Sunday, July 31, 2016

Requesting Prayer Paul's Epistles - 2 Thessalonians - Part 5

Requesting Prayer
Paul's Epistles - 2 Thessalonians - Part 5
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


INTRODUCTION

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SERMON INTRODUCTION
Thessalonica was the second city in Europe where Paul established an organized Christian community.

Paul sent his first letter (epistle) to the church after Timothy returned with good report of the community. His letter filled with praise to God for them, as well as instruction to continue to do good, and be mindful of teachers, and preachers. He instructed them to hold dearly to the teachings of Christ, and not to allow false teachings or beliefs to pollute the Truth, or they may have troubles as some of the other churches were experiencing because of influence by the circumcised, the Gnostics, and other Pagan and false beliefs that had snuck into the churches ranks.

Not long after sending his first letter, Paul felt it necessary to write to them again. This is 2 Thessalonians. The reason for this letter was because Paul had received reports that a forged letter, and a false verbal message had been spread around, supposedly coming from Paul himself.

These false teachings in Paul’s name made mention of imaginary revelations of the Spirit given through some member or members of the Thessalonian Church. The members believed they were passing through a great tribulation because of this, and were greatly distressed.

Mislead into thinking the Great Day of the Lord had come. Paul wrote this letter to set their minds at ease. Paul declares in this epistle that certain events MUST take place before “The Day of the Lord”.


A)   A great falling away from the faith.
B)    The coming of Christ for His people (Rapture)
C)   The coming into public view of the “Man of Sin”
D)  And his open and awful campaign against the Lord
E)    Then the coming of the Lord (Second Coming) with His people in terrible judgment


2 Thessalonians is really broken into four major themes.

1)     Persecution and the Lord’s Coming
a.      A comfort to the persecuted (2 Thessalonians 1:1-7)

2)     The unrepentant  and the Lord’s Coming
a.      A terror to the unconverted (2 Thessalonians 1:7-12)

3)     The Apostasy and the Lord’s Coming
a.      For His people leads to the revealing of the Man of Sin
b.      With His people means the destruction of the Man of Sin (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

4)     Service and the Lord’s Coming
a.      The delay of the Lord’s Coming for;
                                                              i.      Unique opportunities for service (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17; 3)

Last week we looked at Paul’s comfort to the persecuted, today we will look at the unrepentant and the Lord’s coming.


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

Requesting Prayer



    I.      PRAY FOR US
a. Brothers and Sisters
                                                                                  i. Only asked the saved in good standing with the Lord to pray for them

                                                                               ii. Why saved prayers only?
1. John 9:31We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.”

2. Psalm 66:18 “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;”

3. Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”

4. John 9:31 “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.”

5. Jeremiah 14:10-12 “This is what the Lord says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.” 11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”

6. Proverbs 28:9 “He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.”

7. Isaiah 1:15 (those who are violent) “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.

8. Jeremiah 11:11-14 those who worship idols will not be heard

9. James 1:6-7 Those without faith will not be heard


10. Those who live in hypocrisy (Luke 12:1), prideful (James 4:6), self-righteous (Luke 18:11-14), who mistreat God’s People (Psalm 18:40-41), these will NOT be heard by God.

                                                                            iii. This also answers the question of why we need to pray for others, especially those who are in these conditions. Because they cannot pray for themselves!

                                                                              iv. The only prayer God will hear from those in sin, is for Salvation!


b. But Paul is NOT in one of these conditions, so what is he asking they pray for?
                                                                                  i. That the message of the Lord (The Gospel of Salvation) may;
1. Spread rapidly

2. And be honored


c. Just as it is with you!
                                                                                  i. Remember Paul thanked God for them and their steadfast faith



II.      AND PRAY THAT WE MAY BE DELIVERED FROM WICKED AND EVIL PEOPLE
a. Not everyone has faith
                                                                                  i. Wicked people are people living in sin

                                                                               ii. Evil people are people actively serving Satan

                                                                            iii. These are the two types of non-faith having people Paul wants prayer for deliverance from


b. But the Lord is faithful
                                                                                  i. Prayer from this righteous church will be heard by God!

                                                                               ii. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16



c. And He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one
                                                                                  i. Why? Because they are living in God’s Grace because of obedience and service to the Lord, regardless of the circumstances around them.
1. Sin abounds in the world outside

2. Wicked and evil people were trying to persuade and control the church from inside



III.      WE HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD
a. That you are doing and will continue to do the things we command
                                                                                  i. Confidence because they had stood firm on the Lord’s word already

                                                                               ii. Confidence because the church had thwarted previous attempts at coercion and confusion of the teachings of Christ


b. The Great Commission
                                                                                  i. They held fast to their mission

                                                                               ii. As Paul did, and asked for their prayers so that he may continue to complete His calling in life by the Lord


c. Those who truly love the Lord are servants to Him
                                                                                  i. We see Paul praise the church for being doers of God’s word, not just hearers.

                                                                               ii. They understood that Love is an action (I Corinthians 13), and to truly love the Lord, there must be appropriate actions, and the Lord tells us what these actions are, to show our love toward Him.

1. Jesus says simply in John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands…”

2. John 14:23 “Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”




CONCLUSION – May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love

This tells us that the Lord wants total control of our lives, but it is control which must be freely given by us to Him.

and Christ’s perseverance. (or the patient waiting for Christ)

This pertains to our waiting on the Lord to correct the situation, whatever it may be.




Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Standing Firm Paul's Epistles - 2 Thessalonians - Part 4

Standing Firm
Paul's Epistles - 2 Thessalonians - Part 4
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


INTRODUCTION

Thessalonica was the second city in Europe where Paul established an organized Christian community.

