The Gospel

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    So, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 tells us that Christ is going to bring vengeance when He comes again. This is supposed to be a comfort to Christians, yet vengeance can be a scary thing. It is scary when we realize that we are not perfect and we have made mistakes. It is scary when we think back on our lives and things we have done that are deserving of the vengeance of God. Yet somehow God's vengeance is supposed to be a comfort.

    This vengeance will come upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8). This is the key to the comfort that this vengeance brings to Christians. The Gospel literally means "good news".
    This can be good news about most anything, however in the context of the Bible it almost always refers to the good news of Christ. This Gospel is outlined for us in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

    1 Corinthians 15:-1-4 says, "Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, [2] and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain.[3] For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures."

    Paul is reminding them of the Gospel that was preached to them. This is the Gospel that they received and continue to stand in. This is the Gospel which they are saved by...if they hold fast. Then in verse 3-4 Paul reminds them what the Gospel is: Christ died, was buried, and rose the third day. This is the good news for Christians. Christ has died, was buried, and rose the third day!!!

    Yet 1 Thessalonians 1:8 tells us that we must obey the Gospel. The vengeance of God is a comfort to those who know God and have obeyed the Gospel. How do we obey the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ?

    Romans 6:1-4 says, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? [2] By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? [3] Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? [4] We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."

    We are not to continue in sin simply because the grace of Christ has been revealed. We are to live free from sin. We are to be dead to sin. When we are baptized, we are baptized into the death of Christ. Baptism is a burial in water and we rise back out of the water to walk in newness of life. We obey the Gospel (death, burial, and resurrection) by dying to our sins, being buried with Christ in Baptism, and raising back out of the water to walk a new life. It is Christ's death, burial, and resurrection that brings our forgiveness, hope, and grace. When we obey that Gospel through baptism, we receive forgiveness through His sacrifice.

    Why is the vengeance of God a comfort to Christians? Because we have obeyed the Gospel, we are forgiven of our sins by the blood of Christ. We will stand before Him facing His just judgment and be judged righteous because we are made clean by the blood of Christ.

    Do you know God? Have you obeyed the Gospel?