"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS"
There's A Great Day Coming! (1:7-12) INTRODUCTION 1. The Thessalonians endured much adversity for the cause of Christ... a. From the very beginning they were persecuted for their faith - cf. Ac 17:1-9 b. Initially, it was a matter of grave concern for Paul - cf. 1 Th 3:1-5 2. Yet the Thessalonians persevered, giving Paul... a. Great joy and comfort - cf. 1Th 3:6-10 b. Good reason to boast of their faith and patience - cf. 2Th 1:4 3. To encourage them even more, Paul reminded them that their labor was not in vain... a. Their suffering would make them worthy of the kingdom of God - 2Th 1:5 b. God would one day repay those who troubled them - 2Th 1:6 4. The "day of recompense" will occur when Jesus returns... a. The events of that day would make their suffering for Christ worthwhile b. Indeed, like the hymn we often sing, "There's A Great Day Coming!" [As we continue our study of 2 Thessalonians, we find Paul describing this "great day" as...] I. A DAY OF HONOR FOR JESUS A. JESUS WILL BE REVEALED... 1. The Greek word for "revealed" is apokalupso, "an uncovering, unveiling" 2. Right now, Jesus is in heaven a. As such He is hidden from the world's view b. But one day He will be revealed by appearing - cf. Col 3:1-4; Tit 2:13; He 9:28 3. When that occurs, it will be from heaven a. Coming with His mighty angels - 2Th 1:7; cf. Mt 16:27 b. Coming in flaming fire - 2Th 1:8; cf. 2Pe 3:7,10-12 B. JESUS WILL BE GLORIFIED... 1. He will be glorified, i.e., be "honored" - 2Th 1:10,12 a. Now, many people reject Him, despise Him, use His name in vain b. Then, people will bow and confess His name - cf. Php 2:9-11 2. Note that He will be glorified "in His saints" - 2Th 1:10,12; cf. Jn 17:10 a. Much of the honor Jesus will receive will be because of His people! b. For what He was able to accomplish through His life, death, and present ministry in heaven (i.e., turn sinners into saints!) - e.g., Php 1:20; 1Pe 2:9 C. JESUS WILL BE ADMIRED... 1. He will be "marveled at", "wondered at", "held in admiration" 2. By those who believe - 2Th 1:10 a. Those who accepted the testimony of the apostles - cf. 1 Th 2:13 b. Those who trusted in Him with the eyes of faith while He was still "hidden" [What a "great day" it will be for Jesus when He comes to be revealed, glorified, and admired! Yet as we continue we note that it will be a "great day" for another reason, for it will be...] II. A DAY OF JUDGMENT BY JESUS A. A TERRIFIC DAY FOR SOME... 1. A time of rest - 2Th 1:7 a. To those who have been troubled 1) With persecutions and tribulations - cf. 2Th 1:4 2) For the sake of the kingdom of God - cf. 2Th 1:5 b. This rest involves the kingdom of God in her future glory 1) Referred to by Jesus in His parable of the tares - Mt 13:41-43 2) Beautifully depicted in the revelation given to John - Re 21:1-7 2. A time of glory - 2Th 1:12 a. Not only will Jesus be glorified, but also His disciples ("you in Him")! b. Because of their persevering faith - cf. 1Pe 1:7 -- Made possible by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! - 2 Th 1:12b B. A TERRIBLE DAY FOR OTHERS... 1. A time of vengeance - 2Th 1:8 a. Bringing just recompense - cf. He 10:30-31 b. On some because they persecuted Christians - 2Th 1:6 c. On others because they "knew not God" - 2Th 1:8 1) The most important thing in this life! - cf. Jer 9:23-24 2) Yet many refuse to know Him - cf. Ro 1:18-21,28 d. On all who "obey not the gospel" of Christ - 2Th 1:8 1) Note well, the gospel must be obeyed! - cf. He 5:9; 1 Pe 4:17 2) That is because the gospel contains commands to obey, such as the commands to believe, confess, repent, and be baptized - cf. Ro 10:9,10; Ac 2:38 2. A time of punishment - 2Th 1:6,9 a. In the form of "tribulation" 1) A form of righteous repayment 2) Especially for those who troubled God's people b. In the form of "everlasting destruction" 1) Destruction that lasts forever! - cf. Mt 26:41,46 2) Destruction from the presence and power of the Lord! - cf. Re 14:10,11 CONCLUSION 1. In view of these words, "There's A Great Day Coming!"... a. For some, it will be a terrific day, one to anticipate - cf. 2 Pe 3:12-14 b. For many, it will be a terrible day, one to fear - cf. Mt 7:13-14, 21-23 2. What will this "great day" bring to us? a. Rest and glory? b. Vengeance and punishment? 3. The answer lies in how we answer two questions... a. Do we know God? b. Have we obeyed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? If you have not, why not today? If you have, then may this sobering passage encourage you to remain faithful, so that Paul's prayer for the Thessalonians will be fulfilled in your life as well: "...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." - 2Th 1:11-12