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1 Thessalonians 2_13-20

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1 Thessalonians 2:13-20 1 Thess 2:13-20 "This section of the letter begins with the second thanksgiving in a series of three (1:2-5; 2:13; 3:9-13) that dominate the tone of the first three chapters." 13- The word is one they received and it is also one that is working. It is living like in Heb 6 and the word they brought that was received is the gospel (cf 2:9) Previously Paul thanked God for the way these believers were bearing the fruit of righteousness in their own lives (1:3). Now he thanked God for the way they responded when he had preached the gospel to them the first time. They sensed that it was a divine revelation rather than a human philosophy, and they believed it. Because they received that divine message, it had done a mighty work of transformation in their lives as God's Holy Spirit used it. 14- There is an effect to the hearing and the work of the gospel in that it creates imitators of God. This begs the question, which God? And what sort of attributes do they imitate. Well it clearly has to be holiness. In fact that is the exhortation we find in 5:14-24. Not only did they (Paul, Silas, and Timothy) suffer for the sake of the gospel, but so did the church. And where did they suffer? So many people think that suffering should only occur for missionaries. These people understood that the mission field were the people around them. And it may cost them, but they need to preach the gospel and they aren’t the only ones. The churches that they were copying were also suffering in their own home towns. Christians think that suffering is a foreign and old idea. I suggest that if the message that you deliver does not stir up something in your hearers something might be off. Ex) guy threaten to shoot me. One threaten to fight me. One realized he is going straight to hell but loves his sin. But if you get no reaction, are you delivering the true message of the gospel. Last time we saw what importance the gospel is. Vs 8- we share it and not only it but our lives, no matter the cost. Vs9- with labors we preach it. Vs 10- as witnesses for God. Vs5-6- not with flattery or for glory from man. Vs 6- we will be judged by God for it. The gospel is not a little message. Rom 1:16- it is the power of God unto salvation. And so suffering may come. 15- why does it come? Because they hate God. We see that happening all over. Restrictions to where you can preach the gospel. In discovery green, we have a small 3x3 area where we are allowed to preach. At colleges and universities there are approved places. These haters of God do this and prevent people from hearing and being saved. And so what does the believer do? Well we read very clearly that this church did not stop preaching. How do we know? It says that they faced persecution. And nowadays, we have a similar thing and what do we do? Are you willing to suffer so that God may receive the glory He is due. Or do you not understand how great a salvation you have received. “Completing the number of their sins and wrath has overtaken them at last”-??? Wrath is that they are finally receiving it. So they were accumulating for themselves their sins and it is now at its completion where the wrath of God will be poured out on them. God had already focused His wrath on them for their serious sin. They not only rejected the gospel themselves, but they also discouraged others from accepting it. It was only a matter of time before God would pour out His wrath in judgment. In view of the eschatological emphasis of the letter, Paul seems to be alluding primarily to the judgment coming on unbelievers during the Tribulation. We should probably understand "utmost" (Gr. telos) in a temporal sense. Why did Paul describe this outpouring of divine wrath as past ("has come," aorist tense ephthasen) if it was future? Jesus spoke of the arrival of His kingdom in comparable terminology (Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20). The verb connotes "arrival upon the threshold of fulfilment [sic] and accessible experience, not the entrance into that experience."59 The messianic kingdom was present in Jesus' day only in that the King had arrived and could have established it then, but the Jews did not enter into it because they rejected Him. Likewise God's wrath had come on the Jews to the utmost in Paul's day for their rejection of Messiah, but they had not entered into it's full manifestation yet, namely, the Tribulation. Now reading this, you may get some peace knowing that persecution from them will end, but do you have any love for that person? You better. You ought to. Matthew 5:43-44 Luke 6:27-36 If you cannot do that, well then it is a very good indication that you are not saved. You may say that’s a harsh saying. Well it’s true. If you have been indwelt by the spirit, God within you, God who is love and is abounding in mercy and forgiveness but hate your enemy or even your brother, I am telling you right now you are bearing fruit that shows you have had a false conversion. A believer is constantly progressing towards holiness Col 3:9-10 “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.” If you are being renewed into the image of your Creator, it is the idea of an active process where you may take one step back at times, but you are then taking two steps forward. Painfully progressing forward. And why would hating those who persecute you be a sign of a false conversion? 1 John 4:20-21 These are not words to flatter you, but to vs 12 “implore each one of you to walk worthy of God who calls you into His kingdom.” 