“For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to 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, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (vs8-10)
Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come, and this is why we wait for Him and serve Him faithfully: He is the only Savior there is. He redeemed God’s elect, being cursed for us, and He suffered God’s wrath for our sins. He is the One raised from the dead by the Father and exalted, and He is coming back to judge this world as King. Therefore, we wait on Him, even though we’re tempted to leave the gospel because of afflictions, the cross that we must bear, and the consequences of holiness and sin warring within. Grace made Christ everything to us, and this is manifested in our deeds. Paul says, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God” (vs2-4). Our faith works, our love labors and brings forth fruit, and we wait for Christ because we have no other hope.
If ETERNITY isn’t your hope… if you’re not seeking, above everything else, to be saved from impending wrath, then you’ll leave Christ when times get tough. Like Judas, you’ll love this present world and squander your soul. Many have turned back from the Savior for friends and family, and they reject the gospel that they once believed for a relationship or some shiny thing. But, not you! You have no Plan B, and no hope but Christ. You agree with Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69). God’s made His wrath real to you, and you believe Christ is exalted for extinguishing it with His blood. Paul said, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit” (vs5-6). You know that you have more in Christ than in this world, so you rejoice more than you sorrow, even though you’re tested for your faithfulness. Patience manifests that you’re elected, indeed. God came to you, you became a follower of Christ, and the gospel is the instrument that He used.
I ask. What is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to you? Nothing is to be a distraction from following Christ, not family, friends, or any ambition. Salvation is the only thing that matters because the consequences are eternal! Wait on Him, and be patient. You will be rewarded in the end. It is difficult, but it is worth living for.