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