17-18 Paul and his companions were run out of the town because of the gospel message they preached. Not seeking trouble, but seeking to save souls. They were not trying to cause any problems, they avoided it. They saw trouble coming and they had to leave. They didn’t stay there and try to make things worse. I think some people do not have that discernment and they think im just going to keep preaching and if everyone starts to get upset, ill keep going and if they warn me ill keep going and if they call the cops ill keep going and in jail ill keep going. No, what I see is a delicate care in how you handle the gospel, but also how you present Christ. Because you are a representative of Him. And you can either glorify Him in your life or you can make others revile him. But just because they left did not mean that they did not want to return and so we see a bit why they weren’t able to. Now I do not want anyone to go to the extreme and try to make this the case for them. I seriously doubt most, if not all, people who say the devil made me do this or that or is oppressing me. Most of the time I find that actually it is the person who is holding on to their sin. But Paul had some sort of revelation to where he knew that Satan was oppressing them and hindering them from returning. In Acts 16:6-7 Luke wrote that the Holy Spirit forbade Paul to preach in Asia and Bithynia. Here Paul said that Satan thwarted his efforts to return to Thessalonica. How can we tell if Satan is opposing us or if the Spirit is directing us? It seems to me that the New Testament writers viewed God's sovereign control of all things on different levels at different times. Sometimes, as in Acts, they spoke of the One who is in ultimate charge and focused on His direction. At other times, as here, they spoke of the instruments that God uses. God permitted Satan to oppose Paul's return to Thessalonica, but this was all part of God's sovereign will. In Acts the emphasis is on the One responsible for the expansion of the church, but here the emphasis is on the instrument God used in this situation. Satan can only oppose us as God gives him permission to do so (Job 1—2).64 Now last time we touched on the heart and duty of the Pastor. And although this is not a Pastoral letter, but rather a letter written to a church, we still see sort of the making of a pastor in verse 19 19- Who is their hope or joy or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus…side note, we see what a crown in heaven looks like. Rev 4:10-11: Jesus promised various rewards for those who faithfully serve Him on earth (Matthew 5:12; 1 Corinthians 3:14; Revelation 22:12). Some of those rewards are crowns (James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 3:11). These may be the crowns that John saw the elders lay at the feet of Jesus. In their words of worship, they indicate that, despite what they may have done on earth to earn these crowns, only Jesus is truly worthy of glory and honor. In the presence of the Lord Jesus Himself, all good deeds we have done will pale in comparison. A crown will seem but an insignificant gift to present to the One who gave His life for us (Galatians 2:20). But anyways, a crown seems to be earned for deeds done on earth. But what is the fullness of their joy? Of a pastor’s joy? Their people. Pastors, are you teaching in such a way that your people are growing in holiness and are faithful to God? People, are you bringing honor to your pastors who are laboring on your behalf? Let us pray. "The glory of any teacher lies in his scholars and students; and should the day come when they have left him far behind the glory is still greater. A man's greatest glory lies in those whom he has set or helped on the path to Christ."65 "The future event Paul is looking toward is identical with the appearance of every Christian before the bema ('judgment seat') of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), where the works of every Christian will be evaluated. Because of his converts' evident spiritual attainments, Paul feels that this will be an occasion of joy and victory."66 "Parousia ["coming"] comes from two words: 'to be' and 'present.' It may point to the moment of arrival to initiate a visit or it may focus on the stay initiated by the arrival. In the NT the word applies to the return of Jesus Christ. The various facets of this future visit are defined by the contexts 65Barclay, p. 225. 66Thomas, p. 262. Cf. Earl Radmacher, "Believers and the Bema," Grace Evangelical Society News 10:3 (May-June 1995):1, 4; and Joe L. Wall, Going for the Gold, pp. 129, 152-63. 18 Dr. Constable's Notes on 1 Thessalonians 2010 Edition in which parousia appears. In this instance it is Jesus' examination of his servants subsequent to his coming for them (4:15-17) that is in view."67 ". . . the formerly pagan Thessalonians probably understood the parousia of Christ in terms of the visits of the imperial rulers of Rome. These rulers were increasingly being thought of as the manifestations of deities who required elaborate ceremonies and honors when they visited the various cities of the Empire."68 Paul at this time evidently expected his ministry to end with the return of Christ rather than by his own death (v. 19). This is one of many evidences that Paul and the other early Christians believed in the imminent return of Christ. Nothing had to occur before His return. This perspective strongly suggests that Paul believed in the pretribulational rapture of the church. How could Christ's return at the Rapture be imminent in view of the Lord's statement that Peter would grow old (John 21:18) and His promise to Paul that he would visit Rome (Acts 23:11)? Concerning God's promise to Peter, "when you grow old" (John 21:18) is a very general description of what lay ahead for Peter. Peter could have undergone confinement and died at any time after Christ's ascension and one could say he had grown old. About the promise Paul received, the assumed condition of its fulfillment was probably if the Lord did not return before then. This would have been true for what Jesus prophesied concerning Peter's death as well. We often speak this way today. We say somet
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