Sunday, February 3, 2019

Introduction to 2 Thessalonians

Written shortly after 1st. letter.

Purpose:  (1)  Commendation and Encouragement 
Praise for their growth, development, perseverance, witness and testimony IN SPITE OF trials and persecution which has continued and increased.

(2)  Correction and Teaching - a rumor that Christ has already returned?  2 Thess. 2:1-3 - "Don't let anyone deceive you".  They had NO New Testament and had no Jewish background.  

(3)  Instruction concerning how the church should act toward those who wouldn't work.  2 Thess. 3:6  - we command you.  Much more than just a casual suggestion.

Today:  2 Thess. 1:1-12 - focus on 2 Thess. 1:3-5

2 Thess. 1:3 - we ought to give thanks for you.  Paul sees it as a MORAL OBLIGATION!!  - ought to!  "rightly so"
The things they are commended for apply to us as well.

Because  (1)  your faith is growing
               (2)  your love for one another is increasing - this means:  Biblical definition of love, not personal or society's definition

Application:  #1.  when someone is doing right/good ... we should...
                       A.  Notice
                       B.  Encourage 
This is a moral obligation!!
Example:  1 Thess. 4:18 - point = more than just a nice thing to do!!

And, though it's clear we ought to encourage the discouraged,  also true that 
#2.  We ought to Encourage before discouragement takes hold.
Not just LIFT up, but also BUILD up!!

2 Thess. 1:4 - We, therefore, boast about you (to the other churches)

Note:  Thessalonian Christians are more than holding up.
           They are GROWING up!  Developing, maturing
 (A)  in the midst of trials (persecutions)
 (B)  partly because of the trials!  (and persecutions)

Though not developed here, this = typical Pauline ..
Examples:  Rom. 5:1-4,  2 Cor. 4:16-18, James 1:2-4 - trials not only TEST our faith...  They (CAN) develop our faith!!  Rom. 8:28 - "in all things..."

NOW something clearly implied and partly stated:   2 Thess. 1:5 - "all this is evidence'  OR "your faith is evident"
On one hand, faith is not visible - can't see faith.
However, there should be visible evidence 
James. 2:14-19

Faith that doesn't produce visible evidence is at best questionable!!

2 Thess. 1:11 - Paul's prayer

Paraphrase:  "we pray God will assist you in your life, on your life, through your life, so that ...
(1)  your good intentions become Godly actions, AND 
(2)  those actions will find completion."

How often we see Sincere decisions ... that fall away???


(1)  We should offer encouragement.

(2)  We should accept encouragement.   Sometimes harder to accept than to give.

(3)  We should press on  (persevere - in the face of, in spite of trials).
Knowing God can, will use those trials for good!  (our good, other's good)

(4)   We should seek God's assistance.  (prayer) for ourselves, for others

Closing Scripture:  Psm. 20:1-7

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