A Study in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5

Wrath (of God)

We begin this article in this series and  look at scripture references to the wrath of God. As Paul said in chapter five of  First Thessalonians, we are not destined for wrath but to obtain salvation through Jesus!

Paul, wrote to the Romans:


For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Romans 1:18

It is clear in the above verse that God's wrath is against all godlessness and wickedness and men who hold the truth in righteousness.


Paul says in Ephesians:

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.


Ephesians 5-6

Paul said that God's wrath comes to those who are disobedient. In Colossians, Paul tells us to put to death what belongs our earthly nature because the wrath of God is coming:


Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience...

Colossians 3:5-6


John the Baptist said in the Gospel of John concerning eternal life: 

          He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God      abideth on him.

          John 3:36


He said, whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but the ones who rejects the Son, God's wrath remains on him. It is clear that wrath is eternal punishment in Hell which is the opposite of eternal life!

Paul says in Romans:


          Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.


          Romans 5:9



Since we have been justified by the blood of Christ, we will be saved from God's wrath through Him! Paul, in first Thessalonians, tells them they have become models to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia and that their faith has become known everywhere:

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye 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, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

First Thessalonians 1:9-10

In the above verse, the ones who receive Christ are the ones who are delivered from the wrath to come.

And in chapter 16 of Revelation:

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Revelation 16:2

In reference to the seven bowls of wrath, the first angel poured out his bowl on the land, and sores broke out on those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. 

At this time God's wrath is poured out on the sons of disobedience. Pre-tribbers claim God's wrath is during the tribulation. If this is so, do we have to be removed from this earth into heaven, or seven years before the wrath after the tribulation? Or are we protected from this wrath? In the above scripture, the angel pours his bowl on the earth and the ones who worshiped the beast and his image. In another part of Revelation, John describes the locusts which came upon the earth:

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.  And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

Revelation 9:3-5

The locust were not permitted to hurt anything or anyone except those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads! So then, the ones who have the seal of God on their foreheads are spared from the harm of the locusts. Therefore it is possible, and a certainty  that we can be here during this time of God's wrath. In reference to First Thessalonians chapter 5, Paul was writing about the day of the Lord. In one of the articles in this series, that day comes after the tribulation. Paul said on that day destruction will come upon of them Suddenly. In the above verse the locusts were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months (during the great tribulation). It is only on the day of the Lord,  His wrath destroys those who are do not repent of their sins. 

In scripture, there has never been a group of people removed from the earth (raptured into heaven) before any or during God's judgments. In Genesis, God forewarned Noah about the coming flood and instructed him to build the Ark. The Ark preserved Noah. The people who were outside the Ark died in the flood. In Egypt, when Pharaoh's hardened heart prevented the Israelites from going to the promised land, God inflicted plagues across Egypt except where the Israelites lived. He sent a death Angel to kill all the firstborn in that Land. He commanded the Israelites to sacrifice Passover lambs, and to put the lambs' blood across their doorpost so that Angel would pass over them sparing their first-born. The Egyptians, however, did not have lambs blood across their doorposts and their first-born died. In Revelation, God's wrath comes upon those who have a mark, the mark of the beast, and the ones In Christ are spared because they don't have the mark.

Here lies a question for pre-tribbers: If we are to believe that we must be raptured out before the tribulation, because "we aren't destined for wrath," then what happens to the "tribulation saints?" Are they destined for wrath? They will hold to the testimony of Jesus just like (or more than) we do. Their faith will be tested. They will face the Anti-christ and his wrath (i.e. persecution). Many of them will die because of their faith in Christ. So why shouldn't they be exempt from wrath as well? And those throughout church history who have been persecuted, were they destined for wrath?

We continue our study by looking into the Book of Revelation. John describes what happens when the sixth seal is broken:


And I beheld when he (Jesus) had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 6:12-17

At the sixth seal, every slave and free man hid themselves in caves and among the rocks of the mountains  and said to them fall on us and hide us from the wrath of the Lamb, and the Father who sits on the throne  for the great day of their wrath has come. As we see, this passage refers to the day of wrath. as a part of this study, it is my intention to examine key parts of this scripture and compare them to other  scriptures contained in God's holy word.

As Jesus broke the sixth seal, there was a great earthquake. In Revelation chapter 16, the seventh angel pours out the seventh bowl of wrath upon the earth, and a great earthquake occurs:

And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

Verse 18

At the sixth seal  the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair and the whole moon became like blood. Joel the prophet wrote in his book:

          The sun shall be turned into darkness,

           and the moon into blood,

           before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Joel 2:31NIV

Joel said the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the day of the Lord. From what is given from what happens at the sixth seal, this is in occurrence before the day of the Lord.

At the sixth seal the stars of the sky fell to the earth. In Matthew, Jesus said:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days (great tribulation, Matthew 24: 21) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Matthew 24:29-31

After the Great Tribulation, the stars will fall from the sky.

At the sixth seal every mountain and island are  moved out of their places. In Revelation chapter 16 at the seventh bowl:

And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found

Verse 20


At the sixth seal, every slave and free man says " for the great day of their wrath has come; and who can stand?" Malachi wrote in his book:

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap...

Malachi 3:2

Malachi said who can endure the day of His coming and who can stand when he appears. clearly, this is in reference to Jesus' coming after the tribulation.

In the above references, the day of God's wrath occurs on the day of the Lord, which is after the Great Tribulation, the time when Jesus comes and His angels gather the elect at the rapture. 

We conclude our study of wrath as we look further into the book of Revelation. At the sixth bowl, the sixth  angel pours out his bowl upon the Euphrates, and the waters dried up, which prepares the unholy trio to gather the kings for the great battle at Armageddon. At the seventh seal:

 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake*, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.  And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.**

Revelation 16:17-20

*6:12; **6:14


At the seventh bowl,  these signs which are indication to the day of the Lord, which is after the tribulation: the cities of the nations fell and God gives Babylon the great the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. In summary, Paul describes sudden destruction in relation to the day of the Lord to the Thessalonian church. And these scenes in Revelation describes the Day of God's  wrath at the end of the tribulation.


      Articles in this study

Not Destined For Wrath

The Day of the Lord

Like A Thief


Twinkling of an Eye