New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:9 to wrath. In the context, Paul is discussing the coming “day of the Lord,” which will be the great “day of His wrath” (Revelation 6:17) on an ungodly world that has rejected both His law and His work of redemption and forgiveness. It is not intended to be a time of chastisement and purification of believers, but of judgment and tribulation on the ungodly. The world, long under the dominion of Satan, “the god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4), must be reclaimed by God, and the rebels purged out of it. Thus, before these purgings begin, those who have believed on the Lord and received His salvation must be taken out of the way by Christ’s rapture of His people.
5:9 obtain salvation. “Salvation” can refer to any “deliverance” (same Greek word). In this case, it refers to deliverance from the world before the wrath of God is visited on it. If any should object that the last generation of Christians does not really deserve to be delivered out of the tribulation, they should remember that this salvation, like that of individual soul salvation, is a matter of grace through faith, not works. Previous generations of Christians also were delivered from the coming day of wrath, so that “whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (I Thessalonians 5:10) when He comes again. See also I Thessalonians 1:10.