“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might. 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 1:7–10
2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 describes when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Oh, what a passage. So I think about how 1 Thessalonians ended with this prayer that God would sanctify us completely. And 2 Thessalonians 1 ends with this picture of Jesus being glorified in his saints at his return. “And our sanctification will be complete and will be fully conformed into his image, glorified in him, with him.”
2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 Provides a Sobering Reminder
And yet 2 Thessalonians 1 also gives the other side of this picture. For those who have not trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord it describes them as those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And verse 9 says, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” Did you hear those words? Just meditate on them for a moment. ”
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction.” What a phrase. “The punishment of eternal, everlasting, never ending destruction away from the presence of the Lord, from the glory of his might.” In fact, Jesus described as coming from heaven with his mighty angels, inflaming fire, inflicting vengeance, judgment on those who don’t know God and obey the gospel. This is one of the most devastating pictures we have in the Bible of the fate of all who do not know Jesus, who have not trusted in Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 Leads Us to Meditate on God’s Word
And as we read it, as we meditate on it and pray according to it today, let’s realize this is talking about people right around us that we will interact with today, who are not guaranteed tomorrow. And this is their fate. This is their eternal fate if they do not trust in Jesus. And they cannot trust in Jesus if nobody tells them about Jesus. May this passage give us urgency today to share the gospel with people right around us and far from us. This is why we pray all the time on this podcast for unreached people groups because we’re talking about people groups who are headed toward this destiny and nobody’s told them. They’ve not been reached with the gospel. Nobody’s even shared with them the good news of Jesus love for them.
2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 Communicates the Urgency of Sharing the Gospel
So we pray, God help us not to harden our hearts and close our eyes and our ears when we hear these words. And kind of help us to soak them in, to be reminded today, yes, of your coming and glory for all who trust in you. We can’t wait for that day for us and yet we shudder to think about what that day will mean for others who don’t know you, have not trust in you. So, God give us urgency today, each of us, wherever we are listening right now. Urgency to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus with somebody else.
God, we pray that you’d use us today to lead somebody to a relationship with Jesus. Please God, help us not to shrink back from opportunities. Help us to step forward into those opportunities. To not be worried about what others might think of us but be more concerned, far more concerned about where they will spend eternity. And God we pray, help us to reach all the people groups, the nations of the world, with the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 Calls Us to Pray for the Zhuang People
We pray today for the young Zhuang people of East Asia. God, nearly a million of them with hardly any followers of Jesus among them. God, we pray that they would be reached. We pray specifically right now for the salvation of the young Zhuang people. Please God, cause your salvation to be made known among them. Use our lives and our families and our churches. Our prayers right now are giving toward that end, are going as you lead us. God, please help us to live with urgency knowing second 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 is coming for all who trust in Jesus glory, for all who have not trusted in Jesus, the punishment of eternal destruction,
God help us to live today in light of that day coming. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.