Sunday, February 10, 2019

2 Thessalonians - cont.

2 Thess. 1:3-12 - Main Message = Vs. 6 & 7
2nd. letter, written some time after the first with more commendation.

Vs. 6 - God Is Just
Vs. 6 - He WILL Repay - and give relief to you who are troubled
Vs. 7 - But not now (yet) - when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven

Example:  Paul - "you are suffering for doing what's RIGHT!"
                Us - "that's NOT FAIR!!"  - (not Right!)

The ancient dilemma - "why do good men often suffer while evil men prosper?"

OR -
"IF God is all good AND all powerful... THEN ... why is there (so much) evil and suffering

The attempt to answer that = THEODICY
But Paul does no address the "Why" here... (and neither shall we ... today)

Paul simply states:
   God Is Just
   He Will Repay
   But Not Now  (yet)

I)  God is just - stated emphatically and repeatedly throughout the Scripture

(compare to Immanuel Kant's argument for justice)
Kant was a German philosopher (1724-1804)  Was not a Christian - probably more an agnostic

He concluded that IF Justice were to exist (ever) in would require the following:

(1)  Afterlife/ another life - because obviously perfect justice isn't going to happen in this one!

(2)  A perfect judge - who is:
      (a) all knowing  (so can judge properly
      (b) incorruptible - morally perfect and cannot be bribed, swayed, etc.

(3)  An all powerful judge - so He can execute or exact judgment.
ie:  He can pass judgment and enforce it.
     He can make things right!!

(4)  A judgment - (A) a hearing, assessment, evaluation of every individual, and
                            (B) a proper (corresponding) reward!!

NOTE:  how all this (deduced by reasoning) lines up perfectly with the Biblical Portrait of our God. - all the way from Genesis to Revelation.

NOTE:  God IS just - which is more than God Will Be just!!
That must include "just" in allowing present suffering!!

How can that be???  (2 answers)
1st:  God is fair;  Life is not!! - we live in a fallen world

2nd.  II_  He will Repay  (compensate, pay back, reward)
ie:  the righteous will be repaid with the Kingdom - Vs. 5
     the unrighteous with separation from God - vs. 9

On one hand, this = simplified summary of a lengthy doctrine.
However, it = a Summary - Gal. 6:7-9 - 'at the proper time'
                                        - 2 Cor. 4:17

Meanwhile -- we struggle  (a)  with life, trials, suffering  and (b)  (sometimes often) with this concept!!

Examples:  Job
                 Asaph - Psm. 73:1-17, 21-24
                 David - Psm. 37:1-9

So:  I)  God is Just
       II) He will repay
       III)  But not now  (yet)!!

III)  But not now (yet)
So --- when???  Vs. 6-7
Again ... this is stated emphatically & repeatedly throughout scripture!!
(appropriately depicted at the end of Scripture!!
Rev. 20:11-15 - judgment on the unrighteous
Rev. 21:1-5 - total compensation for the righteous

We believe this Because:
(1)  we believer God to BE who, what He has revealed Himself to be throughout Scripture - Self Revelation

(2)  We believe Christ!!!  His words, works

(3)  We believer His spokesmen - Prophets, Apostles and though is no comprehensive Theodicy in Scripture, (example = Job) there are numerous reasons given.  Example:  Rom. 8:28

(4)  we believer because the cry for justice is embedded indelibly in our hearts .. Rev. 6:9-11

2 Thess. 1:11-12  - "we pray.....
(1)  your good intentions will ==> Godly actions
(2)  your Godly actions will find completion, fruition.

Note:  this is NOT salvation by works, but = reward for works.  Salvation is ALWAYS by grace.

Closing Scripture:  2 Tim. 4:1-8

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