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You are here: Home > Bible Commentary > 2 Thessalonians > Chapter 1 > Verse 8

2 Thessalonians 1

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2 Thessalonians 1:8
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2 Thessalonians 1:8
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In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Note 9 at 2Th 1:8: The church age is an age of grace (see note 8 at Ro 3:24). Jesus came preaching the good news (see note 22 at Eph 1:13), not imputing people's sins unto them (see note 14 at 2Co 5:19).

Therefore, judgment is not as prominent in the New Testament as it was in the Old Testament, but that doesn't mean there is no impending judgment. Christians will not suffer the wrath of God's judgment--Jesus bore that for believers. All unbelievers, however, will experience the fierceness of God's wrath.

Those unbelievers who are alive on the earth at Christ's second coming will suffer the plagues written in the book of Revelation, and some will suffer physical death (Re 19:19-21). The unbelievers who have already died will be physically resurrected and then banished from the Lord for all eternity (2Th 1:9). Although the Bible teaches that hell (present) and the lake of fire (future, Re 20:14) are places of torment (see note 7 at Lu 16:28), we can be assured that the greatest torment will be total separation from God and everything good that proceeds from Him (see note 10 at 2Th 1:9).

Many Christians who have spent their lives meditating on the goodness of God find it hard to comprehend the wrath of God. It is emotionally unattractive, yet God's eternal wrath on those who refuse His mercy is clearly taught in Scripture.

God takes "no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Eze 33:11). It is God's will that all repent and receive His gift of eternal life (2Pe 3:9). Hell was made for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41), not people. Any people who end up in hell do so of their own choice. Those people will have had to climb over innumerable obstacles that God has placed in their way to turn them from hell. In a sense, the Lord will only be enforcing people's own choices by condemning them to hell or the lake of fire. Ending up in heaven or hell is the result of the choices made in this life.

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