“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels” (2 Thessalonians 1:7).
To be at rest through troubled times is possible only in Christ. Our enemies are destined to eternal destruction, but we will enjoy true rest in Heaven. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).
Life is not easy
While we can have “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” in this life (Philippians 4:7), it is only in Heaven can we will enter the peace that is eternal. This is why enduring faith and love is so vital to the Christian life, because without them this peace can be forever lost. “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1). Those who stand firm and continue in Christ, regardless of the suffering, tribulation and persecution, will have eternal rest in the presence of the Lord. In that place of rest there will be no fear, torment, suffering or persecution, for “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
The beginning of our eternal rest also spells the start of the severest times of trouble this world has ever experienced since time began. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
It will all change when Jesus returns to take His people to be with Him. All the pain and suffering will be forever forgotten. He is coming with His mighty angels both to call His saints and to implement the final stages of the outpouring of God’s wrath. This is the “Day of the Lord” which Paul has already written about (1 Thessalonians 5:4). It is interesting to note that he mentions the attending angels at Christ’s revelation, for we see their dual role. “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50) … “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory” (Matthew 25:31) … “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). They are “mighty” because they have been given special responsibilities regarding the judgement of God on the wicked. The Book of Revelation describes the various activities of the angels in the Last Days.
This must describe the Second Coming of Christ before His Millennial reign upon this earth. The word “revealed” is not “Parousia”, the term used for Christ’s return to rapture the saints, but “Apokalupsis”, the actual and literal return of the Lord to the earth.
These events are in fact what the Geneva Study Bible says is “A most glorious description of the second coming of Christ, to be set against all the miseries of the godly, and the triumphs of the wicked.” Many millions of believers have suffered and died for the cause of Christ, as thousands still do in various parts of the world. They obtained their rest in Christ long before their bodies were laid to rest in the ground, and they now enjoy eternal rest in His presence. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).