Do You Care?
1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:13 & 2 Thessalonians 1
Gave me a large section with so much in it.
There are at least 3 or 4 good sermons here
I won’t preach them all today.
It is almost a narrative of Paul’s relationship with the Thessalonians after he left them. We see his heart for them.
We see Paul’s great concern for the Thessalonians in this passage.
As we examine his concern, we will be challenged to examine how much we care about the spiritual needs of others. Often we care about ourselves, we care about the physical needs of others, when they are sick, but do we care about the spiritual condition of others enough to encounter them at that level?
It is good to care for each other. Health concerns, job concerns relationship concerns. Sometimes we are more reluctant to express spiritual concerns.
I. Reason for Concern
Paul had brought the gospel to them
Then had to leave
Satan’s tricks and temptations
Do we take the time and have the concern to see what there might be in the life of others that would be a spiritual concern?
II. Paul’s Desire For Them
He had a goal in mind for them, some things that he wanted to happen in them. He mentions them in the course of the text.
These are good goals which we should have for each other
CE Description of a Discipled Person
What hopes do we have for one another?
III. Paul’s Actions Due To Concern
Paul didn’t only worry about them and express his hope for them, he did something about it.
Actions arose out of a heart that cared.
We notice his agitation
This is about love, love for each others.
Passion for Excellence talks about business success when someone has a passion for their area. Shouldn’t our passion be the spiritual care of others?
Admittedly these are pastoral concerns, but are we not pastors to each others in some sense? If we are active in sharing the gospel, there are people we have led to the Lord, who we teach in SS or elsewhere.
Praying To see them and impart more
Telling them that persecutors will be dealt with by God
Hope of believers
Praying for them
Recognition of God’s actions
What are we doing to demonstrate our spiritual concern for others?
What we are talking about here is love for each other. A love that goes beyond the surface to the things that really matter.
There was progress and he thanked God for it. Another lesson!
They came to faith, thank God
The Trials Of Faith
The Work Of The Tempter
Paul’s Deep Concern
Agitation of his soul for them
Help Sent in Timothy
To strengthen and encourage
Persecution is normal
The good report
Love for the apostles
Faith, standing firm in the Lord
Desire to impart more
We can come to you
Blameless and holy
Answer to prayer
Faith is growing
Love is increasing
God will punish the evildoers, He is just
Believers will glory in and marvel at the Lord when he comes
Prayer for more
Worthy of his calling
Name of Jesus glorified in you.
January 23 The Witness Of Love 1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:13 & 2 Thessalonians 1
Love brings a godly quality to our living, most clearly seen when tested.
Loves greatest witness is revealed when tough times come. It is based in
action makes a visible difference. The challenge of love is not the
feeling but the radical commitment. We are radically loved, we understand
this in Jesus, and our love for Jesus is expressed in our radical love for
Ideas to follow
The heart of Paul, his love for the people of Thessalonica,
Love for one another
Concern for love and for holiness and faithfulness
A judgement day coming when those who now persecute the saints will be punished
Do we care? For others, for their spiritual state as Paul does
Example of Paul
Judgement day coming
Danger of falling away
The central concerns of faith are love, orthodoxy and holiness.
I Thessalonians 2:13-3:13
we thank God because
you received the Word of God as the Word of God
you became imitators of the churches in Judea
you suffered persecution
persecutors are always there and seek to prevent the Word of God being spoken, God will judge them
Paul’s preaching whether the gospel or subsequent had about it the nature of having the power of God so that when it was preached, it was received as God’s word. Preaching needs that kind of authority. Such authority comes when it is accurately based upon the Word of God and clearly exposes it.
13 the Word of God is at work in those who hear.
God’s word is not idle, it accomplishes what it sets out to do.
Of course, it is God at work, his word the instrument.
Cf. Acts for some of the persecutions of the Judean church.
A strong indictment against his own nation and their sins.
