"When the Lord Is Revealed"

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  18:36
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How would you respond if someone slapped you in the face? Would you slap them back? Would you want to, but hold yourself back? Truck driver in restaurant.
It is human nature to strike back when we are struck, to retaliate when anyone harms us or even speaks against us.
A woman who had been bitten by a dog was advised by her physician to write her last wishes, as she might succumb to hydrophobia. She spent so long with pencil and paper that the doctor finally remarked something about how long the will would be. “Will!” she snorted. “I’m writing a list of the people I’m going to bite!”
God’s people are not to be this way. We are to leave it in God’s hands trusting that He will right every wrong:
2 Thessalonians 1:6–9 NIV84
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 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. 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
The believers in Thessalonica were experiencing suffering (1 Thess. 1:6; 2 Thess. 1:5). They were young Christians and had many questions. In His first letter to them Paul deals with the Second Coming of Christ and his gathering His people to Him. In this letter Paul deals with the judgement that will take place at that time. He reassures them that even though at the present time it seems that evil is winning it will not always be this way. He tells them that there is a day coming when God’s justice will be meted out. The day when the Lord Jesus is revealed.
These words can reassure us also as we face hardships or unfair treatment. It can feel like there is no justice in the world. We may ask, with the psalms and the prophets, “How long, O Lord?”

God will do what is right

Because God is just, he has the right to punish those who do wrong and to avenge those who are harmed by others’ wrongdoing. God will mete out justice.
Pay back those who cause trouble – punish, they will pay the penalty for their actions
Those who were afflicting the church
Those who do not know God - refusing to enter into a relationship with Him, rejecting God. Knowing God is the vital point. All people have at least some knowledge of God, available through creation. Many people turn away from that knowledge.
Romans 1:20 NIV84
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Those who do not obey the gospel – by believing in Jesus. The only way to really know God is to know Jesus Christ and believe in Him.
Describes the settled rejection of God inspiring the persistent persecution of God’s people.
Everlasting destruction - the loss of all that makes life worth living.
Matthew 25:46 NIV84
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Shut out from the Lord’s presence
God is love, and it is because of His love that He will intervene one day and establish justice. At the present time God is being patient, not wanting anyone to perish. His offer of grace and mercy is open to all and He is reaching out to all in love seeking to turn them back to Him. At the end, however, those who have resisted His love and refused to turn to Him will receive their due. Hell is simply the final and eternal continuation of our choices here and now.
Relieve those who are troubled
Those who do know God, who believe in Jesus
They will be vindicated – will be proved right in what they believed and how they lived
Their suffering will end
They will be in God’s presence, enjoying His peace forever

When Jesus is revealed from heaven

There is coming a day when the trumpet will sound and the Lord will return. God has promised that evil will not continue forever, that justice will be established. When Jesus comes back there will be an end to suffering and sorrow, trials and tribulation.

How will we live?

This passage is one of many which teach that our response to Jesus determines our eternal destiny. Knowing God comes through Jesus Christ and by believing the gospel. Right now God is offering grace and mercy. If this offer is finally rejected then eternity will be spent in Hell. Those who do know God, who have put their faith in Christ, will spend eternity with Christ.
John 3:17–18 NIV84
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
In the meantime, in this life, we are to live as representatives of Jesus Christ. When God’s people are persecuted it is also Jesus who is persecuted. Remember Jesus’ words to Saul on the road to Damascus.
As God’s people, then, we are to be ready for Jesus’ return by being faithful disciples of Jesus. We aren’t experiencing the persecutions as the Thessalonians were, but we may be feeling that life isn’t fair. There may be people who are troubling us or doing us wrong. We are called to follow Christ’s example.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV84
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
We are not to strike back when struck, return insult for insult or injury for injury.
Romans 12:19 NIV84
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
At the last day, which group will you be a part of? What will your destination be?


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