2. The Purpose of the Lord’s Return
When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven, He will deal out eternal punishment to unbelievers, but share His eternal glory with His saints.
”5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
I. Purpose 1: To Take Vengeance on His Enemies (7-8)
II.Purpose II. To be Glorified in His Saints (10)
III. Purpose III. To Motivate Proper Service in the Present (11-12)
Quick Thought: “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending”
Charles Wesley’s (1707-1788) hymn, “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending” is a great statement of the truths in our text today.
Lo, He comes with clouds descending, once for favored sinners slain;
All the many saints attending swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! Alleluia! God appears on earth to reign.
Every eye shall now behold Him, robed in awesome majesty;
Those who once denied and killed Him, pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see.
Now redemption, long expected, see in solemn pomp appear:
All His saints, by man rejected, now shall meet Him in the air:
Alleluia! Alleluia! See the day of God appear.
Yes, Amen! let all adore Thee, high on the eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory, claim the kingdom for Your own:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ shall reign and Christ alone! Amen
Here is a link to the song being sung by a congregation in London. Listen to it, and as you sing along, resolve in your heart that your faith will grow and that your love for each other will increase to the glory of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Post-Service Online Coffee Fellowship
Please join us on a zoom call for our Virtual Coffee Fellowship (bring your own coffee!). We’d love for you to say hi, whether you’re a first-time visitor to United Community Church or a longtime member. All are welcome!
The call will be open for more or less an hour after the service finishes – you can join by clicking here! If you can’t join with the link, the Meeting ID is 998 7707 5071, and the passcode is 221309
Life Group Questions
Thinking about your own life, your community, or the world, what kind of things most make you desire to see God’s justice done?
Review of the Text
- How is God’s justice revealed in this passage? (see 1:5-7)
- In what ways is hell described? (see 1:8-9)
- What do we learn about Jesus in these verses (1:7-10)
- How is heaven described? (see 1:9-10)
- According to Paul, what is the purpose of Living a Christian life? (1:11-12)
Apply the Text
- Why is God’s judgment a good thing?
- Should Christians rejoice at the thought of God’s judgment on the wicked (see Rev 18:20) or weep (Romans 9:1-5; Phil 3:18-19) or both? Explain your answer.
- What are the main features of heaven and hell according to this passage?
- How do verses 11-12 counteract any tendency to have a sacred secular divide?
- How would you reply to someone who used Colossians 1:20 and 2 Corinthians 5:19 to argue that eventually, all will be saved?
- List all the practical benefits you can of believing in the biblical doctrine of the eternal punishment of unbelievers.
- How can yo refocus your life on living for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ?
- What are some wrong motives for serving the Lord? How does serving for the wrong motives lead to big trouble?