2 Thessalonians 1: 5-7
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels…
I’ve read how some people perceive a disconnect between the way God is described in the Old and New Testaments. For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading through the major prophets of the Old Testament right now and it is striking how God’s judgment and love can be on display simultaneously. I think you can find that same theme in the verses above.
Paul speaks of the “righteous judgment of God” just as Isaiah and Jeremiah and the other prophets of the Old Testament. Paul goes on to describe the final outcome for those who stand in opposition to God –
“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
As for those who live for God – “when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
It’s not comfortable to write these things. It’s easier to reinforce the last point and ignore the idea of “eternal destruction.” Don’t you agree?
“The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment” – A.W. Tozer
All opinions eventually arrive at only one of two outcomes – eternity with or without the presence of God. Is there someone you know who is in opposition to God right now? I am sure there is many more than one and I am sure we all should feel the need to help do what Paul commanded another first-century church to do –
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).