Janice Brandli

2 Thessalonians 1:6-12 (NKJV) “…since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who [b]believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

(Chuck Smith) “First Thessalonians focused primarily on the rapture of the church. Second Thessalonians focuses on the great tribulation and the second coming of Christ. Some were teaching that the great tribulation was already upon them. Paul corrects this error by writing that, although they were currently suffering tribulation, it was not the great tribulation. That period of time will be clearly distinguishable by the rise of the Antichrist as a world leader, and it will end when Jesus returns to the earth to destroy His enemies, Paul makes a distinction between the rapture, where Jesus takes us up into the air to meet Him, and the second coming following the great tribulation, when He will return to subdue the earth and set up His earthly thousand-year reign. The second letter comforts us by letting us know we are not presently in the great tribulation, and we will not go through the great tribulation, glorious assurance especially to those who are presently suffering.”

Verse 6 - Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense with tribulation those who trouble you , In this verse Paul tells the Thessalonians that God is just. In His good time, He will recompense every wrong. Those who afflicted the Thessalonians had nothing to look forward to but divine retribution. The word “recompense” means - to repay; to give something to by way of compensation (as for a service rendered or damage incurred); to pay for; to return in the like manner
Expect persecution!

John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you WILL have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

America since its founding is an anomaly in history of Church. There has been no other nation on the planet founded primarily on the principles of the Bible. Believers will be persecuted for My Name’s sake.
Jesus and the apostles warned us that Christians would experience thlipsis , “ tribulation,” due to persecution (Jn 16:33; Mk 10:29-30; Mt 24:4-25; 1 Ptr 4:12, et al.). This age is referred to as “the present evil age” (Gal 1:4). Satan rules as the “god of this world” controlling much of what takes place (2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; 1 Jn 5:19). The NT says there will be terrible times in these “last days” (1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 3:1; 4:3; Jude 18-19).

Christians have been persecuted around the world since the beginning of the church. America, however, has been an oasis of religious freedom. Now we are called, “Insurrectionists,” “Domestic terrorists” (if you go to school board meetings to stand up for your children, “Christian Nationalists’ (perhaps that’s a Christian that loves America?
Obviously things are changing. During the last decade, there has been a growing continual hostility toward those who openly follow Christ, espouse biblical morality and traditional family values and who seek to protect the unborn and protect personal freedoms.

The prevailing climate has changed, and you and I need to adjust to the new normal. Work for the best (Pray, research, take action); prepare for the worst. We need to be ready for escalating persecution. Neh 4:17.
The enemy knows he is running out of time. Evil is rampant worldwide. Is. 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Amir Tsarfati (and others ) “What did you think the “last days was going to look like?” Justice is an outgrowth of God's righteous and holy character. He would be neither righteous nor holy if He let sinners off scot-free.

Hebrews 10:31 says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." A holy God demands a penalty for sin, and Romans 6:23 tells us “The wages of sin is death." However, because Jesus died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3), all who believe on Jesus as their Savior receive the gift of "eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"
As Christians, we must live for eternity and not just for the present. In fact, living “with eternity’s values in view” is what makes our Christian life meaningful today. We all need to live by faith and not by sight.

Weirsbe shares the story of two farmers - one is a believer and the other an atheist. When harvest season came, the atheist taunted his believing neighbor because apparently God had not blessed him very much. The Atheist’s family had not been sick, his fields were rich with harvest for the Fall, and he was sure to make a lot of money. “I thought you said it paid to believe in God and be a Christian?” said the atheist. “It does pay,” replied the Christian, “But God does not always pay His people in September.” We usually think that God is absent when we suffer, and that our suffering calls God’s righteous judgment into question. Paul took the exact opposite position and insisted that the Thessalonians’ suffering was evidence of the righteous judgment of God. Where suffering is coupled with righteous endurance, God’s work is done. The fires of persecution and tribulation were like the purifying fires of a refiner, burning away the dross from the gold, bringing forth a pure, precious metal. When God recompenses, He pays in kind with love, grace, and mercy. If there were any doubts that God would repay those who persecute His children, Paul puts it to rest here. There WILL be a future judgment of the wicked!
God will judge those who persecute Christians. This is not a longing for revenge but an innate human longing for justice. Rev 6:10. God will relieve the suffering of those who are persecuted. All sadness, injustice and lies will be forever gone. Rev 21:4. Paul's description of God as just would provide much comfort and hope to the suffering Thessalonians. They could leave any thoughts of revenge or retribution behind, and leave a response for undeserved persecution and afflictions in God's holy and capable hands. Verse 7 - and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

