“… and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.”- 2Th 1:7
The second coming of Christ is depicted in the Bible as a definite event. Even if when and how exactly the events of Christ’s return are to occur is… kind of ambiguous. Still, Christians ought not to doubt that Christ will return and we should be eagerly looking forward to the event. The focus of this week’s Theology Thursday, 2Th1:7, shows that the second coming of the Lord will give relief to those in the Church who are troubled.
How will God, through Christ, give relief(1)? In verse 6 we read:
“God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you…”
God is going to rescue His captive people from the hands of the ungodly. “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (2Th 1:8) For Christians, the second coming of Christ will feel like being rescued from a war camp or a prison camp. It will be terrifying for the guards, but glorious relief for the imprisoned. Some Christians will surely feel this effect more strongly than others, depending on how much persecution they have actually experienced. In this way, Christ’s second coming constitutes a warning for the ungodly.
The word translated “revealed” is “apocalupsis” in the greek. It’s an “unveiling” which points to the removal of that which now obstructs our vision of Christ. Often, atheists and other non-Christians will require us to give them some kind of proof that would compel them to believe that Christianity is true. The Second Coming of Christ will do exactly that. Unfortunately by then, it will be too late.
But, for now, the Lord tarries. For He has gone away to heaven to prepare an eternal dwelling for believers. We do not know the precise nature of this activity, but it’s apparent that He is readying a place where believers will fellowship with him:
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”- Jhn 14:2-3
What do you think about the Lord’s return? Are you eagerly awaiting for it? Does it give you comfort? Or does it fill you with fear or anxiety? How you answer might be an indication as to whether you’re a prisoner or a guard. You don’t want to be a guard.
Both God and the Lord Jesus are agents of the judgement on the wicked (2Th 1:6, 7-8) and both are involved in the salvation and preservation of believers (2Th 2:13).
Erickson, Millard. Christian Theology 3rd Edition (pg. 1089 and 1126). BakerAcademic
Theissen, Henry. Lectures in Systematic Theology (pg. 444). Eerdmans Publishing Company 1951.
Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology (pg. 597). Eerdmans Publishing Co - A. Kindle Edition.
Marshall, I.H.. Thessalonians. New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (pg. 327). InterVarsity Press, USA.