Today I read 2 Thessalonians 1 where Paul begins another epistle to the Saints. He starts out talking to them about the Second Coming. I have remarked on it already, but I find it really interesting that the epistles to the Saints in Thessalonia have so much to do with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the last days leading up to it. I guess like most other Saints at the time, they assumed Christ would not be gone long. At least that is the common thought about those times.
Paul tells the Saints that the Lord will bring fire and punishment when He comes again. And truly He will. But it is not punishment out of vengeance but rather the natural order of things. We live in a telestial world, as is evidenced all around us. A telestial being cannot abide the presence of Jesus Christ. He is too pure and perfect for such filth and sin. His very presence, His goodness will cause the very air to burn with its intensity. He will refine the world by fire and bring a terrestrial law to the world. All those who cannot or will not abide by a terrestrial law will be burned as well, not out of vengeance, but as part of the natural order of things.
Truth be told, it may sound harsh but it really is another of the Savior's tender mercies. Those who are living a telestial law would not wish to meet the Savior face to face. Such a meeting would be extremely uncomfortable for the person. If you need proof all you need to do is to read Alma's account to his son, Helaman when he recounts his three days of repentance and how the very idea of coming face to face with God racked his body with inexpressible horror. I have likened it in the past to having to face your earthly father when you have done something wrong.
I remember when I was a kid we had a black walnut tree in our front yard. My younger brother and I used to love taking an old broom handle and trying to hit a black walnut we had tossed into the air like a baseball. Well one day my brother was doing this like normal and he caught the walnut on the tip of the broom handle and went off a wrong angle, much like a foul ball. Unfortunately for my brother, it flew straight into our dad's office window, cracking the whole thing beyond repair. My dad happened to be at a meeting and did not get home for several hours and the whole time my brother was just sick with worry to the point he almost literally made himself physically ill. He was just sure that our dad would kill him and do horrible things beyond retelling to him. Now of course our dad did no such thing. He talked with my brother and a rule was made that we could no longer hit the black walnuts in the front yard near the windows and I'm pretty sure the insurance paid for the window. But the idea of talking to my dad about what my brother had done, a true accident, was horrifying to him. Now imagine having to meet our Heavenly Father and recount what we have done, not by accident, but by willful design. How much worse would we wish to not have to have that interview? Like Alma I think we would rather cease to exist.
But all must come before Him to be judged and to find out what kind of a person we are. We will be faced with the reality that we have caused our Savior pain and that if we had just lived a better life, He would have had an easier time of things. But we all make mistakes and we all have an equal opportunity to correct those mistakes and to become better people. As we strive to live a good and righteous life, while it will be heartbreaking to meet the perfect being that we have caused indescribable pain to, it will also be a warm, wonderful experience as He will welcome us with open arms and proclaim that it was all worth it. Until tomorrow.