God is just
And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 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. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 NLT
God will repay rest to those who are saved because of their decision to surrender their lives to Christ and affliction and judgment to those who rejected the life He offers. Though the followers of Christ are experiencing suffering because of persecution while here on earth, Paul from the text, is telling them that this is not permanent for there will come a time that evil will be totally stopped. God gave this promise to Christians, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you” (2 Thessalonians 1:6 NIV). There are those who will cringe at the thought that a merciful loving God will bring judgment to people. To recompense is not God’s choice; it is the result of God’s overwhelming holiness and presence where evil cannot simply exist wherever that holy presence of God occurs. Light dispels darkness and since God is light, darkness will be destroyed. This is what will happen when He returns. Not that there will be annihilation or extinction but an eternal punishment for those “who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Christ’s coming will bring relief to His children but mourning to those who refuse to accept Him. The greatest pain people will suffer, those that rejected Christ when He returns, is not just the eternal excruciating pain but be “forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). We were given a glimpse of this image in the agony of Christ when He was hanged at the cross. He did not cry out to the Father because of the pain caused by the torture and suffering inflicted upon Him but the knowledge that He was forsaken. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). This experience of the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross is what Paul was alluding to. Paul referring to those who are saved said, “for you believed what we told you about him,” they will enjoy the delight and completeness of God’s promise by joining Him in an unimpeded fellowship in heaven and they will see Him face to face. “And they will see his face… And there will be no night there…for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:4-5).