Today's Devotions

Showcase: Christmas

  • Christmas all over the world by Julie Moore +

    See how Christmas-y we are? In our house we loooove Christmas. You know those houses you pass that are covered Read More
  • 'Zat, you Christmas? by Julie Moore +

    I guess, as a Christian, I am supposed to be going around pointing out to everyone that Jesus is "the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Don  Carson;+psalm+111

2 Kings 1; 2 Thessalonians 1; Daniel 5; Psalms 110–111

I ONCE HEARD A PASTOR PREACH THROUGH 2 Thessalonians 1 under the following outline:

A good church going through a rough time (2 Thess. 1:3–4)
A good God waiting for the right time (2 Thess. 1:5–10)
A good man praying in the meantime (2 Thess. 1:11–12)
Today I wish to reflect a little on the second point.

(1) Paul can speak of the Thessalonians being "worthy" of the kingdom of God that will come in consummated power when Jesus returns (2 Thess. 1:5, 11). The context shows that Paul is not supposing that somehow they become worthy enough to be accepted by God in the first place. The idea, rather, is that, having become Christians, they are manifesting Christian faith and love (2 Thess. 1:3–4), and are persevering in the Christian way despite suffering and trials (2 Thess. 1:4–5). This continued display of grace under fire, this perseverance, is evidence of what is going on in their lives, and "as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom." In other words, genuine Christians, by God's grace, persevere in the Gospel, and this marks out their fitness for the consummation. In this sense they prove "worthy."

(2) "God is just" (2 Thess. 1:6). Therefore there will be payback time for those who have cruelly opposed his people (2 Thess. 1:7) and ignored his Word (2 Thess. 1:8). When Christ returns he "will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus" (2 Thess. 1:8). What is presupposed is that the perfections of God's justice are not manifest until Jesus returns. Some outworking of his justice is displayed in this broken world, but let's face it: in this world, many evil people seem to get away with a lot, and many people of extraordinary goodness suffer a lot. Wise parents often tell their children, "Life isn't fair. Don't expect it to be." Yet at the same time, God is "fair"; he is perfectly just. But do not expect his justice to be manifested in instantaneous rewards and retribution. His time scale is not ours. Life isn't fair on our time scale. When Jesus returns, however, not only will justice be done, it will be seen to be done.

(3) At that time, Christ himself, and not any of us individuals, is the center of everything. Because of Christ's centrality, punishment is almost defined in terms of being "shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power," thereby being "punished with everlasting destruction" (2 Thess. 1:9). Conversely, among his saints, his "holy people," that same Lord Jesus will be "glorified" and "marveled at among all those who have believed" (2 Thess. 1:10). If Christ were not there, heaven would be hell.


Reflections to Consider

  • 1


  • 1


  • 1

Audio & Video

  • 1


  • Mysterious and Unknown: Our Great God Fernando Ortega +

    Eternal God, unchanging Mysterious and unknown Your boundless love unfailing In grace and mercy shown Bright seraphim in ceaseless flight Read More
  • Our Great God by Fernando Ortega +

    Eternal God, unchangingMysterious, and unknownYour boundless love, unfailingIn grace and mercy shownBright seraphim in endless flightAround Your glorious throneThey raise Read More
  • This is my Father's world by Fernando Ortega +

    This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of Read More
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Fernando Ortega +

    Praise to the Lord, the AlmightyThe King of creationO my soul, praise HimFor He is thy health and salvationAll ye Read More
  • 1

Hidden Blessings

  • The Inerrancy of Scriptures by Dr. Wayne Grudem (Systematic Theology, ch5) +

    Below is an outline from Dr. Grudem's teaching on inerrancy; at the end of the outline is a link to Read More
  • The Joy of the Lord: God's Promise in Scriptures +

    Neh 8:10b For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Ps 5:11 But let all those that put their Read More
  • God Hears Us--Scriptures to Meditate On +

      For they cried to the God in the battle, and He was entreated of them; because they put their Read More
  • God's Favor and Sufficiency--Scriptures to Mediate On +

    Deut 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy Read More
  • 1