Sermon Notes & References

Vengeance Is Mine, Saith the Lord

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

April 8, 2018

A. Introduction

    1. "At Peace with All Men"

        a. It's Not Up to Us 1

        b. God Is Observing All 2


    2.  A Known Truth 3


B. This Present Time    1:5-8 4

    1. Suffering as an Honour (v 5) 5


    2. Justice Will Out (vv 6-8)

        a. Recompense (v 6) 6


        b. Relief (v 7) 7


        c. Retribution (v 8) 8


C. In Time to Come 1:9-10   

    1. Penalty (v 9)  


        a. Eternal Destruction 9


        b. Separation 10


    2. Glory to Jesus (v 10)    

        a. In His Saints 11


        b. Marvelled at by His Saints 12


        c. On Account of Faith

1 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10. . . . . . . Vengeance Is Mine, Saith the Lord


A. Introduction

    1. “At Peace with All Men”

        a. It’s Not Up to Us

            (A)    when people say they want to get even with somebody, what they usually mean it they want to get ahead – do them one better

            (B)    a game in my youth had the victory call, “Touched you last!”

            (C)   the fact that Christians are going to suffer for their faith is made clear in the Scriptures – by the new birth a believer is introduced into a hostile environment

            (D)   Jesus said so many times

                 (1)    Matthew 5:10-11 (AV), “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven …

                 (2)    Luke 9:23 (AV), “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

                 (3)    John 15:20 (AV), “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you

            (E)    nevertheless, in all these things we are to turn the other cheek, to suffer gladly for the sake of Jesus Christ

                 (1)    Paul writes in Romans 12:17-18, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

                 (2)    so it is not up to us, for he continues:

                 (3)    Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)


        b. God Is Observing All

            (A)    it is up to God to make things even

            (B)    God is the one to even the scales: He is righteous; He is just

            (C)   that is the promise in Romans 12; in our passage today

            (D)   Abraham asked, “shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

            (E)    to which the undisputed answer is a a resounding, “Yes!”


    2. A Known Truth

        a. the truth of Galatians 6:7 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” has been the theme of much human writing – not because the writer has read that verse but because he has observed it working out in life

        b. it to be seen in novels of many profane authors

        c. Shakespeare’s Hamlet comments how satisfying it is to see a wrongdoer “hoist with his own petar 2 (a person blown up by his own bomb)

        d. now or in future, God will set things aright

        e. what an assurance to the suffering Christian!


B. This Present Time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1: 5-8

        a. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

    2. Suffering as an Honour (v 5)

        a. This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

        b. they certainly were sufferings of this present time for the Christians to whom Paul was writing: daily they woke up to them, dealt with them

        c. but Paul’s commendation to them is that God has evaluated these believers and concluded that they were worthy kingdom members

            (A)    bad things do indeed happen to good people

            (B)    Paul asked for healing 3 times, but was told “No,” by God; why? because Jesus Christ could do more with Paul weak, than strong

            (C)   God honours those he entrusts with suffering knowing they will be thereby better witnesses to Jesus Christ and His salvation

        d. the apostle Peter wrote also to the same effect: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:12-14)

        e. and God’s judgement in this matter can be trusted

            (A)    that we will persevere in our faith in Jesus Christ

            (B)    for sin – as opposed to sins, which are the misdeeds that arise from sin – for sin, ultimately, is failing to trust in Jesus that He is God


    3. Justice Will Out (vv 6-8)

        a. Recompense (v 6)

            (A)    For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

            (B)    affliction and persecution

                 (1)    as testing in reference to the believer,

                     (a)    the Scriptures consider these as tools whereby the believer is brought to Christian maturity

                     (b)    Job knew this to be the case: “But He [God] knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)                                                   

                     (c)    Paul, too: “…, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, …” (Romans 5:3-5)

                     (d)    and Peter: “… even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

                 (2)    but as a cause for retribution to the oppressor

                     (a)    over and over this is repeated with respect to OT Israel

                         ¤  in Egypt, in the days of the Judges, of Samuel, of the Kings, of the exile and captivity – God was watching

                         ¤  and there are repeated words about the Lord such as are found in Judges 10:16: “… and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer.

                         ¤  then God stepped in to deliver – many of the Psalms are written in praise of such salvation

                     (b)    God does indeed exact recompense – repayment in kind – on those who afflict those who are called by His Name

                         ¤  Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.” (Psalms 116:15), or “saints”

                         ¤  He will rescue their life from oppression and violence; And their blood will be precious in his sight;” (Psalms 72:14)

                     (c)    ‘vengeance is mine, I will repay,' says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) – even in this present time


        b. Relief (v 7)

            (A)    and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,

            (B)    suffering for righteousness’ sake is not easy

                 (1)    it tests our faith; it tests our endurance; it tests our profession

                 (2)    but, “… He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.” (Psalms 103:14) … and God acts

            (C)   but as we used to sing: “The Lord leads the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow…”, He leads through hardships

                 (1)    The primary reference in 1 Corinthians 10:13, is temptation to sin: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

                     (a)    but examining the larger context of that verse shows it includes every testing that would take us away from God

