In Blazing Fire

Good evening everyone. Things have gone well for me today. I’m in a really good mood as we start off tonight and let’s hope it lasts. I appreciate everyone who has been praying for me as I do believe as I ponder it that those prayers are being effective. Those who know me know that I depend on the support of those closest to me in many ways.

Moving on to the blog, we’re going to be starting 2 Thessalonians tonight and we’re going to look at the 1st chapter. Our verses will b2 6-10:

6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

I spoke yesterday of the need to abandon the constant idea we have of gentle Jesus meek and mild. Now in some ways, Jesus is meek and mild. That’s to sinners who are repentant and come before him seeking his love and mercy. For those who refuse him however, he does not have any such attitude.

Notice how Jesus is the one who comes as judge rather than YHWH in this case and he is surrounded by fire. In the OT, fire was a constant symbol for the judgment of God. Our God is said to be a consuming fire. Fire is also used as a picture of Hell, which is spoken of in this passage as everlasting destruction. (I do hold to the traditional view of Hell as everlasting torment, but that is not the point here.)

The reason for this is the rejection of his gospel. It is his good news. He is the one who is the focal point of the gospel. The gospel tells of all that God did in Jesus and through Jesus. It is the gospel that God sent his Son and let his Son be crucified on a cross and raised his Son from the dead in vindication. In this way, to deny the Son is certainly to deny the Father.

Note also what happens. This will be the day he comes to be glorified among his holy people. In the OT, it was always about the people of YHWH who were to be holy. In the NT, it is about Jesus and his people. His people are the ones who are to be holy and instead of YHWH being glorified, it is Jesus. As Trinitarians, this is what we expect to see.

We are not surprised at all by this passage but rather find that it fits in perfectly with Trinitarian thought. Jesus is the focal of the gospel and he is the one who is to be glorified and the one who has a holy people amongst whom he will be revealed. How is it one can miss the connection between this and YHWH In the Old Testament?

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