Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 40) - 2Th 1:7-9; 2Th 2:10-12Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 102. 2Th 1:7-9 A. "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" (2Th 1:7-9) B. Does this teach that all those who don't know God, nor obey the gospel are going to hell? C. 2Th 1:8 sets forth two characteristics of the unregenerate, both of which are indicative of their reprobation. They are: i. Not knowing God. a. If a man knows God, it's because he is known of God (Gal 4:9). 1. If a man is known of God, it is because he is foreknown of God in election (1Pe 1:2; Rom 8:29). 2. Jesus knows His sheep (Joh 10:27-28). 3. All of Jesus' sheep know Him in election (Joh 10:14) and in regeneration (Heb 8:10-12). 4. In this sense, all of God's elect know Him. b. There are some of God's elect, regenerate children that don't know Him like they should and still need to be converted (Joh 14:7-9). 1. Some have even had their faith overthrown; nevertheless the Lord knows them (2Ti 2:18-19). 2. Therefore, a lack of temporal knowledge of God doesn't necessarily mean that a man is not one of God's elect. c. Conversely, there are some unregenerate people who profess to know God, but don't (Mat 7:21-23). d. Not knowing God is an evidence of reprobation, as are wicked works (Rom 2:5-9 c/w Joh 5:28-29 c/w 2Th 1:8). 1. The one thing that all of the damned will have in common when Jesus returns to judge them is that none of them will truly know God. 2. 2Th 1:8 is not teaching that all babies, mentally handicapped people, or other of God's sheep who don't have a full knowledge of God will be damned to hell when Jesus returns. 3. It is simply stating that Jesus will come back to take vengeance on the reprobate, who are characterized by their ignorance of God and wicked works. 4. If one wants assurance that he will not be the object of Jesus' wrath when He returns in judgment, then he better get to know God now by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ: such a person will not come into condemnation on that day (Joh 5:24). ii. Not obeying the gospel. a. Obeying the gospel is the end to which God has fitted His elect by regeneration (Eph 2:10; Eze 36:26-27). b. But not all of God's children obey the gospel, especially at all times. 1. Israel in the wilderness didn't obey the gospel, but yet were partakers of Christ (1Co 10:1-10 c/w Heb 3:17-4:2). 2. The Galatians, who were God's elect (Gal 4:9), and for whom Christ died (Gal 1:4), did not obey the truth (Gal 3:1). 3. The apostles, Peter and Barnabas, did not obey the truth of the gospel in a time of weakness (Gal 2:11-14). 4. Some of God's elect are even enemies of the gospel, yet beloved of God according to election (Rom 11:28-29). c. Those who do not obey the gospel show evidence that they are reprobates (Tit 1:16; Col 3:6; Eph 2:2). d. Not obeying the gospel is an evidence (but not a guarantee) of reprobation, as are wicked works (Rom 2:5-9 c/w Joh 5:28-29 c/w 2Th 1:8). 1. The one thing all of the damned will have in common when Jesus returns to judge them is that none of them will have believed the gospel. 2. 2Th 1:8 is not teaching that children of God who didn't obey the gospel at all times in their lives will be damned to hell when Jesus returns. 3. It is simply stating that Jesus will come back to take vengeance on the reprobate, who are characterized by their disobedience of the gospel. 4. If one wants assurance that he will not be the object of Jesus' wrath when He returns in judgment, then he better obey the gospel now by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of his sins, and being baptized: such a person will not come into condemnation on that day (Mar 16:16). 103. 2Th 2:10-12 A. "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2Th 2:10-12) B. Does 2Th 2:10 teach that the wicked can be saved if they receive the love of the truth? C. This passage is referring to the reprobate (non-elect) for the following reasons. i. It is contrasted with those who are beloved of the Lord whom God hath from the beginning chosen to salvation (2Th 2:13). ii. Them that perish refers to those who are not saved, to whom the gospel is foolishness (1Co 1:18). iii. This is why they received not the love of the truth. D. Could these people have been saved if they had received the love of the truth? (2Th 2:10) i. They could have been saved from destruction and judgment in a temporal sense. a. Even the wicked can be saved from destruction if they turn from their wickedness (Jer 18:7-8; Eze 18:21). b. Nineveh is a good example of a people, many of whom were no doubt unregenerate, who were saved from temporal judgment because they received the truth at the mouth of Jonah and repented (Jon 3:1-4,10). c. The cites of Sodom and Gomorrah would not have been destroyed if they had seen the works that Jesus did and repented (Mat 11:21-23), even though they are reprobates who are now in hell (Jud 1:7). E. Why would God need to send unregenerate men a strong delusion so that they would believe a lie? (2Th 2:11) i. There is truth of God that is revealed in the creation which all men should be able to see and understand (Psa 19:1; Job 12:7-10). ii. God will judge the non-elect and turn them over to a delusion when they reject His truth which can be known by the creation (Rom 1:20-32). iii. God will choose their delusions as a judgment against wicked men (Isa 66:4). iv. If a person sets up idols in his heart, God will send him a delusion by a deceived prophet and cut him off (Eze 14:4-9). v. The Lord allowed a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophets to deceive wicked king Ahab and cause him to fall (2Ch 18:19-22). vi. Those who don't hearken unto wisdom (receive the truth) will be turned over to their own devices and destroyed by God (Pro 1:22-32). F. Does God damn wicked men to hell because they don't believe the truth? (2Th 2:12) i. Belief of the truth is the evidence of salvation (Joh 5:24). ii. Unbelief of the truth is a sin (Joh 16:9 c/w Joh 14:6). a. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). b. The wicked will be damned to hell for their sin of unbelief as well as for all their other sins. iii. Unbelief is an evidence of reprobation and condemnation (Joh 3:18-20). iv. All who end up damned will not have believed the truth. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace