"The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:7,8). These verses refer to the yet future day when He comes as Judge to destroy out of the earth those who have spurned His grace, those who have heard but have rejected the truth.
The guilty on whom He will pour out His wrath are those who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is something which everyone should look upon with intense solemnity. What will God do with those who have heard the message over and over again and have spurned it, who have known of Christ all their lives and have rejected His love and grace?
One of the saddest things I know is to see young men and young women growing up in Christian homes where they have had an example of piety in a godly father and/or mother, where family worship has been maintained; and yet they go out of those Christian homes to live careless, indifferent lives, sometimes saying that they had enough religion when they were young and do not want it now. How it reveals the rebellion of the heart and hardness of conscience! For such there is nothing but judgment unless there be repentance, a breaking down before God, a confession of sins and turning to Christ who has been rejected.
When the Lord Jesus comes in the clouds, in flaming fire, He will visit with intense wrath those who have sinned against the light and knowledge that God has given them concerning His beloved Son. They "shall be punished," we read, "with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9). What solemn words! What terrible warnings God has given us in order that men might face the question of their guilt and turn to Him in repentance. Those who have spurned His lovingkindness will experience the awfulness of retributive judgment in that day.
No doubt many of you who are unsaved have heard the gospel numerous times, yet you have never definitely decided for Christ. You are in the most dangerous position in which anyone could be. The Word of the Lord says, "He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).
Dear reader, I plead with you, do not allow another day to pass without coming to Christ, lest you find yourself forever beyond all hope of mercy. God has given you the opportunity to believe the truth, to obey the gospel. The gospel is the good news that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). By His death, burial and resurrection, He has provided the only way of salvation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who trust Him as their personal Saviour—"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). He has presented His Word, but if you turn away from that truth and refuse to obey the gospel, then God Himself will give you up to judicial judgment to be forever lost.
The Gospel is a message from God which we are to OBEY. We are so apt to think of it as a kindly invitation which we are to accept, and to present it only in that light to others. Consequently, they think of it only as an invitation which they may decline, or at least defer indefinitely, without any serious consequences. That is to them a very fatal mistake. All who hear the gospel are responsible to render to it "the obedience of faith" (Romans 16:26). —F.B. Hole
Those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ are those who have heard the gospel and have rejected it. The gospel is not simply a statement of facts to be believed, but a Person to be obeyed. To believe involves obedience. —William MacDonald