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—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 (NIV)
The gospel is about Jesus, God’s Son from heaven.
The gospel message is about a person Paul has come to know and wants to introduce to others. This person is unlike any other person who has ever lived. He is God’s Son from heaven. The gospel is about Him, and what He is able to do for you.
The gospel is about Jesus, whom the Father raised from the dead.
The distinctive declaration of the gospel is: Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead! Because He conquered death, He is uniquely positioned to bring men and women into life. Obviously, Christians still die, but Jesus’ promise is that through His resurrection your death will not be the end of your life, but an entrance into a better kind of life.
The gospel is about Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Every person is faced with “the coming wrath.” This is God’s judging of every life—His punishing of every sin, His righting of every wrong, His eradicating of all evil from His universe, and His destruction of all sinners in the lake of fire.
Without this coming wrath, the gospel makes no sense. What is the point of telling self-confident people that Jesus can give them a wonderful life when their lives are already full? Paul was convinced that there is “a coming wrath” every person in this world needs to be rescued from.
The glory of the gospel is that, at unfathomable cost, Christ, through His death, has borne the wrath of God. And He now offers Himself to you so that you may be rescued from the wrath that, apart from Him, would come upon you.
Why is understanding the wrath of God necessary to understanding the gospel?