Today I was cleaning out my old emails, (my gmail storage is way too high), and I came across this email I sent out in April 2013 to the folk we were church planting with. It was a teaching I did when we had church in USC’s park, right in front of the natural history museum. That was a good day.
These points are pithy. And I added no commentary in the email when I sent them. So after reading them, I thought it would be good to post them as is and let the Holy Spirit minister to you from these points as He did to me after rereading them.
2Thess. 1:1-12 (NKJV)
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
10 Points from 2Thess. Ch. 1
Don't be content with mediocre faith. Grow exceedingly in your faithfulness.
Don't love one another mediocrely. Increase in your love for one another. (Yup, I made a new word there—mediocrely).
Live in a way that others give thanks to God for your faith and love.
Live in a way that others can boast of your perseverance and faithfulness in your persecutions and afflictions.
It is our perseverance and faithfulness in our persecutions and afflictions for the kingdom that count us worthy (deserving in Christ) of the kingdom of God.
Point 6 (a truth point)
God righteously repays those who afflict us for His kingdom with affliction. This frees us to repay those who afflict us with love and grace. (cf. Rom. 12:19-21)
Point 7 (a truth point)
God righteously repays us who are afflicted for His kingdom with relief (from our affliction) when Jesus appears in judgment on those who don't know Him or obey His gospel.
-(Jesus will appear in judgment, and He is going to judge unbelievers)
Point 8 (a truth point)
The penalty of unbelief in God and His gospel is eternal destruction completely separated from His presence.
Point 9 (a truth point)
On that Great Day, God will receive all glory and honor from us who believe.
-(King Jesus is returning!!)
Constantly pray for each other in this way: "that our God will make us worthy of His calling and accomplish every good desire and faithful work by His power" (CEB), and that Jesus will be glorified in us and we glorified in Him all according to His grace.
April 21, 2013