1 John 4:10
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
I will never forget reading about a Midwestern fire that swept across the prairie, devastating crops, houses, and everything else that lay in its path. It ravaged without warning, leaving families and homesteads in ruin. Only one family was unharmed, and this is their story.
They had seen the smoke coming from a distance and knew they could never outrun it. The father grabbed a brand from the hearth and set their own field afire, lighting smaller fires in patches along the surrounding area. The wind fanned the flames and carried them a mile or so ahead of the on-coming prairie fire. He loaded his family into the wagon and then drove into the middle of their burned-out field...and they waited.
Within minutes, the great wall of fire reached the edge of their field. Finding nothing to burn, it merely licked its way along the outer edges. Ultimately, the massive wall of flames met at the back of the field and continued downwind with a fury.
They were safe!
Why? Because they were standing on ground that had already been burned. It had withstood the fire and could not be burned again. It had become this family’s propitiation.
Do you know why you will never have to face the wrath of God in fiery judgment? Because you stand in Christ — He is your propitiation. Against Him, the wrath of God has already burned, and for us who are in Him, the fire of God will never burn again. John tells us why God did this for us in 1 John 4:10: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
We come to Christ as our Propitiator, not because of something we did or some measure of worth that we had in ourselves, but because of what He did on the cross and because of His eternal worth as God the Son.
There is a coming firestorm that will sweep up those who have not accepted the propitiatory work of Christ. It is a place called hell; in it, the wrath of God will burn against all those not standing in the finished work of Christ.
For those who have placed their faith in Christ, they are forever safe from that flame. Because of the cross, which is stained with the perfect blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God’s judgment for sin has been fully satisfied.