2 Thessalonians 1:7-12
2 Th 1:7 (KJB)
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
Troubled - Oppressed
Here the Apostle Paul gives much comfort to the Thessalonians who were suffering persecution. They were being oppressed by their tormentors but here the Scriptures state that they will rest when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth to claim His children. (Heb 4:9 KJV) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. Hebrews 4:9 states that there remains a rest to the people of God and in Revelation 14:13, we see the completion of that rest. (Rev 14:13 KJV) And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Up until that time, the true believer must face testing and tribulations but the fact that these will end and the resting will never end, is a great comfort. The persecutions which the believer faces is the only bit of hell they will ever come in contact with.
2 Th 1:8 (KJB)
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Taking - Awarding
Vengeance - Punishment or vindication
The return of the Lord Jesus Christ for the believer is going to be a glorious time and that is when the rest from the tribulations and trials begins. On the other hand, this verse is teaching that the return of Christ for the unbeliever is going to be a time of judgment. The fact that flaming fire is being mentioned is revealing the fact that those who are unsaved will be cast into the lake of fire where they will suffer eternally. (John 5:28-29 KJV) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, {29} And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. This is known as the resurrection of damnation and it will not matter when they lived, if they are unsaved, they will face the fiery judgment of God. If they do not know God, this means that they are unsaved and their rebellion will cause them to reject the Gospel of Christ and therefore they will not obey it. Disobedience always yields consequences.
2 Th 1:9 (KJB)
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Destruction - Everlasting ruin or eternal loss
Presence - Person or face
Those who are the unsaved will be punished with eternal damnation in Hell and this place, wherever the Lord has located it, will not be in the presence of the Lord, instead this place of punishment is going to be away from the presence or the face of the Lord. (Mat 13:49 KJV) So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, On the last day, the believers will be severed from the unbelievers and the believers go into the presence of the Lord forever and after judgment, the unbelievers will go to a place away from the presence of the Lord, a place called Hell or the second death. I cannot be dogmatic on this point but in Hebrews 8:13 and 10:17, the Lord states that He will not remember the sins and iniquities the believers had committed before salvation. (Isa 65:17 KJV) For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Concerning Hell, could the possibility exist that He will not remember the wicked in Hell? In other words, will He forget the wicked and rebellious in Hell just as He intentionally had forgotten the sins and iniquities of the believers prior to salvation?
2 Th 1:10 (KJB)
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Admired - To wonder, be astonished or be amazed
The main purpose of the return of Christ is not just to judge the wicked but it is to be glorified in all His Saints. Those which are raised from the physical dead on the last day will see the Lord Jesus Christ coming in all of His heavenly glory and the Saints will be qualified to see Him in all His glory and it will be an amazing sight to the believers, in fact, it can even be considered astonishing. On earth here, we my look at a sunrise, or sunset, or mountains and see a reflection of the creative glory of God, but when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, we will see Him in his Heavenly, original glory. If we were not qualified by God to see Him, we would be consumed instantly. Paul can only describe the return of Christ in terms we can understand such as “flaming fire.” I am sure there is going to be a tremendous amount of awe on that day when the Lord is revealed to all His Saints. These few Scriptures describe that day as the most glorifying day for the believer to that point.
2 Th 1:11 (KJB)
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
Worthy - To think fit or consider suitable
Fulfill - To make full or complete
Pleasure - Desires or goodwill
Paul makes three requests in his prayer for the Thessalonians. First, that God would consider them worthy of the calling. This is not to say they were not at this point. Paul wanted them to continue to be strengthened under persecution and to maintain their testimony of the true faith. As they were going through trials, their faith was being tested and according to Paul’s report, they were passing the test and getting stronger. The second part of his request is that everything that God had desired for them would come to completion. We must keep in mind that God does not always send tests to His children but He also sends good things to them and Paul is praying that the good things which God is sending them would help bring them to growth and maturity in their faith. God is not a cruel God because He sends many blessings to His children. Then the final part of Paul’s prayer is that their work of faith will be successful with much power. Only the true believer is able to do any work of faith since unbelievers do not have the same faith which the Holy Spirit gives as a fruit to every believer. Unbelievers have a type of faith which is based in superstition such as “I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.” They may have faith that the chair they are sitting on will continue to support them. This type of faith is a visible faith and does not equal the faith a believer has. Every work which the believer does is a work of faith because it comes out of faith in God. If the believer was not given faith at the time of salvation, then we too, would be unable to trust the Lord in faith. (Heb 11:6 KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Since we are given faith as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, that enables the believer to have faith in God so we may please Him.
2 Th 1:12 (KJB)
That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here is the summation of Paul’s prayer. He prays the three requests would result in the Lord Jesus Christ being glorified in the testimonies of the Thessalonians. On the other hand, that they share in the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ because of their strong testimony. If the Lord is glorified in the midst of His Saints, then that is a glory to the Saints, which is their testimony. Now this is according to the grace of God and not out of the grace of God. Let me explain the difference. If a millionaire was playing a good game of golf according to the golf club picks of his caddy and scores a low score. When they get back to the clubhouse, the millionaire reaches in his pocket and gives the caddy a $1 tip. The millionaire gave out of his wealth but not according to his wealth. The grace of God has saved us, removed all of our sins, and has readied us for Heaven. The grace of God is total which means nothing has been withheld from the believer. (Eph 1:3 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: This means that the believer in total obedience to the Lord fully glorifies Him in their life and the Lord also fully glorifies His Saints, and that ultimate glory will take place when He returns. Right now the glory is total commitment to the Lord which shows that the believer has acted upon the faith given to him.