PROMISE TO THE PERSECUTED (2 THESS . 1:1-12). Lesson 11 for September 15, 2012. 2 THESSALONIANS 1 OUTLINE. GREETING (1-2) GRATITUDE (3-4) Growing in faith and love . Enduring the tribulation . JUSTICE (5-6) Repaying with tribulation those who trouble . REWARD (7-9)
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(2 THESS. 1:1-12)
Lesson 11 forSeptember 15, 2012
“Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:1-2)
Paul begins his second letter to the Thessalonians with the same words he used in the first one (1Thss. 1:1)
The only difference is the repetition of the expression “God our Father” (“God the Father” in 1 Thessalonians 1:1 f.p.)
God the Father is “our” Father. He is so close and is as intimately related to us as Jesus is. That’s why Jesus told Philip: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9)
“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4)
Paul is using the same outline as in his first letter; he thanks God for the Thessalonians.
This time he brings out three characteristics of them:
LOVEthat is shown and shared by all the believers.
PATIENCEto endure the persecutions that has been an example for other churches.
“which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you”
(2 Thessalonians 1:5-6)
How can persecutions and tribulations show “the righteous judgment of God”?
When Jesus comes again, believers will be rewarded and non-believers will be punished (v. 7-8)
The attitude of each group will prove that this is just:
In both cases the Judgment is the result of their current behavior.
“Through trials and persecution, the glory—character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The church of God, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. They walk in narrow paths on earth; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but their painful experience teaches them the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they are destined to be partakers of His glory”
E.G.W. (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, cp. 2 “The beatitudes”, pg. 31)
“and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 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. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”
(2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)
We may not be treating fairly in this live, but we can be absolutely sure that God will do justice in His Second Coming — not “human” justice, but true justice.
Paul clarifies that the fate of the wicked is not a punishment of eternal suffering, but a punishment of eternal destruction. They will lose the privilege of living in the presence of the Lord.
Being separated from God who is the power that holds the life means dead; an eternal death that will have no chance of resurrection.
“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. 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, 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” (2 Thessalonians 1:10-12)
How is Christ glorified in His saints (in us)?
The SDA Bible Commentary clarifies this point: “The supreme vindication of Christ’s ways will take place when the whole family of His saints is gathered together. Then the universe will see the value of His sacrifice and the success of the course He pursued. Thus the Saviour will be glorified (cf. Gal. 1:24; 1 Thess. 2:20; 2 Thess. 1:4). As the artist is glorified in his masterpiece, so Christ is glorified before the heavenly throng by His handiwork—the miracles of His grace (see Matt. 13:43; TM 18, 49, 50). Throughout eternity glory will redound to the Saviour as His saints make known more fully the wisdom of God in His wondrous plan of salvation, which has been “realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10, 11, RSV)”
This text (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10) provides many details about the second coming of Jesus:
Let’s imitate the example of the Thessalonians until all this will happen. Let’s grow in faith, love and patience.