Tuesday, September 23, 2014
   
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God's Coming Judgment

"Rejoice over her [Babylon], O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her" (Revelation 18:20).

For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:6–8).

Recently I just completed teaching through the Book of Revelation. [1] Something that really struck me this time through the book was the emphasis throughout of God’s creatures who rejoice and acknowledge the righteousness of God’s judgment throughout the tribulation and at the second coming. There is a sense throughout Revelation that God’s judgmental intervention into history is long overdue when it finally arrives. However, I think many of us often look at God’s future judgment as sad for those who receive His severe blows, but that is not the attitude advocated in heaven when believers are commanded to rejoice in Revelation 18:20.

Future Judgment

The Apostle Paul begins his third epistle, 2 Thessalonians, speaking of future judgment as well. The context, as in Revelation, is the persecution of his fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says, "we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure" (2 Thes. 1:4). These Greek believers were suffering for their faith 2,000 years ago at the hands of unbelievers, yet they were faithful to the Lord as they endured these afflictions. This passage teaches that such persecution by unbelievers will be at least part of the basis for God’s future judgment. "Withstanding present pressures demonstrates the rightness of God’s future judgment." [2] F. F. Bruce echoes this thought and says, "The fact that they are enduring persecution and affliction for Christ’s sake is a sure token of God’s righteous judgment, which will be vindicated in them and in their persecutors at the Advent of Christ. [3] J. N.

Darby rightly notes that the judgment for unbelievers was coming when he says, "'the day of the Lord' was coming of the Lord in judgment; but it was not to make His own suffer that He was coming—it was to punish the wicked." [4] This sets the stage for chapter two when Paul argues that the day of the Lord had not yet come.To read this entire article, please register and it will be opened up to you

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