A Faithful Walk With The Lord

Following Faithfully

2 Thessalonians 3:1-18

We have reached the end of our study of the two books to the Thessalonians. These letters were written to the Church at Thessalonica but the Apostle Paul insisted that they be circulated throughout to every church as they are today.

God has now given us the complete canon of the Bible.

There are 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament that are considered to be the Inspired Word of God.

In 303 AD the Emperor Diocletian demanded that all sacred books to be burned. It was at this time that the books that were considered the Inspired Word of God, including the New Testament, some called the Apostles Doctrine, were collected into what we now call the Bible and are the preserved Word of God.

What did God say?

Isa 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: “but the word of our God shall stand for ever”.

What did Jesus say?

Luk 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: “but my words shall not pass away”.

What did Peter say to the Church?

1Pe 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And “this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”.

We have God’s complete Word to us and this not a book of suggestions, This Is A Book Of Commandments!

Let’s begin:

*****2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

Finally after everything we learned in 1 Thessalonians and everything we have learned so far in 2 Thessalonians, Paul said to use our greatest weapon and that is prayer.

I hope that everyone realizes the importance of prayer.

Heb 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost “that come unto God by him”, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

We would lose our salvation without Christ Jesus interceding between us and a Holy God!

Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

We would have no payment for our sin and therefore no Advocate in Heaven without Christ Jesus interceding for us and in our behalf!

1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.

We could have no contact with our Father in Heaven without Christ Jesus!

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you”.

And we are all one “Body Of Christ”.

1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

We must pray for each other and especially for those, like our own Pastor!

But, we see that Paul did not say to pray for his personal needs.

Paul asked for prayer that the Word of God have “free course”.

We should pray this same prayer every day!

Paul desired that his preaching be accepted and applied to all those that heard God’s Word wherever God sent him.

In last weeks lesson we learned that it the Holy Ghost filled Church that does not allow the “Man of Sin” to show himself in the Church Age.

The most important weapon we have are our prayers!

Paul asked for prayer that the Word of God be glorified where he preached the “Gospel”.

Paul sought nothing for himself and no glory for himself for his work for the Lord.

2Co 12:6 For though I would desire to glory, “I shall not be a fool”; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

In everything we do we need to give God the glory!

Paul also knew that wherever he preached the “Gospel” he would meet with resistance.

The “gospel” still meets resistance everywhere it is preached and believed.

When the entire truth of God is preached and taught, there will be opposition from the religious, and even from many that call themselves Christians.

People do not want to hear the truth because the truth points out sin that should cause a change.

Most people love their sin to much to change and this is even more evident in the days we live right now!

Those that hate Jesus, those that do not care to hear the truth, and the carnal hearts of evil people all try to hinder the work of the “Gospel”.

Paul also requested for deliverance from such people.

*****2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

These unreasonable men would be those who opposed the truth and had absurd principles.

These are those who are opposed to truth even when common sense, and sound judgment dictates the reality of that truth.

Today these are those who absolutely reject creation and honor evolution though there is absolutely no proof of evolution.

At least God describes His Own Creation through means that cannot be denied by true science.

These are those who reject the common sense of God’s Word.

These are those who strive to have their own way, regardless of the truth and regardless of the consequences.

These are those that practice evil and evil principles which is everything contrary to the moral law of the Bible.

These are usually those that are dissatisfied with there own miserable lives and want everyone else to be miserable just like they are, such as Stephen Hawking!

Those that say they have faith in only themselves are liars because “true faith” is a gift that can only come from God!

Any faith they claim is only temporary and changes with the circumstances in their lives.

But not that of the Lord!

*****2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

Faith on the part of man answers to the faithfulness of God!

For this reason the Word of God will never change!

Those that try to change and modernize the Word of God show their lack of faith!

When we walk by faith and not by sight, God will help us through all the events in our life because God is faithful!

When we fail Him, God will forgive us immediately when we repent because God is faithful.

When temptations overwhelm us, God will provide a way out because God is faithful.

When we are discouraged, God will comfort and encourage us because God is faithful.

Since God is faithful then the Word of God shows His faithfulness to us.

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

This is why we can be so confident in the Inspired Word of God.

*****2Th 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

Where is our confidence?

If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved!

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

It is a fact of the Gospel, when we place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved!

The fact that the Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in each believer is good reason for our confidence.

What commandments was Paul referring to?

1Th 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

Our walk with God “after salvation” is our most important witnessing tool!

And this walk can only begin with our “faith”!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

And with that faith we will be looking for that “Blessed Hope”, the return of Christ Jesus to take us home.

*****2Th 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Paul has given us the 5 things that we need in our walk with God.