When will this judgment take place? (2 Thess. 1:7)
This will not happen until a future event which has three characteristics:
Revealed from heaven (see Acts 1:11).
With the angels of His power (see Mt 13:41-43; 16:27; 25:31).
In flaming fire (see Is 66:15; Dan 7:9-10).
This description cannot be referring to the "Rapture" when Church-age saints will be resurrected and meet the Lord in the clouds. This description clearly points to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation to judge the wicked and to establish His millennial kingdom on the earth. At that time all of the wicked will be put to death, and ultimately all of the wicked dead will be resurrected to stand before the Great White Throne judgment (Rev 20:11-15). There they will be eternally condemned and cast into everlasting fire.
“Mighty angels”. Another common feature of biblical judgment scenes. Zech 14:5; Matt 16:27; 24:30-31; 25:31; Mark 8:38; 1 Thess 3:13; Rev 19:14. This judgement will take place when Jesus Christ returns to the earth with His church and His angels. The saints receive their rest when the Lord returns in the air and catches us up to be with Him. The word “ rest” means - relief; release, not under pressure (opposite of tribulation); a relaxing of tension The word describes the releasing of an arrow with the release of a bowstring. God’s people are pressured, “pressed out of measure” (2 Cor 1:8) and under the burdens of trial and persecution. But when we see Christ, we will be released to join Him. Paul himself also desires this kind of relief. Relief is also guaranteed for the persecuted. Just as it is right to punish the wicked, so it is also right to give rest to the afflicted. Paul goes back into the day of judgment, and some end-times teaching. Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.” Powerful angels” is literally, angels of His power. Angels are both symbols and ministers of His power.
This is a powerful visual and descriptive language. The bible is not clear if this “blazing fire” is literal or is a visual descriptor to what things might look like. I don’t think it matters, what we are reading is Jesus is coming back, he will return with powerful angels in a great and mighty way, and He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Verse 8 - in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The word vengeance must not be confused with revenge. The purpose of vengeance is to satisfy God’s holy law; the purpose of revenge is to pacify a personal grudge. God does not hold a grudge against lost sinners. Quite the contrary, He sent His Son to die for them, and He pleads with them to return to Him. In flaming fire: It isn’t the fire that makes hell what it is. In the fiery furnace, the three Jewish young men in Daniel 3 were completely comfortable, as long as the Lord was with them in the fire. What truly characterizes hell is that there, people are from the presence of the Lord, in the sense of being apart from anything good or blessed in God’s presence. From the presence of the Lord sums up the Bible’s understanding of hell. Nothing must be said more about its horrors, other than hell will be completely devoid of God and every aspect of His character, except one: His unrelenting holy justice. “Flaming fire”- A common OT term signifying divine judgment. Dt 32:22; Isa 29:6; 30:27, 30, 33; 33:14; 66:24; Joel 2:30; Nah 1:6; Zep 1:8; 3:8; Mal 4:1; Acts 2:19; 2 Pet 3:7, 10; Rev 9:17-18; 16:8; 20:9. The people of Christ’s wrath are those that know not God and that obey not the gospel. This includes all who refuse to act on what they know about God and who more specifically, reject his revelation in Christ.
“Punish,” does not mean irrational rage or a quid pro quo. It is God’s loving, just juridical action in making the world right again. Rom 1:21-22,28. “Ek” (Greek) means “to be taken out completely” just as Lot and his family were taken out of Sodom before He poured out His wrath on a Christ rejecting, sinful corrupt city. Since it is a righteous thing with God: Many people question the righteousness of God’s judgment. They believe that God’s love and His judgment contradict each other. God’s judgment is based on the great spiritual principle that it is a righteous thing with God to repay those who do evil. Since God is righteous, He will repay all evil, and it will all be judged and accounted for either at the cross or in hell. It is not wrong for God to take vengeance; we understand this when we understand what the word means in the ancient Greek language. “The word rendered ‘vengeance’has no associations of vindictiveness. It is a compound based on the same root as the word rendered ‘ righteous’ in vv. 5, 6, and it has the idea of a firm administration of unwavering justice.” (Morris) The idea is the application of full justice on the offender; nothing more and nothing less. Verse 9 - These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

