Summary: Continuing in our study of 2 Thessalonians ... Paul now tells Christians to SHARE the truth, with an emphasis on prayer as vital to this ministry.
“Giving Truth A Free Run”
INTRODUCTION: We continue in our series in II Thessalonians.
Paul has just told the Thessalonian Christians the TRUTH about their SALVATION – 2:13-14
THEN – He told them what to DO with the TRUTH of God’s Word – 2:15
THEN – He told them what the TRUTH will DO FOR them – 2:16-17
NOW – Paul is telling them to SHARE the TRUTH – 3:1-5
3:1 – “free course” (KJV) = “run swiftly” (NKJV) = “spread rapidly” (NIV, NAS) = “run its course” (AMP).
God is counting on YOU to spread His Word to those who do not know it.
Last Sun. Night we heard from the Cooks, Missionaries to Mexico. They told how the millions in Mexico have a form of religion, but do not have the TRUTH … and how they are spreading the TRUTH of God’s Word.
What did they ask for? “Finally, brethren, pray for us!”
We need to pray that blinded eyes/ears might be opened to see/hear … that blinded hearts/minds might be open to receive/understand … THAT … “the Word of the Lord may have free course.”
“pray for us” … not just for those who are being preached to.
Sometimes, it’s hard to preach a sermon … because Satan attacks the messenger as well as the listeners.
Every time I stand behind the pulpit, I pray that the Holy Spirit will give me “free course” to say what He wants me to say … the way He wants me to say it.
Sometimes it’s not easy … Satan is attacking me while I preach … the words and thoughts don’t come freely … I struggle … I’m in a spiritual battle.
Sometimes I have “freedom” in the pulpit … and the words and thoughts flow freely.
Paul asked for PRAYER … And so do I … because there is a spiritual battle being fought every time the Word of God is preached.
Listen to what Paul asked of the Christians at Ephesus - Eph. 6:19 - “and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,”
God hasn’t called me to be a Missionary … like the Cooks … BUT … 1 thing still bothers me.
I heard a Missionary say 1 time: “I have difficulty preaching the gospel to hundreds of people who have heard it a thousand times … when there are millions who haven’t heard it ONCE.”
Paul is saying: “Pray for us, that the Word of the Lord will have a free run and spread rapidly, and be honored, just like it has been with you.”
Paul had experienced this BEFORE … in Antioch – Acts 13:48-49 - “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.  And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.”
That’s a big part of the ministry of the Pastor … to preach the Word of God.
REMEMBER what Jesus told Peter (in our series on Sunday Mornings)? “Feed My sheep”.
REMEMBER what the early church Pastors said? Acts 6:2-4 - “So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.  "Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.  "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
If God’s Word is being faithfully proclaimed … BUT isn’t being effective … it’s probably because of a lack of prayer by God’s people.
3:2 – Paul also found OPPOSITION to his preaching - 2 Cor. 11:23-28
It is rare to receive such opposition in Gilchrist County.
In my ministry, I have been ordered off of people’s property, but never shot at or beaten. I have been told that my message was unwelcome, but never threatened with my life.
I have known some preachers (in the U.S.) who have been persecuted & threatened … who feared for their lives from the pulpit on Sunday … who have been kicked out of their churches for preaching the gospel.
The Word of God doesn’t received as warm a welcome in some places as in others.
Paul had some dangerous experiences.
3:3 – Paul had experienced God’s faithfulness … and he wanted them to experience it also.
“establish” – this refers to the INSIDE … to establish trust in God’s faithfulness.
“keep” – this refers to the OUTSIDE … to protect them from the attacks of “the evil one”.