1) Prayerfulness. Our greatest weapon.
2) Preservation. Deliverance from sin.
3) Protection. God is faithful to His promises.
4) Perseverance. If we trust the Lord, He will save us.
5) Patience.

Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

In order to have patience we must “be set” in our hope of a better future.

This takes confidence, hope, and belief in our still future but perfect redemption!

But we must also be obedient to the Word of God and be humble in the things of God.

It is a privilege to be given such an opportunity to serve God!

Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

And notice that we are to be waiting on the appearance of Jesus Christ and not be waiting to see when the Antichrist will show his ugly face!

Since we know all these things we must protect our ability to witness to the world and be examples of Christ Jesus to others.

*****2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2Th 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
2Th 3:8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

What are the two greatest threats to the Church in our age? The same as it was in the days of Paul.

A disorderly walk with God and idleness!

Disorderly means confused. We cannot allow false teaching in the House of God because it will only bring confusion.

We must avoid those that cause confusion!

Disorderly means lawless. We must obey the Word of God. We must take God’s Word literal. God does not offer suggestions, God gives commandments.

We must avoid those that do not walk the walk of Jesus Christ!

Disorderly means unruly. We are sheep who know the true Shepherd, not a bunch of cattle on a cattle drive.

We must avoid those that are unruly!

There must be discipline in the House of God!

Notice this is also a command and not a suggestion.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy had presented themselves as examples of how to walk the Christian walk.

Were they perfect? No.

But they did not preach confusion, they taught the entire Word of God.
They preached the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” and not some other gospel.
They live holily.
They lived justly.
They lived unblamably.
They behaved themselves and they were never disorderly among those of the Church.
And they did not live an idle and inactive life among them!

They were always busy about the things God gave them to do!

These things were very important to the Apostle Paul and these things should be just as important to each believer.

1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Paul even gave up his right to expect financial help from this young Church so that he could be an example to these young believers.

In the synagogues of the Jews, the people were expected to support the preacher but these new Gentile Churches knew nothing of these things and they were very poor to begin with.

A truly dedicated leader will use his rights to build up the people and not try to build up himself!

The greatest influence we can offer is that personal sacrifice to the Lord.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

*****2Th 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

From the beginning, God has ordained that men should work for their own food.

Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

This became even more necessary when sin entered this picture.

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

We will even continue to work serving the Lord after we move into our mansion in Heaven.

Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and “his servants shall serve him”:

It is inexcusable for Christians, when they are no longer children, to expect others to provide the things that sustain physical life, while they stand idle and have the ability to provide for themselves.

In fact it is inexcusable for anyone not to try to provide for their own selves in a legal and moral manner.

There is no spiritual excuse for this type of thinking.

But our government’s policies influences this type of behavior.

All of us may need some help sometimes, I can attest to that myself.

But God says those that refuse to work, when they able, then neither should they eat.

Again liberals refuse this Word of God!

Why? Idleness causes problems in society but especially in the Church.

Why are there so many protesters when something happens?

Most of those people do not have a job to go to.

They are idle and refuse to work!

*****2Th 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

What is a busybody? This is someone who does not look to their own business but they are overdoing in the business of others.

They are real busy about everyone’s business but their own!

The word disorderly is used 4 times in the letters to these Thessalonians.

The disorderly are those who refuse to obey civil laws and in this case also the laws of God!

In America today, we see a government that will not obey it’s own laws. This shows up in it’s people!

More than one fourth of people who call themselves Americans are perfectly willing to live off the backs of the taxpayer, those willing to work!

These same busybodies are those that refuse the truth of the Word of God.

Not only this, but they refused to work but they were perfectly willing to eat at the hands of the Church.

In verse 6 the Church, each believer, is commanded to withdraw from all such people.

We as the Church are not to entertain such people!

We of the Church should not get discouraged by the conduct of those that do not obey the Word of God!

Sin in the life of any believer will always affect the work of the Church!

These are some that are a plague to the Church and also to their own nation.

1Ti 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

*****2Th 3:12 Now “them” that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

These busybodies were now the “Them” of the Church.

Every Church has a “them”.

Every nation has a “them” and a “they”!

As always, these people know who they are and what they are doing!

Remember they have rejected the truth and have made up in their own mind what the Word of God says.

God’s Word is settled whether It is believed or not!

What does God say?

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

When God inspired the writers of the Bible, He did not expect them to completely understand what they were writing.

So even when we do not completely understand the reason for God’s commands, we are still to obey God’s commands!

It was “those” who did obey by faith the Word of God that were to give “them” who did not obey the Word of God, this message and to all busybodies.

In other words, “here is God’s command to you (the them) and we will not have any part with you until you repent”.

1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

It “is not” our job to feed those that refuse to work and are able!

