THE FINAL JUDGMENT

Scripture Reading: II Thessalonians 1:5-10

“And to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (II Thessalonians 1:7,8)

The final judgment will take place when the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels. Isaiah gives this description of the return of the Lord — “For behold the Lord will come in fire and His chariots like the whirlwinds, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For the Lord will execute judgment by fire and by His sword on all flesh, and those slain by the Lord will be many” (Isaiah 66:15,16).

We are told that God will inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus (v. 8). The worst part of God’s vengeance is that those who suffer this judgment will be separated from the presence of the Lord forever. “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might” (v. 9).

While it is fearful and uncomfortable to think about these things, we believers must realize that Jesus suffered the punishment we rightly deserved. On the cross, He bore the wrath of God in our place. He was separated from the presence of His Father when He became a curse for us (Galatians 3:23). Curse always means a loss of relationship, rejection, and separation. This explains why Jesus, while on the cross, said — “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). At that moment, the righteous Son of God, who had taken our sins upon Himself, was separated from the presence of His Father. He did this so that those who believe in Him would never have to face the terrible punishment of the final judgment.

Lord Jesus, I am a guilty sinner who deserves God’s displeasure and punishment. I am so thankful that You took my sins upon Yourself and went to the cross, where You suffered the wrath of God as My substitute. I know that I will escape the vengeance that will be poured out at the final judgment because of Your work on my behalf. I can never thank You enough for what You have done and continue to do for me.

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