Concerning the Judgment
And what about the similar statement in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9: “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.”
These and other passages of Scripture speak of the Judgment that occurs when Jesus is “revealed” (sometimes referred to as the Second Coming or Jesus’ “return in glory”). At that time, all humans will see clearly who Jesus is and thus who they are in union with Jesus. And this “revealing” presents them with a choice—will they say “yes” to their inclusion in Christ, or will they say “no”?
Their decision neither creates nor destroys their union/inclusion, but it does determine their attitude toward it—whether they will accept God’s love for them and enter the joy of the Lord, or continue in alienation and frustration (and thus in shame and everlasting contempt and destruction). The destruction is a self-destruction as they refuse the purpose for which they have been made, and the redemption that has already been given to them.
In the Judgment, everyone will face Jesus, the Judge who died for all, and they will have to decide whether they will trust him. Those who trust their Savior take part in the joy of the life that God has given them in Christ. Those who reject him continue in their hostility and the hell that goes with it