In my last post, I began a study of Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. As I said, because of a false message, they believed that Christ had already come and that they had missed it. Paul is writing this letter to calm them down and get them on course again.
All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
2 Thessalonians 1:5
In my last post, we saw that Paul began the letter by commending them for their faith and perseverance in spite of the persecution that they’re suffering. What he wants these believers to see is that if they remain faithful, they will not miss out on the Lord’s return.
Now, Paul wants to explain to them about some of the things that are going to happen in the future. This is one of those verses that’s mostly ignored by people who believe in a seven-year waiting period between the Rapture and the Day of the Lord.
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
This passage literally says that God is righteous. In His righteousness, He will vindicate His people. He will not let things go on the way they are forever.
There’s a limit to the Lord’s patience. On our part, it’s faith and perseverance that will see us through to the end where we’ll see the righteousness of God revealed.
The Scripture is clear that when it happens, both punishments and rewards will be handed out. The word he uses for give relief, literally means rest, relief, and relaxation from trouble.
Paul uses the same word, trouble, in this passage (also translated “tribulation”) that Jesus used when He said, “As long as you are in the world you will have trouble.” Paul said that there’s a day coming when Christ is going to relieve you of trouble.
So, if Jesus said that as long as you’re in the world you’ll have trouble, then the only way we’re going to be relieved of trouble is if we leave the world. It’s only logical.
But verse 7 says this will happen when He reveals himself from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. That sounds very similar to what Jesus said about His return.
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-10
Paul goes so far as to say that the relief of the Church and the punishment of the world will happen on the same day. Isn’t that just what Jesus said?
On the day that we’re relieved, He’s going to judge those that don’t want to believe. It’s no wonder that so many people ignore this section of Scripture. It reiterates Jesus’ teaching that there’s no waiting time between the taking up of the church and the punishment of the ungodly. It all happens THE SAME DAY.
Question: Why is the seven-year waiting period such a popular teaching in our generation?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi