Sometime past I read a book by Tim LaHaye entitled The Merciful God of Prophecy. In this book LaHaye recounted how early in his religious experience he expressed a love for Jesus but a dislike God because of the latter’s wrath and judgment. "To tell the truth, I really don't even like God"…."I love Jesus. He saved me, he called me to preach, and he's the reason I'm here."
In this book LaHaye tries to show how God’s prophetic message is one of great hope and joy. I was drawn to the book initially because it seemed so ironic that a man who has made millions writing about God’s future cataclysmic judgment would try to couch that message in the context of love and mercy. The inescapable conclusion for me is that even LaHaye has a problem with a God who is out to get mankind. Embedded in LaHaye’s admission is the questioned raised in the title to this article. Who is saving who from whom?
Often times the orthodox message of salvation gets clouded by the introduction of Satan as God’s protagonist. If we are not alert, it sounds like God through Christ is saving mankind from the works of Satan. However, Satan did not create mankind with freedom of choice, nor did he create a place of eternal punishment, nor will he be mankind’s final judge. According to orthodoxy all of this is the work of God Himself.
Is Jesus’ redemptive work designed to provide a means of escape from God’s wrath? If so, then Jesus did in fact come to save us from God. Now that seems a bit odd. God incarnates Himself so that He can provide a means to save mankind from His own intended wrath and eternal punishment. Is that convoluted or what? But thus goes the traditional story of God’s work in Christ.