Thursday: Glorifying Christ

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:10-12. What does it mean that Jesus Christ will be glorified in His saints?

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The full sentence in this week’s text (2 Thess. 1:3-10) provides a number of important details about the second coming of Jesus. When Jesus returns, He will afflict the afflicters and provide rest for the afflicted (see 2 Thess. 1:6, 7, ESV). He will come down from heaven in the company of powerful angels (2 Thess. 1:7). He will come with flaming fire and execute justice on those who have rejected God and the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:8). The wicked are destroyed (2 Thess. 1:8, 9) while the righteous bring glory to Christ (2 Thess. 1:10).

The events of the Second Coming set the stage for the millennium, during which time the earth lies desolate for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). Though this week’s passage does not tell us what happens to the righteous, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 tells us that the saved join Jesus in the air at His return. John 14:1-3 further indicates that Jesus will take the righteous with Him to heaven.

How does Paul instruct believers to prepare for the second coming of Jesus? 2 Thess. 1:11. With verse 10 Paul is finished talking about the wicked and turns again to the fate of the righteous at the Second Coming. In verses 10-12, the glory of Jesus is exhibited in the character of those who believe in Him. Paul rejoices that his prayers and efforts for the Thessalonians will be vindicated at the return of Jesus (see 1 Thess. 2:19, 20).

Paul here sets the stage for chapter two, in which he argues that the day of the Lord has not yet come. If it had, there would be flaming fire, destruction of the wicked, and the full glorification of Jesus in the eyes of all.

In today’s passage, Paul shifts easily from God to Jesus, using the two terms interchangeably. According to inspiration, Jesus is God. This teaching is very important to us. The greater Jesus is, the more powerful His salvation and the clearer a picture of God we receive as we contemplate His life, death, resurrection, and return. If Jesus is truly God, then the Father is just like Him.

How can we learn to go about the business of living our daily lives, but with the expectation of the Second Coming? Why is it so easy, amid the daily rhythms of life, to forget about His Coming? How can we learn to keep this amazing promise before us and go about our daily business, giving the promise the time, attention, and seriousness it deserves?



Thursday: Glorifying Christ — 9 Comments

  1. "Paul here sets the stage for chapter two, in which he argues that the day of the Lord has not yet come. If it had, there would be flaming fire, destruction of the wicked, and the full glorification of Jesus in the eyes of all."

    That doesn't seem to be the reason that Paul gives to the Thessalonians for believing that Jesus had not yet returned, "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thess 2:3 NKJV). Once again our focus seems to be misplaced.

  2. Tyler, I agree with you. Indeed the thought here has been misapplied. I thought I did not just get it what was being presented. Its actaully confusing the way the thoughts are linked. thanks

  3. My comment is regarding a statement I felt may have been made without a lot of thought put into it. Nothing to argue over but I was not comfortable with it because it can be understood to place Jesus as the head of the Godhead. "If Jesus is truly God, then the Father is just like Him.". The wording could have been arranged to express the thought intended without the apparent discrepancy.

  4. Tyler, you quoted Paul as saying the falling will come before the coming of the Lord, to reveal Satan, and what he is doing. Now are you talking about the shaking? And if so, what is the shaking? I was reading about the shaking of 'heaven' (sun, moon, and stars) and earth. We are having much more earthquakes than 20 years ago, and have noticed our earth tilted 5 degrees as a result of the huge earthquake that caused the great wave in south east Asia.

    • John, I wasn’t thinking in terms of the shaking. I believe Paul was thinking about the little horn of Dan 8:9-11. In Paul’s day Rome was the terrible beast of Dan 8:7. Out of it came the little horn which is described further in chapter 8.

      Paul knew three major things:
      • Concerning the metal man image of Dan 2 he knew that the Legs and feet of iron was to change into partly Iron and Partly clay further down toward feet which had not happen to Rome yet. The metal man image is chronological from head to feet and at the end; it was to be destroyed by a stone striking the feet. That portrays the end of time when Christ is to come during the Second Advent.
      • The terrible beast was to follow the empire of Greece and the only logical one that fit the description was Rome. In fact many of the church fathers believed that the antichrist was Nero and most interpreted the beast as the Roman empire.
      • The statement made by Christ, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (Matt 24:15) was obviously spoken of as a future event and at the time of the writing of 2 Thessalonians apparently hadn’t happened yet since Judaism was still in control of the temple (the destruction of the temple was still about twenty years in the future). It was also in line with the description of the little horn and with Dan 11:31.

      Paul knew that the little horn power was to be the last religious power on earth before the Second Advent Therefore to him that was what had to happen first and why he cautioned the Thessalonians against thinking that Christ had already come.

    • John, when Adventists talk about the "shaking," they are not usually talking about a physical phenomenon, but a spiritual one. The term comes from Ellen White's writings, such as these:

      Not all in this world have taken sides with the enemy against God. Not all have become disloyal. There are a faithful few who are true to God; for John writes: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Soon the battle will be waged fiercely between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. Soon everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain. (9 Testimonies to the Church, p. 15)

      The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.—Selected Messages 2:380 (1886). {LDE 180.5}
      As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition.—The Great Controversy, 608 (1911) (Last Day Events, p. 180).

      Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. They can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Are our feet planted on the rock of God’s immutable word? Are we prepared to stand firm in defense of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus? (The Great Controversy, p. 593)

      (Click on the links to read more and see the context.)

  5. May the Lord have mercy upon my life and my children. May His spirit preach to us and we become the Saints at the second coming.

  6. Tyler, Renford and John:
    You have to remember who Paul was before he became the spokesman for Jesus Christ. He was the main persecutor of the Christians. He understood more than anyone else what was going to happen, because he was one of the original instigators of the persecution he saw coming. He knew that the man of sin would emerge out of the church as he so eloquently spoke in Acts 20:29-31. The man of sin was held back by the government of Rome because at that time, Rome was still mostly a secular power. After Constantine came onto the scene, the Roman Emperors co-opted the Christian Church and made it into an instrument of the state, thus bringing statecraft to bear on the righteousness of the faithful. It was to this that Paul was addressing because that is exactly what Jesus Christ Himself dealt with when He was preaching and teaching during His earthly mission.


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