2 Thessalonians 1 (English Standard Version)
1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
Paul traveled with these men and together they contributed to this letter. Though the name Paul is listed first, both Silvanus and Timothy were his trusted companions.
Silvanus (also known as Silas) was a long and experienced companion of Paul. He traveled with Paul on his second missionary journey and was imprisoned and set free with Paul in the Philippian jail (Acts 16:19-27). When Paul first came to Thessalonica, Silas came with him (Acts 17:1-9), so the Thessalonians knew Silvanus well. He also collaborated with Paul on the first letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:1).
Timothy was a resident of Lystra, a city in the province of Galatia (Acts 16:1-3). He was the son of a Greek father (Acts 16:1), and a Jewish mother named Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). From his youth, he had been taught in the Scriptures by his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). Timothy was a trusted companion and associate of Paul, and he accompanied Paul on many of his missionary journeys. Paul sent Timothy to the Thessalonians on a previous occasion (1 Thessalonians 3:2). With Silvanus, Timothy was also a collaborator on Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:1).
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
“By these words Paul shows us that we are under an obligation to give thanks to God not only when He does us a kindness, but also when we consider the kindness which He has shown towards our brethren.”
The Judgment at Christ’s Coming
5This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—
We usually think that God is absent when we suffer, and that our suffering calls God’s righteous judgment into question. Paul took the exact opposite position and insisted that their suffering was evidence of the righteous judgment of God. Where suffering is coupled with righteous endurance, God’s work is done. The fires of persecution and tribulation were like the purifying fires of a refiner, burning away the dross from the gold, bringing forth a pure, precious metal.
Top Ten Worst Countries for Christian Persecution
Pray for the persecuted church in these nations and around the world!Pray they will stand firm in their faith (1 Pet 5:8-10).
Pray they will not fear for themselves or their families; but trust God. (rev 2:10).
Pray they would not retaliate, but entrust themselves to our Righteous Judge and live in peace with everyone (Rom 12:17-21).
Pray they would rejoice, even in suffering (1 Peter 4:12-14).
Pray they would love and forgive those who persecute them (Mat 5:43,44; Luke 23:34, Col 3:13).
Pray they would keep their eyes on Jesus and not grow weary (Heb 12:1-3, 10:32-39).
Pray those who suffer great physical pain will be delivered by the Lord (2 Cor 1:9-11).
Pray they would proclaim the gospel, even when suffering ( 2 Tim 4:15-18).
Pray they would rely on the Lord’s strength and not their own (2 Cor 1:8-9).
Pray their oppressors will be saved, as Paul did (Acts 9:1-9).
Pray Bibles and Christian literature will reach needy areas (Ps 119:42-43).
Pray leaders of persecuted churches will continue to be faithful (2 Peter 5:1-4).
6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Paul is referring not to people who have never experienced the opportunity of hearing the gospel, but to those who have had the opportunity and did not respond. The fact is, some respond to God’s revelation and others do not. The latter must bear the consequences of their own choice.
–David J. Williams
9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
“A world in which justice was not done at last would not be God’s world at all.”
–D. Edmond Hiebert
11To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:25-27 (NIV)
I . . . present to you the word of God in its fullness — the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
I love verse 11 — every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power — everything for Christ, by Christ, through Christ!
HERE is “Everything” by Tim Hughes.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.