2 Thessalonians 1:9
They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His might,
Sermons
Banishment from God's PresenceJ. Garbett, M. A.2 Thessalonians 1:9
Hell, a Necessary TruthJ. Christen, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:9
Punishment IrremediableJ. Christien, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:9
The Glory of His PowerC. J. P. Eyro, M. A.2 Thessalonians 1:9
The Punishment of the Wicked2 Thessalonians 1:9
The Reality of PerditionT. De Witt Talmage.2 Thessalonians 1:9
Manifestation of Solemn InterestR. Finlayson 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
The Future Judgment as to its RighteousnessT. Croskery 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
The Judgment DayW.F. Adeney 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
Joy and Terror in the Coming of the LordThe Study2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
The Coming of Christ with His AngelsT. Manton, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
The Great DayB.C. Caffin 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10


I. THE JUDGMENT OF THE WICKED.

1. The revelation of the Judge. It is the Lord Jesus, who once was despised and rejected of men; he is ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. He shall come as God once came down on Mount Sinai, in the like awful glory.

(1) With the angels. They shall gather the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire. The angels will be the ministers of his justice - the blessed angels who are now the messengers of his love and grace. Now they rejoice over each sinner that repenteth; then they will cast the impenitent into the everlasting fire. We think of the angels as gentle, loving, holy, as our friends and guardians; they are so, so far as we are Christ's. They desire to look into the mysteries of redemption; they announced the Saviour's birth; they ministered to him in his temptation, his agony; they celebrated his resurrection and ascension. Now they are sent forth to minister for them that shall be heirs of salvation; they encamp round about those who fear the Lord, and deliver them. They help in carrying on his blessed work of love. But they are holy; they hate evil; they must turn away from those who have yielded themselves to the dominion of the evil one; they must execute at the last the awful judgment of God. Fearful thought, that the blessed angels, loving and holy as they are, must one day cast the hardened sinner into hell, as once they cast Satan out of heaven.

(2) In flaming fire. The Lord shall be revealed in flaming fire, in that glory which he had before the world was. His throne is fiery flame (Daniel 7:9). He himself is a consuming fire. The sight will be appalling to the lost, full of unutterable terror; "they shall say to the rocks, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us." "By thine agony and bloody sweat, by thy cross and passion, good Lord, deliver us."

2. The lost. Two classes are mentioned here.

(1) Those who know not God - the heathen. They might have known him. Some of them did know him. They had not the Law, the outward Law, but it was written in their hearts; God spoke to them in the voice of conscience. They listened; they did by nature the things contained in the Law. Such men, we are sure, God in his great mercy will accept and save. But, alas! the fearful picture drawn by St. Paul in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans represents with only too much truth the general state of the heathen world in the apostolic times. Their blindness was criminal; it was the result of willful and habitual sin; their ignorance was without excuse.

(2) Those who obeyed not the gospel. All, whether Jews or Gentiles, who had heard the preaching of Christ. They had heard, as we have, all that the Lord Jesus had done and suffered for us; they had had the opportunity of hearing his holy precepts. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light." To know the gospel and not to obey it, to have the light around us and not to admit it into our hearts, not to walk as children of light - this must bring the judgment of God upon the disobedient. The greater the light, the heavier the responsibility of those who sin against light and knowledge.

3. The punishment. The Lord Jesus will award vengeance. "Vengeance is mine; I will recompense, saith the Lord." Terrible thought, that vengeance must come from him, the most loving Saviour, who loved the souls of men with a love so burning, so intense in its Divine tenderness! But it must be so. The exceeding guilt of sin is manifest in this; it turns the chiefest of blessings into an increase of condemnation; the cross is utter death to the impenitent and the ungodly. And that vengeance takes effect in destruction. The destruction is eternal; then it is not annihilation. It is the destruction of all gladness, hope, all that makes life worth living; it is the exclusion from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. Only the pure in heart can see God. The lost souls cannot see his face. The exclusion is eternal; is it endless? It continues through the ages; will those ages of misery ever end in restoration? Can a soul, once so hardened in guilt that it must be shut out of the presence of God, ever repent in that exclusion? It sinned obstinately against light during its time of probation; can it recover itself now that the light is withdrawn? It is hardened through the deceitfulness of sin and the power of evil habits; can it break those chains of darkness now? These are dark, awful questions. We may ask, on the other hand, how can "God be all in all," if sin is to exist forever? how can it be that "in Christ shall all be made alive," while there is still a hell in the universe of God? The subject is beset with difficulties and perplexities; it excites bewildering, harrowing thoughts. We must leave it where Holy Scripture leaves it. We would gladly believe, if it were possible, that there is hope beyond the grave for those who die unblest; but such an expectation has no scriptural authority beyond a few slight and doubtful hints. Who would dare to trust to a hope so exceeding slender? No; if we shrink in terror from the thought of being one day shut out of God's presence into the great outer darkness, let us try to live in that gracious presence now.