Paul sent his first letter (epistle) to the church after Timothy returned with good report of the community. His letter filled with praise to God for them, as well as instruction to continue to do good, and be mindful of teachers, and preachers. He instructed them to hold dearly to the teachings of Christ, and not to allow false teachings or beliefs to pollute the Truth, or they may have troubles as some of the other churches were experiencing because of influence by the circumcised, the Gnostics, and other Pagan and false beliefs that had snuck into the churches ranks.

Not long after sending his first letter, Paul felt it necessary to write to them again. This is 2 Thessalonians. The reason for this letter was because Paul had received reports that a forged letter, and a false verbal message had been spread around, supposedly coming from Paul himself.

These false teachings in Paul’s name made mention of imaginary revelations of the Spirit given through some member or members of the Thessalonian Church. The members believed they were passing through a great tribulation because of this, and were greatly distressed.

Mislead into thinking the Great Day of the Lord had come. Paul wrote this letter to set their minds at ease. Paul declares in this epistle that certain events MUST take place before “The Day of the Lord”.

A)   A great falling away from the faith.
B)    The coming of Christ for His people (Rapture)
C)   The coming into public view of the “Man of Sin”
D)  And his open and awful campaign against the Lord
E)    Then the coming of the Lord (Second Coming) with His people in terrible judgment


2 Thessalonians is really broken into four major themes.

1)     Persecution and the Lord’s Coming
a.      A comfort to the persecuted (2 Thessalonians 1:1-7)

2)     The unrepentant  and the Lord’s Coming
a.      A terror to the unconverted (2 Thessalonians 1:7-12)

3)     The Apostasy and the Lord’s Coming
a.      For His people leads to the revealing of the Man of Sin
b.      With His people means the destruction of the Man of Sin (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

4)     Service and the Lord’s Coming
a.      The delay of the Lord’s Coming for;
                                                              i.      Unique opportunities for service (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17; 3)

Last week we looked at Paul’s comfort to the persecuted, today we will look at the unrepentant and the Lord’s coming.


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.


Standing Firm




    I.      HOW ARE YOU SAVED?
a. They (unsaved) perish (second death) because they refused (choice/action) to love the Truth (Jesus) and be saved.

                                                                                  i. Salvation through choosing to love Jesus

                                                                               ii. Free-will in action


b. God chose for you to be saved through;
                                                                                  i. The sanctifying (set apart, declared holy, make legitimate…free one from sin) work of the Holy Spirit

1. Not our work or deeds

2. When we chose to love Jesus, we are saying we submit (allow) God’s Holy Spirit to do this work in us.

3. We stop resisting Him and become saved because we did not refuse to love Him, and His Holy Spirit does the work in us!


c. He called you to this
                                                                                  i. God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit AND belief in the Truth

1. What is belief?

2. It is NOT believing something is real…James 2:19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.”

3. Belief in this means “to trust in

                                                                               ii. God chose for you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit AND your trust in the Truth




II.      GOD CHOSE YOU TO BE THE FIRSTFRUITS
a. Firstfruits = First Christian Churches

                                                                                  i. First to receive reap the benefits of Christ’s dying on the cross

                                                                               ii. First to have the opportunity to “trust” in Jesus

                                                                            iii. First to have the Holy Spirit do the work of sanctification because of their action of free-will in choosing to Trust Jesus Christ


b. To be an example to all
                                                                                  i. They were an example
1. To other churches who had trouble keeping the Truth

2. To people who were not sure of the “Way”

3. To future churches who face similar situations as they


c. Paul continues to thank God for them because of their devotion to the Lord
                                                                                  i. Surrounded by sin, the resisted and stuck to the Truth

                                                                               ii. Infiltrated by sin, they resisted false teachings, false converts, and those who were trying to confuse the teachings of Paul and Christ

                                                                            iii. They held to the Truth, regardless of outward circumstances



III.      BROTHERS AND SISTERS, STAND FIRM
a. Stand firm and hold fast to the teachings
                                                                                  i. Which is what got them this far!

                                                                               ii. Paul is saying, “Keep up the good work! Continue doing this!


b. May Jesus Christ and God the Father encourage your hearts…
                                                                                  i. Because when we are faithful to the truth, we have access to many blessings, benefits and promises of God which can only come through our Trust in Jesus Christ.
1. Encouragement from God through the Holy Spirit because of our trusting in Jesus

2. Access to the Whole Armor of God

3. Our Spiritual Gifts for other believers to reap benefits

4. Our Spiritual Fruits which are produced naturally because of God’s Holy Spirit in us, which will draw others to God through our lives and living for God.

                                                                               ii. Everything we may need can and will be provided by our Father in Heaven, through the Holy Spirit BECAUSE of our Trust in Jesus Christ



c. …And strengthen you in every good deed and word
                                                                                  i. All things are possible in Christ Jesus

                                                                               ii. Good deeds (our works) may sometimes be difficult, such as the case with the Thessalonian church surrounded by evil, however, our strength comes from the Lord.

                                                                            iii. And He will also guide our words, so that we may be a light, or a beacon in this dark-age!



CONCLUSION – So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you

In other words,
So then, those of you who are saved, keep trusting Jesus, and allowing the Holy Spirit to do a work in you, hold on to the teachings of Christ, and give this Gospel message to others, so they too can have the opportunity to Trust in Jesus, and receive salvation through the Holy Spirit, and be forgiven and declared Holy be God the Father.




Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!