Judgement has come “at last”
Or better, judgement will come at the last.
which destruction is spoken of
final? But see Rom. 11
Reference to unbelieving Jews who have been persecutors.
“Persecution for the sake of Christ is treated as evidence of the genuineness of the faith of those who suffer it.”
If you are willing to suffer, it shows it is real.
A long time persecution, cf. II Thess. II Cor. 8:1,2.
On the killing of the prophets, see Mat. 23:29-36
“imitators of God’s churches”
imitation commended. Imitators of the apostles? Do we encourage imitation?
Persecution started by members of the Jewish community
2:17 – 3:10
personal note, we were torn from you, we tried to come to see you.
Parental imagery is strong, Paul refers to himself as a father and a mother. In 2:17, as orphaned.
The care is like that of a loving family.
Satan stopped us
Our hope, joy, crown when Jesus comes is you
What does this mean?
Their joy is that these people have come to faith
Their crown is that they led these people to faith.
We sent Timothy to you
To strengthen and encourage you
So that no one is unsettled by these trials
Which trials, those of the Thessalonians or those of Paul?
Persecution is normal for believers
I was afraid the tempter might have tempted you and made our efforts useless
Good news about your faith and love
You have pleasant memories of us
In our distress and persecution, your faith encouraged us
Now we really live – because you are standing firm in the Lord
That we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith
Bereft of you – like parents who had lost their children, illus. Saying good bye to children at the airport.
Piling up of words expressing eager desire.
Nb. Satan is the one who puts obstacles in the way hindering God’s work.
Crown of exultation, comes from the victors crown in an athletic contest.
Our crown when he comes – Paul did not allow himself to be judged, nor judged himself, (I Cor. 4:3,4)he awaited judgement when Christ would come again. The converts he had brought and taught would be his cause of a crown on that day.
Paul is not being selfish in this. Their wellbeing was his joy. They were so bound in love for each other.
Cf. Acts 17 – Paul from Athens to Berea, from there sent Timothy back to Thess. And then went on to Corinth where he was rejoined by Timothy.
Which tribulations 3:3? Cf. 2:14
Cf. Acts. 14:22 re: the reality of suffering for believers.
3:2 – strengthening – suiting for battle.
6-10 return with good news
Timothy brought good news and you encouraged us in our tribulations
We pray for you
We want to see you to strengthen you further
Paul cared about his converts
When they were led astray, he was indignant
When they slipped back, he was distressed
When they showed evidence of a faith life, he was overjoyed.
Cf. Standing firm:
I Cor. 16:13
Phil 1:27 et. al.
The believers in Thess. Had come through a great test with flying colors. But Paul realizes in vs. 9 that it was due to divine power that they had been able to stand. The power of the gospel changes lives by the power of the Spirit and Paul thanks God for what he has done.
3:10 – content of Paul’s prayer – to see them and to teach them.
Paul’s use of “deomai” suggests a deep prayer of longing for God’s help.
may God clear the way for us to see you
may God make your love increas and overflow
may God strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy
defined by some as a wish prayer. Optative
blameless and holy, not before men, which is good, but before God.
The prayer once again raises that it is God who makes these things happen. Prayer is a key element in our concern for others.
II Thessalonians 1
1:1,2 – Greeting
we thank God for you because
your faith is growing
your love for each other is increasing
we boast about your faith in persecutions and trials
now as Paul writes the second letter, he gives thanks that what he prayed about in the first epistle has happened. They have grown in faith and love.
Love is shown by each one and by all of them, by the individuals and the community.
Paul boasts about them because of their patience and faith in trials.
1:5-10 – encouragement based on vindication on the day of the Lord
God’s judgement is right?
God will pay back the persecutors - more on punishment, 6-9
God will give relief to the persecuted
God will be glorified, marveled at by those who believe
When Jesus is revealed
Faith in persecution is proof of God’s righteous judgement
Encouragement based on the fact that they are being persecuted and are being faithful in that persecution.