II. THE GLORY OF THE RIGHTEOUS.

1. Its time: when he shall come. They suffer now; sometimes they are persecuted, their name is cast out as evil. But they have their consolation; they see indeed through a glass darkly, but yet they do see by faith the glory of the Lord; they are changed into the same image from glory to glory as by the Lord the Spirit. They have a glory now; but it is an inner spiritual glory derived from the indwelling of the blessed Spirit whom the world seeth not, neither knoweth. Now they are the sons of God; when he shall appear, they shall be like him, for they shall see him as he is.

2. Its nature: the unveiled presence of Christ. He shall be glorified in his saints. "I am glorified in them," he said, when about to leave them. When he comes again, that glory shall shine forth in all its radiant splendour. He shall be admired in all them that believe. The glory of his presence abiding in them shall arouse the wondering admiration of all. The lost spirits will wonder; they will be amazed at the strangeness of the salvation of the blessed. "This is he" (Wisd. 5:3, 5) "whom we sometimes had in derision... how is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints?" The very angels will wonder at the exceeding glory of the Lord shining in his saints. For he will change the body of their humiliation, and make it like the body of his glory.

LESSONS.

1. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; let us keep that awful day in our thoughts.

2. Think on the fearful misery of eternal separation from God; live in his presence now.

3. We hope to be like him in his glory; let us take up the cross. - B.C.C.









Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.
I. GENERALLY. We have here —

1. The estate "destruction" (1 Thessalonians 5:3; Matthew 7:13; Romans 9:22; Philippians 3:19), meaning thereby not an abolition of their being but of their well-being. Annihilation would be no loss. It is a destruction —(1) Of their carnal happiness, their glory, pleasure, gain, wherein they placed their contentment —(2) Of the true happiness which lies in the favour of God.

2. The duration "everlasting" (Matthew 25:41, 46).

3. The reasons —(1) The majesty of God against whom the sin is committed.(2) The nature of sin which is a preference of short sensitive good before that which is spiritual and eternal.(3) The will of the sinner. Their impenitence is endless, so is their punishment.(4) There is no change of state in the other world (Luke 13:25; Luke 16:26).

II. PARTICULARLY.

1. The punishment of loss "From the presence of the Lord." Concerning this note —(1) That all are equal in this. There may be degrees of pain, but all are equally excluded from the Divine presence.(2) That the punishment of the wicked is the opposite of the reward of the righteous. All our refreshment comes from the Divine presence (Acts 3:19).(3) That it is fitting. They have forsaken God, and now God has forsaken them (Romans 1:28; Job 21:14).(4) That it is this greatest part of future punishment —

(a)In itself, it is to be deprived of an infinite good (Psalm 16:11; Exodus 33:15).

(b)In the deep sense of it. Here the wicked are insensible of it.

(c)In its irreparableness.

2. The punishment of sense: "From the glory of His power" (Revelation 6:15, 16). This is the greatness of His goodness, and to be deprived of that is to feel the might of His justice.

III. THE LESSONS —

1. To the unconverted. These considerations should —(1) Rouse them out of their security.

(a)Many disbelieve.

(b)Others think neither one way nor the other (Amos 6:3).

(c)Others do not closely apply what they believe and think.(2) Check their boldness in sinning against light and conscience.(3) Cause them to shake off all delays in the business of religion (Matthew 3:7; Hebrews 11:18; Luke 14:32).

2. To the godly —(1) Bless God for your deliverance through Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:13; Romans 5:9).(2) Let your love to Christ be quickened, and grow in His likeness (1 John 4:17, 18).(3) Be courageous (Luke 12:4, 5; Hebrews 11:35).(4) Warn your friends in time (Luke 16).

1. Of all the ways in which Scripture describes the future blessedness of the elect none has less attraction for the wicked than that which places it in the full enjoyment of God's presence. On all occasions direct reference to Him as near is painful.

2. Yet you would think it very strange and hard if whilst every day you were heaping marks of love on a child he regarded. you simply as a mere machine operating beneficently because you could not help it. This is the treatment, however, to which men subject their Maker.

3. One main reason of this treatment is the constant flow of good gifts from God whether they make any return or not; and so, having never discerned the invisible God in His works and gifts here, they see no reason why in another world it should not be the same. Where can the bliss be of seeing God's countenance shine full on the soul, no beam of which has been ever sought or wished for by them here.

4. But when it comes the punishment will be dreadful enough for —(1) All good things come from God.(2) But having rejected Him it is but equitable that we should be left to our own resources to find what happiness we may. Banishment from God means —

I. EXCLUSION FROM THIS MATERIAL WORLD with all its natural sources of pleasure, every particle of which is God's.

II. DEPRIVATION OF ALL THAT CAN SATISFY A SINNER'S LUSTS. Think of the misery of a never satisfied hunger and an always raging thirst. The good creatures of God which were once abused are now beyond the reach.

III. THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE GODLY who are taken to God. No one knows how much the world owes to the intermixture of the righteous with sinners, leavening the corrupting mass and shaming evil into dark corners. But the angels will sever the two, and so precisely that no one true servant of God shall be left in the crowd. There is something unspeakably dreadful in the thought of a society which is one mass of sin.

