In Flaming Fire 2 Thes 1:7-10

Paul wrote that the persecution of Christians (II Thes 1:4) was a
clear justification (II Thes 1:5-6) for the doom God had in store for
the world (II Thes 1:7-10). He said to those who were suffering
persecution (II Thes 1:4):

2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when
the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels In
flaming fire,
8 taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be
admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was
believed) in that day.

I do not understand the postion that says Jesus coming with the mighty
angels in flaming fire (v7) means Jesus comes and casts the wicked
into hell. The wicked are certainly cast into hell in (v9), but the
wicked who are living when Jesus comes are first killed and burned.

There can be no doubt that the world is going to be burned when Jesus
comes again (II Pet 3:7,10-13). Also in Rev 20:8-9 John gives a very
brief picture of the burning at the end of the world at the Second
Coming. He says,

Rev 20:7b Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four
quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to
battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the
camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down
from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Though it does not explictly mention Jesus coming in these verses, the
Devil, the beast, and the false prophet (Rev 20:10) are personally
cast into Gehenna (the lake of fire), and the Judgment takes place
(Rev 20:11-14). However, Jesus is the one to whom all judgment is
given (Jn 5:22), so by implication the text says that when the
Judgment occurs, then Jesus has come again. When Jesus comes again to
fight the Devil and his armies (Rev 19:14-21, 20:8), fire comes down
out of heaven (Rev 20:9) before the Judgment (Rev 20:11) and destroys
the living armies of Satan. Since Peter has promised that God will
burn the earth (II Pet 3:7), when Christ comes in Judgment, we should
not be surprised to find that it is with the mighty angels in flaming
fire (II Thes 1:8). When Jesus comes again, the earth and the works
therein will be burned and laid bare (II Pet 3:10 NIV). Hebrews 1:7
is not joking when it says, “Who maketh his angels spirits, and his
ministers a flame of fire.” The angels in fire will be an awesome
sight and they will burn the earth. At His Second Coming Jesus also
burns people to ash (Isa 11:4) as also the other writings agree (II
Ezdras 13:9-11).

Following the destruction of those living when He comes again (Heb
9:27), the dead are raised and the Judgment is held. It is then that
God will punish the wicked with “everlasting destruction from the
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (II Thes 1:9)
through “fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb
10:27) which is the lake of fire and the second death (Rev 20:15).

I do not understand the objection to Jesus burning the earth when He
comes again. Clearly that is something that has been foretold (II Pet
3:7). The fact that the earth is burned and all the people in it are
killed does nothing to mitigate against eternal judgment since the
resurrection of the wicked and the Jugment follows the burning of the
earth (Heb 9:27). The burning of the earth is part of God’s promised
vengence (Rom 12:19), and the fulfillment of God’s promise that all
men will die (I Cor 15:22, Gen 2:17, 3:19). It is clear therefore
that Jesus coming with the mighty angels in flaming fire is a
reference to the burning of the earth at the end of the world.
Everlasting destruction follows the Judgment (Rev 20:15), but the the
death of all living occurs before the Judgment (Heb 9:27). Jesus and
the mighty angels accomplish the death of all living by means of the
flaming fire when Jesus comes in fiery wrath to destroy the
adversaries (Rev 20:9)

About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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