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Category: Bible Study (page 17 of 25)

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 Will Those who have not heard go to hell?

As mentioned in my last post in 2 Thessalonians, which you can read here, I wanted to stop for a moment and share a complete post answering the question of does 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 teach that all people (including those who have never heard the gospel) are going to hell if they have not obeyed the gospel?

Let me first dig deeper into the exegesis.

The text clearly states that God will pass out vengeance upon two groups.  This vengeance will include “everlasting destruction away from the presence of the Lord”, or what we typically call hell.  The inclusion of the reference to the coming of Jesus, “that day,” and Jesus being “revealed” from heaven (1:7, 10), are further evidence that we are talking about the final judgment and God’s eternal punishment for the wicked in hell.

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Clear Evidence of Just Judgment–2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

As we continue our journey through the text of 2 Thessalonians (click on the 2 Thessalonians link in the categories to read the other entries), Paul speaks of the judgment of God.  Specifically, he states that the way the Thessalonians are living shows clearly that God’s judgment is righteous (1:5).  What does that mean?

First, God is just in counting them worthy of His Kingdom.  They have endured persecution.  They have faced tribulation and suffering.  Enduring these things and still progressing in their faith shows clearly that they are genuine disciples.

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Bible Study–Look for Repetition

You can read the others in our series on hermeneutics here , here, here and here.

This last post on this section dealt with the necessity of reading the book of the Bible over and over again in order to get a feel for the thesis and basic argument of the book.  One of the things that has helped me in getting this understanding is to look for repetition.

Repetition can be a repeated word (for instance the word love in First John), a repeated phrase (works of law in Romans), or a repeated structure (for instance Jesus structure in the Sermon on the Mount of saying, “You have heard..but I say.”).  All of these help us to see the emphasis of the author.  Usually repeated words are important to what the author is trying to accomplish in the book.  In my mind to really understand the book means we must grapple with repeated words and phrases.

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The Growing Faith–2 Thessalonians 1:1-4

Read the introduction to this series here.

The beginning of 2 Thessalonians clearly ties it with the book of 1 Thessalonians.  In 1 Thessalonians Paul had desired that they would abound in their love and that they would exceed in their faith and work worthy of God (you can read my introduction to 1 Thessalonians here).  In 2 Thessalonians Paul begins by recognizing that they had taken the first letter seriously.

I think Paul purposely repeats the praise that he offered in 1 Thessalonians, to begin 2 Thessalonians.  A simple comparison of 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 4 with 1 Thessalonians 1:3 shows this to be true.  Paul mentions their faith, love, and perseverance. The difference though is Paul adds in 2 Thessalonians the words “abounds” and “exceedingly.”

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Bible Study–Read the Book

I understand why they added chapters.  I get why they later added verses.  However, at times I wish they didn’t.  You see your Bible was not original penned with chapters and verses.  Paul, or Matthew, did not put 2:1 out in the margins.  Instead later people added these to make it easier for others to find their place in the Bible.

This helpful tool, however, has caused real problems in Bible Study.  We assumed (wrongly!) that a verse is self contained.  This has left us with all kinds of abuses.  Ripping verses from their context we make them say things they were never meant to say.  We also misrepresent truth.

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