Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Saved from What?

I realized (which happens a lot when reading Scripture) that salvation really is being saved from GOD! What is the destiny of sinners? to suffer God's holy justice and wrath. Hell is not evil, but holy, in that it is God's execution of perfect justice. It is those who occupy hell - the devil, his angels, and unsaved souls - that are evil, in the way that a prison is not criminal in nature but rather houses criminals. Consider the words of Jesus:
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!" (Luke 12:4,5)
So our desire to be saved is prompted by the fear of God's damnation. This is not all a new revelation to me, but so often evangelicals skip over God's wrath as if He saves us from the devil. The devil has no power, not even in hell, he suffers there like the rest. Salvation is deliverance from the Almighty. But notice what Jesus says immediately following,
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6)
What do birds have to do with us? If he cares about sparrows and hair, how much more does he care about His children? He says earlier "Fear God's wrath" and now He says "Fear not," because conversion is this: running away from God and into His embrace. He desires to save us because of love and it is only by running into his outspread arms that we are saved from justice. Isn't it interesting that our punishment was served by someone with arms wide open?