I saw a picture of a shoe store in Ferguson, Missouri that had been looted and not one pair of work shoes had been stolen but most all other shoes were completely missing.

It “is” our job to help those that have a real need!

Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

We just cannot allow these things to wear us down in our labor for the work of the Lord.

*****2Th 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Not to the “them” but to the rest of “those that gather”, not forsaking the assembling for the Lord, we need to be busy about the work of God.

In contrast to those “disorderly busybodies” who only God can fix, we are to give “our” very best to God.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

When we are able to help others, the first priority is to be given to those that are poor within the Church and then those in the world, as we are able.

But suppose these busybodies still reject the Word of God after they have received the warning from God’s people, what then?

*****2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

These are those who have rejected the preaching of the “Gospel”.

They have been observed in their wrong doing and have been warned by the Church.

They have even rejected that warning and also rejecting the written Word of God, which is full of God’s truth.

Now the entire Church is to have no part with that person!

Each individual child of God will have to decide if they will obey the Word of God or remain in the company of this disorderly walking busybody!

We are to mark him in our mind as one to be avoided!

We are not to be busybodies ourselves!

Why?

That he may be ashamed. Sometimes when these people are shunned by godly brethren, they will come to their senses.

This person may have already been talked to by the Pastor or the Church Elders but the body of Christ must also be obedient to the Word of God and this verse exists just as all those that teach us about salvation.

But thank goodness we have a God of the second chance!

*****2Th 3:15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

We must still go to this person and explain why we can have no part with him or her!

Church discipline to the church member must be administered as a family would discipline a child!

Church discipline is not the pastor and some official board acting like God’s policemen to trap a sinning saint of God and kicking him out of the Church.

When the Church disciplines a “Born Again” child of God who has made a serious mistake and living in sin, “we are not to be like a judge punishing a criminal” but only as a father may punish his own children.

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Only if that person refuses to settle the matter should any other saint of God be involved.

Php 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

When we can help each other, especially in these latter days, the Church can remain strong until the Lord returns.

Only God knows whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

And only the Lord is the “Lord of Peace” within the Church.

*****2Th 3:16 Now the “Lord of peace” himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

This is the only place in the New Testament that Jesus is called the “Lord of peace”.

He is called the “God of peace” in 5 other places, this next verse being just one of them.

Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

It is the Lord Jesus who “creates” peace.

It is the Lord Jesus who “sustains” peace in each believer.

How?

He is not just the “Lord of Peace” and the God of Peace but He is also the “Prince of Peace”!

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

He is also the Author of Peace.

1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

He is also the King of Peace.

Heb 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

Jesus Christ is our only means of true peace!

Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

And one day in the not so distant future after the Rapture of the Church, Jesus will “speak peace” to all the heathen.

Zec 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

And in the very end of time, as we know it, and our own new beginning, there will be complete peace!

Isa 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end”, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

True peace can only come through God, the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****2Th 3:17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
2Th 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Possibly because of bad eyesight, Paul normally would dictate his letters to be written by those that traveled with him such as Luke but also others and maybe Silas or Timothy in this case.

Many times Paul was behind bars and had to dictate his letters.

Paul would place his personal signature on these documents but he may not have always mentioned this.

To these Thessalonians, Paul wanted them to be sure to know that this letter was from him and they were to always look for his personal signature.

They had already been deceived by someone writing to them, claiming to be Paul.

And Paul always reminded the Church that if not for God’s “Grace” there could be no Church!

Grace comes by the Lord Jesus Christ!

This will end our brief study of the Letters to the Thessalonians and next week we will begin in the Book of Psalms.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Believing The Bible

Believing Biblically

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

From the moment we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we should be looking for one thing.

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

This is believing Biblically!

In our lessons we have been seeing ways to improve our walk with the Lord.

Many places in the Bible will teach us how to better serve the Lord but the bottom line is that looking for Jesus Christ to return to take us home is our greatest encouragement to living a life dedicated to Him.

We need to live our lives with the expectation of seeing our Lord.

We should be filled with joy continuously with this thought and the reality of it.

This is the medicine we need when we are having that bad day.

There is nothing wrong with this being the topic of our conversation!

Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

It is only after the Rapture of the Church that it will be the “time of Jacob’s trouble”.

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

Jesus is coming and we will be going and only then will the Lord begin again to deal with Israel.

Israel will go through the 7 year tribulation period but not the Church!

So Paul continues:

*****2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

Paul is writing this epistle to erase any doubts and any confusion this church may have had about the return of Christ in the two separate events. (The Rapture and The Second Coming)

Paul will go further to explain the time of Christ’s return and place it in it’s proper light.

Paul is not referring to the day Christ came as a babe born in Bethlehem.

