In this earthly life we face many perils —perils of nature, perils of society, perils of Satan, perils of God's wrath. So this raises an important question: From which of these perils can we be saved?
Nature presents us with many dangers. As Christians, we trust God and understand that we must endure trials and tribulations including those of the present creation.
❖ Natural Perils. There are fires and floods, volcanoes and earthquakes, cyclones and hurricanes, snakes and scorpions, disease and accidents, shipwreck and travel disasters, famines and plagues... and more.
Paul, on his travels, faced many perils. Among them were natural dangers.
Paul writes, "Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters... in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea... in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness..." (2Corinthians 11:25-27 excerpts NKJV ).
Does God promise salvation from such natural perils? No, he doesn't. However there are occasions when he does save people from natural disasters. For instance, God warned Pharaoh of a future famine, and Joseph was able to fill grain silos with provisions saving a great many lives (Genesis chapter 41).
Another example is God saving Daniel from peril in the den of lions (Daniel 6:31-23).
Many people can tell of a remarkable escape from some natural peril. They may call it "luck" or they may give praise to God with thankfulness.
We who are born into this creation must endure its dangers with God’s help. But God will one day dissolve this creation and make a new one that is eternal and most glorious (2Peter 3:10-13).
¶“21The creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24For we were saved in this hope... 25we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:21-23,25 NKJV).
God’s last act on the sixth day of creation, was to make Man (male and female) in his own image (Genesis 1:26-27). They sinned and so did their progeny. The world became very wicked.
God decided to destroy humanity with a great flood, except for Noah and his household, eight souls in all (Genesis 7:1).
From these four men and their wives came the human society we know today —also a wicked and dangerous society, full of threats, pitfalls and perils for the children of God.
❖ Social Perils. There are thieves and robbers, child enslavers and abusers, vandals and rapists, sowers of discord and of confusion, corrupt officials and lying leaders, devious teachers and false prohpets, godless scientists and perverse politicians, haters and persecutors... and more. (cf Romans 1:18-32)
We are like righteous Lot in Sodom. We live in a corrupt society and must endure its dangers with God’s help. But God will one day separate his kingdom from corrupt society.
David writes, "They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your might, to make known to men Your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations" (Psalm 145:11-13 BSB).
Peter says to devout and godly people, "Be saved from this perverse generation" (Acts 2:40). Peter does not mean saved from attack, but saved from following the mainstream to destruction.
From time to time the people of God are attacked by anti-christian society. As Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me" (Matthew 5:11).
Jesus himself suffered that sort of persecution, and worse, was killed on the cross. But God rescued him from Hades and the tomb, raising him from the dead (Acts 2:27).
As Paul says, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (2Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV).
This world has been infiltrated by the devil and his angels
❖ Devilish Perils. There are temptations and torments, evil thoughts and desires, lies and deceptions, false gods and witchcraft, anti-christs and demons, hindrances and sabotage... and more.
Peter says, "Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1Peter 5:8 BSB).
The whole world lies under the thrall of the wicked one. However, with God’s help we can keep the devil at a safe distance from our hearts (1John 5:18-19)
As James says, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7)
The worst of all perils is the wrath of God. Paul tells how Jesus will come "in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2Thessalonians 1:8 NKJV).
Jesus will tell those who have not obeyed him, "Depart from me you cursed into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41,46).
❖ Divine Perils. There are shame and deep regret, pain without healing, crying without comfort, no love, or faith, or hope, no dwelling and no friend, no beauty and no righteousness, utter despair and doom... and more.
As Peter says, speaking of the end of the world, "Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness" (2Peter 3:11 NKJV).
The letter to the Hebrews says, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord..."(Hebrews 2:3).
That verse tells us that there is salvation from God’s wrath and we must not neglect it.
As Paul says, "Much more then, having now been justified by [Christ’s] blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Romans 5:9 NKJV).