2 Thessalonians 1:4-10 We hold you [Christians] up as a good example of steadfast faith, because you have kept faithful despite difficulties and troubles. This will show the justice of God’s judgement, when you prove worthy to partake in the Kingdom, for which you are currently suffering.
It is just that God should balance the account by sending affliction to those who afflict you and to give you relief when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire. Then, He will punish all those who refuse to acknowledge God or the Gospel of Jesus. They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction cut off from any hope of salvation, when on that great Day, He comes to reveal His glory among His own and to all believers. Therefore to you, since you believe the testimony of the Gospel.
All born again Christians. This passage describes the Day of the Lord’s vengeance and wrath, a terrible fire judgement upon His enemies and how, at that time, He saves and delivers His people. He is not seen by all the world at this first event, only by believers in Him. Many other prophecies parallel this; Isaiah 10:17-22, Isaiah 29:19-21, Isaiah 30:26, Jeremiah 30:4-8, Ezekiel 34:12, Amos 9:8-12
2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 Now, about the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, when He is to gather the elect to Himself, do not be alarmed by anyone who says He is here already. Let no one deceive you: that Day cannot come before the final rebellion against God, when wickedness will be revealed in human form, the man doomed to destruction. He is the adversary who aspires to be worshipped in God’s place and he even enthrones himself in the temple, claiming to be God. Daniel 8:10
Already the secret forces of wickedness are at work, but the restraining power of the Holy Spirit will ensure that he will be revealed only at the appointed time. Then, the Lord Jesus will destroy him by His Spirit and His radiant power.
Now – that is: several years after the previous events of judgement and deliverance, Jesus will Return, in glory, visible to all. He destroys the armies attacking Jerusalem and chains up Satan, then commences His Millennial reign. Revelation 19:11-21, Revelation 20:1-6 At this time He gathers ‘the elect’ to Himself, Matthew 24:31, 1 Thess 4:15-17, they are the Gentiles who have kept pure and faithful to Him, during the Tribulation.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of this wicked person is the work of Satan, it will be accompanied by all the powerful signs and miracles that falsehood can devise and every sort of evil that deceives those who do not open their minds to the truth. They are doomed to perish, because they refuse to listen to the Gospel of the truth, so God has put them under a compelling delusion; which makes them believe what is false. So all will be judged and condemned who have rejected the truth, but have made sinfulness their choice. Ref: REB, NIV, KJV. Some verses abridged.
Here, in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he prophesies about two separate appearances of Jesus. First, His coming in ‘blazing fire’, when He will reveal Himself only to His righteous people. He destroys the nations and entities who ‘conspire to attack Israel’, in fulfilment of Psalm 83, Revelation 6:12-17 and many other prophecies. His righteous Christian people go to live in the holy Land. Then, at least 7 years after that devastating and shocking event, the Anti-Christ will come to power and ‘enthrone himself in the Temple’, this commences the Great Tribulation and 1260 days later, Jesus Returns to live once again on earth and reign as King over the world. 9