As you study through the Scriptures you find that we, whom have obeyed the Gospel, have God the Father of Christ as our Father as well (Matthew 6:9, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 4:20, I Thessalonians 3:11, and II Thessalonians 2:16). We read that we are beloved of God (Romans 1:7). This statement is very clear: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (I John 3:1).
As many of us that have children, we have some understanding of what it means to have a parental love for our children. The word of God leads us to think about God’s affection towards His children with how a good father cares for a child (Psalms 103:13 and Matthew 7:7-11).
How does a good parent feel when watching his or her child suffer? What should that tell you about God? When you really study through the Scriptures, God doesn’t “like” to see suffering. In fact, He doesn’t find any pleasure even when the wicked are being punished (Ezekiel 33:1-33).
Before we proceed, I want to restate something in a little different way. God is the Creator of all humanity (Genesis 1:1-2:25; cf. Isaiah 40:28). However, He is not the Father of all of humanity (John 8:30-47 and I John 3:1-10). That is an important principle to understand as we proceed in our study. For anyone who has come to know sin, you must be converted and leave sin behind to become a child of God. Notice: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1). With those things clear, we are going to take a look at a text that shows God’s righteous judgment in how He will avenge the sufferings of the faithful.
The Day Of Vengeance
Our Father’s ultimate desire is for all to be saved (I Timothy 2:1-8). To this end, He is longsuffering (II Peter 3:1-14). To offer salvation to all the lost, He sent His only begotten Son into the world to die for the opportunity of salvation for all (John 1:29, I John 2:1-2, and I John 4:14). Yet, He gives all of humanity freewill (Deuteronomy 5:29, Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Joshua 24:14-16, Ecclesiastes 7:29, Acts 2:37-41, Philippians 2:12, etc.). We have the choice to be with Christ or against Him (Matthew 12:30).
Most have and will continue to choose not to be among the children of God (Matthew 7:13-23). Among those many that choose to be against our Lord, there will also be those that choose to oppose and even afflict the children of God. Some have and will even think they are serving God when they do so (John 16:1-3). Our Heavenly Father’s response to that, if not repented of (Acts 26:1-20 and I Timothy 1:12-16), will be vengeance (Romans 12:17-21). In this, we see the righteous judgment of God.
What you are about to read is the text from which our study is drawn. Take all that we have considered thus far, and read through the following: “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto 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 meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 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” (II Thessalonians 1:1-10).
Our Father is wonderfully balanced. He is compassionate, loving, longsuffering, merciful, etc. (Psalms 86:15). He will forgive and forget (Hebrews 8:1-13). However, we can see that He will not acquit those whom are not converted (Nahum 1:3). As God’s faithful children, we must want all to be saved as our Father does. We allow vengeance to belong to Him. Yet, we can take comfort in the fact that our Father is not going to allow the children of the devil to get away with what they might do unto us.
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