Summary: Paul demonstrates his thankfulness for the workers of the church while encouraging them to stay faithful and to continue pressing forward towards the eternal reward of Jesus Christ!

A Study of 2 Thessalonians, Part 4

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Introduction

- When we look at each of these they are all enough to make a believer cringe

- It is one of those short letters that seems harmless; until we see Paul’s intent

- APP: The msg is simple: To glorify Jesus and reform us to following Him alone

- I’ve broken this down into 5 areas; all are very fascinating topics:

-- 1. Living in Thanksgiving

-- 2. The Anti-Christ

-- 3. (Tonight) Standing for the Lord

-- 4. Praying for others

-- 5. Warning against standing around (idleness)

- In studying the man of lawlessness we identified several key points to remember

1. Matthew 24:26-27 discusses the return of Jesus

2. We are encouraged to not just “believe what we hear”; but look it up!

3. Deception is the VERY best tool that the enemy uses (v3)

4. God is the restrictor of Satan; nothing happens without his permission (v6)

5. It is important to remember that the victor will always be Jesus (v8)

BIG APP: Even though the delusion is very evident; Jesus will always win

- Stand and read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

- Pray

Point 1 – Thank God for the Workers (13-14)

- Often times, these verses get us into conversations of “predestination”

-- God already chose who He is going to save so why should we bother witnessing

- However, if that were true 2 Pet 3:9 would be false; God desires all to be saved

- It is in this teaching that Paul is encouraging the church to be grateful for work

- APP: Together, we can rejoice in what God has done and reflect that to all we see

- Paul is grateful for the work of the church; and brings great praise to them

-- We (the readers) have been called (v14) to this work through the Gospel

- It is through the Gospel that we are called to work for the Lord

-- What is the Gospel? It is good news – it is the death and resurrection of Christ

-- It is the revelation of who God is through the man, Jesus Christ

-- It is the knowledge that b/c of what Jesus did we can be saved forever

- Being called to the work of the Gospel is something each believer has within

-- Talked on Sunday about God’s revelation to mankind about Jesus’ sacrifice

-- This concern for His creation is in such a way that He pleads with us to choose

-- And in choosing to follow Christ, we share in His glory and reward

-- Testify: Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

- TRANS: When Paul thanks the church, he then exhorts them to STAND

Point 2 – Standing Firm (15)

- Paul’s direction to the church is clear: STAND on what you know

-- “know what you know” … look it up … must understand what is real and fake

- To hold fast (“stand fast” in KJV) is a military term of preparation

-- When the enemy would charge the command is given to HOLD or STAND

-- This command calls on their willingness to obey and to follow their leader

-- Refers to “Hunker down” means to hold stubbornly to a position

- APP: As soldiers of the Lord we are called to remain faithful to our post

- This faithfulness leads to our reward and failing that we fail to obey the leader

-- The application is simple: follow and get reward; desert and get destruction

- So, as Paul reminds them what they have heard and read; he pleads with them

- For you and I, this is a constant reminder of what we’ve heard as a believer

- Remember what you’ve been taught; don’t let it depart from you; stand fast

- As a pastor I can motivate, but how long does it really last? A day? Maybe?

-- What we have in the Bible is an eternal reward; something tangible

-- Lots of people learn by reading, others by hearing … either way, we’re taught

Point 3 – Blessings and Encouragement (16-17)

- Who doesn’t need a little encouragement from time to time?

- Think of this time of year, the holidays, encouragement comes in all forms

- It is in God’s Word that we find some real encouragement to stand on

- (v16) We first see a reminder from Paul about Jesus’ role in our lives

-- He is the one who loved us and gave us eternal life through His death

-- This great gift from the Lord is what we can stand on day to day for strength

- Testify: 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.”

-- The Father loved the Son, and the Son in turn demonstrated that love for us

-- Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

- (v17) To be encouraged: we are NOT to walk around with our heads down!!

-- It is to live in a way that shows that we belong to someone, something bigger

-- So that when we do the work of the Lord, we will continue to grow stronger

- APP: The reward is what we should seek after, it is at His pleasure that we serve!

-- Rem. Acts 7, Steven, “… father, forgive them” … whose applause do we seek?

- Next time we will examine praying for others … no service next week though

- Let’s join together after the New Year

- Pray