Paul is not referring to the day of the Lord when Christ will sit on His throne in Jerusalem.

Paul is referring to the day Christ will gather His Saints in the clouds!

Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in “the day of Christ”, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

The “day of Christ” is the day of the Rapture.

The “day of the Lord” is the day the Lord returns to this Earth at least 7 years after the Rapture.

This also the “time of Jacob’s trouble” and Israel will be saved out of this tribulation to begin the 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

Paul is speaking to saved people as these things only concern saved people.

It is these saved people who gather together unto the Lord and have been commanded to gather more often as they see the day of the Lord approaching.

Paul said we must consider and learn all these things before we get so shook up worrying about God’s day of wrath.

Let the world concentrate on the day of God’s wrath and we concentrate on the day Christ Jesus will gather His Church!

For the Church, we should be looking for that “Blessed Hope” and not the “wrath of God”!

The Bible teaches us these things for a specific reason.

*****2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

We sometimes have poor memories. Paul had tried to make himself clear in his first epistle but through false teaching or a letter from some other source than Paul, these people had gotten confused and were shaken in their minds.

When they found themselves going through such bitter persecution and in their many troubles they felt that they had missed the Rapture and were already in the “day of the Lord”.

They had lost sight of the truth!

When we lose sight of the truth of the Word of God, we will get confused!

The Lord will definitely return with His mighty angels but not till the Church has been removed from this Earth!

We must not be deceived.

*****2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for “that day” shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The “day of the Lord” cannot begin until the Church has been gathered to the Lord!

There are some things that must take place before the Second Coming of Christ!

Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

What is the “falling away”?

A “falling away” is a defection from the truth. A falling away is a turning away from the teaching the sound principles of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Not one soul that believes on the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ can be lost but much teaching today denies the fundamental doctrine of the “Gospel”.

This was occurring even at the time of these Thessalonians and this was the reason Paul was writing this second epistle.

Many who claim to be saved today do not know what to believe in and to doubt in the truth is to remain lost!

In the Book of Revelation this is called the doctrine of the Laodicean Church.

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

When this teaching reaches it’s full fruition the Lord will return.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When the Lord Jesus cannot enter any doors He will call His Church out of this world!

Jesus said:

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

That “falling away” actually means “standing away” and on the day of the Rapture, the Church will stand before Christ at the “Bema Seat”.

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

The 7 year tribulation period cannot begin until after the Church has been removed and it is only then that the “Man of Sin”, the “son of perdition” can be revealed!

This a fact of the Scriptures!

That “man of sin” is called the “son of perdition” because of his being fully energized and control by Satan and can be said to be the “son of the Devil”.

When we look back we have one example who was named Judas.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and “one of you is a devil”?

Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the “son of perdition”; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Mar 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: “but woe to that man” by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

This same person is called the “Antichrist”.

1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Just as Judas was antichrist there were many others but the true Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church.

This is the same prince that shall come in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of “the prince that shall come” shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

This is the Beast of the Book of Revelation.

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

His true identity will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church and soon after that the first half (3 and one half years) tribulation period on this Earth will be begin.

This is the 70th week that is mentioned in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The second half of the tribulation period (The Great Tribulation) will begin when this Antichrist sits on the throne in the rebuilt Temple of God.

*****2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The Apostle Paul clearly understood all these things and he was trying to keep the “Gospel” simple for these Thessalonians.

This Antichrist, the son of Satan, will be the leader of a worldwide global religion that is against all the Word of God.

This will consist of all false religion that is left behind after the true Church has been removed!

This is the false king of the Book of Daniel.

Dan 11:38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

This evil son of the Devil will take this opportunity to speak to all those that are left behind by speaking great words against the Most High God.

He will win many over with his “God given” powers.

Dan 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

He will proclaim himself to be God to all those that are left behind.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.

We must remember the things that are taught in the Word of God and not from those that teach a false doctrine.

*****2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

Wherever Paul preached he declared the whole counsel of God.

Just like these Thessalonians, we listen to others who only preach what we want to hear or just tickle our ears when we truly need to the truth of God in it’s entirety over and over again.

As faithful as these Thessalonians were they did not study the Bible as they should have and none of us do!

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

There are no secrets in the Bible “that we need” during the Church Age that are hidden! Everything we need to know is in the written Word of God!

Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

The Word of God is perfect now.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

So what restrains the man of sin from being revealed?

It is not in the power of governments that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is not in the power of social structures that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is not in the power of man-made laws that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is only by the work of the Church that follows the whole counsel of God that can hold back this evil Antichrist!

The true Church would point this man out immediately and he would lose some of his power!

Evil in our world is growing because so many places of worship avoid teaching the whole counsel of God as the truth!

It is the influence of Christians in this world who, not only win others to Christ Jesus but who are the salt of this Earth and the light of this world!

This only happens because each Christian is indwelt and guided by God’s Holy Spirit.

It is the presence of the Holy Spirit within the Church that prevents the revelation of the Antichrist!

*****2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

The “mystery of iniquity” is the exact opposite of the “mystery of godliness”.

What is the mystery of the godliness?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The “mystery of godliness” is the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Holy Spirit indwells each believer and delays and hinders the “mystery of iniquity” which is the Antichrist, the “Man of Sin”.

That word “let” means the Holy Spirit will “make late” and will not “permit” the Antichrist to reveal himself until He (The Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way.

When will the Holy Spirit be taken out of the way?

Paul has been teaching the Rapture of the Church. The Church has no power without the Holy Spirit.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

When the Church is removed from the Earth there will be no one left on this Earth who will have the power of the Holy Spirit to resist evil.

There will be no one left to witness for Jesus until God begins dealing with Israel.

The Holy Spirit is not removed, it is His influence on evil in the world through the human beings that follow the Word of God, that will be removed. It is the Church that has been removed.

The Holy Spirit will not be restraining the forces of evil as He is today through true Christians!

This is when the “son of perdition”, the “man of sin”, the Antichrist will be revealed.

*****2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

This evil man will have 7 years to claim to be triumphant!

He will be lawless. He will set himself above the laws of God and also the laws of man.

He will have certain powers given to him by God.

Rev 13:5 And “there was given unto him” a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and “power was given unto him” to continue forty and two months.

Rev 13:7 And “it was given unto him” to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and “power was given him” over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

After these 7 years the Lord will destroy him with the “sword of the Spirit” from His mouth.

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

In our day and for many years, many Christians have sought for “signs and wonders” to increase their faith.

Jesus preached against these things.

Joh 4:48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

It is obvious that the danger is very real of being led into a false doctrine and not in the “Saving Grace” of God.

It already estimated that 80% of those that say they are Christian will slide off the pews into Hell.

Satan and his false prophets are also able to shew “great signs and wonders” but these are “lying wonders” intended to mankind into a false worship of this “Man of Sin”.

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, “they shall deceive” the very elect.

How are these things avoided? By receiving and accepting the truth of God.

*****2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

What is the truth of the “Gospel” and the entire Word of God?

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Those that refuse this truth before the “Rapture” of the Church, will “perish” into eternal damnation under the rule of the “Man of Sin”.

There will be no second chance after the Church has been taken out of this world for anyone who has had the opportunity to receive the truth of the Word of God.

God is sending His Word around the world as time goes forward and with the technology of today surely the Word of God can reach into all places.

Behold, now, today is the day to believe!

2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, “now is the accepted time”; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Now, before the Rapture of the Church, is the accepted time to to be guaranteed to miss eternal damnation.

Christ Jesus has made this to be such a simple thing.

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted “from the simplicity that is in Christ”.

Because they have rejected the truth of the Word of God they will have missed their opportunity to be saved when the Church is taken out!

*****2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

A merciful God will withdraw His mercy from these that have rejected Him because they received not the love of the “truth”.

The “truth” is still the “truth” even when no one believes it!

Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

What is strong delusion?

“Delusion” is the misleading of the mind.

What is the lie that Satan has told from the beginning of sin?

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and “ye shall be as gods”, knowing good and evil.

That “lie” is the idea that man is his own god and can do whatever he pleases without any judgment!

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and “worshipped and served the creature” more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

All those who have refused the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be given strong delusion by God Himself when the “man of sin” is revealed and they will believe Satan’s lies.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Now we are foolish to believe that the Holy Spirit will not convict souls to be saved after the Rapture of the Church.

There will be those that never had the opportunity to understand and receive the “Gospel”.

There will also be those Jews who will then see the “light of the Gospel” once the Church has been removed!

Souls will be saved during the tribulation period!

Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Most of them will have died as martyr’s!

Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

**And there will be a great many saved BUT not one individual who has rejected the Lord Jesus during the Church Age and is alive during the 7 years of tribulation will get another opportunity to be saved because they will believe the lies of the Antichrist, the lies of Satan!

All those that did not believe the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be damned to eternal damnation.

Even during the tribulation period salvation can still only come by Jesus Christ!

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The names of those that die before accepting the Lord Jesus Christ are not in this book of life.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life”, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

The names of all that worship the Antichrist are not written on this book of life.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life” of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Why should we be so thankful? Because from the beginning this has been God’s plan.

God has never had to piece meal a plan together, God has always had this plan!

*****2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has had this plan from the beginning to save every soul He created!