Vs.6 Pay back what is deserved – can be both in a positive and a negative sense, ie. Relief and comfort or punishment.
Jesus word’s re persecution Matt. 5:11, 12; Luke 6:22,23.
I Peter 1:7
Vs. 7 relief – imagery is that of a bow released from tension.
this is a prayer report, thus expressing Paul’s goal for them.
We pray for you
That God may count you worthy
May fulfill every good purpose of yours, every act promoted by faith
So that Jesus is glorified in you.
After encouraging them with the final outcome, he once again prays for them.
Paul’s prayer grows out of his thanksgiving, vs.3, and his knowledge of the final outcome.
Paul prays that God would bring their good resolve to good action.
Paul’s prayer is a desire for them, his goal for them.
Vs. 12 – God’s name is glorified when those who bear that name bring credit to it by their lives.
The plan is to make the overall tone of this series one of encouragement.
It is through this window that we want to look at Thessalonians. Our
challenge in preaching Thessalonians is to pick up the content of the book
without flogging the themes that seem to reappear in almost every chapter.
For us 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 form the centre from which we will preach
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We
continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith,
your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our
Lord Jesus Christ."
Following is an outline to provide shape to the sermon series. This is a
survey of themes. I trust that if in studying the assigned text, you feel
the Spirit leading in another direction other than the one outlined that
you will follow the Spirits lead and not the outline. However please try
to focus on the texts assigned for the day. As always we encourage a
generous use of scripture in the sermon. If you want specific texts
printed on the bulletin cover or read prior to the sermon, please contact
Tracy Wiebe on the Monday or Tuesday prior to your Sunday.
January 9 Work Of Faith 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10
There are some huge gaps in our practical teaching. Think back to
baptismal testimonies. Many people tell of "becoming a Christian" over and
over again to address their internal doubts and fears. As Christians we
have a confident faith. This confidence is centered in the work of Christ
(the tree) and confirmed by a lifestyle of faithfulness (the fruit). Paul
was making a statement of assurance and similarly we would do well to
address the assurance of salvation question.
January 16 The Witness Of Integrity 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Life that is radically Christian results in a mission fulfilled. A key
factor in the success of mission is integrity. This integrity is twofold.
First they where not self deceived, and second, they did not mislead
others. Paul's confidence was not based in his conduct, but rather in the
power of the gospel. The strongest evidence of a mission fulfilled was the
response of the Thessalonians.
January 30 Faith That Works: The Value Of Personal Discipline 4:1-12
Downtown Thessolanica was not the Garden of Eden. The persistence of
evil: Racism, sexual oppression, social bigotry, and economic snobbery were
every day occurrences. That's what made the church so important. If the
new found faith was to work at all, it had to work in sharp contrast to the
pagan status quo. The antidote to undisciplined morality is a lifestyle
marked by personal discipline.
February 6 Great Expectations 1 Thessalonians. 4:13-5:11
We are so present minded, so comfortable and so self assured that our
capacity to celebrate the work of Christ is dimmed in the light of "our own
glory." We have a God who has come and is coming again!!! It is not
enough to be comfortably Christian. We must be urgently Christian, people
with great expectations.
February 13 The Day Of The Big Lie 2 Thessalonians 2
If ever we forget the power and persuasiveness of evil this chapter is a
dark reminder. Much like drunk driving advertisements this chapter is very
sobering. Unlike the MPIC adds, this chapter sounds a decisive note of
victory over evil. Christ is a restraining factor at present but will
decisively end all evil. This is an end times sermon rooted in the context
of persecution. How do we connect this with our circumstances?
February 20 Do Not Tire Of Doing Right 2 Thessalonians 3, 1 Thess 5:12-28
Just as Paul began with a defense of his personal integrity he challenges
believers to engage in a lifestyle of personal integrity. There is a
demand for personal responsibility in being a Christian and serving God.