The Call of Conscience
II Thessalonians 1:5-12
Why witness? Because judgment is coming, there is a pay day someday, and we know the way of escape. God says the Lord Jesus shall come "in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 8). Those who have turned from the grace of God will now burn from the wrath of God. Pay day, someday.
God will be "taking vengeance." "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord"
(Romans 12:19). Today when the world is so conscious of social injustice, and rightly so, how about spiritual injustice? Is it not right that God be avenged of man's rebellion and rejection of Him? It will be on those who know not God. Not because they were worse than others, but they "know not God." Those who know Him should make Him known to others. The vengeance is on those "that obey not the gospel." The central issue is this wonderful "good news" which should be told, heard and received.
The startling statement is that those who do not know God "shall be punished" (v. 9). The cross is proof enough that sin bothers God. Sin must be punished. "The wicked shall not go unpunished"
(Proverbs 11:21). These shall be punished "with everlasting destruction" (v. 9). It won't be like losing a night's sleep, this will be forever. This destruction is not annihilation for "their worm dieth not" (Mark 9:44). The worse part is that it will be a separation "from the presence of the Lord." "In thy presence is fullness of joy and at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11). With such little joy and peace here, how awful that so many face such terrible judgment hereafter. Life is short death is sure; sin is the cause, Christ is the cure.
Believers need to stir up their "pure minds by way of remembrance" (2 Pet. 3:1) that these things are really true. That dear friend, that fine next door neighbor, even the best loved one is headed for judgment unless he knows Christ. Who will tell him? In the desert there is one major crime. It ranks worse than murder, theft or violence. It is to know where water can be found and to withhold the information. And we have the water of life!