                     (b)    what was Satan’s tempting / testing of Job intended to do? That He might renege on God; curse God for his situation; stop trusting in God

                     (c)    the suffering we may face comes indirectly or directly from Satan and its purposes is the same as it was for Job

            (D)   and as God stood up for Job, and sustained Job as he argued with his three friends – all the while in agony – and at last came to the settled conclusion that his God is trustworthy, so may we in the midst of trials conclude the same: I can trust Him


        c. Retribution (v 8)

            (A)    dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

            (B)    while we do not seek vengeance on our persecutors

                 (1)    instead, our marching orders are, from Jesus’ lips, “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) – because God does the same (v 45)

                 (2)    for our duty is to be a witness to Jesus Christ, our life and our attitude the same as His who forgave His enemies on the cross

                 (3)    and “The Lord knows those who are His,” (2 Timothy 2:19)

            (C)   but those who disobey the gospel, refuse His gracious invitation

                 (1)    who persist in persecuting the church Christ died to save

                 (2)    will, according to what we have been reading in this chapter, expose themselves even now to God’s dealing retribution out upon them, in direct consequence of their actions

            (D)   and what does not befall them in this life, will take place …


C. In Time to Come. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1:9-10

    1. Penalty (v 9)

        a. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

        b. Eternal Destruction

            (A)    Bible portrays hell using many & diverse pictures

                 (1)    Fire and brimstone – Revelation 19:20

                 (2)    Lake of Fire – Revelation 20:14 – but that death and hell itself were cast into it; hell is cast into itself

                 (3)    Place of darkness – Jude 1:13, Matthew 8:12

                 (4)    Outside of God's city – Revelation 22:14-15

                 (5)    highly graphic, parabolic, figurative language to convey to the limited mind something that is even worse than we imagine

            (B)    and it seems hard for us humans to reconcile this with God’s love

                 (1)    God has shown His love in Christ, but man chooses otherwise

                 (2)    so that false teachings as Universalism admit that there is a hell but say everyone will repent, even after death, so Hell is empty

                 (3)    others that destruction means annihilation, and lost souls will cease to be; that punishment is only temporary

                 (4)    but that is not the teaching of Revelation 22:14-15, cited above, nor of this verse –

                 (5)    rather, hell the eternal ruin of a person away from the Presence of God; of, ...

        c. Separation

            (A)    this was the first effect of sin

                 (1)    from the brief description in the opening chapters of Genesis it is nevertheless clear that Adam, then Eve, spent time with God

                 (2)    how much worse was it apparent to them, for that reason, that they were put out of the Garden: that was spiritual death

                 (3)    they were removed from Life, the Presence of the Living God

            (B)    the same is true of the ultimate, final effect of sin

                 (1)    in the second coming Christ, God will be gloriously revealed

                 (2)    Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)

                 (3)    and having seen Him for whom they were created to know then are forever to separated from Him

            (C)   yet, the power of sin, as Revelation shows, is that in the face of all these things, men still choose such a hell rather than God


    2. Glory to Jesus (v 10)

        a. when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marvelled at among all who have believed – for our testimony to you was believed.

        b. In His Saints

            (A)    but there is another, wondrous side to the story for believers

            (B)    Christ is returning; Hallelujah – and to be glorified

            (C)   how? to be glorified in His saints; in those who believe in His name

            (D)   no, not in how we look, and act, and think; not as we are now

            (E)    Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

                 (1)    there is a wondrous transformation to take place

                 (2)    since this is all on account of His death and resurrection

                 (3)    it is He, rather than us, who will receive all glory & praise

        c. Marvelled at by His Saints

            (A)    how we shall wonder at the sight of these things

            (B)    then will be fulfilled to the full, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvellous in our eyes.” (Psalms 118:22-23)

            (C)   last Sunday we celebrated the resurrection; it is on the basis of that fact that these things will take place

        d. On Account of Faith

            (A)    who will share in that moment – all who have believed

            (B)    Paul rejoices in that it was by his testimony to them that they came to believe

            (C)   for faith is the simple linkage that drags us away from the road on which we once walked, headed to that horrible, eternal ruin

            (D)   now to follow Jesus to this marvellous end

            (E)    for it is to that end, through trials, that our Saviour leads us




© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:


              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              IGNT              Interlinear Greek New Testament, Zondervan Publishing, 1956; as well as other Greek Texts as W&H, Nestle, etc.

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

              Philips     The New Testament in Modern Englis, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

              RSV        Revised Standard Version © 1946, 1952 National Council of Churches of Christ; Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd

              WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth

Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:

              BM       Biblical Museum, Editor James Comper Gray, ca 1870

              CP   -      Decision, July & August 1962, Open Your Bible, by Dr Sherwiood E. Wirt

              EBC             The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

                             1, 2 Thessalonians: Robert L. Thomas

              EGT             The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

                             1 & II Thessalonians, by James Moffatt

              JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

              Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

              Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site,

              NCBC –    The New Century Bible Commentary – 1 and 2 Thessalonians – I. Howard Marshall – Wm B. Erdmans

              RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

              TTB      Thinking Through the Bible, Rev’d John McNicol, D.D., © 1944 by the author; The Upper Canada Tract & Book Society.


Hamlet, Act III, Scene 4