What kind of future is there for the lost? Paul uses these words to describe it: tribulation, vengeance, flaming fire, punishment, and everlasting destruction. The Christ-rejecting world will receive from God exactly what it gave to God’s people. They face punishment and eternal judgement. The lost shall be separated from God. Annihilation is not the thought but rather total ruin, the loss of everything worthwhile. (Wycliffe commentary) Specifically, it is separation from the presence of the Lord, the true source of all good things. Some descriptions of hell include “furnace of fire” (Mt 13:42), “lake of fire and brimstone” (Rev 20:10), “outer darkness” (Mt 25:30) but none is more graphic than this picture of endless, utter exclusion from Him who is life light and love as well as the glory of His power. To be separated from the visible manifestation of the greatness of God. There are 54 passages in the Bible about hell in 17 books. A Christian doctor had tried to witness to a very moral woman who belonged to a church that denied the need for salvation and the reality of future judgment, “God loves me too much to condemn me,” the patient would reply “I cannot believe that God would make such a place as a lake of fire.” The woman became ill and the diagnosis was cancer. An operation was necessary “I said to her in her hospital room. “I really love you too much to cut into you and give you pain.” “Doctor,” said he patient, “if you really loved me, you would do everything possible to save me. How can you permit this awful thing to remain in my body?” It was easy then for him to explain that what cancer is to the body, sin is to the world; and both must be dealt with radically and completely.
Just as a physician cannot love health without hating disease and dealing with it, so God cannot love righteousness without hating sin and judging it. As the blessings of heaven are eternal, the penalty of hell is also eternal. Verse 10 - when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

“On that day” the time is indefinite. The word is “hotan” in Greek and Hebrew meaning: indefinite; whenever; as long as, indicating that the exact time of His coming is not known. Matt. 25:13, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

In His saints are believers creating the sphere in which Christ will be glorified when he comes. He will be glorified in them just as the sun is reflected in a mirror. This will be the culmination of a process already begun in a believer. This revelation of Christ’s glory in the believers will be amazing and wonderful to all who behold it. (Spurgeon) We will admire what God has done in others and in us. “Those who look upon the saints will feel a sudden wonderment of sacred delight; they will be startled with the surprising glory of the Lord’s work in them; ‘We thought He would do great things, but this! This surpasseth conception!’ Every saint will be a wonder to himself. ‘I thought my bliss would be great, but not like this!’ All his brethren will be a wonder to the perfected believer. He will say, ‘I thought the saints would be perfect, but I never imagined such a transfiguration of excessive glory would be put upon each of them. I could not have imagined my Lord to be so good and gracious.’” Paul knew what it was like to be transformed from a persecutor to the persecuted. He believed the testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it changed his life. What was your life like before you accepted Jesus into your heart? Verse 11 - Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,

Since the Thessalonian Christians were in the midst of persecution and tribulation, they needed prayer. Here, Paul assured them that he and his associates pray always for them. There are four things Paul asks in his prayer:
That God will count you worthy of your calling. Paul asks that God would enable them to "walk worthy of the calling" they have already received, so in that future day this would be acknowledged.(Eph 4:1)
That God would fulfill with power:
That the character and behavior of the believers would bring glory to the name of the Lord.
That these believers would also benefit from the glory of the Lord. Paul prayed for his converts and for the return of Christ to be gloried in the saints, and to judge the lost. The future prospect of glory motivated the apostle to pray for the saints. We must never neglect a present responsibility because of a future hope. That hope must encourage us to be faithful today. Paul expresses three concerns in his prayer: Their worthiness, Their walk, and Their witness Their worthiness - Paul wanted them to be worthy of the kingdom when they entered glory in the future. He emphasized their present situation, God’s calling was in gray and love, and Paul desired that they might live up to that calling. **Trials do not make a person; they reveal what a person is made of. When our faith is tried, we are revealing our worth (1 Peter 1:6-9) God certainly knows our hearts even before we are tried, but we do not know our own hearts. We need to pray that God will build our worth and make us more valuable Christians because of the trials we have endured. Their walk - “That by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act promoted by your faith.” Character must lead to conduct. Paul prayed that they might have a resolute will, empowered by God, to do what He wants them to do. Obedience and service do not spring from human taken and efforts, but from God’s power as we trust Him. Paul links faith with love and endurance and then to power. If we believe God, we will receive His power in our lives. We cannot be victorious in tribulations if we only trust ourselves, but we can be victorious through trusting Him. When our electronics run out of juice, we have to plug our equipment into a power source. Let God be our power.

