“Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 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. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.” 2 Thess. 1:1-10
The letter to the Thessalonian Christ followers isn’t just comforting to the believers there who were known for their faith in Christ and love for one another as He commands, even as they faced trials, tribulations, and persecutions, encouraging them to carry on in following Jesus with such faith and love, but it also contains within it a DIRE WARNING for those who do not believe in and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. And that warning is NOT just for the people in Bible times; that warning is for EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THIS EARTH who does not repent of his or her sins, believe Jesus Christ is Lord and died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, truly committing his or her life to God and His ways forevermore, living for Christ instead of continuing on living for oneself.
What will happen to those who do not “know God”? To “those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”? Who do not turn away from their sins and place their trust in Christ as Lord? Who do not give their lives to God almighty through faith in Jesus as Lord? Who do not live for Jesus? “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”
EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION. Note the word EVERLASTING. Fiery eternal torment forever apart from God almighty. That means FOREVER. That is not a one-time destruction with no consciousness ever again. That is FOREVER SUFFERING beyond any suffering we on this earth can even comprehend.
Look at the dichotomy in the scriptures above. Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who follow Him, who live for Him, will be with God FOREVER! Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, who do not follow Him, who do not live for Him, will suffer EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION.
There is no middle of the road, is there? It’s one or the other. Forever love, hope, peace, joy, bliss, enjoyment, worship, and blessedness in a perfect place with no sin, no disease, no tears, no pain, no hurt, no brokenness, no divorce, no violence, no tragedy, no dying, no death, but ALL happiness in God’s amazing holy and glorious presence forever with all of Christ’s followers – or EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION.
Friend, where will you spend forever? Intellectual faith in Jesus Christ is NOT SUFFICIENT. Genuine faith in Jesus Christ AS LORD bears the fruit of hearts and lives that have been SET APART from this world and its ways to live right here on this earth and forever FOR CHRIST.
For whom are you living?