MP3: The Tribulation Road Thru 2 Thessalonians 1
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Welcome to The Truth Will Set You Free podcast teaching series titled “The Tribulation Road!” Nathan Jones and Vic Batista have been your guides since the very first installment, going verse by verse through the Bible’s prophetic book of 2 Thessalonians. We will now read 1:9-12 and so close chapter one with Paul’s call to be worthy.
Vic Batista: Verse 9 reveals the fate of those who rejected Christ’s great sacrifice, “And these shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
Nathan Jones: We are getting to where Paul is explaining what will happen when Jesus Christ does finally return in great glory and victory. When Christ returns at the Second Coming He will defeat Satan and have him cast into a pit. Christ also will defeat the Antichrist and his right-hand man, the False Prophet. Jesus will drop them into the Lake of Fire, also called Hell, and we assume all of the demons as well. The armies of the world that were supporting Satan also get destroyed and are sent to a place called Hades or Torments. It’s the holding place of the damned.
Once human history reaches the end of Jesus’ following thousand-year kingdom, God will resurrect all of those people from Hades who throughout history had rejected Him, and He will hold a final judgment called the Great White Throne Judgment. In Revelation 20-21, we read that Jesus will hand out final judgment on those who in life had rejected His salvation. The only good work that has ever mattered in our life is the work of Jesus Christ dying on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. All of our earthly works, though good, can never save us.Nathan Jones: The only good work that has ever mattered in our life is the work of #JesusChrist dying on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. All of our earthly works, though good, can never save us. #salvation Click To Tweet
For those who have not been written down in Jesus’ Lamb’s Book of Life because they had never accepted His salvation will face everlasting destruction. Paul explains that they will be banished from the presence of the Lord and the wonders of His glory to the Lake of Fire. In that Lake of Fire, the unfaithful will experience everlasting destruction. What a terrible, terrible destination!
For the sake of these lost and unbelieving souls, the Church needs to get serious about sharing with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every person must be saved from the wrath of God due to our rebellion and sin or face an eternity in Hell. Hell is a terrible, terrible destination!
Vic Batista: As horrific as the return of Jesus Christ will be for the unbeliever, for the children of God, what a glorious day that will be! Verse 10 declares, “…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.” That day is coming soon! We know that the Tribulation is coming, but not for the Church Age saints. There’s going to be a gathering of all the saints up to Jesus at the rapture of the Church well before the Tribulation begins.
Nathan Jones: I love how at the end of the remastered version of the movie, The Return of the Jedi, George Lucas added this little scene after Palpatine was defeated. That’s when all the people tear down the Emperor’s statue. The evil leader had been thrown down a shaft and died. The persecuted people were rejoicing and celebrating over the death and fall of the evil Empire. That joyous scene provides a great example of what it will be like when Jesus Christ returns. Those who will accept Jesus after the Rapture and survived those seven years may at last tear down the “living” statue of the Antichrist that the people had been ordered to worship. The statue will be torn down. Satan will be cast out. The people who are the enemies of God will be thrown down into Hades.
After judgment, Christ will institute His glorious new kingdom of peace, righteousness, and justice. God’s children anxiously await Jesus Christ’s coming kingdom. Bible verses which describe the Millennial Kingdom talk of God’s people rejoicing and celebrating. The faithful who came before will be resurrected and receive their glorified, eternal bodies.
The whole world will be filled with only the faithful, and they will admire Jesus Christ for defeating evil at last. Jesus Christ had finally taken His day of vengeance and at last rescued Christians from the suffering they’d endured while anxiously waiting for Christ’s return.
Christians have been suffering more today than they have in the last hundred years. The twentieth-century was an awful time of persecution for Christians, and the twenty-first century shows that all the signs point to it being even worse. But, Christ’s rescue lies right around the corner!
Worthy of this Calling
Vic Batista: Second Thessalonians 1:11-12 closes out the first chapter in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica.
“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
What a beautiful passage! To be counted as “worthy of this calling.” Being a Christian means that in this life we are always running a race. Those who are to be counted as worthy are not to give up. We do not throw in the towel. We desire for our Lord to count us as worthy. We desire for the Lord to use us mightily in His kingdom.
Nathan Jones: Paul in 1 Corinthians and the author of Hebrews in chapter 12 compared the Christian experience to a race. When Paul had finally finished his mission trips and was facing down his own death, he expressed his hope that he had run a good race, fought the good fight, and so was worthy to receive the crown of righteousness. Paul longed to live worthy of the Lord’s calling on his life.
Knowing that Jesus died on the cross for us so that we could receive salvation and redemption, we should, therefore, reflect on how are we living. Are we truthfully living a life worthy of God’s calling? Are we fulfilling the good pleasures of God’s goodness? Are we working through faith? Are we praying for others? Are we serving in the name of Jesus Christ? Has God been glorified through our lives? That’s what’s important in the Christian life. That is how Christians should live.
Vic Batista: The race we Christians are running is all about developing our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God’s Spirit lives in us. He grants us the endurance to move forward even through the most difficult times.Vic Batista: The race we Christians are running is all about developing our personal relationship with #JesusChrist. God's Spirit lives in us. #salvation Click To Tweet
For those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, take the opportunity right now to come to Jesus. Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1 talked about the judgment of God. He taught about the final judgment which awaits this world. But, what awaits you at this moment is an opportunity to receive God’s grace by receiving His Son, Jesus Christ. Come to Jesus and embrace just how much He really, really loves you. Begin a saving relationship with Jesus Christ right now from wherever you are.
Nathan Jones: If you confess your sins, and admit that Jesus is Lord and Savior, then you will be saved. You ask for forgiveness of your sins because sin is what is separating you from God. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. You just need to accept that free gift of Christ’s sacrifice in faith. Trust that Jesus is the Son of God, and accept that He died for you, and you shall be saved.
Pray from your heart something like, “Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Lord and Savior.” And, Jesus promises that He will do just that. Your sins will be forgiven. Your guilt will be gone, and you can experience a new life in Jesus Christ. You can then grab hold of the hope of eternal life with our loving Savior forever.
Vic Batista: Hallelujah! Once saved, in all you do, live your life glorifying the Lord. As verse 12 confirms, “And that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and in Him according to the grace of our God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” I love how this chapter opens and closes with grace. God wants us to live by His grace.
How sad that so many people ascribe to works-based salvation, living a burdensome life under the law of religion. They seem to preach the Mosaic Law over God’s grace. The grace of God provides a far, far better life and truly secures our eternal life.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may His face shine upon you. Keep your eyes up and keep your eyes on Jesus. Live life knowing for sure that Jesus is coming back very, very soon. He loves you, and He has a wonderful plan for your future.
If you are saved, make sure this week that you share the love of Christ with someone else. Share that God indeed has a plan for mankind, and it can only be found in His Son, Jesus Christ.
In the fifth part of our travels along the Tribulation Road and our verse-by-verse study of 2 Thessalonians, we will begin to tackle the troublesome chapter two.