2Thessalonians 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Thirty-four purposes of the Second Coming (continues): To restore all things (Acts 3:19-21). To bind satan and his angels (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 24:21-23). To punish the inhabitants of the earth for sins (Isa. 26:21; 27:1; Rev. 11:18). To give man one more probationary trial (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 11:1-16; 65:20-25). To fight the battle of Armageddon and restore man’s dominion (Rev. 19:11-21; Matt. 5:5; 25:31-46; Ps. 8:1-9). To establish a theocratic government (Ps. 2:1-12; Isa. 2:1-4; 4:1-3; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Zech. 14:9; Rev. 20:1-15). To gather together in one all things in heaven and on earth (Eph. 1:10). To heal everyone (Isa. 32:1-5; 33:24; 35:5). To fulfil the Abrahamic, Davidic, and other covenants with man (Gen. 12:1-3; 2Sam. 7:1-29; etc.). To be glorified in the saints (1:10, 12; Matt. 25:31-46). To be admired by believers (1:10). To prepare the earth for the eternal habitation of God (Isa. 35:1-10; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 20-22; 1Cor. 15:24-28). To purge man of all possibility of future rebellion, so that the original program with man can be finally and eternally realized (Gen. 1:26-31; 8:22; 9:12; Ps. 8:1-9; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20-22).
‘Flaming fire’ [Greek: phlox] flame of fire (Luke 16:24; Acts 7:30; Heb. 1:7; Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 19:12).
‘On them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.’ Two classes of people to be judged: They that know not God – that put forth no effort to know or understand Him (2Cor. 4:4; Matt. 13:19). They that obey not the gospel – that put forth no effort to obey it (John 3:17-20, 36; Acts 7:51; Rom. 1:21-32).
‘Punished with everlasting destruction.’ Eternal punishment [Greek: dike] penalty awarded by a judge; suffer punishment. Translated as punishment (1:9); judgment (Acts 25:15); and vengeance (Acts 28:4; Jude 1:7). The penalty here is eternal destruction. The Greek for destruction is olethros, ruin; undoing; that which causes destruction, a plague, pest. Translated as destruction (1:9; 2Cor. 5:5; 1Thess. 5:3; 1Tim. 6:9). Whatever it is that causes the destruction or ruin is eternal. It is not annihilation, for the destruction is eternal and the ones being so punished eternally are as eternal as the destruction itself. There will be no possibility of their ever being reconciled to God beyond this life, for they are eternally banished from the presence of God and the glory of His power (1:10; Heb. 9:27). This in itself would be dreadful punishment, but besides this, there will be the punishment in eternal hell (Matt. 8:12; 13:49-51; 25:41, 25:46; Mark 9:43-49; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; Isa. 66:22-24).