What Kind of Future Does The Unbeliever Face?

There is a story of two farmers, one was a believer and the other an atheist. When harvest time came the atheist boasted how his family had not been sick and his fields were rich with harvest. The Christian family had been sick and his crop was poor. The atheist said, “I tho … More

Recompense

The apparent prosperity of the wicked and the difficulty of the godly has caused many to question “Why,” through the centuries. Certainly the wicked who persecute the godly have not always received visible judgment in this life. As Christians we must live “with eternity’s values in view” and not just for the present.

What kind of future does the unbeliever face? God makes it plain that He will bring judgment on the wicked (v. 6). We can also gain relief in the fact that one day everyone will stand before God where wrongs will be righted, judgment will be pronounced and evil will be terminated (v. 7). Paul describes the “everlasting destruction” in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14) which means eternal separation from God (v. 8). These people will be eternally separated from God with no hope for salvation (v. 9). There is a  parenthesis in the next verse which is somewhat difficult to interpret, but Paul seems to be saying that Christ will be admired by all that believe (v. 10).

Paul and his co-workers habitually prayed for the Thessalonians. There were three main concerns in his prayer:

  1. Their worthiness (v. 11). That they might live up to their calling. Trials do not make a person; they simply reveal what he is made of.
  2. Their walk (v. 11). That they might do what He wanted them to do. Obedience and service are not a result of our talents and efforts, but a result of God’s power as we trust Him.
  3. Their witness (v. 12). That Jesus Christ will be glorified. Unbelievers naturally blaspheme His name (I Peter 4:12) while believers naturally bless his name and seek to glorify it.

Application

Am I concerned about any Christians that I know? Do I pray for them as I should? Are the three above ingredients in Paul’s prayer life a priority and concern in my prayer life?

II Thessalonians 1:6-12 (English Standard Version)

Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 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. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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