By Elizabeth Prata
I wasn’t saved by love. The Gospel was not attractive to me. It was not made attractive to me by smiling Christians. I didn’t suddenly melt because of all the syrupy love Jesus flowed down onto me. I was saved by wrath.
|This is NOT my Jesus|
Glorious Jesus who was and is and is to come did not woo me to the cross. No one fulfilled my felt needs. No one befriended me and cajoled me into loving Jesus. He battered my head with a 2X4, dragging me kicking and screaming to the cross, where He made me face my sin. Once I saw my sin, I saw how ugly it is. I saw His coming wrath for it.
THEN I loved Him. After He opened my eyes I saw all His loveliness and grace and mercy and long-suffering and patience and grief over sin and sinners. But I was not wooed, nor was I loved onto Mt Moriah. It is not true that “Jesus won’t come where He isn’t welcome”. It is not true that “Jesus won’t force Himself on anybody.” People who say that never read of Paul’s conversion!
He is sovereign God! He goes where He pleases! (Psalm 24:1). He drop-kicked Saul/Paul to the ground AND blinded him! He didn’t ASK Mary if she’d like to become pregnant and an object of ridicule and rumor the rest of her life. No, He sent an angel to TELL her how it was going to be. (Luke 1:30-37)
He isn’t wringing His hands in heaven hoping that Jane or Tom or Mary will believe in Him, and maybe they will, if He just sends the Spirit to soften the pew cushions … or energizes the preacher with a louder “WOO!” … or if the musician plays one more verse of “Just As I Am.” Maybe if He can make church “exciting” then Harry will repent and believe. No.
It was the sovereign wrath that convicted me and convinced me. It is why I love passages like this from 2 Thessalonians-
GOD’S RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT
This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. Since it is right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give rest to you who are afflicted and to us as well at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, executing vengeance on those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our witness to you was believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)
Let us begin the marveling now. Marvel at a Savior who saves by His sovereign election, will, purpose, and plan! Marvel at He who is wrath and judgment and holiness and fierce anger! Be afeared of His anger over your sin. Marvel that El Shaddai… El Elyon …sent His Son to take on all anger for His elect’s sins. Marvel that He is also Jehovah Rapha, and Jehovah Jireh, the LORD that heals, the LORD will provide. Marvel at the wrath. It makes marveling at the grace all the more sweet.
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