2434.) 2 Thessalonians 3

August 30, 2018

“Consider the ant, you lazy bum. Watch its ways, and become wise.” — Proverbs 6:6.     (GOD’S WORD Translation, 1995)

2 Thessalonians 3 (English Standard Version)

Pray for Us

1Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,

Paul asked for prayer so that the word can run freely, without any hindrance. Paul’s prayer request makes us wonder how often the work of God’s word is hindered by our prayerlessness. God has promised that His word would be free and perform its work: It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it  (Isaiah 55:11). But as with many of God’s promises, we are expected to take this promise in faith, in prayer asking God to perform it for His glory.

–David Guzik

2and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 4And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Warning Against Idleness

6Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

The purpose in withdrawing from these disobedient was not so much punishment, but more so simply to deny these disobedient ones the aid and comfort of the fellowship of the body of Christ until they repented. It put them out of the church into the “domain” of Satan (the world), in hope that they might miss the fellowship of the church so much they would repent of their disobedience.

–David Guzik

7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.

There is a play on words between the ancient Greek phrasing in the lines not working at all and but are busybodies. The idea is something like “busybodies who do no business.”

–David Guzik

12Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

WORK

I slept and dreamed that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was duty.
I acted, and behold, duty was joy.
–Rabindranath Tagore,  winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The works of a Christian ought to be regarded in the same light as would have been those of Adam and Eve in paradise… “The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (He) could not have needed to be justified and made righteous by keeping the garden and working in it; but, that he might not be unemployed.
–from Luther’s On Christian Freedom

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
–Robert Frost

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
–Theodore Roosevelt

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
–Henry Ford

Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
–Harvey McKay

“Thank You, Lord, for work to do and strength with which to do it.”
–my mother’s daily prayer (her mother had been an invalid)

13As for you, brothers (and sisters), do not grow weary in doing good.

Here are two good things I think can be hard work!

.

.

14If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Benediction

16Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

17I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is an old hymn, sung in Tamil by a choir from South India. The pictures of life and work in India are quite interesting. “Work, for the night is coming.”

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work ’mid springing flowers;
Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man’s work is done.

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the sunny noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor,
Rest comes sure and soon.
Give every flying minute,
Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man works no more.

Work, for the night is coming,
Under the sunset skies;
While their bright tints are glowing,
Work, for daylight flies.
Work till the last beam fadeth,
Fadeth to shine no more;
Work, while the night is darkening,
When man’s work is o’er.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
ant.   http://boldandfab.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/hard-work-ant.jpg
squirrel.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/imagescayxbod2.jpg
lazy.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/lazy.jpg
tending babies.    https://saramorris.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/overwhelmed-mom-holding-babies-0-280×280.jpg
shoveling snow.    http://www.bonnersprings.com/users/photos/2010/jan/13/34089/
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2433.) 2 Thessalonians 2

August 29, 2018

Let no one deceive you.

2 Thessalonians 2 (English Standard Version)

The Man of Lawlessness

1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

It seems the Thessalonian Christians were being victimized by false teachers who did not understand prophecy. Apparently, a misunderstanding of Paul’s teaching (or an incorrect application of it) had caused the Thessalonians to be shaken in mind and troubled. Their fears centered on the idea that the day of Christ had perhaps already come.

3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

The specific ancient Greek word for temple indicates the most holy place and not the temple as a whole. “It is not that he (“the man of lawlessness,” or in other translations, “the man of sin”) enters the temple precincts: he invades the most sacred place and there takes his seat. His action is itself a claim to deity.” (Morris) This is the ultimate blasphemy that results in certain judgment, the abomination of desolation spoken of by both Daniel and Jesus.

–David Guzik

One idea for building the “Third Temple” on top of Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The coming of the day of the Lord will be marked by these two things:  1) the “rebellion” (apostasy) will come first — people will turn away from Christ and the truth of the Word of God — and 2) “the man of lawlessness” (the Antichrist) will appear. 

Some scholars believe that the reference to him taking “his seat in the temple of God” means that a new Jewish temple will be built in Jerusalem. Indeed, there is an organization in Israel dedicated to this project. The Temple Institute’s ultimate goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments. To read more about their interesting plans, click  HERE.

Other scholars believe that the New Covenant, brought by Jesus and marked by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer, means that the body is the temple, or that the temple has been superseded. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians may suggest this: 

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

This idea is related to the belief that Christ himself, having claimed to be and do what the temple was and did, is the new temple (John 2:19), and that his people, as a part of the “body of Christ” (meaning the church), are part of this temple as well (2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-5).

I have given you a couple ways of looking at these verses. Know that there are many other interpretations of these ideas as well, within Christian circles.

5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And you know what is restraining him (back to the man of lawlessness) now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

Whoever the man of lawlessness is, he has not had his career yet. We know this because at the end of his career, he is destroyed by Jesus Christ Himself.

