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Summary: All of life is a preliminary to the dawning of that day of the Lord, when He shall come riding on the clouds to claim His own. This place is not our home. We are pilgrims passing through, and we shall not rest until we rest IN HIM.

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Biblical Text: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

All of life is a preliminary to the dawning of that day of the Lord, when He shall come riding on the clouds to claim His own. This place is not our home. We are pilgrims passing through, and we shall not rest until we rest IN HIM.

This is the truth of the gospel message. So when the church at Thessalonica swelled with a feverish, albeit unwholesome expectancy of the approach of God’s judgment day, Paul sat and penned a letter to dampen their premature fire and calm their anticipation. Nothing would hinder the spread of the gospel more than the premature expectation of Christ’s return. Paul had to remind them that, “we know not the day nor the hour when He shall appear”.

In the process of writing his epistle to the church at Thessalonica, four times Paul gushes forth in prayer, as if he is turning aside from his main thoughts. When the need for prayer presses upon you…stop everything and PRAY!

Our text is the first such prayer that Paul utters. Each of the prayers is an expression of the love for the saints of God. Listen:

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The second prayer is this:

“Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”

And the third:

“The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and unto the patient waiting for Christ.”

And finally, summing it all up:

“The Lord of peace Himself give you peace always, by all means”.

These prayers are directed to the highest blessings: they are the epitome of tenderness and love of a true Christian teacher and friend who seeks to minister to God’s people. It’s a poor love that cannot express itself in prayer. And it would be a poor pastoral prayer that did not solicit the highest blessings for his people.

Let’s take a closer look at this first prayer Paul’s spirit compels him to lift in the presence of God’s people. First, Paul says, “We pray for you, that God would count you worthy of your calling…”. It becomes instantly obvious that Paul is focused on the future coming of Jesus Christ, and the Judgment.

Here, in this brief prayer, we are brought face to face with God’s future judgment of all people. The popular theme of our Christian faith today focus’s on the truth that “he who trusts in Jesus Christ will not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life”. But Paul wants us to know that it is equally true that “judgment will begin at the house of God” and “The Lord will judge His people.” Those of us, who by virtue of our professed Christianity, stand nearest to God, can be sure that we will be searched by Him, through and through, as we stand in the revealing light of His holy presence. Every flaw…every corrupt speck…every sin, will be brought into startling prominence. Let no Christian who is a partaker of the covenant promise think that he will escape the righteous judgment of God. The great doctrine of forgiveness does not mean that He will allow our sin to remain on us, un-judged or un-avenged. God WILL judge us.


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