Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
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
Our future and hope are found in Jesus Christ and the future and hope of those outside the Church is also found in Christ…
How is the Truth to spread?
How is it to get to those who have never heard it? Do we advertise, post billboards, buy ads in the local paper, go on Facebook… how did you come to know the Truth? Maybe the question we should ask ourselves is, “How can I spread the Truth?”
If the church does not spread the truth, if we, you and I and every other blood bought, Christ following, bible believing, born again member of God’s Church are not bold in our witness, there will be no spreading. Are we doing what we are called to do as ambassadors for Christ and for that matter as Christ followers; Christians? God is counting on You to spread the Truth, His Word, the Gospel of Christ!
The Word of God was being spread and honored by the Thessalonian Church just as it is to be with us. Martin Lloyd Jones said that people no longer see or understand the authority of Scripture. The Truth is to honored with, by, and in the church, we are to recognize it for what it is. In your heart, mind, and soul you must understand that this Truth that we hold is the very Word of the living God to the World, and it ought to be treated, and received, as such.
Now, like then, when the truth is honored for what it is, it is effective in transforming the lives of those who believe, who put it into action by faith. But the world is an ever present hindrance. There are many unbelievers, “for not all have faith” and some of those are wicked and evil, opposing the spreading Truth at every opportunity and even coming against those who, by faith, believe.
This is why Paul asked for prayer and why we should seek to pray for one another as we are commanded. We were told in 2:7 – the mystery of lawlessness is at work. Lawlessness is of the World. The world is constantly against the Church and we, as the church, must constantly be moving forward, if we stop, it will push us back… This calling to pray is a reminder of our ministry of intersession for all the saints. God’s Word commands us in Ephesians 6, “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. To pray in the Spirit is to pray according to the will of God. Romans 8:27 tells us, “And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” And God’s will is the salvation and sanctification of all. God wants none to perish (2 Peter 3:9) and His Church sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
How are we to be sanctified? John 17:17
Vs. 3: Here they give the Thessalonians and us reason for hope, though they are suffering persecution from the enemy, the evil one, the Lord is faithful and will strengthen and guard in the midst of the trials, troubles, and tribulations of life that beset every believer as well as persecution from the enemy and his minions.
Vs. 4 – Though the Church was in danger from the enemy, Paul declares his complete confidence that the Thessalonians are doing, and will continue to do, what was commanded of them. That confidence comes from the fact that they are in the Lord, a part of the church, and Staying the Course in spite of their trials, troubles, and tribulations. Paul trusts the Lord to complete the good work that Jesus began in them; that is, their salvation and sanctification. If they continued on in what he had taught and commanded them in the Truth.
What would Paul, Silas, and Timothy think of the Church today? Would they commend us for staying the course, would they see our perseverance, our spreading the truth? Or would they see the church fractured, self-centered, and stagnant in their calling?
Is the church today, spreading truth to the communities she is placed in? Is the Truth, the very word of God, even honored in and among the Church? If so why are we so prone to ignore what we know to do according to His Word? Is that not sin? James 4:17, “So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.” Believing is putting into action the knowledge you have of God’s will for you.
Vs. 5 is a Prayer concerning their hearts. Keep in mind that the heart was considered the hidden center of the whole being, the center of emotional, intellectual, and moral activity, what motivated them, both rationally, emotionally, and spiritually. Their prayer was that the Thessalonians and our whole being would be directed to God’s Love and the endurance of Christ.
We know from God’s Word to us in 1 John 4 that, “we love because He first loved us”, Paul even prayed that we would know the depths of that love. See Ephesians 3:14-19 and Galatians 5:6
Faith is not something you can choose to increase on demand. It only grows as our security in God’s love for us grows. So if our hearts are directed to God’s love and we begin to comprehend the length, width, height and depth of God’s Love for us then our faith is grown. We trust God because we know His love…
The endurance of Christ: What was it that He had to endure? Why did He endure what He did? He stayed the course in the midst of afflictions…
Where did His endurance come from?
Are you ready to start spreading Truth to your neighbor? That is love.
- Are you spreading the Truth?
- Do you honor the Truth?
- Do you know, that you know, God’s Love for you?
Further Reading: Acts 4:24-31, Galatians 5:6, Ephesians 3:14-19, Galatians 5:6, 1 John 4:7-21, John 3:16-18, Romans 5:8, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:4-5