4:8 crown of righteousness. This is one of the crowns symbolizing rewards for faithful service, which Christ will award at His judgment seat (II Corinthians 5:10; I Corinthians 3:14). These include: “an incorruptible [crown]” (I Corinthians 9:25), the “crown of rejoicing” (I Thessalonians 2:19), “the crown of life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10), and “a crown of glory” (I Peter 5:4).
4:8 righteous judge. The “Judge of all the earth” will “do right” (Genesis 18:25).
4:8 love his appearing. Paul had “loved His appearing” ever since his conversion. In his earlier ministry, he had thought he would be among those still living when Christ returned (see on I Thessalonians 4:17). As time went on, he realized he must die before that day, but he knew that, for the believer, “to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). As he wrote this last epistle, he knew that “the time of my departure is at hand” (II Timothy 4:6).