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 | |


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

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

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!

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