II Thessalonians 1
Paul and his companions boast about the Thessalonians’ faith and works (verse 4). We ought to follow their example and boast about those who are working faithfully, as a means to “spur one another on to love and greater deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). We should boast for the martyrs, of the persecutions they are enduring for Christ, as we are supporting them in whatever way possible.
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might….
II Thessalonians 1:9
This seems a very different picture of hell than the lake of the fire of God’s wrath. In what sense will they be “away from the presence of the Lord”, if the Lord is omnipresent? Away from His mercy, certainly, but I don’t know how to reconcile this verse with what Jesus talks about when He mentions hell.
God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind. When God speaks to Elijah, He is not in the “great and strong wind” (I Kings 19:11).
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place…?”
God commands the morning. The highest form of authority. It is what God executes every moment, over every act — every movement and every stillness — in the universe.
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
of have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I have reserved for the time of trouble.
for the day of battle and war?”
No, Australia is not the storehouse of hail God is talking about. No, Wisconsin/Canada/Alaska/Antarctica is not even cold compared to the storehouses of snow for the day of battle and war. Just imagine, though: God has reserved storehouses of snow and hail for the day of battle and war. God has prepared them beforehand, just as he prepares good deeds for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). We cannot possibly imagine what that day will be like. The wrath of God is real and devastating.
God asks Job if the man can lead the stars to their places. Even now, with our telescopes and particle colliders, we still don’t understand how the mass of the universe is distributed or even what matter is. God is so far beyond us that He distributes light (verse 24).