“These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…“
from the presence of the Lord
We can see the nature of “everlasting destruction” in two “from” clauses. First, everlasting destruction is “from the presence of the Lord.” The word “presence” means face. Those who reject Christ will have no fellowship with God for eternity. They will not meet Him in personal relationship. God will drive them far from His presence, the true life of His presence, life as it should be lived. Life wholly devoid of God Himself is life without significance.
and from the glory of His power
The second limitation in everlasting destruction is separation from the majesty of God’s visible splendor and power, His majesty.
“Power” here denotes ability, force, strength. This is a strength afforded by power. In this verse, “power” indicates strength afforded by power.
God’s power has a “glory.” The “glory” of His power signifies the visible expression of Jesus’ inherent personal power. Jesus has the exceptional ability to do what He has to do. He has the special personal ability to be the source for true, eternal, quality life. When we separate ourselves from Him, we cannot have the quality of life God wants us to have.
Jesus has not yet manifested His power on earth. He has yet to do that. His glorious power will set things right. He will set up a worldwide kingdom where He will put everything right. His new administration will execute justice as never before in history. He will judge sin instantly by His omniscience. He will not allow judges to miscarry justice. No Philadelphia lawyer will spin things into some convoluted meaning. He will turn no criminal loose to again perpetrate his crimes on others.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory” (Matthew 25:31).
God will separate non-Christians eternally from the essence of His presence, the quality of the life of God.
It is difficult for fallen man to see the significance of losing fellowship with God because He knows nothing of it. The fall of man alienated him from that understanding. His only hope is to trust Christ’s death for his sin and thus receive reconciliation to God’s assessment on life.
God will banish those who reject Christ from His presence and majesty. They will forever lose the opportunity to connect to what gives meaning to life. This is their eternal fate.
Non-Christians suffer here and hereafter. Christians suffer only here. Non-Christians miss fellowship with God now. They will miss it for eternity after death.
“…then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment…” (2 Peter 2:9).
There is a day of reckoning for those without Christ, a day of judgment. It is inexorable and irrevocable. It comes quickly. The only hope is to embrace the death of Christ to pay for our sins. Do not hesitate to embrace the Savior.