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

The means of salvation was decided before God spoke His first words of Creation in Genesis 1:1.

Those that are saved are called when they hear the “Gospel”, believe the truth of the “Gospel” and are then sanctified by the Holy Spirit or set apart by walking in the “Gospel” by the Holy Spirit.

It is only these who have believed who will one day be “Glorified”!

How was this plan accomplished for these Thessalonians?

Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

And there are always those that will reject the “Gospel”.

Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Act 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

Jesus said:

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

God will provide this opportunity to every human being that has been born on this Earth!

God already knows because God knows the beginning and the ending of us all!

Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Therefore because these things are true.

*****2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Traditions can be either valuable or they can cause harm depending on whether they follow the Word of God!

The New Testament Church was barely 20 years old at this time and there were only a few books of the New Testament written.

The Word of God was taught according to the Doctrine of the Apostles.

Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

These teachings are the “oral traditions” that Paul was referring to.

To deviate from this “Doctrine of the Apostles” caused confusion in the early church, until all the books of the New Testament were written and then there would be no more “oral traditions” of the Doctrine of the Apostles it was this doctrine that has now been written down for them and us all.

We now have the complete Word of God and Jesus has these words as John last Apostle has written.

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We can be established if we adhere to the Word of God!

*****2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and “good hope” through grace,
2Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

All these things have been provided for us by the “Grace” of God and by God’s salvation plan, and they all come through Jesus Christ!

We must go through Jesus Christ to reach God, Our Father.

Why?

Because He has given us everlasting comfort, and not just hope but “good hope” because He loves us.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Don’t you just love the Word of God and the Truth of it?

God’s Word is not confusing!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Enduring Tribulations

Enduring Patiently

2 Thessalonians 1

Again the theme of our lessons this quarter is practical Christian living.

Once you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you will find out that we are all in a spiritual war.

Each believer must endure suffering in this world to be worthy to be called a Christian!

Christ Jesus will provide comfort through these troubles and abundant rewards when He returns to take us home. Not only this but Christ will bring judgment to all those that have troubled His people.

The “Second Coming” of Christ will reveal His wrath and power upon all His enemies and that same power will be magnified in the complete salvation of His saints.

The Church will not pass through any part the Great Tribulation period nor see the time of God’s wrath.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

These Thessalonians were still struggling with these things as some do today, so the Apostle Paul wrote this second letter to them.

Both of these letters were written from the city of Corinth.

The first letter dealt largely with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His saints and these Thessalonians misunderstood some the teaching.

For this reason we need to hear the Word of God over and over again.

These people were so convinced that the Lord could come at any moment, which is still true today, they came to the conclusion that it was useless to work for a living.

This was the wrong conclusion because of Christian persecution they felt that they were already going through the tribulation period spoken of by Paul.

Paul wrote this second letter to correct these views and bring them to the knowledge of what it means to walk worthy of God.

The Book of 2 Thessalonians will also teach us some important things about the Anti-Christ.

Let’s begin:

*****2Th 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

It is believed that after these Thessalonians had received the first of Paul’s epistles that some anonymous person had also written a letter to them claiming to be Paul and that stated that they were already living in the “day of the Lord” which is a lie.

2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

This teaching is still taught today in many places and was false then as it is now.

This brought confusion and fright to this newly formed church.

The “day of the Lord” will not begin until Jesus returns unto this Earth.

Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Jesus will return to the same spot from where He left on the Mount of Olives.

This will not be a secret thing.

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Silvanus or Silas and Timothy were still with the Apostle Paul and this only happened at Corinth on Paul’s second missionary trip.

This is where the Apostle Paul wrote both the books to the Thessalonians.

Notice Paul immediately recognizes this assembly as a church.

Jesus said:

Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

This is what constitutes the Church.

Remember a church is a house consecrated to the worship of God the Father, through the “Gospel of the Son, Jesus Christ” or a collective body of Christians who are filled with the Holy Spirit!

One of the best weapons for fighting Satan is praise. No matter what our circumstances are we need to praise the Lord!

*****2Th 1:2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not the Church that saves, it is God through Jesus Christ.
It is not the Church that is to be worshipped it is Our Father in Heaven.
It is not the Church where we are to place our faith, it is in Jesus Christ.
It is not the Church building that is blessed, it is the “Body of Christ”!

Grace is still “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”.

Grace is the unmerited favor of God and it is only the love of God that can satisfy us enough to bring peace in our lives in this flesh.

When we think of peace as being the ending of war we have missed the point of this word in our scripture.

Peace with God is being reconciled back to Him.

2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

It is the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ that closes the gap between us and God.

It is God who decided that He wanted to do this.
It is God who provides the means for this to take place.
There is absolutely nothing we could have done to make peace with God!

