Summary: Prayer was needed for the Thessalonians who were persecuted but still growing in their Christian faith.
Before we read our passage today, let us note again some background. As we can see in a map, Thessalonica is a port in Greece. Let’s open our Bibles to the Book of Acts, Chapter 17:1-15….
And so we note that the Church in Thessalonica was initiated by Missionaries Paul, Silas, and Timothy. Both Jews and Gentiles in Thessalonica accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord! We also note from the Book of Acts that those in Thessalonica who did not accept the Gospel of Christ persecuted the Christians, even following them to a different town! And as Missionaries Paul, Silas, and Timothy continued their missionary journeys, they had much concern for the Thessalonians and so they wrote at least 2 letters to them.
Several weeks ago, we studied the First Letter to the Thessalonians. We noted that although the Thessalonians faith was growing, there was a concern for false doctrine and persecution; and so, the 1st Letter to the Thessalonians emphasized prayer, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the encouraging Words of Jesus Christ and His return.
We today are also on the resurrection side of the cross; therefore, the instructions for the Thessalonians 2000 years ago apply to us as well.
Please open your Bibles to 2 Thessalonians…… Read along with me Chapter 1……..
v1: founders of the church wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica
v2: Grace and peace came straight from God; although written by men, God Himself speaks through the letter!
v3: church founders were thankful to God because they were witnessing spiritual growth
v4: Thessalonians persevered in faith in spite of persecution and trials
v5-7: God will soon completely judge every individual through the power and grace of Jesus Christ!
v8-10: The eternal destiny of every person is totally dependent on their belief in the Good News of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!
And take a look again at v10….
v10: those who believe in Jesus Christ will be glorified with God!
And what do we note in v11-12? Men of God, Paul, Silas, and Timothy constantly prayed for the Christians in Thessalonica! What did they pray for?
v11a: to be worthy of calling; what does this mean? The original Greek word for calling here indicates an invitation. What does God invite Christians to??
And so, the prayer is for the Christians to respond more and more to God’s plan!
And what does the second part of v11 indicate? The prayer was to…
v11b: do God’s will by yielding to God’s power!
And in the end, what did they pray for in v12? The Name of Jesus Christ be glorified in Christians as God provides!
Let us summarize what we are called to do today as Christians.
1. Always give thanks to God when you witness a God thing!
How often do we witness a God thing??
God is always doing something! If we are not witnessing God things, we are not looking!!! And so, always be looking for a God thing, they are all around us!
2. Persecution and trials will happen no matter how godly we are and we must never give up our faith in Jesus Christ.
3. Know what will happen when Jesus Christ returns to earth, because it can happen today!
4. Pray for one another as Paul, Silas, and Timothy prayed! At least 3 things….