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Struggling to Struggle | Seminary Student Blogger

December 06, 2012

Dim Alldridge

This morning I read 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10…

“God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”

Paul writes those words as an encouragement to Christians who are facing persecution. God is just and justice will be done.

Perhaps some of you need to hear that today? Undoubtedly there are Christians around the world today who need to be comforted by these words. Brothers and sisters of ours who are facing terrible opposition for faithfully cherishing the name of our Lord Jesus Christ need to be reminded that God loves them and he will see that justice is done. The faithful will be saved, the guilty will be punished.

There is a time for that truth to be a message of hope.

But that’s not what struck me as I read 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 over my bowl of cereal this morning. What struck me was the sobering truth that one day…

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”

I struggled to read those words this morning. I struggled after reading them to pray with my wife and give thanks for those words. I struggle to accept them. I struggle to believe them. I struggle to understand them.

And here’s why I struggle.

Because I know God, and I love God with all my heart. Because I know that He is love and is the God of grace and mercy and forgiveness and justice beyond anything I can fathom.

And because I also know my family and I know my friends who don’t know God. And I love them with all my heart too.

And so I struggle, and I will continue to struggle.

But here is the question that I must ask myself, and I’m asking you. How are you struggling?

Are you struggling with the concept or the truth that…

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”

Or are you struggling to tell people that truth? To teach people that truth? To pray for people and to seek every opportunity to share that truth and the glorious hope of the gospel of Christ with them?

What good is it for me to struggle to understand and accept the truth of heaven and hell, which I truly believe, if I do not struggle all the more to tell people that truth?

I am sitting in Goddard Library with papers to write and exams to revise for. That’s ok, there is a place for papers and for exams. They are important. But let me remind you of something that I have forgotten too often over the last few years…they are not THAT important.

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”

I’m struggling with that truth. Today my prayer is that my struggle would lead somewhere.

Dimitri (Dim for short) and his wife, Gayles, moved to the U.S. from England in 2011 to pursue a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell. He grew up in a little town in England called Sevenoaks and completed his undergraduate degree in Automobile Design at the University of Coventry. Upon graduation, Dim spent some time as a ski instructor, a church intern and an assistant pastor. When he’s not pretending to study, he’s usually dreaming about skiing.

Tags: Author: Dim Alldridge , equipping leaders for the church and society , student blogger , thoughtfully evangelical

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