:
1. What this wrath is, which is to come;
2. That this wrath, is to come;
3. Upon whom this wrath will come;
4. When this wrath will come;
5. Who this Jesus is, who delivers from wrath to come;
6. How Jesus delivers from wrath to come;
7. How any do or may have a share, in this deliverance by Jesus from wrath to come;
Then I shall make some use and application.