2 Thessalonians 1:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Thessalonians 1:8, NIV: He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:8, ESV: in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:8, KJV: In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Thessalonians 1:8, NASB: in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:8, NLT: in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:8, CSB: when he takes vengeance with flaming fire on those who don't know God and on those who don't obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

What does 2 Thessalonians 1:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse affirms that God will punish those who "do not know God," which according to the Bible means those who choose to ignore Him (Romans 1:18–20). It is unbiblical to say God will not punish those who have never heard the gospel, arguing that this is why they do not know Him. One's lost condition is not based on whether or not he has heard the gospel but on the fact that he is a sinner. Romans 3:23 declares: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 1:18–23 makes it clear that God has made the truth of His existence obvious and none have an excuse. Those who seek God will find Him (Matthew 7:7–8), leaving no one blameless for unbelief.

The second group, those who reject the gospel's call, are those with more direct knowledge and experience of the truth, who are therefore subject to greater responsibility (Hebrews 10:26–31). They have heard the gospel and blatantly refuse to believe.

In His justice, God will dispatch His holy angels to execute this judgment. Other Scriptures declare God's wrath against the unrighteous. For example, Romans 1:18 states: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth." Also, Jude 1:14–15 quotes Enoch as prophesying: "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him."