Response-Ability 2-9

Paul, Thessalonians, Focus, Word of God, Sermon, Dayton, PA, Rural Valley, Church,

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Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

The Word of God plainly tells us, His people, the Israel of God that He has a plan and a purpose for each of His Children, “For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the LORD’s declaration–“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). It is one thing to know that there is a plan for your life, it is quite another to know what that plan is and stay the course until its completion. You, and you alone, have the responsibility to find out what God’s plan for you is and stay the course!

This is a shift from their teaching about “That Day” to living in the present in view of what is to come. The Spirit is provoking us to compare between judgment, eternal punishment, apostasy, and the Man of Sin to salvation, sanctification, security, grace, hope, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We must see the difference between those who refuse to love and obey the truth and those willing to do both.  The outcome of those who believe Satan’s lies – to those who believe the truth of God. The final destination of those who follow the spirit of the Antichrist – to those who follow Christ.  Lostness to salvation, rebellion/sanctification, and glorification/damnation. The differences seen here come about by belief or rejection of the Truth.

“Ought to”

Here we see warm thanksgiving and encouragement, a future and a hope, which awaits believers if they stay the course.

Here we see that we have the responsibility to give thanks for our brothers and sisters in Christ, they too are loved by the Lord and we all together are being sanctified by the Spirit through belief in the Truth. We should be grateful to God for His drawing us to Himself, for His having made a way for each of us to come to Him though the life of His Son Jesus Christ! If in the end, on That Day, Christ’s return or your end, we are saved, it is God’s doing. If in the end, we are lost ,it is we who are responsible. Because we did not do what we ought to… just so we are clear.

“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift” (Ephesians 2:8) Without God’s grace we cannot be saved and, without our participation, God’s grace will not save. God’s grace will not overpower your freewill but it will enable you and empower you to overcome your earthly desires so that you have the ability to respond to the grace of God. In other words; the response-ability to choose the salvation found in Christ.

Romans 1:20 tells us that God’s eternal power and divine nature are “clearly seen” and “understood” from what has been made, “so that people are without excuse.” But men still do deny God, and those who acknowledge His existence still do not come to the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ.

It is not only through what is “clearly seen” that we are drawn towards God. It is also the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God that are active in this world that draws us and saves us from the world and our own fleshly desires. In the conversion of the sinner…

This is the Prevenient Grace of God at work. Prevenient grace is the grace of God that comes before the saving grace found in Jesus, this grace is active in the world today enabling individuals to come to Christ in faith, but prevenient grace does not guarantee that the sinner will actually do so. We all still have free will. Prevenient grace is part of the drawing process (John 6:44) as is the work of Spirit in convicting the World of Sin. So that when we realize our sinful ways, we are enabled, by grace, to turn back to God and receive the saving Grace that is found in Jesus.

We choose to either believe, accepting the gift and acting on the knowledge given us in God’s Word, or we just take it in as knowledge choosing not to act on The Spirit inspired word of God!

When we choose other than Christ, other than the Truth, we choose to not believe! That is unbelief, that is disobedience, and that is sin which will cause you, on that last Day, to be separated from God for eternity, cast into the lake of fire, into the outer darkness where nothing awaits but eternal destruction. But for those of us walking this earth, that day has not arrived! Praise God we can still repent, still turn away from our past and be given New Life in and through Christ Jesus.

This is the Good news, this is the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. This is the Truth that we are responsible to act on and to share. Jesus is the love of God manifested for us in human form and given for our sin. Salvation is not just the forgiveness of sin, it is our justification, our sanctification, and our recovered holiness that was lost at the fall!

So, God’s choice, for mankind, is salvation, For God so loved the World…

It is your responsibility to live as part of His kingdom, as a part of His Church so that in believing (putting into action your knowledge of the Truth) you will obtain the glory of our lord Jesus Christ; heaven.

Mankind is chosen for salvation by the Spirit through belief in Truth; the Word of God. Romans 10 asks us, “How can they call on Him they have not believed in? How can they believe without hearing about Him?” It is our response – ability to keep the word to, “hold on to the traditions you were taught” (vs 15). There is not a person here, who in and of themselves, is worthy of salvation, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

God wants each and every soul to come to repentance, to come to the knowledge of the Truth and the saving grace found in Christ. It is the church’s, your responsibility, to spread the gospel of the Kingdom, to be ready in and out of season, with the truth of God’s love and forgiveness.

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone… This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. –  1 Peter 5:6

Digging Deeper

  •  Have you taken the responsibilities God has given you for one another and for those outside the Church seriously?
  • Are you sanctified (holy; set a part for God’s use)?
  • Are you, through belief in the Truth, staying the course?

Further Reading: Ezekiel 18:23 & 32, Ezekiel 33:11, John 3:17, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:10, Titus 1:1, Romans 11:22, 2 Peter 2:20-21, Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 6:1-6, Hebrews 10:29, Ephesians 2:1-10

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