by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 3 Study # 3 September 13, 2015 Dayton, Texas
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
1901 ASV Translation:
7 and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire,
8 rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not thegospel of our Lord Jesus:
9 who shall suffer punishment, [even] eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
10 when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day.
I. The Timing of God's Recompense.
A. The description is general enough to cause misunderstanding and specific enough to make sure the general thesis of "recompense" is established.
1. Paul has already established the reality of the deliverance of the saints into their "rest" by means of chapter four of his first letter, but said little about what was going to happen to the ones who rejected the Gospel and persecuted the saints.
a. He mentioned "wrath" three times in 1 Thessalonians in brief.
1) "Wrath" is the large backdrop of the comprehensive biblical focus upon "salvation" (answering the question, "Saved from what?").
2) But "wrath" is not a major thesis in the first letter.
b. He addressed the coming day of the Lord with "sudden destruction" upon the wicked in 1 Thessalonians 5, but, again, in brief.
2. The impression of the general description in our paragraph is that the judgment upon the wicked and the "rest" given to the saints are both more or less a single cataclysmic event that occur at the same time. This gives many a false grasp of the actual details and timing of the events.
a. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul clearly declared that the "saints" would not be "overtaken" by the Day of Wrath, but that they would be "delivered" either prior to the beginning of that Day, or at the verytime that Day was to begin.
1) This is a clear "timing" indicator that puts the "rapture" prior to the judgment upon the "persecutors".
2) This is also a significant statement in light of 2 Thessalonians 2 and the "problem" that some had created for the Thessalonians.
b. General impressions are easy to misunderstand if ignorance of the multitude of facts dispersed throughout the Bible exists.
1) John 5:29 is general enough to allow many to misunderstand the timing of the two resurrections Jesus mentioned there, but Revelation 20 puts a minimum of a thousand years between them.
2) Just so, calling the Day of the Lord a "day" is general enough to cause many to think of its events as occurring on a single "day" even though other biblical contexts make it a seven year long series of specific details.
3) That there is a final culmination of the whole by means of a single, one-day climax with Jesus coming as described in Revelation 19 also leads many to think in terms of a single "day", but that event is simply the final event that brings all the preceding "wrath" to its ultimate conclusion.
4) Large declarations, made in very brief sentences, are, by their nature, not comprehensive and, thus, easy to misunderstand.
B. It is Paul's focus upon the treatment God is going to give to the wicked that is the primary issue of our current paragraph and study.
1. The very minor concept of "rest" for the saints is mentioned in brief because it is a part of the overall thesis of God's "recompense" of all men, but it is not a major part of Paul's thinking at this point. In fact, the entire phrase "...and to you who are troubled, rest with us...", may actually be a parenthetical phrase mentioned only to balance the issue of recompense since the large idea of the paragraph is God's vengeance upon the wicked.
2. Paul's thought is caught up in the reality of "wrath" upon the wicked that dominates this paragraph.
a. This "wrath" will be exercised "in the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven".
1) This is the sustaining "hope" (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
2) New Testament references to the "day of wrath" as a "day of revelation of the righteous judgment of God".
a) Romans 2:5 -- impenitent people are storing up "wrath" for this day.
b) 2 Thessalonians 1:7 -- our current study wherein the "rightness" of God's judgment in dealing out retribution to the wicked is a major thesis.
c) The entire book of the Revelation is given over to this thesis (Revelation 1:1).
b. The "from heaven" concept is an integral aspect of this thesis of "revelation" (1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 1:7).
1) The descent from heaven is associated with "clouds" (Acts 1:9) so that "clouds" become an aspect of the type of meaning involved in the Second Coming (Mark 13:26 and 14:62).
2) The transfiguration also had a "cloud" involved (Mark 9:7), as did the personal presence in the "pillar of cloud by day" reality of Israel's wanderings (1 Corinthians 10:1-2).
c. The "coming" will have Jesus attended by "mighty angels". This was also true at the first coming as Luke records.
C. Thus, there is a "type of meaning" regarding the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven that is developed by Paul so that we might understand what it is that he is writing about when he mentions any aspect of our "Hope".