SUMMARY.--Salutation. Patient Waiting Under Tribulation. The Revelation of Christ for Judgment. The Punishment of the Disobedient.
3-5. We are bound to thank God. In 1 Thess. 3:9-13, he states that he prayed ceaselessly for the Thessalonians. Here he points out how his prayers were answered. The messenger who had returned to him told him many things concerning the church which filled him with thankfulness. One of these was that their faith groweth exceedingly. Though persecuted, their faith did not fail, but became stronger. And with their faith their love . . . toward each other also abounded. 4. So that we glory. On account of these things he spoke their praises in the churches, those of Achaia, where he then was. It is always a stimulus to report to the churches the good work elsewhere, Churches of God. A designation given by the apostles to the churches oftener than any other, though also spoken of as churches of Christ. Your patience. There was a patient endurance of trial for Christ. 5. A manifest token of the righteous judgment. Your sufferings are a proof of judgment to come. The wicked are not receiving their deserts; the righteous are suffering. A future judgment, hence, must come, because God is righteous. That ye may be counted worthy. Their sufferings not only proved a judgment to come, but tried them, purified them, and prove them worthy.
6-10. Seeing it is a righteous thing. Your trials prove a coming judgment, because it is a righteous thing for God to punish those who trouble you. They must be requited for their wrongs. 7. And not only that, but it is a righteous thing that he give to you who are troubled rest. That rest would come when there would be no persecutors, no stripes, no stonings, no prisons. It shall be when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed. At the Lord's coming. Compare Matt. 24:30. 8. In flaming fire. The flaming fire denotes brightness, glory, purity, and also destruction to adversaries. Dazzling brightness is always associated with his coming. God was revealed at Sinai in flaming fire (Exod. 3:2; 19:18). Them that know not God. Know him not because they refuse to know him. See Rom. 1:28. And obey not. This class refuse to accept and obey the gospel. Their day of grace will end with the day of the Lord. 9. Who shall be punished. Those who obey not the gospel shall be punished. The punishment is eternal destruction. This does not mean annihilation, but an eternal banishment from the presence of the Lord. In Matt. 25:41, the doom of the wicked is, "Depart from me." The saints are "ever with the Lord;" the wicked are driven forever from his presence. 10. When he shall come. These final judgments shall be when he comes to be glorified in his saints. The saints risen, glorious, rejoicing in salvation, shall be a glory of the Lord. Admired in all them that believe. All believers will look upon him with wonder and admiration.
11, 12. Wherefore we pray always. In view of this glorious judgment, he prays that they may stand and be counted worthy. Of this calling. The Christian calling. Fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness. The idea is "Perfect in you the love of goodness and the work of faith." 12. That the name of our Lord . . . glorified. Holy lives glorify the Lord.