I & II THESSALONIANS
Today is Saturday and it is lovely outside. Tomorrow is Sunday, Easter in fact, and it is supposed to be raining. We are praying for a different outcome, but God knows what is best and we will be glad to receive what He gives us. Now, I am in the Pastoral Epistles. I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon are the Pastoral Epistles. They are written to a local church, two local preachers, and one friend. They are full and rich with teaching, truths, doctrine, practice of the Church, and practical instruction for Christian living. Here are just a few brief thoughts this morning from I & II Thessalonians:
1) LOVE IS THE THEME- I Thess. 1:3 "labour of love"; 3:12 "to increase and abound in love one toward another"; 4:9 "for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."; 5:13 "to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake" To name some. The New Testament if full of this one grand principle... that we as believers are to love one another. How strange we would have to be told over and over, and yet even today, we must be told over and over. It would seem that love is foreign to us, but it is to the flesh. Selfishness is the rule of the flesh, but the spirit is to promote love and must root out that selfishness in our relationships. Love is the theme!
2) TO DESPISE OTHER CHRISTIANS IS TO DESPISE GOD- I Thess. 4:6 says: "That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the LORD is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified." This is saying not to deal unjustly with Christians, and verse 8 says: "He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit." If we despise other Christians, then we are in essence despising God who dwells within them. Be kind to others!!
3) DON'T TROUBLE A CHRISTIAN!! We read what I Thess. 4:6 & 8 said, but here is what II Thess. 1:6 says: "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;" (vs.8)-"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:" (9) "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord,..." WOW!! Leave the Christians alone ye sinners!! God judges them!!
4) WAIT PATIENTLY! II Thess. 3:5 "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." II Thessalonians is about waiting for Christ's return. We are told to wait patiently, and yet be working till He chooses to come back for us. In this book it says that if a man doesn't work, neither should he eat. Some people were loafing as they waited for Christ's return, and the Holy Spirit lets Paul tell us to work till He comes!
Hope you have a wonderfully blessed day. Thank you for joining me today. Pastor Mike Mutchler