Summary: This is the 6th sermon in the "Continued Encouragement" series from 2 Thessalonians.
Series: Continued Encouragement [#6]
It is not uncommon to hear from Church people what is wrong with the leadership. People spend a lot of time trying to change the leadership within a church to fit within their guidelines and wants. I often hear statements like, “How do we know that God is leading you and telling you to do that? That’s not what I think we should be doing.” My brother once said, “If you don’t like what the pastor is doing, then you need to check 2 things. 1st, ask this question, “How does this match up against Scripture? If the answer is, “It matches up”, then you need to check yourself and change. Your problem is not with the pastor, it’s with God.” The 2nd question to ask is, “While this is not Scripturally wrong, I don’t see how this is going to work; so how do I change the pastor? If the pastor is wrong, “Pray to God and ask God to change him.” Paul gives this Church and us, some things to pray for.
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NIV)
1 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.
1. God’s Message.
Paul wanted the Word of God to spread quickly. I believe that today’s US Church is not expectant of God’s Word. The Gospel of Jesus Christ should be spreading quickly across this world. That only happens if Christians share the Gospel Message with everyone that they can. In the Parable of the Sower we see that some seed fell on the road and was taken by the birds. Some seed fell on the side of the road and began to sprout up but withered and died. Some seed fell amongst thorns and weeds and was choked out. And, some seed was deeply rooted and produced a great harvest. The seed represents the Word of God. We need to pray that there will be a harvest.
Paul also reminds us to honor the Word of God. The Word of God is never to be taken lightly. We also honor the Word of God by obeying it and sharing it with others.
2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 (NIV)
2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
2. God’s messengers.
Paul goes on to say, “Not everyone has faith.” The enemy has planted spies within our Churches. Just because you go to Church, doesn’t mean that you are saved. We need to be careful in whom we follow because the enemy likes to destroy us from the inside out.
It is important that we pray for our Church leaders. I also want you to notice verse 3. God is faithful and He will give us the strength we need to serve Him. He will protect us from the enemy.
2 Thessalonians 3:4-5 (NIV)
4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
3. God’s direction.
Verse 4 is 1 of the reasons you need to pray for your pastor and leaders. I am to have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things I command. Notice, he did not say preach; but he used the word command. This only works if I am preaching the truth at all times. Verse 5 puts the responsibility of following God’s direction on you. My responsibility as a preacher is to teach the truth of the Word. It is not my responsibility to make you listen to and follow God’s Word. You need to allow God to direct you in His love and perseverance.