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7 Reasons from 2 Thessalonians 1 Why the Left Behind Movies are Pure Sci-Fi

LeftBehind 2014_posterThis is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 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 8 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. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 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. 11 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, 12 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 (2 Thessalonians 1:5-12 ESV)

The following is an excerpt (with comments) from a sermon in March 2011, entitled “Vengeance and Glory at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus” based on the above passage.

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Summarizing all of the above, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven, all of the following events will happen simultaneously:

1. Those who afflict Christians will be repaid with affliction.

2. Christians, afflicted by evildoers, will be granted relief from their afflictions.

These first two reasons come from verses 6 and 7: “… since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 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…”

3. God’s mighty angels in flaming fire accompany Jesus at his coming to inflict vengeance on evildoers. Verse 8 says that Jesus will return “… 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.”

4. All wicked people will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, which is hell itself. Verses 9 and 10 says it all, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints…”

5. Jesus will be glorified in and marveled at by his saints. Not only will the wicked be sent to hell at his coming; power and glory will accompany him “… 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.”

6. His saints will also be glorified, which means they will be given eternal, perfect, and incorruptible bodies. Verse 12 tells about the glorification of believers at his coming, “… 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.”

7. This passage, verses 5-12, talks about the destination of two groups of people: unbelievers and believers. Those who do not know God will suffer hell at the Second Coming, and will not be given a second chance in a seven-year tribulation period.

All of the above events occurring simultaneously at the revelation of Christ from heaven shatter premillennial dreams of a two-stage Second Coming. Punishment of the wicked and rewarding of the righteous at the same time leave no room for a thousand-year separation of these two judgments. The punishment of evildoers when Christians are rewarded belies a coming that is known only to Christians. Believers will suffer tribulations from the first coming of Christ until his return, not just in a seven-year period. And how can Christ’s coming be a secret from unbelievers if his warrior-angels appear with him to wage war against them?

As well, all of the above events happening concurrently at the appearing of Christ from heaven undermine a future millennial kingdom on earth. The following questions have to be satisfactorily answered by millenarians: If the punishment of the wicked and rewarding of the righteous happen simultaneously, where is the thousand-year separation of these two events? Corollary to this is this second question: How then can there be a thousand-year separation between the two resurrections?

From the above, a millennial kingdom, whether before or after the Second Coming, is very much science fiction.

Read the whole sermon here.

Related article: “I don’t know about you, but my utmost desire is to be… LEFT BEHIND!”

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