2Thess. 1

Countryside Bible Church 1-10-99


Breathing Fire


Could it be that the world, including much of the religious world, holds to a Jesus quite dissimilar from the Jesus of the bible? For example, Paul writes about a Jesus that will return “in blazing fire”.  Is that the picture of the popular Jesus? Could Jesus be an authority figure who should be feared?  Is Jesus the person with endless patience, endless mercy and never-ending tolerance?  Will Jesus’ love be always gentle, good natured, never judgmental?  Is that the Jesus of the bible? . Can we count on a Jesus who will always tag along while we live as we please until we wish to pay him heed in our own good time? 


I.  Reasons for Refuge

A.     Place of refuge

1.      “In God, In Christ”

2.      Just only place of refuge during the flood was “in” the ark God had provided through faithful Noah.

B.     God is just.

1.       Our salvation is a part of God’s justice.

2.      Jesus did not die for his own sinfulness

3.      To “count us worthy”.

4.      To all who believe in him.

5.      Many fail to see the significance of “believing”.

6.       “Believers” are .

 those who believe and who know the truth. 1 Tim. 4:3


II.    First Reason for Retribution

A.     Again, God is just

B.     To “pay back” (“repay” Jer.) the abuse his people received.

1.      “Okay?” when it’s not?

2.      If you borrow money, the only right thing to do is repay it, right?

C.     God pays His debts

1.      Debts of the believer on the cross.

2.      Pay back the debt owed to His people.

3.      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. Romans 12:19


III. 2nd Reason for Retribution

A.  Punish the rebellious

1.      Those who “do not know”

2.      Those who “do not obey”

B.     Specific Class in view

1.      Those who are directly opposing the Thess because of their faith.

2.      Has to do with opposing the truth.

C.     Those who “refuse” to acknowledge or obey.

1.      “all who do not acknowledge God”

2.      “and refuse to accept the Good News of our Lord” – Jerusalem Bible

D.     “Who refuse to love the truth. 2:10

1.      What pulled our Lord’s chain before.

Matthew 23:29-33

Matthew 23:13

The world has already witnessed something of Jesus’ impatience during his earthly ministry.  Then his patience had run out with the very leaders of Israel who were entrusted to represent the faith.

The religious slick, the polished, the suave have put their own spin on God’s Word.  They play to the popular taste of an adoring public. 

Jesus may be patient today.  He will have no more patience for such when he explodes from the heavens with 10 thousands of his angels.  Blazing judgment will expose the craftiness of men

who cherished their positions

who cherished their own traditions more than the truth.  Nothing will prevent their deeds from being known for just what they were.  There will be no place to hide and no time for apology.

2.      Everlasting destruction”, v. 9 an example

3.      Clark Pinnock. “How should I begin?  Shall I treat the subject in the calm way one would when dealing with another issue?  Would it be right to pretend to be calm when I am not?  To begin calmly would not really communicate a full account of my response.  I do not feel calm about the traditional doctrine of hell, and so I will not pretend.  Indeed, how can anyone with the milk of human kindness in him remain calm contemplating such an idea as this?…

Let me say at the outset that I consider the concept of hell as endless torment in body and mind an outrageous doctrine, a theological and moral enormity, a bad doctrine of the tradition which needs to be changed.  How can Christians possibly project a deity of such cruelty and vindictiveness whose ways include inflicting everlasting torture upon His creatures, however sinful they may have been? 

… it makes God into a bloodthirsty monster who maintains an everlasting Auschwitz for victims whom He does not even allow to die.  How is one to worship or imitate such a cruel and merciless God? 

      (In rebuttal of this atrocious misrepresentation of scripture and of God he quotes several scriptures and comments)  “The message is plain – the finally impenitent wicked will perish and be no more”. And in using our verse 9 he writes, “The Apostle Paul communicates the same thing, plainly thinking of divine judgment as the destruction of the wicked.


IV.  Reasons For His Return

A.     To be glorified in his people

1.      Isn’t being seated on the right hand of God enough?

2.      Jesus deserves a parade.

3.      Rev. 5:9-10     ... "You are worthy ...



Conclusion:  God Himself says of Jesus when He sends Him to earth to receive his inheritance, Psalm 2:10-12