2 Thessalonians 1:5
All this is clear evidence of God's righteous judgment. And so you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
Sermons
A Token of Righteous JudgmentW.F. Adeney 2 Thessalonians 1:5
Persecutions a Demonstration of the JudgmentT. Manton, D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:5
Present Suffering and Future GloryZion's Herald2 Thessalonians 1:5
The Significance of These Sufferings in Relation to Divine JudgmentT. Croskery 2 Thessalonians 1:5
Worthiness of the Kingdom of GodT. Manton , D. D.2 Thessalonians 1:5
Manifestation of Solemn InterestR. Finlayson 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
The Persecutions of the ThessaloniansB.C. Caffin 2 Thessalonians 1:5-7


He comforts them with the thought of the certainty of the future judgment.

I. THERE WILL BE A RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT OF MEN. "Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth" (Psalm 58:11). The afflictions of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked in the present world are not inconsistent with this righteous judgment. The problem is an old one, how to understand the mystery of Divine providence. The Book of Job sets forth its conditions and its mysteries. The disturbing effect of sin is not sufficiently considered in estimating the character of the Divine administration. It is the inequalities in Divine providence that lead us to expect a future rectification of wrongs; for God's judgment is righteous.

II. THE PATIENT HEROISM OF THE SAINTS IS ITSELF A SIGN OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT. "Which is a token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may he counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer."

1. It is not that believers suffer, receiving here their evil things, while the wicked receive their good things.

2. It is not because God is just and there rest be a future judgment.

3. It is not that the persecution was an indication how the judgment would go at the last clay.

4. It is that the patience of the saints accredited them, by the righteous judgment of God, as meet heirs of his kingdom, while it was a presage of the coming judgment, when the future would bring its double compensation for the present. The idea is the same as in the Philippian Epistle: "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God" (Philippians 1:28). It follows, therefore,

(1) that God is not forgetful or indifferent to the sufferings of his saints;

(2) that patience is a special qualification for the enjoyment of God's kingdom;

(3) that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the future happiness of the saints, who will have an eternal weight of glory. - T.C.







Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God
I. STATE THE POINT.

1. It concerns us to be fully persuaded of the truth of a future judgment for two reasons.(1) It establishes our comfort, for then our wrongs shall be righted (Philippians 1:28), and our labour of love recompensed.(2) It binds our duty upon us by the strictest tie (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

2. This judgment is a righteous judgment (Acts 17:31). The world is now tried in patience: all are not punished according to their deservings.

3. This judgment needs to be evidenced, not only by the light of Scripture, but of reason. Nature says, It may be; faith, It shall be; yet the former must not be rejected —(1) Because things seen in a double light work more strongly upon —

(a)Our love and obedience (Philemon 1:16).

(b)Upon our faith. When nature teaches us to expect such a retribution, all vain cavils are refuted.(2) Because all have not received the light of Scripture. To them, therefore, the light of nature is a preparative inducement either to believe or to believe more firmly.(3) Because in time of temptation we need all the succour which the nature of the thing can give. Then, besides the grounds of faith, we must study its helps.(4) Among other arguments of a future day of recompence persecution is a plain demonstration.(a) If God chastises so severely the relics of sin in His children, how much more the wicked (1 Peter 4:17; Luke 23:31; Proverbs 11:31).(b) No righteous governor will suffer the disobedient to persecute the obedient, and therefore, though he permit it for a time, yet he will call them to account.

II. HOW IT IS A DEMONSTRATION OF FUTURE JUDGMENT.

1. There is a God. This is the supreme primitive truth which lies at the bottom of all religion (Hebrews 11:6). It were to light a candle to the sun to prove this.

2. This God is just, for all perfections are in the First Being (Jeremiah 12:1; Romans 3:5, 6).

3. This just God is the Governor of the world (Psalm 94:1, 2).

4. It is agreeable to the justice of His government that it should be well with them that do well, and ill with them that do evil. Conscience and natural reason own this truth (Romans 1:32; Proverbs 26:1).

5. This reward and punishment are not fully administered in this world. The best often go to the wall, and many wicked prosper, and persecute the ungodly. Hence the complaints of the saints who have stumbled at this (Psalm 73; Jeremiah 12:1; Habakkuk 1:1).

