on 2-thessalonians 1 :9
Who shall be punished - What this everlasting destruction consists in we cannot tell. It is not annihilation, for their being continues; and as the destruction is everlasting, it is an eternal continuance and presence of substantial evil, and absence of all good; for a part of this punishment consists in being banished from the presence of the Lord - excluded from his approbation, for ever; so that the light of his countenance can be no more enjoyed, as there will be an eternal impossibility of ever being reconciled to him.
The glory of his power - Never to see the face of God throughout eternity is a heart-rending, soul-appalling thought; and to be banished from the glory of his power, that power the glory of which is peculiarly manifested in saving the lost and glorifying the faithful, is what cannot be reflected on without confusion and dismay. But this must be the lot of all who acknowledge not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
on 2-thessalonians 1 :9
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction; - see the notes on Matthew 25:41, Matthew 25:46. The word which is here rendered "destruction" (ὄλεθρον olethron), is different from that which occurs in Matthew 25:46, and which is there rendered "punishment" - κόλασις kolasis. The word ὄλεθρον olethron - "olethron" - occurs only here and in 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; 1 Timothy 6:9; in each of which places it is rendered destruction. It does not denote annihilation, but is used in the same sense in which we use the word when we say that a thing is destroyed. Thus, health is destroyed when it fails; property is destroyed when it is burned or sunk in the ocean; a limb is destroyed that is lost in battle; life is destroyed when one dies. In the case before us, the destruction, whatever it be, is:
(1) to be continued forever; and,
(2) is to be of the nature of punishment.
The meaning then must be, that the soul is destroyed as to the great purposes of its being - its enjoyment, dignity, honor, holiness, happiness. It will not be annihilated, but will live and linger on in destruction. It seems difficult to conceive how anyone can profess to hold that this passage is a part of the Word of God, and yet deny the doctrine of future eternal punishment. It would not be possible to state that doctrine in clearer language than this. It is never is in clearer language in any creed or confession of faith, and if it is not true that the wicked will be punished forever, then it must be admitted that it would not have been possible to reveal the doctrine in human language!
From the presence of the Lord - That is, a part of their punishment will consist in being banished from the immediate presence of the Lord. There is a sense in which God is everywhere present, and in that sense he will be in the world where the wicked will dwell, to punish them. But the phrase is also used to denote his more immediate presence; the place where are the symbols of his majesty and glory; the home of the holy and the blessed. It is in that sense that the word is used here, and the idea is, that it will be one of the circumstances contributing to the deeper woe of the place of punishment, that those who dwell there will be banished from that holy abode, and will never be permitted to enter there.
And from the glory of his power - The meaning seems to be, that they will not be able to endure the manifestation of his power and majesty when he shall appear, but will be driven away by it into outer darkness; see 2 Thessalonians 2:8. The Saviour, in describing his second coming, uses this language: "They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;" Matthew 24:30. There will be a great exhibition of both. The power will be seen in the convulsions of nature which will precede or attend him; in the resurrection of the dead; and in the bringing of all to judgment: and the glory will be seen in his own person; the dignity and number of his attendants; and the honor that shall then be conferred on him as the final Judge of all mankind. By the manifestation of that power and glory the wicked will be driven away into eternal ruin. They will not be able to stand before it, and though, in common with the righteous, they may see the majesty of the Redeemer in the last day, yet they will be driven away to witness it no more.
on 2-thessalonians 1 :9
1:9 From the glory of his power - Tremble, ye stout - hearted. Everlasting destruction - As there can be no end of their sins, (the same enmity against God continuing,) so neither of their punishment; sin and its punishment running parallel throughout eternity itself. They must of necessity, therefore, be cut off from all good, and all possibility of it. From the presence of the Lord - Wherein chiefly consists the salvation of the righteous. What unspeakable punishment is implied even in falling short of this, supposing that nothing more were implied in his taking vengeance!