Sunday, July 27, 2003

Edifier du Jour-2 Thessalonians 1:3-8
3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; 4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5 This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Many times, that relief only comes by our spiritual retirement package, but it is there nonetheless. The other area that is often grating is to see the wicked prosper. While it isn't nice to wish ill on our enemies, (for from an evangelical perspective, we'd prefer our foes to come to the Lord than be killed before they do) it is often gratifying to see the bad guys get theirs. Peter Sean Bradley has a good survey of thought on wishing your enemy ill in the context of the Hussein boys' timely demise. However, to make the 101st Airborne the vehicle of God's wrath for Uday in verse 8 seems to be wishful thinking. When you read that in the context of verse 7, this seems to be more eschatological than present-day. If Jesus was revealed from heaven last week, I missed it. Uday may have an unpleasant surprise that he has 72 Virginians waiting for him, but the full wrath of God for the devil's agents is yet to come. Hang in there, it will happen.

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