"In flaming fire..."
Text: 2 Thessalonians 1:8
A GRIM PICTURE
The apostle Paul painted a grim picture of how God could exercise Divine justice with reference to the unrepentant wicked who persist in troubling the saints.
“In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God,
and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 1:8
1. “In flaming fire”
a) This is a descriptive phrase.
b) Can God do this righteously?
2. “Taking vengeance”
a) The word “vengeance” is often used negatively.
b) The word simply means “rendering of justice”.
c) It does not implicate God in any negative way.
d) God is simply acting out of His righteous anger against wickedness.
3. “Those who do not know God”
a) This is best understood in the light of Romans 1:21.
i) There is knowledge of God.
ii) However there is a willful rejection of God.
b) God is not taking vengeance on those who are truly ignorant.
4. “And on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”
a) This is best understood in the light of John 3:19-20.
i) These have preferred darkness.
ii) They have rejected the light that Jesus gives.
iii) They prefer practising evil.
iv) They will not come to the light lest their evil deeds are exposed.
b) The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
i) This is a glorious message of hope of salvation.
ii) There are those who not only reject the gospel they persecute those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.