The Hardest Truth of the Bible
by Colin Smith
“They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord” 2 Thessalonians 2:9
To be shut out from God’s presence and from His power is to be without hope and without love forever. This is one of the hardest truths in the Bible. But here’s something I’ve discovered—the hardest truths can produce the most tender hearts. If you grasp this most difficult of doctrines, God will use it to soften your heart today.
To sustain your faith in a suffering world
“He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled… when the Lord Jesus is revealed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:6
If you’ve suffered at the hands of other people, or if someone you love has suffered at the hands of others, you will face with this question: Where is God in all this? How can I believe that God is loving and just when so often good people suffer and those who do evil prosper? This doctrine helps. It tells you that you haven’t yet seen the end of the story.
God says to suffering believers: “A day is coming when Jesus Christ will be revealed. Then you’ll see the full measure of My justice and the full measure of My love. Use this to sustain your faith in a suffering world.”
To restrain your desire to even the score
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge… but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:18
Someone hurts you. Your immediate instinct will be to want to hurt them back. They brought you down, and you find a certain pleasure in bringing them down. How do you restrain the desire to even the score?