Episode #188. Today we’ll read 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 together: Once greetings have been made, Paul goes on to expound on God’s judgement and glory.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #188. Today we’ll read 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 together: Once greetings have been made, Paul goes on to expound on God’s judgement and glory.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Yes, we’re starting a new book today but don’t blink! You might miss it. This is Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica. Apparently, the problems that existed that Paul wrote to them about in his first letter, not only still existed, but had gotten worse. Each of these three little chapters addresses one of those problems. The Thessalonians were still suffering horrible persecution for their faith in Christ, the false teachers were still sewing fear in the Thessalonian church about the Day of the Lord. To make it worse, they credited Paul with the lies they were spreading. Finally, Paul admonished those who were idle.
The book is nicely ordered – one problem per chapter and each chapter ends with a prayer for that particular problem. So let’s dive in. Let me know your thoughts along the way at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
2 Thessalonians Chapter 1
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy:
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s Judgment and Glory
We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, since your faith is flourishing and the love each one of you has for one another is increasing. Therefore, we ourselves boast about you among God’s churches — about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and afflictions that you are enduring.
It is clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, since it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels, when he takes vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious strength on that day when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be marveled at by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.
In view of this, we always pray for you that our God will make you worthy of his calling, and by his power fulfill your every desire to do good and your work produced by faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified by you, and you by him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I see here Paul’s acknowledgement of the persecution that the Thessalonians are enduring. I also read the encouragement that must have been so appreciated by those believers. Paul could speak to that persecution with empathy perhaps like no one else could.
However, the passage made up of verses 8 & 9 – and I suppose you could throw in 10 there too – made the biggest impression on me. Yes, Jesus Christ is full of mercy and grace. Yes, He was gentle while still being forthright. Yes, He was the sacrificial Lamb by whom we are saved from God’s wrath for sin. He was our substitute. But there is a requisite for the privilege of being redeemed. We must believe. We must believe that Jesus is who is says He is, and we must believe that His redemptive work on the cross on our behalf was enough.
But for those who do not believe, they have taken responsibility for their own sin debt and the wrath stills awaits. When Jesus comes back, He will not be the lowly and gentle Savior-Sacrifice. He will return with His powerful angels and flaming fire and He will take vengeance on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the Gospel.
Look, I am not trying to fear-monger here. I want you to truly know that I would not wish these verses on anyone, not even my worst enemy. Much more, I pray that those who do not know or accept Christ would change minds. The word repent literally means to change direction. I hope that anyone within the sound of my voice would do exactly that and, since we don’t know when He will come again, the sooner the better. Let’s pray.
Lord, we are so arrogant and pompous sometimes. We want what we want and we want it our way. It is our habit to attempt to boil you down into a God we can control. Or worse yet, that genie in a bottle, where we can take You off the shelf to make our wishes come true. Please, please forgive us. Have mercy on our ignorance.
Let our incessant plea be from Ephesians 5:14: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you! Remind us constantly what John wrote – that You, Jesus, are the way, the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father but by You. Do not allow us to be complacent if we have come to that saving knowledge but someone in our life for whom we care about has not. Today is the day of their salvation. Help us to taste the urgency. In Jesus’ most holy name, Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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