9The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

The Antichrist will come with power, with signs and with lying wonders. But all of this is according to the working of Satan, as described in Revelation 13:13-17. If someone has spiritual power, signs, or wonders, those are not enough to prove they are from God. Satan can perform his own powerful works, either through deception or through his own resources of power.

–David Guzik

“He is Satan’s messiah, an infernal caricature of the true messiah.”

–James Moffatt

10and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Stand Firm

13But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice the contrast. Those who reject God (verses 9-12) will be condemned, but those who have been sanctified in the Spirit and living in the truth of God will gain everlasting glory with Jesus Christ (verses 13-14). This is what matters — that we are found in Christ, and that we live our lives in service to the Lord as a thank offering for what his death and resurrection has obtained for us.

15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

This is a prayer full of useful and important suggestions:

· Jesus is ours.

· God is our Father.

· God has loved us.

· God has given us much.

· We have everlasting consolation.

· It is all through grace.

_________________________

Music:

“May Jesus . . . and God . . . strengthen you in every good deed and word” (verses 16-17).

“Take My Life and Let It Be” consecrated, Lord, to Thee . . . was written by Frances Havergal in 1874.

Frances had begun reading and memorizing the Bible at the age of four (eventually memorizing The Psalms, Isaiah and most of the New Testament). At seven she wrote her first poems. Several of her mature verses became hymns. In addition to “Take My Life,” she wrote such favorites as “I Gave My Life for Thee,” “Like a River Glorious,” and “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?”

Because her voice was lovely, Frances was in demand as a concert soloist. She also was a brilliant pianist and learned several modern languages as well as Greek and Hebrew. With all her education, however, Frances Havergal maintained a simple faith and confidence in her Lord. She never wrote a line of poetry without praying over it.

One of the lines of this hymn says, “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.” In 1878, four years after writing the hymn, Miss Havergal wrote a friend, “The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me…Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”

HERE  is a beautiful arrangement of her song.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
wolf in sheep’s clothing.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/false-prophet1.jpg
Third Temple.   http://dschondog.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/thirdtemplea.jpg
Stand firm.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/stand-firm1.gif

2432.) 2 Thessalonians 1

August 28, 2018

2 Thessalonians 1 (English Standard Version)

Greeting

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).

–David Guzik

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.

Thanksgiving


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.”

–John Calvin

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.

–David Guzik

Top Ten Worst Countries for Christian Persecution

North Korea

Afghanistan

Somalia

Sudan

Pakistan

Libya

Iraq

Yemen

Iran

India

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.

“The Risen Christ” by He Qi

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.

_________________________

Music:

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.

Images courtesy of:
Live for Jesus.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/live-for-jesus.jpg
your faith is growing.    https://imgracemadewoman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/images.jpg
map of countries which persecute Christianity.    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/january/top-50-christian-persecution-open-doors-world-watch-list.html
to follow Jesus.    http://bereanbaskets.com/images/au_un98052.jpg
He Qi.    http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/he_qi_the_risen_christ.jpg

635.) 2 Thessalonians 3

October 7, 2011

“Consider the ant, you lazy bum. Watch its ways, and become wise.” — Proverbs 6:6.     (GOD’S WORD Translation, 1995)

2 Thessalonians 3 (English Standard Version)

Pray for Us

1Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, 2and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 4And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Warning Against Idleness

6Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

WORK

I slept and dreamed that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was duty.
I acted, and behold, duty was joy.
–Rabindranath Tagore,  winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The works of a Christian ought to be regarded in the same light as would have been those of Adam and Eve in paradise… “The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (He) could not have needed to be justified and made righteous by keeping the garden and working in it; but, that he might not be unemployed.
–from Luther’s On Christian Freedom

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
–Robert Frost

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
–Theodore Roosevelt

Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.
–Henry Ford

Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
–Harvey McKay

_________________________

Music:

I cannot resist!   “Work, for the night is coming.”

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work ’mid springing flowers;
Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man’s work is done.

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the sunny noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor,
Rest comes sure and soon.
Give every flying minute,
Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man works no more.

Work, for the night is coming,
Under the sunset skies;
While their bright tints are glowing,
Work, for daylight flies.
Work till the last beam fadeth,
Fadeth to shine no more;
Work, while the night is darkening,
When man’s work is o’er.

_________________________

13As for you, brothers (and sisters), do not grow weary in doing good.

(Here are two good things I think can be hard work!)

.

.

14If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Benediction

16Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

17I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

_________________________

Next book:  ESTHER!!! 
Grab a friend to join you
and read this amusing yet awful,
depressing yet delightful book together! 

(Is that enough of an encouragement?)

