You Are Not in the Day of the Lord,
Part 1

In our message, ENCOURAGEMENT IN PERSECUTION (2 Thes. 1:1-10), we started a new series on the book of 2 Thessalonians. While the theme of 1 Thessalonians is largely on comfort, 2 Thessalonians (written about a year later) is focused mostly on CORRECTION (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Thes. 2:3, etc.). Paul had just explained the church would be “caught up… to meet the Lord in the air” before “the day of the Lord” came upon the world (1 Thes. 4:15-5:3, etc.), but in their intense persecution and also as a result of reports from false prophets and/or apostles (1 Thes. 5:20-21; 2 Thes. 2:2 NET) many in Thessalonica started to believe the lie they were in the “great tribulation” period (2 Thes. 2:2-3 NET; Matt. 24:21-22; 1 Thes. 5:1-3; Acts 1:6-7; Dan. 2:21, etc.). To correct this error, the Holy Spirit gave the church additional specific information on some things that must occur before “the day of the Lord” (2 Thes. 2:2-3 NET, etc.). As mentioned before, the church’s departure from the globe in the rapture is imminent- requiring no sign or event to occur beforehand, but the day of the Lord must be preceded by specific events and has not- even in our day- occurred yet (2 Thes. 2:3, 7-8, etc.). Christians in our time should avoid two extremes:

  • We should avoid the error the church in Thessalonica was starting to believe that “the day of the Lord” has already come. We are still here; the day of the Lord has not come yet…
  • AND we should also avoid believing the lie that these events will never occur as much of the church in our time has fallen prey to! (Isa. 55:11; Rom. 10:17, etc.).

God wants us to believe our Bibles so we are not asleep spiritually or ignorant about where our world is plummeting toward. Such truths in God’s Word, when properly taken to heart, will help us become more Christlike and also effective in sharing the gospel (1 Thes. 5:4-24; Matt. 28:18-20, etc.). The details about Christ’s Second Coming in God’s Word are just as certain to occur as those He has already fulfilled when Jesus came to earth the first time at Calvary (Dan. 12:1-13; Rev. 19:11-20:6, etc.). God keeps and will keep His Word (Prov. 30:5, etc.).

But before correcting the church in Thessalonica from pitfalls, Paul first commends the persecuted church and encourages them! As God’s children, they are under “grace” and possess “peace,” even during severe persecution (2 Thes. 1:1-2), and their “faith [was growing] exceedingly” as evidenced by their love for one another (2 Thes. 1:3; James 2:14-17, etc.). Because of this, Paul and his missionary team held up the Thessalonian church as an example to all the other churches around them (2 Thes. 1:4). Even in the midst of being attacked by opponents of the gospel, they deepened in their walk with God and love for one another as the light of Christ shone more brightly through them (2 Thes. 1:3-4; 1 Thes. 1:6-8; Rom. 5:3; 2 Cor. 4:15-18; James 1:2-5, etc.). “Faith” here can be translated “faithfulness” (2 Thes. 1:3-4; 2 Cor. 4:1-2, etc.). As they trusted Christ and yielded to Him, God used the trials they faced to make them more like Jesus (Gal. 4:19; 2 Cor. 1:4-5; Heb. 5:7-8, etc.). Also, this “faithfulness” the Lord says here is “manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God” (2 Thes. 1:5). That is, “God [will] repay with tribulation those who trouble [them]… when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels” (2 Thes. 1:6-7). When the Word says “it is a righteous thing,” God is saying, because of His holiness, He will one day judge all sin and wickedness (2 Thes. 1:6). For those who “do not know God, and… those who do not obey the gospel” (that is both non-religious and religious people who have not trusted Christ as their Savior) they will be under God’s “everlasting destruction” (2 Thes. 1:8-9). The Holy Spirit says here tribulation, vengeance, flaming fire, punishment, and eternal suffering will come upon them in the lake of fire/hell (Rev. 20:11-15; Matt. 25:41, etc.). Tragically, the Bible shows us this “eternal destruction” is not annihilationism or metaphorical but bodily and literal- without end (Acts 24:15; John 5:29, etc.). This is why Jesus says “you must be born again” (John 3:7), as He is “the way, the truth, and the life… [with] No one [coming] to the Father except through [Him]” (John 14:6).

*If you are reading this today and have not trusted in Jesus personally, He invites you to do so now because God loves you and does not want you to “be punished with everlasting destruction from [His] presence and… the glory of His power” forever (2 Thes. 1:9; John 3:16, etc.).

But for the Christians in Thessalonica who were being pummeled for their stand for Jesus, the Lord promises they and all from throughout the ages who have come to Him by grace through faith in the everlasting gospel of God will “admire” Him in that day (2 Thes. 1:10). We will worship the Glorious One- throughout all eternity looking upon His beauty and fellowshipping with Him forever. Truly, He is the Famous One- the King of kings and Lord of lords, and His glory will extend throughout the earth “as the waters cover the sea” when He comes (Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14; Rev. 19:11-20:6; Zech. 14:1-5, etc.).