God was in Christ Jesus and this is the only means of reconciliation!

Those that reject that God came down from Heaven to abide in Jesus cannot be reconciled and will never have the peace that God offers so freely by His “Grace”.

Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When God as a babe in the flesh, the angels got involved in God’s plan!

Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And this is why we must esteem those that are called of God.

Isa 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

And this is why we must thank God for what He has already done and God tells us what He is about to do in His Word.

*****2Th 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

The Lord Jesus redeemed us and we have been pardoned!

Pardoned means “like it never even happened”.

Num 14:20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
Num 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

We are pardoned by the “Grace of God” and paid for on Calvary’s Cross.

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, “which he hath purchased with his own blood”.

That word “bound” means “we owe”.

We are obligated to thank God for what He has done and foolish if we do not do so!

When God calls and we answer, He does not hesitate to immediately forgive us all our sin.

Not just the sin we have sinned up to that point but of sin throughout our life time.

Our names are immediately written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life and can never be removed, surely we can thank God for what He has already done.

The Lord Jesus paid the price for our redemption while we were all still sinners, surely we can thank Him for what He has already done!

We have been saved from a burning Hell.
We have been saved from the coming wrath of God.

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Surely we can thank Him for what He has already done!

When we abound in the love of God, then that love will abound even more toward each other!

These are just the proper things to do if you claim to be a Christian and walk the Christian walk!

Only when our faith is real can these things happen!

Our faith cannot be in miracles, nor in the history of the church, nor counterfeit, nor temporary.

Our faith must be in the unseen but the true Living God!

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Our faith must be that we believe the promises of God are so real, that we can live them in this life we have now!

This is the faith that can be seen by others!

*****2Th 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

The Apostle Paul had now been in Corinth for nearly a year and a half and not only had he heard of how these Thessalonians were enduring persecutions and tribulations but Paul had even boasted of it in his own sermons to other churches started in Corinth.

1Th 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

We can think what we want to, but even in America Christians may wake up one day and find that Christianity is outlawed!

We should pray much for those in certain places that are being beheaded and condemned to death just because they trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

These tribulations in the Church Age are those that all saints must endure and these tribulations come from men.

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

The future tribulations that come after the Rapture of the Church, will all come from God Himself.

There will be a great difference!

It is hard for us in America to realize true persecution until we see what is happening in Iraq and Syria and throughout the world, today to Christians.

The Bible speaks of these thing in the Psalms:

Psa 74:7 They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.
Psa 74:8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
Psa 74:9 We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.
Psa 74:10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

Places of worship are being destroyed.

Even old places such as the tomb of Joseph, the Temple mount, and many other places are being systematically destroyed by those of false religion.

It astounds me that the Muslim call Jerusalem a holy place but “they turn their backside” to Jerusalem and pray toward Mecca 5 times a day.

They never pray toward Jerusalem!

**It is Jehovah God, not Allah who instituted and founded the Church.

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

These are the places where Jehovah God is to be worshipped and acknowledged.

But we should remember it is all those with faith and patience who inherit the promises of God.

Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

**Faith comes before suffering because we will all suffer for the name of Jesus Christ.

The faith of all Christians will be tested before the return of Jesus Christ to get His Church!

What is the greatest sign of faith? To grow in the love of God and for our fellow saints with great joy through all persecutions.

*****2Th 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

We are made heirs to the Kingdom of God by the “New Birth” but we prove our worthiness of that kingdom by the readiness with which we endure suffering for the things of Christ Jesus.

We are all subject to the same treatment that Jesus suffered.

Listen to what Jesus said:

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

We may never have to endure the cross but Jesus says to pick up your own cross daily and be prepared.

Jesus never said that that cross would not be heavy at times!

We may never be whipped by a cat of nine tails but some go through worse than this today in other parts of the world.

We are not standing on a mountain top with no escape and no food and water but there are some that are doing that in our world today.

We all will suffer some but many today suffer a deliberate attack on their person just because they claim Jesus as Lord.

Still at all times we are to praise the Lord!

We are to take a definite stand knowing that we will become the objects of the world’s hatred.

This is how we become worthy of God’s Kingdom!

We are to love our enemies.
We are to bless them that curse us.
We are to pray for those that despite-fully use us.

But in His own due time God will deal with all those that have persecuted His Church.

This is also a promise of God!

There will be a righteous judgment of the ungodly!

*****2Th 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

Righteous here in this verse means that God is justified in the actions He will take!

Most liberals do not like this verse.

God is not pleased with how the world treats His children.

And just as God made His own choice to provide this period of “Grace” we call the “Church Age” God has already made His own choice to recompense tribulation to them that trouble His children.

Recompense means to repay them for what they have done!