IV. LOVE WILL BE EXTINGUISHED. Very sweet is kindness which God has shed in our hearts as a solace for earthly ills, but there can be no love at all when God is withdrawn, for that means the withdrawal of love as effectually as light at sunset.

V. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL HAVE DEPARTED. Now, ever striving within, that Spirit does now and then give out a spark of goodness, and overrule here and there that utter wickedness which otherwise would prevail. And even in wicked men we see scattered up and down remainders of something better and higher, just as among the ruin of a great building you see here and there a beautiful fragment unbroken, to remind you of what the whole once was; or as you may sometimes see, when the sun is shining, beauty in things ugly, and when the sun is withdrawn the beauty goes. So it will be with the soul in eternity. At present strive as he will man cannot utterly unstamp his soul of the seal of God. But when God removes His presence the spirit of man becomes wholly evil. Conclusion: The sure Word of God teaches us much else about hell; but the teaching of the text should be sufficient to warn us against it.

(J. Garbett, M. A.)

Assuming the general impression of readers of the New Testament in relation to this doctrine to be correct; that we are there taught that there is a hell, that a human being of certain character may come and must come into a state of everlasting punishment; we are prepared to accept it as truth. The doctrine is as really required as the immense vertebra of some unknown animal require that the undiscovered ribs should be immense and of a certain character. An astronomer observes in a planet a slower or quicker rate of motion at one point of its orbit: he argues that there must be a world beyond it, not yet seen; and Neptune is presently discovered. A hell is the full harvest of self-indulgence, evil, sin.

(J. Christen, D. D.)

A dying man of large means said: "I would give thirty thousand pounds to have it proved to me satisfactorily that there is no hell." Such proof cannot be presented. But suppose you throw overboard most of the testimony on this subject — is there not some slight possibility that there may be such a place? If there should be, and you have no preparation to escape it, what then? A young woman, dying, said to her father: "Father, why did you not tell me there was such a place?" "What place?" "A hell!" He said: "Jenny, there is no such place. God is merciful. There will be no future suffering!" She said: "I know better! I feel it now I I know there is such a place! My feet are slipping into it this moment! I am lost! Why did you not tell me there was such a place?" It is the awful, stupendous, consuming, incontrovertible fact of the universe.

(T. De Witt Talmage.)

The law which binds the earth in its orbital path finds expression in the being of a flower; the being of a flower and the life of a human soul are governed by one and the same law. Given, then, a flower with every capacity for strength, beauty, and sweetness; put it beyond the range of the mighty sun's hand of blessing, put it in the "outer darkness" of a cellar, whence the celestial sheen is excluded, into which no showers can come, and through which no breeze can sweep: the flower will live for a time, even will propagate life; but what life! Its stalk and branches will become poor, weak, spongy, nerveless things; its leaves will grow more yellow and diminutive, its flower less and less like the God-purposed thing it might have been, and its smell will degenerate into a tainting impurity; why? Because by a mysterious chemical communion with the sun, alone could the glory and goodness that were in it be brought to blossom and fruitage. Light, not the mere need of light, quickens strong life and paints the beautiful. The presence of the true, not its felt absence, corrects the false. Communion with the grand, good, strong, and loving, alone can recover and transform. If, therefore, the language of Christ and His apostles will not admit of the interpretation that hell is the theatre of a more effective moral discipline than earth, that future punishment is really disciplinary; — and will the general mind admit the words "outer darkness — unquenchable fire — everlasting punishment — place of torment — and depart, ye cursed," capable of the interpretation? — then the doctrine of an irremediable state of punishment in the life to come is in harmony with the law which we recognize in the utter falling off from fruitage, beauty, and trueness of uncultivated plants, and in the fearful degradation and mere animalism into which isolated and neglected tribes of our race have fallen "Destruction — death — perish — devour, forever and ever": — do these Scripture terms become more intelligible in the light of this law?

(J. Christien, D. D.)

Not "from His power," — this is impossible. Whither can I go from His power? If I ascend up to heaven it is there: if I go down to hell, it is there also. Nay, nay, it is only from the glory of His power. "I beseech thee," said Moses, "show me Thy glory." And He said, "I will make all my goodness pass before thee." Well, then, the glory of God is the goodness of God. So the glory of His power in that day will be the goodness of His power in the revelation of the resources of His almighty will, as seen in the new heaven and the new earth, in the righteousness that shall dwell therein, and in the blessedness of His saints therein. To be banished from the glory of His power is to be given over to the fury of His power. It is not only to forfeit the enjoyment of the resources of His power administering goodness, but it is to come under the rigour of His power, administer ing justice. It is to feel Almightiness taking vengeance on body and soul without limit to, or possible escape from it — vengeance, we are told by One who knew, which is as a worm that never dies, and a fire that never shall be quenched. Oh, one of old did indeed well say, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!"

(C. J. P. Eyro, M. A.)

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