From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
What a joy it is to be a Christian! As we start this day and any day, let’s not forget God’s great desire. We are told by Paul of one of God’s great desires is for all people to be saved by coming to an understanding of truth (I Tim. 2:4). At the same time, we must not forget Peter’s warning regarding Satan. For Satan’s desire is to destroy Christians and the church (I Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:12-14). One of Satan’s strategies is to remove from our hearts any joy of being a Christian (2 Cor. 2:11). Peter authored First and Second Peter during extremely difficult times in the lives of Christians. Satan was using Nero as an instrument then to discourage first century Christians. Peter writes these epistles to comfort, encourage, and strengthen Christians. He challenged them as he exhorts us today to learn to lean on Jesus and His word and we will find power to make it through whatever we might be going through. So, let us learn to lean on Jesus!
The devotional thought for today will consider the twentieth reason for Christians to be excited and full of joy while traveling this Christian journey. We should rejoice and have joy inexpressible because we shall escape the great wrath of God (2 Pet. 3:10-12). The wrath of God is not preached much now days, but I can remember as a young boy and as a teenager hearing powerful sermons on “The day of the Lord.” One of the “exceedingly great and precious promises” is that one day Jesus is going to return. Jesus, in John 14:1-6, promised to one day return. Luke informs us in Acts 1:9-11 that one of the angels instructed the Apostles that one day just like they saw Him ascend into heaven; He is coming back. This day of His return is called “the day of the Lord.” No person or angel knows when this day is going to be (Matt. 24:36, 42, 44). Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 5:1-3, the return of Jesus or “the day of the Lord” will like “a thief in the night” – unexpected and without warning.
On the day of the Lord, Paul affirms the righteous will meet the Lord in the air (I Thess. 4:16). The Lord, His angels and the righteous will return to heaven to dwell forever. But those who are found to be unrighteous will remain on the earth to receive the “wrath of God.” Those who refuse to believe in God, those who have not obeyed the gospel, and those who are unfaithful members of the Lord’s church will not escape “the wrath of God” (Matt. 13:41; 2 Thess. 1:7-9). The Hebrew writer raised the question, how can anyone escape the wrath of God, if they refuse His plan of salvation (Heb. 2:3)? John in Revelation 6 provides a vivid description of this day. On this day, people will attempt suicide by requesting for the mountains to fall of them, but there will be no death. They will seek death to hide themselves from “Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb” (12-17). The question is again raised, who will be able to stand or who will escape God’s wrath?
The answer is a reason to rejoice. The righteous, faithful Christians will be able to stand. Christians will not experience “the wrath of God.” Oh what a reason to be happy! What a reason to rejoice! The day of the Lord is coming, but Christians have nothing to fear; Christians have a reason to rejoice – we shall escape the coming wrath of God. Oh, what joy fills my heart!