6. Since God's justice does not make a sufficient difference here, there is another life where He will; for otherwise all these absurdities would follow:(1) God would seem indifferent to good and evil, yea, more partial to the evil; but this were a blasphemy (Psalm 73:1; Psalm 11:6, 7).(2) Man would seem left at liberty to break or keep God's laws at pleasure, and no harm come of it, but rather profit. But this would destroy all obedience (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Zephaniah 1:12).(3) Obedience would be man's loss and ruin, and so God would be the worst Master (1 Corinthians 15:19).(4) The most eminent virtue would be under perpetual infamy; therefore things must be reviewed, and that which is good restored to its public honour (1 Peter 4:13, 14).(5) The children of wisdom would seem sons of folly in checking their lusts and renouncing all for their fidelity to Christ.(6) All the comfort of the saints in longing for this day is but a fanatical illusion, when yet this desire is quickened by God (Romans 8:23; 2 Corinthians 5:5).

7. This justice will be administered at the last day.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

That ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer
I. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS TWO-FOLD.

1. The kingdom of grace is the gospel estate, and for this Christians may be said to suffer —

(1)To promote it in the world.

(2)Because they have entered it.

2. The text rather refers to the kingdom of glory (Matthew 25:34). Christians suffer for this that they may enter it.

II. WORTHINESS OF THIS KINGDOM. There is a threefold worthiness.

1. Of exact proportion (Luke 10:7). This is justice proof both from the covenant and intrinsic worth of the action. But there is such a distance between God and the creature that none can make God his debtor (Romans 8:18; Revelation 2:10).

2. Of fitness and congruity (Matthew 3:8; Acts 26:20; Philippians 1:27; Ephesians 4:1). There is —(1) A fitness in point of order. So they are worthy who are qualified according to God's order (Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11, 12). It is agreeable to Christ's wisdom and love that He should own His faithful servants, and since they are willing to take His cross, that they should share His crown (Revelation 3:4).(2) In point of preparation (Romans 9:23; Colossians 1:12). It is the wisdom of God to put all things in their proper places, as fishes in the sea, beasts on earth. And persecutions are one means which fit the godly for heaven. As the hewing and squaring of stones fitted them to be set in the Temple at Jerusalem, so are we squared and meetened to be set in the heavenly temple.

3. Of acceptance, when God, for Christ's sake, is pleased to count us worthy in spite of failings (Luke 21:36). So here:

III. THOSE SHALL BE COUNTED WORTHY TO ENTER THE KINGDOM WHO DILIGENTLY PURSUE IT.

1. What this is —(1) Diligence in doing good (Matthew 6:33). It is not enough that we seek the kingdom; we must seek it in the first place, and all must give way to it (Hebrews 4:11).(2) Evil must be suffered (Hebrews 10:36; James 1:12).

2. The reasons for it.(1) These things are required as conditions of entering into life (Mark 10:38).(2) When this condition is fulfilled, then we have an evidence that God will count us worthy to enter into His kingdom (Philippians 1:28). Use. Let us seriously consider these things —

1. The felicity here offered. What bustling is there in the world for a little greatness and advancement? Yet all other crowns are but petty in comparison of the crown of life.

2. The certainty of conveyance (2 Timothy 4:8).

3. You must submit to any terms (Philippians 3:11).

(T. Manton , D. D.)

Zion's Herald.
What the woof is to the warp, crosses are to character. Without the latter the former is nothing but limp lines of threads without strength, without usefulness, without susceptibility of being made beautiful. But when crossed by the woof, it becomes cloth fit for various uses, and capable of receiving a finish and an ornamentation which transforms it into a thing of beauty. In like manner a man's character is limp, weak, unreliable, and unattractive, until it has been subjected to many tests and trials. These, like the woof, cross and recross one's natural tendencies until resistance to evil begets strength, endurance, growth, and moral beauty. Why, then, should one fret against one's crosses? They are painful, vexatious, hard to be borne sometimes, but what are these ills, which are but for a moment, when compared with the exceeding and eternal weight of glory with which they are to be rewarded when the last one has been overcome? The brilliants in one's eternal crown will be the crosses of one's present life crystalized in the love and light of heaven.

(Zion's Herald.)

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