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
ant.   http://boldandfab.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/hard-work-ant.jpg
squirrel.  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w6b0c81asWQ/TNoLoYygzhI/AAAAAAAAAPg/Hm1vFZmEHZs/s1600/imagesCAYXBOD2.jpg
lazy.    http://www.thebig3zone.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/lazy.jpg
tending babies.  http://letmejustsayit.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/overwhelmed-mom-holding-babies-0-280×280.jpg
shoveling snow.    http://media.lansingcurrent.com/img/croppedphotos/2010/01/13/01-14_Snow_Angels_20_t640.jpg?a6ea3ebd4438a44b86d2e9c39ecf7613005fe067

634.) 2 Thessalonians 2

October 6, 2011

Let no one deceive you.

2 Thessalonians 2 (English Standard Version)

The Man of Lawlessness

1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

It seems the Thessalonian Christians were being victimized by false teachers who did not understand prophecy.  Perhaps some people had come into their group who had professed that they were led by the Spirit and that they had a letter from Paul stating that the day of the Lord had already commenced and the rapture had occurred — and they had missed it.

3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

One idea for building the "Third Temple" on top of Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The coming of the day of the Lord will be marked by these two things:  1) the “rebellion” (apostasy) will come first — people will turn away from Christ and the truth of the Word of God — and 2) “the man of lawlessness” (the Antichrist) will appear. 

Some scholars believe that the reference to him taking “his seat in the temple of God” means that a new Jewish temple will be built in Jerusalem.  Indeed, there is an organization in Israel dedicated to this project.  The Temple Institute’s ultimate goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments.  To read more about their interesting plans, click  HERE.

Other scholars believe that the New Covenant, brought by Jesus and marked by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer, means that the body is the temple, or that the temple has been superseded.  Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians may suggest this: 

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

This idea is related to the belief that Christ himself, having claimed to be and do what the temple was and did, is the new temple (John 2:19), and that his people, as a part of the “body of Christ” (meaning the church), are part of this temple as well (2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-5).

I have given you a couple ways of looking at these verses.  Know that there are many other interpretations of these ideas as well, within Christian circles.

_________________________

5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And you know what is restraining him (back to the man of lawlessness) now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Stand Firm

13But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice the contrast.  Those who reject God (verses 9-12) will be condemned, but those who have been sanctified in the Spirit and living in the truth of God will gain everlasting glory with Jesus Christ (verses 13-14).  This is what matters — that we are found in Christ, and that we live our lives in service to the Lord as a thank offering for what his death and resurrection has obtained for us.

15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

_________________________

Music:

“May Jesus . . . and God . . . strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

“Take My Life and Let It Be” consecrated, Lord, to Thee . . . was written by Frances Havergal in 1874.

Frances had begun reading and memorizing the Bible at the age of four (eventually memorizing The Psalms, Isaiah and most of the New Testament). At seven she wrote her first poems. Several of her mature verses became hymns. In addition to “Take My Life,” she wrote such favorites as “I Gave My Life for Thee,” “Like a River Glorious,” and “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?”

Because her voice was lovely, Frances was in demand as a concert soloist. She also was a brilliant pianist and learned several modern languages as well as Greek and Hebrew. With all her education, however, Frances Havergal maintained a simple faith and confidence in her Lord. She never wrote a line of poetry without praying over it.

One of the lines of this hymn says, “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.” In 1878, four years after writing the hymn, Miss Havergal wrote a friend, “The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me…Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”

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English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
wolf in sheep’s clothing.    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_mkZ9_d0QN7w/TMjxAh74xGI/AAAAAAAAAsA/I6AU4b161AI/s1600/false-prophet.jpg
Third Temple.   http://dschondog.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/thirdtemplea.jpg
Stand firm.   http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Myr30eqU-Ns/Te2dEf2ixaI/AAAAAAAAAus/EFdx78BqhfQ/s1600/Stand-Firm.gif

633.) 2 Thessalonians 1

October 5, 2011

2 Thessalonians 1 (English Standard Version)

Greeting

1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

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.

Thanksgiving


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.

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.

–David Guzik

* * * * *

Iraq

North Korea

Iran

Myanmar (Burma)

Saudi Arabia

Afghanistan

Indonesia

Bangladesh

Pakistan

Egypt

Pray for the persecuted church in these nations!

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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 

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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.

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.

"The Risen Christ" by He Qi

Colossians 1:25-27 (New International Version)

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.

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Music:

I love verse 11 — every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power — everything for Christ, by Christ, through Christ!

“Everything”  by Tim Hughes.

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English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Live for Jesus.    http://www.cybershirts.com/images/Live%20For%20Jesus%20%28lg%29.jpg
your faith is growing.    http://www.citadelsquare.org/images/2thessalonians1_3%20leaves.jpg
to follow Jesus.    http://bereanbaskets.com/images/au_un98052.jpg
He Qi.    http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/he_qi_the_risen_christ.jpg