Psa 94:23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

From God’s standpoint this is the absolute right thing to do!

There are only two groups of people on this Earth.

Those that love the Lord Jesus Christ and those that do not!

Those that love the Lord will be in Heaven during this time of re-compensation and only those left behind will feel the judgment of God for all the things they have done and for rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ.

This re-compensation is righteous in the sight of the Lord!

Today we know of the Muslim who believe they will rewarded for persecuting the followers of Christ but God says that their reward will be His judgment not 70 virgins in Heaven!

After all Allah is not Jehovah God!

Where will the Church be when this takes place?

*****2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

In Chapter 4 we saw Christ Jesus returning in the clouds to possess His Church.

This when Jesus will return as a “thief” in the clouds!

We do not know much about this time.

Here in this verse, we see Christ Jesus returning to the Earth.

This will take place at the end of the tribulation period which will last 7 years.

These are two separate events!

Those who are doing the troubling will receive tribulation during those 7 years.

Those who are being troubled will already be at rest, where no troubles can ever reach them again, gathered by the Lord!

Those that are “at rest” are the “Raptured” Church.

Rest is the exact opposite of tribulation!

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Those angels that come with the Lord the first time testified of peace:

Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Those same angels that come with the Lord on in second return will bring vengeance and flaming fire.

The angels may not know the plan of God but they will always be involved in God’s plan!

*****2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

When God introduced Himself to Moses it was at the burning bush.

Exo 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

God guided Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of fire.

Exo 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

Fire is used throughout the Tribulation period.

Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Rev 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

This Earth we now live on will be burned up in the end by fire.

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

God will come in vengeance but this cannot be considered revenge, because to God it is only justice.

Psa 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
Psa 50:4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

Our God is a consuming fire.

Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

There are only two kind of people in this world. Those that love Jesus and those that do not love Jesus and God has this warning.

Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

The world may mock these things but on the “day of the Lord” they will get to meet my God and it will not be a good day to be alive on this Earth.

Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Knowing God means much more than knowing about God!

To know God is to know Him as He is!

Knowing God requires a personal relationship with Him!

Knowing God is acknowledging Him as the Sovereign Creator of this Earth and all creation.

Knowing God is acknowledging Him as the only Redeeming Savior.

Knowing God is acknowledging Him as the all-seeing Righteous Judge.

Who are those that do not know God?

Those that do not obey the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”!

It is by the “Gospel” that people are saved.

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

No matter what the world says there is no other means of salvation!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The “Gospel” is the good news of the Bible and salvation is offered freely to anyone who has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Those that die in the “Day of the Lord” will have no excuse for rejecting the love of God as they face the Living God!

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

How will all these that reject the Lord perish?

*****2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
2Th 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

This destruction this “everlasting judgment” is not an annihilation of being!

This destruction is “everlasting punishment”!

Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

This destruction is “everlasting torment”!

There will no parties and no joy in the Burning Lake of Fire.

This destruction will be an everlasting separation from God and His power to change things for the better!

**This fiery hell cannot be located on this Earth.

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

This burning lake of fire was created for Satan and his angels and it exist now and will exist after the Earth is destroyed by fire.

This burning lake of fire will be as far away from the New Earth as possible!

God is pure.

God is love.

God is power.

God is righteous.

God is in all beauty.

God is the essence of intelligence.

These are some of the things that make man real and these are the things that have been rejected by the lost and none of these things will be found in hell!

While those that choose to be in Hell, and it is a choice they make themselves, God will be glorified in all His saints.

In Chapter 4 the Rapture of the Church was made clear.

God will be “admired in all them that believe”.

There is no such thing as a partial Rapture!

There will be a time of rewards at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” but “all the saved” will admire the Lord on the day He will judge this Earth!

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Knowing all these things then we need to pray for the saints and for the lost!

*****2Th 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Th 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is in the hope of all these things that must keep us faithful in these days we live now!

In verse 5 Paul said we should strive to be worthy of the kingdom of God.

This is our walk with God after salvation until the day of the Rapture or physical death.

In this verse we that should consider this day by day.

God ‘s calling is in His “Grace and Love” and this is the same calling we all have to show to those around us!

We should not ever forget, it is a great privilege to be allowed to walk with God in this life, through a world that rejects Him and be given the opportunity to walk with God throughout eternity.

It is a privilege to bear the name of Christian, when the name of Christ is so despised in this world.

It will a great privilege to be counted worthy of His calling!

But for those that reject Our Lord Jesus there is this coming judgment!

Those that do not know the Lord today will certainly know Him when He is revealed from Heaven in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that obey not the “Gospel”!

Without a doubt every knee will bow to Jesus!

Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

This is also the “Gospel”!

Let’s Pray!