Their witness - That they would continue to represent Christ’s characteristics and love to each other and all those around them. That they would stay strong in the Lord till the end. Verse 12 - That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Weirsbe) Jesus Christ will be glorified not among His saints but IN HIs saints when they return with Him, but He should also be glorified in our lives today. Unbelievers blaspheme His name (1 Pet 4:12), but believers bless His name and seek to glorify it. The amazing thing is that the believer who glorifies Christ is likewise glorified in Christ. Grace and glory go together, as do suffering and glory (Ps 45:2-3, 84:11, Rm 5:2) As we receive His grace we reveal HIs glory. “There is no peace unto the wicked,” said the Lord (Is 48:22) There is rest for those who trust Christ and seek to live for His glory. For the Christian, the best is yet to come. We know that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rm 8:18) Paul's closing here guides us to the place that God will empower you to live worthy of all that he has invited you to experience. And faith would fill you completely. Also, Paul says that the, Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you will be glorified in him... Think about that for a moment. If we are empowered by God, living a life worthy and honoring to Him, full of faith and glorifying Lord Jesus in all, we do what would that look like? That would look like we are evangelizing, imitating Jesus in all we do, and leading people to follow Jesus with our lives and our actions.

Please go to: **WitnessToAll.com. This Campus Crusade website demonstrates the Lord moving in real time and should encourage us to see Him move throughout the world.

This grim reality of Hell, this reality that people across the globe face a reality of eternal separation for God, should move us to sincere prayer, deep sadness, and to real-life action. Ask yourself - “what am I doing about it?” That is something worthy to ask ourselves daily.

David Guzik says, “According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ: This great work of living worthy of His calling can only happen according to the grace of God. It happens by His power, favor, and acceptance in work in us, moving along our will and cooperation.

Points of Application: (Not exhaustive list)

· Believers should continue to keep their destination firmly in view. Don’t look in the rear view mirror. Look forward as a farmer does when plowing his fields. When Christ returns at His Second Coming, we will be with Him to see the fulfillment of what Paul has talked about in this section of Scripture!

· Always stand for truth, in spite of persecution. We have been women that have been taught well. Remember that God is on the throne in good times as well as bad. He will never leave nor forsake us. When you abide in Christ, good things are going to happen!

· We should always make it our ambition to walk worthy of the calling of God on our lives so that His name would be glorified. We should continue to cooperate with the Holy Spirit who empowers us to contribute to the fulfillment of His plan in our lifetime. We have been appointed to live at this particular time in history. In James we are told to be doers of the Word and not just mere hearers. God is faithful. The Holy Spirit will sustain and equip us until the end. What are you going to do to make a difference for God?

· Since the final judgment of unbelievers is an established fact, this should motivate believers to continue sharing the gospel message with those God brings into our lives. Mother-in-law died March 2023/ My youngest brother died of esophageal cancer on February 26, 2024. I was able to share the gospel with both of them before they died. We never know how much time we have left to share with others. Do not believe the lie from the enemy “don’t worry about it. You’ll have lots of time to take care of sharing later.”

· When we stand before God Almighty after we die, no one will be standing with us. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live your life with no regrets.

· Do not let the enemy lie or discourage you from doing what He has called you to do. We need to be women prepared with oil in our lamps looking forward for Jesus’ return.

**Our prayer should be like Paul's prayer. Ask the Lord to empower us to live a life worthy of all He has invited us to experience. Ask the Lord to fill us with faith, faith, abundance, and overflowing joy. May our lives glorify Him today, and may God be glorified and alive in us today. And most of all, may our lives produce a life that leads others to follow God and spend an eternity with Him.