1 Thessalonians 5 – 2 Thessalonians 1

Paul closes his first letter with a reminder that Christians must live with the Day of the Lord in mind. This is not it. Don’t get wrapped up in the world’s dark vortex. Keep a clear mind and encourage each other.

5:14-22 is a very good list of “to dos”:

  • Admonish the unruly 
  • Encourage the fainthearted 
  • Help the weak
  • Be patient with everyone 
  • Rejoice always
  • Pray without ceasing 
  • Give thanks in everything 
  • Do not quench the Holy Spirit
  • Do not despise prophecies
  • Examine everything
  • Cling to what is good 
  • Abstain from all kinds of evil

 And 23-24 is a reminder that it is all done in His strength:

“May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be presented complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, He will surely do it.”

The occasion for Paul’s writing of the second letter has been speculated as follows: it was reported to him that all this Day of the Lord stuff had monopolized their attention. Instead of focusing on the directives to love, work, encourage, they were all on their roofs waiting for the return of Christ. This is understandable for a group also being persecuted. How many times have we looked at our current status and been tempted to sit on the roof and just wait for Jesus? Paul writes 2 Thessalonians to clear up that certain things would happen before the end of the world—it wasn’t going to be a total surprise—and not to despair from daily life and the work of building the church.

This very much applies to us. Even though stateside things are still relatively posh, the world is freaking out and on the brink of a Third World War. This could seem as cause for panic, but it’s not what we’re called to do:

“We pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you and Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:11-12)

Don’t forget our calling: the making of disciples, the loving of our neighbors, the worshipping of Jesus, the operating through the power of the Spirit. This might be 3rd quarter, maybe 4th, but halftime is over and this baby’s not ending in a tie. Run the race with endurance! “He who calls you is faithful, He will surely do it!”

-Bethany

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